More energetic than world number one Carlos Alcaraz, Felix Auger-Aliassime led Canada to a 2-1 win over Spain on Friday in Valencia in the Round of Robben’s Davis Cup Finals.
Auger-Aliassime defeated the young Spaniard 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-2 in the afternoon. A few hours later, Montrealer and his compatriot Vasek Pospisil had the honor of a double-faced duel with Marcel Granollers and Pedro Martinez to decide the outcome of the meeting.
In Auger-Aliassime’s first win that day, the defining moment was a 12-minute match in which the recent US Open champion lost at least five break points in the third set. Having failed to return to service, he visibly slowed down. “FAA” (13) added a second break and then maintained control with balls in hand to finish the job.
This is the first victory against the world’s first racket of Auger-Aliassime. On his first occasion, earlier this year in Rome, he bowed to Novak Djokovic.
This long battle of 2 hours and 55 minutes could have ended much faster. Quebec had already dropped a break point that would have given him the first set, at 5-6. He then lost his last three serve points in the tiebreak to give his opponent the first set.
A similar situation arose during the next engagement and this time the representative of Maple Leaf did not miss his chance. He smashed Alcaraz to make the score 5-4, then clinched the set in five short service races.
An unexpected victory in the doubles
The Maple Leaf representatives had to work hard to win 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 and deliver the victory to Canada, by crossing swords against the resting pair of Granollers and Martinez.
Pospisil and “FAA” notably wiped out the 5-3 delay in the final round. They were only two points away from giving up when they rolled up their sleeves to win the next four matches.
In the second set, the Canadians got their first duel break at the most opportune moment, when they were leading 5-4.
Finally, at 2 hours and 7 minutes, Pospisil and Auger Eliasim closed the debate.
In the first game of the day, Pospisil was unable to follow up his momentum from the first set against Roberto Bautista Agut, losing in straight sets 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
No. 141 in the world, Pospisil saw 21st seed Bautista Agut soar to the cheers of the home team’s crowd in the second set, despite his dominance of 11-2 on aces. The winner made three breaks on 12 occasions during the match that lasted two hours and 11 minutes. The Canadian made 33 unforced errors compared to his opponent’s 13.
After winning two of the three matches in a duel against South Korea on Tuesday, Canada will face Serbia – on TVA Sports – to finish the tournament on Saturday. He will have to finish second in the Group B standings in order to qualify for the finals scheduled for November 21-27.
Image source: AFP
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