BOLOGNA, Italy-Defending champion Canada reaches the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup after a dominant group stage of the final.
The Canadians overcome Chile 2-1 on Saturday after overcomeing the Italian and Swedish hosts in Bologna.
Canada came one step closer to defending its first title at the so-called World Men’s Tennis Championship by qualifying for the round of eight in Málaga, Spain, in November.
‘Everything went right for us this week,” Canadian captain Frank Dancevic said on Saturday. “The guys kept a good pace, a good motivation with each other. It was good energy from day to day.”
Canada had to win only one of its three matches against Chile on Saturday. Alexis Galarneau from Laval, Quebec., did the job at the start of Canada’s first one-on-one fight on the hard court of the Unipol Arena.
The 24-year-old extended his country’s winning streak in Bologna to seven in a row with a 6-3, 7-6(5) two-inning victory over Toronto-born Chilean Alejandro Tabilo.
“It became difficult. I’ve known Alejandro since the juniors,” Galarneau said. “He grew up in Canada, so I knew what to expect. I know that he is a great fighter.
“I was able to use some of the energy of the crowd, of my teammates, to really provide a good service.”
Gabriel Diallo of Montreal lost the second singles match on Saturday with a score of 6: 4, 6: 4 against Nicolas Jarry, 22.
Galarneau and Vasek Pospisil of Vernon, British Columbia, capped the day with a 6-3, 7-6(6) double victory over Tabilo and Tomas Barrios Vera.
Canada took eight of nine wins to dominate Group A 3-0 ahead of Italy( 1-1), Chile (1-2) and Sweden (0-2). Sweden and Italy will meet on Sunday.
The final of the group stage includes 16 countries, with the first two of each of the four pools qualifying for Málaga.
Canada defeated Australia in 2022 and won the Davis Cup for the first time. Both countries were rewarded with a bye to the final of this year’s group stage.
Minus Felix Auger-aliassime from Montreal ranked 14th in the world in men’s singles and together with Denis Shapovalov from Richmond Hill have., on the bench in Bologna, after a knee health issue forced him out of the US Omnium, Canada’s fortune went to the experienced veteran Pospisil and the more inexperienced Diallo and Galarneau.
The Canadian trio came out of the gates with a 6-0 record against Italy and Sweden two days in a row before a break on Friday.
“It was unexpected to lead 3-0 against Italy, but we tried to use this momentum for the next day,” Dancevic said.
“The two consecutive days have certainly been hard for us. A lot of games, a lot of recreation for everyone. For the players, who were very emotionally exhausting on the first day, to return on the second day, it was very difficult for us to perform this feat against Sweden.”