Vasek Pospisil pumps his fist and yells. He and Gabriel Diallo both won on Friday at the Davis Cup in Montreal.

Photo : Pascal Ratthe

Vasek Pospisil and Gabriel Diallo may be at opposite ends of their careers, but they were both effective in Team Canada presented by Sobeys’ big opening day of the Davis Cup qualifiers with the Republic of Korea. 

Pospisil is playing in his 33rd tie for Canada. His straight-set win over Seongchan Hong on Friday was his 57th match and 32nd win in Davis Cup competition. 

Diallo on the other hand is in just his fifth tie for the Davis Cup team. His win over Soonwoo Kwon was his third victory in six matches, having made his debut in September 2022. 

Together, they have put Canada in control of the qualifier tie against Korea. 

Considering the large age and experience gap, the two players looked quite similar on Friday in Montreal. Both served big, applied lots of pressure on return, used their forehands to dominate, and came in to finish at the net when possible. 

Both had to rally from a break down in each set they played too. 

Read also: Draw Analysis for Canada’s Davis Cup Qualifier with Korea

“Even though they were down a break, they were in control of the match,” analyzed captain Frank Dancevic in the post-match press conference. “I had the confidence in my guys. I felt that they were calm. I felt like they were going to come back in the match. When they do find their game, it’s really difficult to beat them indoors on these courts. They did a great job of doing that today.” 

Pospisil has been the stalwart for Team Canada for over 15 years. He has participated in more Davis Cup ties than his four teammates this weekend combined. Having a player with that kind of experience is priceless for a young player like Diallo. 

When asked what he’s learned from his veteran teammate, the 22-year-old said, “So much. I’m extremely open-minded for advice, not only from him but from Frank, from Milos [Raonic], from the guys who have been on this squad for a long time. I’m just really, really lucky to have guys to pave the way for me. Every bit of advice I get from anyone, I will gladly take it.” 

Read also: Auger-Aliassime Races Into Montpellier Semis

For Pospisil, it had been a while since he last played Davis Cup at home. But for Diallo, it was a completely new experience. 

“It’s what I work for. For me there is no bigger moment than this,” said Diallo. “I’m from this city, from this neighbourhood, I live seven minutes away. I grew up practicing here. Now to be able to play here in front of all these amazing fans and my family that don’t get to see my play live in an atmosphere like this. You’re representing Canada and for me, there is no bigger stage than Davis Cup. I’m just really grateful.” 

In a funny twist, Pospisil played for Canada the last time the Davis Cup team played in Montreal. Diallo and teammate Alexis Galarneau were at that tie as fans. 

“It’s cool to see the young guys have these special moments,” said Pospisil of his young teammate’s performance. “I know when I was young, to win my first matches for Canada in the Davis Cup, they were maybe the most special moments of my career. The first wins, doing it at home. I’m happy for Gabriel. He played so well. I’m so happy for him to have this moment in Montreal.”

Read also: Celebrating Aryna Sabalenka and Jannik Sinner

Today, as teammates, they shone. And as a result Canada is one win away from heading back to the Davis Cup Finals Group Stage. 

Catching the Captain 

In one of the lighter moments of the post-match press conference, it was mentioned to Pospisil that with his win, he had moved into a tie for third for the most singles wins by a Canadian in Davis Cup competition. 

The player he caught? Team captain Frank Dancevic. 

Read also: Dancevic – It’s Amazing to be Home for Davis Cup

That gave the two men a good laugh. 

“Who has more doubles wins?” quipped Pospisil, taking a light-hearted jab at his captain. “I’ve been injured for probably 80 per cent of the last two years but I seem to always be healthy for Davis Cup weeks.” 

“He knows we need him for these weeks,” concluded Dancevic. 

For the record, Pospisil has 17 doubles wins to his captain’s three. 

Pospisil needs just three wins to become Canada’s all-time singles match win leader. Sébastien Laureau and Milos Raonic are tied with 17 each. The Vernon, B.C.-native is second in total match wins by a Canadian, although he trails Daniel Nestor by 16. 

With his win today, Diallo is 20 per cent of the way to catching Pospisil and Dancevic with three singles wins for Team Canada.