Felix Auger-Aliassim defeated Serbian Miomir Kekmanovic on Saturday to secure the Canadian men’s tennis team a place in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup Finals.
A day after Auger-Alessem beat Carlos Alcaraz – the world’s newest player – to lead Canada after Spain, the Montreal native sent Kikmanovic 6-3 6-4.
“I’m really happy,” said Number 13 Auger-Aliassime. “It is the best feeling not only to win important victories for myself, but also for the team. It is very good to see the smile on everyone’s face and to make the team happy and proud.”
The Davis Cup quarter-final matches will be played from November 22-27 in Malaga, Spain.
Canada defeated Serbia 2-1 on Saturday after Vasek Pospisil had to withdraw from the doubles match due to injury.
But Auger-Aliassime’s win did indeed give Canada the last point needed to secure a second place in Group B.
“I was a little tired,” he said, “but pushing myself was worth it.” “I’m really happy because I came in and played at my level until Canada reached the quarter-finals. I’m really happy for the team. In the end, it’s all worth it.”
Auger-Aliassime continued to rely on his serve, scoring nine aces and conceding only nine points per serve. He won the first set for the first time in the tournament, and has never looked back. In the second set, he encountered no stopping points.
Canada’s chances of qualifying for the knockout rounds looked mixed earlier in the day when 20-year-old Gabriel Diallo of Quebec City lost to Laszlo D’Guerre 6-2 6-2 in his Davis Cup debut.
Diallo, ranked No. 334, said, “It is such an honor to have my country chosen. It is something I have been dreaming about since I was a little kid. I am so grateful to be here. It is clearly not the result I wanted, but I will try and learn as much as I can. I think it is It’ll make me better, and I have to keep my head down and work 20 times harder.”
Diallo, ranked 334th, claimed victory in the Granby National Bank Championship last month.
Captain Frank Dansevich selected 141 Vasek Pospisil and 247 Alexis Gallarno for the doubles match, but after just 18 minutes of play, Pospisil was forced to retire.
Despite the loss to Serbia, Dancevic was proud of his team’s efforts in Valencia.
“It’s been an incredible week, from the start until today. All the players and the coaching staff – it’s been very positive energy from all sides,” he said. “The guys played tennis incredibly well. There are a few matches where we were down in the third set and we could have lost them easily. We kept fighting until the end.”
Meanwhile in Glasgow, Butch van de Zandscholp and Talon Grexpur won the singles against Americans Taylor Fritz and Tommy Ball to take the Netherlands top of their group in the Davis Cup Finals with a 2-1 victory.
Van de Zandschulp sealed the tie when he defeated Fritz, World No. 12, 6-4, 7-6 (3) after Grexpur opened with a 7-5, 7-6 (3) victory over Paul.
The Dutch took a 2-0 lead, then Rajiv Ram and Jack Sock paid the Americans compensation with doubles wins over Wesley Kollhof and Mattoi Middelkoop.
The United States and the Netherlands have already secured their place in the quarter-finals with victories each in Group D. As the group winner, the Netherlands will face the runners-up in Group C, either Australia or Germany.
The United States will play the winner of Group A, most likely Italy. On Sunday, the Italians play in Bologna against Sweden.
Also on Saturday, Croatia defeated Argentina 3-0 to achieve its second victory after losing the opening match against Italy.
France beat Belgium 2-1 in Group C, with Australia and Germany already confirmed to reach the quarter-finals.