Canada is number one in the International Tennis Federation ranking as current Davis Cup champion. The North American team, who survived the absences of Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov in the Bologna group stageShapovalov is once again absent from the Final Phase in Malaga.
However, captain Frank Dancevic has instead called up Milos Raonic and has full confidence in Gabriel Diallo, Alexis Galarneau and veteran Vasek Pospisil. It was the three of them who carried out the qualifying ‘playoffs’ when few believed in them. They won their three qualifiers against Italy, Sweden and Chile.
The Canadians represent what a team is above individuals. Aliassime is his first sword in an irregular season that has seen him fall from the top 10 to 29th position.
Felix thrives on hard surfaces indoors and demonstrated it by lifting the Basel Open 500 trophy. It is worth remembering that the women’s team won just nine days ago in the Billie Jean King Cup in Seville.
Finland will be this Tuesday, starting at 4:00 p.m., the first opponent of the defenders of the crown. A country with little tennis tradition has earned a place on the tennis map thanks to the brave Emil Ruusuvuori, Otto Virtanen, Patrick Kaukovalta and Harri Heliovaara. It was the four of them who last September left the local Croatia and a leading power like the United States behind in Split.
Ruusuvuori (69) is the only ‘top 100’ in singles while Heliovaara (29) is among the elite in doubles.
Finnish fans will be the majority in the stands at Martín Carpena. Finland, which debuted in the competition in 1928, It had always been in the second division until it managed to qualify in 2023 for the fight for the Silver Salad Bowl.