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Davis Cup: Canada reaches the semi-finals

MALAGA, Spain — Canada came from behind not once, but twice, on Thursday to advance to the Davis Cup semifinals after defeating Germany 2-1.

Captain Frank Dancevic’s team had to recover from a first setback following Denis Shapovalov’s three-set loss 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (2) to Jan-Lennard Struff in the first of two singles duels on the program for the day.

Montreal’s Félix Auger-Aliassime was responsible for keeping Canada’s hopes alive with a solid 7-6(1), 6-4 victory over Oscar Otte in the second singles match.

This Auger-Aliassime victory made it necessary to present a doubles confrontation to determine who would face Italy in the semi-finals on Saturday.

In this decisive and short-lived duel for the losing nation, Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil got up after a difficult first set and they deserved a victory in three sets of 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 against Kevin Krawietz and Tim Putz.

Shapovalov and Pospisil joined forces to break Krawietz’s serve in the third game of the third set, repeating the feat they had achieved in the fourth game of the second set.

After that big break early in the third set, Shapovalov and Pospisil gave up just two points in three games on their serve and scored eight of the game’s final nine points.

Shapovalov ended the duel with panache, returning a serve from Pütz inbounds without Pütz being able to react.

“They’ve raised their level unbelievably,” Kohlmann noted of the Canadians. “They were very good at serving. We haven’t been able to create any chances. »

“At the end of the day, we have to say the Canadians played better than us and deserved to win. »

Like in October

Against Otte, 65th player in the world, Auger-Aliassime played with the same confidence that allowed him to win three tournaments in a row and 16 games in a row in October.

Once again he was outstanding on serve, scoring 15 aces and only one double fault. He won 89 percent of the points after lodging his first ball in play, and 70 percent of the points behind his second ball.

The 22-year-old Montrealer, sixth player in the world, only faced one break point in the very first game of the match. He erased it with a forehand winner in parallel.

Irregular performance

In a rollercoaster ride that saw him notch 18 aces and 30 game winners, but also commit 10 double faults and 24 unforced errors, Shapovalov suffered his sixth loss in nine outings against Struff.

He got credit for a fight in the third set after he conceded a break in the fourth game which allowed the 32-year-old German to take a 3-1 lead.

Facing a 3-5 decline and match point in the ninth game, Shapovalov managed to bring the duel back to even serve with a crucial break of serve, eventually securing a decisive tiebreaker.

In that break, Struff quickly took the lead with a mini-break on the third point, which he solidified four points later to give himself a 5-2 lead.

With four match points in hand, Struff wasted no time. He converted the first when Shapovalov sent a forehand into the net.

The double wins Italy

Earlier in the day, Italy had eliminated the United States and reached the semi-finals for the first time in eight years thanks to Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini, who beat the duo of Tommy Paul and Jack Sock in straight sets identical from 6-4.

Taylor Fritz, the ninth-ranked player in the world, gave the United States the decisive doubles encounter when he took the measure of Lorenzo Musetti, ranked 23rd, 7-6 (8), 6-3.

Italy took the lead in the duel following Lorenzo Sonego’s 6-3, 7-6(7) victory over 19th-ranked Frances Tiafoe in the opener. in singles of the day.

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