A back-to-back Davis Cup triumph was not in the cards for team Canada, as they fell to plucky Finland, 2-1 in the international competition quarterfinals on Tuesday, Nov. 21.
Canada, who won the event for the first time in 2022, looked to have a clear shot at the semifinals, as they were playing Finland, a team bereft of elite talent in a three match tie.
However, a late injury to top singles player Felix Auger-Aliassime left Canada scrambling.
The first match saw Milos Raonic, the former Wimbledon finalist, dispatch world number 782 Patrick Kaukovalta, 6-3, 5-7 to bring the Canucks to within one victory of reaching the next round.
The 22-year-old Gabriel Diallo, who defeated top 30 player Lorenzo Musetti in an earlier Davis Cup match, was upended by Fin Otto Virtanen, 4-6, 5-7, to bring the tie to a winner-take-all doubles match.
Vernon’s Vasek Pospisil (4-0 this year in Davis Cup games) and Alexis Galarneau were broken four games in, as Virtanen and Harri Heliovaara used that momentum to wrestle both the first and second set from the Canadians, and advance to the semifinals, 7-5, 6-3.
The loss ended a magical 365 days for Canadian international tennis, as the men won the 2022 Davis Cup, while the women were named victors of the Billie Jean King Cup earlier this month.
Led by stalwart Leylah Annie Fernandez, the Canadians dispatched Italy, 2-0 to win the premier international women’s tennis competition for the first time ever.