World No. 19 Auger-Aliassime headlines Canadian roster for Davis Cup Finals in Spain
Canada will try to become 1st country to repeat as champion since Czechs in 2013
Felix Auger-Aliassime headlines the Canadian roster for the upcoming Final 8 stage of the Davis Cup Finals.
Tennis Canada says the 19th-ranked Montrealer will be joined Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., Vasek Pospisil of Vernon, B.C., Gabriel Diallo of Montreal and Alexis Galarneau of Laval, Que.
Frank Dancevic of Niagara Falls, Ont., will serve as captain for the Nov. 21-26 competition in Malaga, Spain.
Canada defeated Australia 2-0 in 2022 to win the Davis Cup for the first time since the event's debut in 1900.
The last country to win two straight Davis Cup crowns was the Czech Republic in 2012 and 2013.
Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., won their singles matches to give Canada the victory. Shapovalov has battled knee issues this seasonand is not on the roster.
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Canada will begins its Final 8 stage against Finland on Nov. 21.
In other Final 8 ties, Serbia will play Britain, the Czech Republic will meet Australia and Italy will face the Netherlands.
Raonic, 32, returns to the team for the first time since 2018. The former world No. 3 has an 18-6 career record in Davis Cup play and has been nominated to the team on 14 occasions.
Pospisil 31-24 in Davis Cup play
He missed the 2022 campaign due to injury but picked up some impressive wins in his return this season.
Raonic beat 39th-ranked Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia in his first match back last June in the Netherlands. He reached the third round at the National Bank Open, upsetting 10th-ranked American Frances Tiafoe in the first round.
Pospisil, who has a 31-24 career record in Davis Cup play, won all four of his matches in the group stage this year. Diallo and Galarneau, meanwhile, are up-and-coming young players on the ATP Tour.
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Canada showed its depth in the group stage in mid-September as Galarneau and Diallo teamed with Pospisil in wins over Chile, host Italy and Sweden in Bologna, Italy.
Finland, meanwhile, upset the United States and Croatia to secure its first appearance in this knockout stage of the top team event in men's tennis.
Emil Ruusuvuori is the highest-ranked singles player on the team at No. 61.
The winner of the Canada-Finland tie will play either Australia or the Czech Republic in the semifinals. The Czechs were the only team to post an unbeaten 9-0 record in the group stage.
Canada beat Finland 4-1 on outdoor clay in their only previous Davis Cup matchup in 1966 in Helsinki, Finland.
Australia will meet Czechia on Nov. 22. The quarterfinals in the bottom half of the draw — Serbia against Britain and the Netherlands versus Italy — are set for Nov. 23.
Semifinals will be played Nov. 24-25 and the final is set for Nov. 26.
With files from The Associated Press