Photo : Martin Sidorjak
A little over two years removed from reaching the Davis Cup final, Team Canada presented by Sobey’s will not be returning to the Finals in 2022 after losing their qualifying tie to the Netherlands.
That loss was assured on Saturday after the Dutch took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the playoff tie with a doubles win.
Canada had lost both singles on Friday and needed the doubles win to stay alive, but Peter Polansky and Brayden Schnur found themselves struggling to keep up all match against a pair of Dutch doubles specialists in Wesley Koolhof and Matwe Middelkoop, who clinched the tie for the Netherlands with a 7-5, 6-3 victory.
The Dutch continually applied pressure to the Canadian’s serve, creating nine break points and converting two. They were also lights out on their own serve, winning 83 percent of their first serve points and only lost 10 total points on their own serve, never facing a break point.
With the loss, Canada will not be competing at the Davis Cup Finals for the first time since the event’s re-organization in 2019, when the Canadians reached the inaugural final of the new edition of the tournament.
Throughout the opening set, the Canadians were having to battle to hold serve while the Dutch were cruising.
That finally came to a head as Polansky served to send the set to a tiebreak at 5-6. The Canadians went down love-40 and finally cracked at the third time of asking, the eighth break point of the opening set.
The momentum carried over into the second set, as the Dutch broke Schnur’s serve at the first time of asking, racing out to a 3-0 lead. With the way they were serving, that one break was enough as Koolhof and Middelkoop rode that one break to victory.
One dead rubber was played after the doubles, with Canada’s Steven Diez losing to Robin Haase in straight sets.
Now Canada will now play in the World Group I in September with the hopes of getting back into the qualifiers for 2023.