Davis Cup 2022: Italy advance to semi-finals with win over USA, Canada fight back to beat Germany
Italy and Canada will meet in the 2022 Davis Cup semi-finals after overcoming USA and Germany respectively. Both nations had to come through decisive doubles rubbers, with Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini carting the Italians to victory and Vasek Pospisil and Denis Shapovalov securing victory for the Canadians. Australia and Croatia will face off in the other semi-final.
Italy advanced to the semi-finals of the 2022 Davis Cup with a 2-1 win over the USA after a singles victory for Lorenzo Sonego and a doubles triumph for Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini.
Sonego overcame Frances Tiafoe in straight sets 6-3 7-6(7) to put Italy 1-0 ahead, but it was not quite a straightforward as the scoreline suggests with the second set lasting one hour and 22 minutes after a mammoth tie-break.
The first was wrapped up in 39 minutes as the first five games all went to serve, before the Italian broke Tiafoe in the sixth game to move 4-2 ahead.
Taylor Fritz levelled the overall scores at 1-1 in a straight sets win over Lorenzo Musetti after winning the first after a tie-break.
The second set was much more routine for the world No. 9, and he finished things off with his second match point in the ninth game.
However, Italy secured their place in the last four after Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini beat Tommy Paul and Jack Sock 6-4 6-4.
The first eight games all went to serve, but Bolelli and Fognini moved 5-4 in front after taking their fourth break point.
The Italian duo broke through again in the second set and held on to carry Italy into the last four.
Germany v Canada
Canada fought back to reach the semi-finals after Vasek Pospisil and Denis Shapovalov secured victory over Germany in the doubles for a 2-1 win.
Jan-Lennard Struff drew first blood for Germany with a brilliant 6-3 4-6 7-6(2) victory over world No. 18 Denis Shapovalov.
Struff broke Shapovalov in the first game and survived a break point on his service game to move 2-0 ahead in the first set.
Both players held serve until Struff, ranked 152nd in the world, broke Shapovalov at the second opportunity in the ninth game, wrapping up the first set in 31 minutes.
The Canadian levelled things up in the second set, with the turning point arguably coming in the seventh game.
The first six games had all gone to serve up to this point, but Shapovalov broke Struff for the only time in the set and went on to pinch it.
The third set ultimately went down to the wire, with both players losing a game each on serve before Struff eased to a 7-2 win in the tie-break.
Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany returns a shot to Denis Shapovalov of Canada during the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals 2022 match between Germany and Canada at Palacio de los Deportes Jose Maria Martin Carpena on November 24, 2022 in Malaga, Spain.
Image credit: Getty Images
Canada were looking to Felix Auger-Aliassime to level the scores against Oscar Otte, and he duly obliged with a 7-6(1) 6-4 win.
The world No. 6 was made to sweat though and won the first set after a tie-break, after the first 12 games all went to serve.
However, the Canadian's class eventually told as Otte lost his serve three times on the tie-break which Auger-Aliassime won 7-1.
The first six games of the second set all went to serve, before Auger-Aliassime broke the German in the seventh game. He secured the win for Canada in the 10th game, winning it to love and ending the contest in one hour and 45 minutes.
That meant it all came down to the doubles, with Shapovalov banishing his earlier defeat by teaming up with Pospisil for a 2-6 6-3 6-3 win.
Canada and Italy will now meet in the semi-finals, with Australia and Croatia facing off on the other half of the draw.