Against Team Canada, the German Davis Cup team is just outsiders. Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov stand for high quality with title chances.
“We’re definitely the underdogs. But we really don’t have to hide and believe in our chances. Then we can do something against Canada too.”, said Jan-Lennard Struff before the quarter-finals in the Davis Cup against the North Americans on Thursday (4 p.m., November 24th, 2023). The 32-year-old tries to spread optimism. However, the German team has an enormous task to master. “They have an incredibly good team. You just have to recognize that” so strong.
This Canadian team most likely consists of the ATP-Top players Felix Auger-Aliassme and Denis Shapovalov in the singles. The cast is impressive. Auger-Aliassime is currently number six in the world rankings. The 22-year-old has also had the best season of his young career. Four titles on the ATP Tour Auger-Aliassime was able to win this year, all indoors hard court.
Opponent for the Canadian will be in the Spanish hard court-Halle must be Oscar Otte, who is currently only 65th in the world rankings. The two supposed opponents have met twice so far, with the Canadian leaving the field as the winner.
Auger-Aliassime exhausted last
From Otte’s point of view, the conditions before the next meeting are not exactly ideal. While the man from Cologne was struggling with a meniscus injury in the second half of the year, was unable to start on the tour for a few weeks and is still looking for his best form, Auger-Aliassime was unstoppable. He has his tennis year with 57 wins and 27 losses on the ATP Tour completed.
However: Last, with the ATP Finals, was already over for him after two defeats in the group phase. In Turin he quickly realized the reason why he had never found his extremely powerful, solid and precise game of the previous weeks: “The fact that I’m tired – sometimes you don’t feel tired, but it’s late, you’ve played a lot. I’ve played a long year”, so the Canadian. Possibly the chance for Otte lies in this end-of-year exhaustion of the best Canadian player.
Shapovalov is steadily increasing
Denis Shapovalov, who turned up the heat in the second half of the year, presents himself completely differently. The world number 18. reached at the beginning of the year Australian Open the quarterfinals, but after that not much went together with the left-hander. “I put a lot of work into training sessions and developing my game. As a team we felt I was getting stronger but the wins just didn’t come.”said Shapovalov.
Only from the US Open if he was able to find his form again, he reached two finals (Vienna, Seoul). But: Struff, who broke a toe earlier in the year (“I didn’t have a good season.”), has a positive matchrecord against Shapovalov (5:3). Struff has slipped to 152nd place in the world rankings due to his long-term injury and is also – like Otte – still looking for his best form.
Germany is the favorite in doubles
Doubles is the discipline in which the Canadians do not go into the game as favorites against the German team. The German team won 15 doubles games in a row, the last defeat was in 2017.
Vasek Pospisil (No. 100 in the world), Alexis Galarneau (204) and Gabriel Diallo (224) are still available as alternatives for Canada’s team boss Frank Dacevic.
The Canadians’ goal is clear. Denis Shapovalov made no secret of it when asked about it: “Of course I want to be part of the team and lift the Davis Cup trophy with the Canadian boys.”