(Bologna) Canada is still undefeated in the group stage of the Davis Cup finals, and Gabriel Diallo has made sure it stays that way.
The 21-year-old Montrealer beat Elias Ymer 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday, giving Canada a 2-0 victory over Sweden. Diallo also signed his second victory in as many days in this prestigious men’s tennis team competition.
“Things are working in my favor right now, so it’s easy to stay positive,” Diallo first explained in a post-match interview. I was ready for anything today; I knew going into the week that the world ranking had no importance here, because representing your country can inspire you and allow you to raise your level of play.
“I didn’t give the opponent any break points, so I must be doing something right with my serve. I will try to continue on this path, and also to continue my good work in return for my service. He (Ymer) played very well, was very aggressive, but I managed to complete the job,” summarized Diallo about his performance.
By virtue of this result, the representatives of the maple leaf now have an immaculate record of 2-0 – and 5-0 in total of the matches of the first two days – and are first in the standings of Group A. Canada will complete the phase group game against Chile on Saturday.
“Honestly, since Denis (Shapovalov) is injured, and Félix (Auger-Aliassime) is not here, we knew we were going to have to play to our full potential to have a chance to qualify for the next round. We had our backs against the wall when we arrived here, and I believe that the key was to impose our style of play on our opponents, and not let us impose theirs,” Diallo said.
The top two teams from each group will advance to the elimination rounds, which will take place November 21-26 in Malaga, Spain. This is also where the champion country will be crowned.
Canada’s conquest of the title in 2022 – sealed following a 2-0 victory over Australia in the final in Malaga – was the country’s first since 1913 in this competition.
Diallo, 158e in the world, allowed Canada to continue its momentum at the Davis Cup on Thursday by giving just enough to defeat Ymer, 175e. He converted one break point per set, and two of his four in total to overcome his opponent in one hour and 14 minutes.
However, it was not so easy for his compatriot Vasek Pospisil earlier in the day.
Ten grams of salt. This is probably what allowed Pospisil to ignore the numerous cramps that assailed him during his duel against Leo Borg, en route to a snatch victory of 7-6 (5), 5-7 and 6 -2.
“I started to feel cramps towards the end of the second set, when the tension was a little more intense,” said Pospisil, out of breath, after the match. I haven’t played many matches lately, and I really wanted to get this victory for our country… I was tired at the start of the third round, and that’s why I had to consume almost 10 grams salt. That’s probably what saved me. »
Pospisil, from Vernon, British Columbia, took two hours and 26 minutes to overcome Borg on the cement of the Unipol Arena in Bologna, a poorly air-conditioned amphitheater.
“It’s very humid here, and I was just trying to hang on to be honest,” Pospisil admitted. I tried to speed up the pace of the game, shorten each point by going up to the net, and take extra risks, and luckily it worked.
“I’m just starting to breathe, which helps me think. I feel like I had a 20 minute gap in this match, I don’t know. I tried a few bold moves and they worked. So much the better,” he continued.
An unimportant doubles match will take place at the end of the day.