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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Reaching the Davis Cup Semifinal, Finland Surpasses Champions Canada

<p>With passionate cheers as the last eight of the Davis Cup got off in Malaga on Tuesday, Finland defeated the defending winners Canada 2-1.</p>
<p>Canada was hoping to carry on their success from earlier in November when they won the Billie Jean King Cup, but they were eliminated when Finland made it to the semifinals for the first time in the men’s tennis World Cup.</p>
<p>The opening singles rubber saw Canada’s Milos Raonic easily defeat Patrick Kaukovalta 6-3, 7-5, then Otto Virtanen defeated Gabriel Diallo 6-4, 7-5, keeping Finland’s hopes alive.<img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-285578″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/theindiaprint.com-enhance-your-love-life-8-strategies-to-rekindle-passion-in-your-partnership-downlo.jpg” alt=”theindiaprint.com enhance your love life 8 strategies to rekindle passion in your partnership downlo” width=”1414″ height=”792″ title=”Reaching the Davis Cup Semifinal, Finland Surpasses Champions Canada 3″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/theindiaprint.com-enhance-your-love-life-8-strategies-to-rekindle-passion-in-your-partnership-downlo.jpg 300w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/theindiaprint.com-enhance-your-love-life-8-strategies-to-rekindle-passion-in-your-partnership-downlo-150×84.jpg 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 1414px) 100vw, 1414px” /></p>
<p>To the joy of many thousand Finnish fans on the Costa del Sol, Virtanen made a triumphant comeback with Harri Heliovaara, defeating Alexis Galarneau and Vasek Pospisil 7-5, 6-3 in the pivotal doubles match.</p>
<p>“Today, we played very fantastic doubles… We had a terrific time playing together,” Virtanen said.</p>
<p>Before beating Canada, Heliovaara said that he had never even practiced doubles with his teammate.</p>
<p>“Until now, we have never, ever practiced even a single point together… We practiced the strategies fifteen minutes before to kickoff,” he said.</p>
<p>Both Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori and Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime were injured, therefore neither nation had access to their best player.</p>
<p>In the first game against Kaukovalta, Raonic came out of the blocks with four aces to hold to love and finished the match with eighteen total aces in his victory in straight sets.</p>
<p>After missing almost two years due to injury, the former world number three returned to competition in June, and his high-power serve is still as deadly as ever.</p>
<p>In his first Davis Cup match since 2018, the Canadian maintained his composure despite the blue and white supporters outnumbering the splash of Canadian red in the Martin Carpena venue.</p>
<p>Raonic dropped only two more points in the second set in his commanding victory after breaking for a 5-3 lead and serving it out while dropping just one game on service in the first set.</p>
<p>Kaukovalta said, “I have definitely never played against anyone with that kind of serve.”</p>
<p>“I didn’t have a read for it during the entire game.”</p>
<p>But Virtanen gave Finland’s supporters something to celebrate as he was a major factor in Finland’s advancement to the Davis Cup finals.</p>
<p>Twofold difficulties</p>
<p>“Performing for these fans motivates me to perform better every time,” Virtanen said after dispatching Diallo with a break in each set and requiring the match-deciding doubles.</p>
<p>The Finnish team defeated Pospisil and his partner Galarneau, the 2014 Wimbledon doubles champions, breaking the second time of asking to win the first set 7–5.</p>
<p>In the second set, they broke once more for a 5-3 lead and closed it off with an ace from Virtanen to seal the win.</p>
<p>Finland captain Jarkko Nieminen said, “Tennis is a little bit bigger tomorrow (in Finland) than it is today.”</p>
<p>“It’s not one of the biggest sports yet, but hopefully it will be soon.”</p>
<p>Finland’s first semi-final matchup is against Australia or the Czech Republic on Friday.</p>
<p>Heliovaara said, “Why stop here? We have even more partying on Friday.”</p>
<p>The ATP Finals champion Novak Djokovic and runner-up Jannik Sinner will play on Thursday when Serbia plays the United Kingdom and Italy plays the Netherlands.</p>

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