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Davis Cup: Team Canada review

This year's Davis Cup is in full flow and after group-stage matches across several European cities, the eight remaining teams - including Canada - are set for the knockout phase in November.

Host cities ranged from Bologna to Split to Manchester during the group stage and the eight qualifiers now break to prepare for the quarter-finals.

Here is a look at how Team Canada has performed in the event so far.

WhatDavis Cup 2023
WhereMalaga, Spain
WhenTuesday, November 21 - Sunday, November 26, 2023
How to watchCBC Sports

Defending champs handle Group A pressure

It has not been a good year for Canadian tennis, with the nation's best having delivered their worst showing at a Major since 2008 at the recent US Open, but this season's Davis Cup offers the chance of redemption.

Last year Canada, armed with two top-20 players in Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov, managed to take the title, initially coming through in second in Group B, before wins over Germany, Italy and Australia in the knockout stages.

And this term, albeit with different players, they have managed to perform even better in the group stage, winning all three of their ties and winning eight of their nine matches.

They opened with back-to-back 3-0 wins over Italy and Sweden, before a 2-1 defeat of Chile in their final match of the group stage in Bologna.

Youngsters step up to the plate

Canada have not held back in this year's Davis Cup, but it has been unfamiliar faces who have shone for them in the tournament's opening phase.

As a tough season draws to a close, Auger-Aliassime did not make the trip for the Davis Cup, while world number 31 Shapovalov made the team but sat out with a knee injury.

That put the pressure on veteran Vasek Pospisil, a former Wimbledon quarter-finalist, who has had to dig deep along with youngsters Gabriel Diallo and Alexis Galarneau.

The blend of youth and experience has, so far at least, yielded results.

Galarneau, who is 202nd in the ATP rankings, set the tone with a straight-sets win over Lorenzo Sonego in the clash against Italy, before 161st-ranked Diallo followed up with a 2-0 win over his own against Lorenzo Musetti.

Galarnaeu then partnered up with Pospisil to win the doubles fixture to hand Canada a 3-0 win.

Against Sweden it was Pospisil's turn to go in alone and he saw off Leo Borg, before Diallo beat Elias Ymer and the combination of Galarneau and Pospisil again struck in the doubles.

Diallo was the only player to lose a match for Canada - failing in two sets against Chile's Nicolas Jarry - but Canada nonetheless won the tie 2-1.

Canada have demonstrated serious strength in depth at this competition, but it remains to be seen how they will perform without their biggest hitters in the latter stages.

Finland waiting in quarter-finals

The good news for fans of Team Canada is that they have been dealt a relatively soft quarter-final draw, with Finland awaiting them in November.

Finland impressed in the group stage with wins over the USA and co-hosts Croatia, but it will be their first-ever appearance in the knockout stages of the Davis Cup and they could be out of their depth.

Pospisil, Galarneau and Diallo were all part of their knockout stage roster in last year's Davis Cup and will be hoping to make their experience of the tournament count later this year.

The winners of the encounter will take on either Australia or Czechia in the semi-finals and that could be a greater challenge for the Canadians.

The Czechs were the only team to post an unbeaten record in the groups stage, winning all nine of their matches, while Australia have decent tournament pedigree behind them, having lost to Canada in the final of the 2022 competition.

That was Canada's first Davis Cup title since the event began all the way back in 1900 and they will be eager to repeat the feat in the coming months.

On the other side of the draw, Italy and Netherlands lock horns while Great Britain are up against Novak Djokovic's Serbia.

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