Tennis news: Davis Cup results

Barcelona, ​​Spain –

– Carlos Alcaraz’s biggest fans had flocked to see the world’s highest-ranked new player when he returned to Spain.

Instead, they saw Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime beat their new idol before staying on the hard court to claim a second doubles victory and help Canada to a surprise 2-1 victory over Spain in the of the Davis Cup group stage on Friday.

Alcaraz lost 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-2 to a superb Auger-Aliassime, who endured the partisan crowd and tipped the game in Valencia in his own way after the 19-year-old Spaniard had dug deep to win the first-set tie-break.

As the pavilion roared for Alcaraz, Auger-Aliassime coolly responded by surgically placing blow after blow exactly where he wanted them. He dominated on his serve with 16 aces and finally broke Alcaraz late in the second set and twice in the third.

“He’s the world No. 1 and that’s to his credit, but today I think I was a bit better in the third set,” said 13th-placed Auger-Aliassime. “I wasn’t going to let my team down with my fighting spirit.”

The Spaniard praised Auger-Aliassime after their match.

“Felix is ​​a beast. Physically and mentally, Felix is ​​one of the best in the world,” Alcaraz said after his first match since winning the US Open last weekend to become the youngest man to reach the top of the ATP rankings.

“I didn’t come in very good physical condition,” he added. “It was a very difficult day, but I have to congratulate him because he played an incredible game.”

Roberto Bautista gave Spain the first point after battling back for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Vasek Pospisil.

With no time to recover, Auger-Aliassime and Pospisil showed no signs of exhaustion as they came from behind to beat Marcel Granollers and Pedro Martinez 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the decisive match.

Canada then take on Serbia on Saturday while Spain take on South Korea on Sunday to determine which two advance to the quarter-finals in November in the southern Spanish city of Malaga.

Spain beat Serbia 3-0 on Wednesday as Alcaraz rested after returning from New York where they won their first Grand Slam singles title on Sunday after a grueling run that included three straight wins in five sets.

Ahead of the Davis Cup encounter, Alcaraz was busy signing autographs and posing for photos after practice. He received the biggest applause during the presentation of the Spain team and he was introduced as the “new world number 1”.

After the match, he didn’t focus on the loss, but rather on the joy he had to be back home.

“I wanted to come back to Spain, I mean share that moment of being No. 1 and being US Open champion with all my people,” Alcaraz said.

After Spanish fans had to stay up virtually all night to watch his matches at the US Open due to jet lag, it was the first chance many of his supporters had to see him play at home since May, when he had won the Madrid Open. Alcaraz beat Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev in the capital in what many saw as Nadal passing the torch to his Spanish successor.

Red and yellow flags were draped over the pavilion’s railings, including one bearing the name of Alcaraz’s home region of Murcia, painted in large black letters. Valencia, on the Mediterranean coast, is about 2.5 hours north of Alcaraz’s hometown of El Palmar, which has a population of 24,000.

Alcaraz has only had one previous encounter with Auger-Aliassime, in the 2021 US Open quarter-finals when the Spaniard had to withdraw due to injury.

As Alcaraz arrived after a tiring two weeks in the United States, Auger-Aliassime played singles and doubles on Tuesday to help Canada beat South Korea in their Davis Cup opener.

Unable to touch Auger-Aliassime’s serve, Alcaraz summoned more cheers from the stands, including his parents. He punched captain Sergi Bruguera and personal trainer Juan Carlos Ferrero after hard-earned points.

That proved enough for Alcaraz to complete the first-set tiebreaker after Auger-Aliassime’s untimely errors.

But Auger-Aliassime never lost the initiative. Canada captain Frank Dancevic jumped out of his shortside seat to cheer when Auger-Aliassime finally broke Alcaraz late in the second set. The Canadian poured it on it.

Also on Friday, the Netherlands qualified after beating Andy Murray’s Great Britain 2-1 in Glasgow. The result also meant that the United States had dropped from Group D.

Germany and Australia moved from Group C after the Germans beat Belgium 2-1, while Italy beat Argentina 2-1 in Bologna in Group A.

Source link

Comments are closed.