In the semi-final matchup against Italy on Saturday, world number six Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated Lorenzo Musetti in straight sets, keeping Canada’s dreams of winning its first Davis Cup victory alive.
Denis Shapovalov was lost in the first match by Italian Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (5/7), 6-4 before Auger-Aliassime won 6-3, 6-4.
The 22-year-old Canadian, who is now rated highest in Malaga, defeated his 23rd-ranked opponent by creating two service breaks and launching 12 aces.
When both teams make last-minute adjustments for the doubles, the tie will be decided.
In place of the injured Shapovalov, Matteo Berrettini will play alongside Fabio Fognini for Italy in place of Simone Bolelli, while Auger-Aliassime will team up with Vasek Pospisil.
The eventual victors will play 28-time champions Australia in the Davis Cup final on Sunday after Australia advanced on Friday with a 2-1 victory over Croatia, who finished second last year. Australia has won the tournament 28 times.
Seven times, Italy has advanced to the Davis Cup final; the nation last took home the medal in 1976.
Canada has never won the team competition after falling to Spain in their lone final in 2019.
45 in the world After consecutive double faults from 18th-ranked Shapovalov, who had won their lone prior encounter in Rome earlier this year, Sonego triumphed in 3 hours and 14 minutes.
Sonego might have won the match in straight sets after being 5/2 up in the second set tiebreak, but Shapovalov paid a price for only converting one of his 13 break points.
“Because I dropped the tiebreak in the second set, it was incredibly difficult to stay focused. But I remained quite upbeat, and my captain (Filippo Volandri) really assisted me in trying to win the game. “I took pleasure in the game right up until the end,” remarked Sonego.