Defending champion Canada surprisingly missed the semi-finals of the Davis Cup final tournament in Malaga. In the absence of the injured top player Felix Auger-Aliassime, the favorites lost 1:2 against Finland.
The opponents of the Scandinavians, who are in the semi-finals for the first time, will be determined on Wednesday by the Czech Republic and Australia (4 p.m./DAZN and ServusTV On).
At the start of the final tournament in the traditional national comparison, Milos Raonic made short work of Patrick Kaukovalta in his comeback to the Canadian team.
The former world number three won 6:3, 7:5 in just 1:09 hours. The 32-year-old serving giant played his last match for Canada in 2018.
“It was a fantastic feeling. I’ve missed a lot in the last few years. It’s an incredible honor to stand here and be able to experience it again,” said Raonic after the match. The 2016 Wimbledon finalist has repeatedly been set back by injuries in the past.
Auger-Aliassime leaves a gap
In the second singles of the evening, the absence of Canadian number one Auger-Aliassime became noticeable. Instead of world number 29. Gabriel Diallo, who was listed 110 places further back, took on Otto Virtanen and had to admit defeat 4:6, 5:7.
Virtanen, 171st in the ATP rankings, finally became a hero for the Finns in the decisive doubles match with Harri Heliovaara. The duo won 7:5, 6:3 against Alexis Galarneau/Vasek Pospisil and caused the first big surprise of the tournament in the first duel.
In the other quarter-finals on Thursday, the Serbs led by dominator Novak Djokovic will meet Great Britain (4:00 p.m.) and Italy will meet the Netherlands (10:00 a.m.). The final takes place on Sunday (4:00 p.m./all DAZN and ServusTV On).
The German team, which failed in the quarter-finals last season against eventual winners Canada, missed qualifying for the final round of the best eight teams this year.
With a win against Bosnia-Herzegovina, the German Tennis Federation’s selection in September at least secured their stay in the world group.