November 25, 2021 – The Canadian flag on court during 2021 Davis Cup Finals at Estadio Arantxa Sánchez Vicario in Madrid, Spain. (Tennis Canada)
On Monday, Tennis Canada announced that Vasek Pospisil (Vernon, BC), Alexis Galarneau (Laval, QC), Liam Draxl (Newmarket, ON), Gabriel Diallo (Montréal, QC) and Cleeve Harper (Calgary, AB) were selected for Team Canada presented by Sobeys at the round-robin Davis Cup Finals by Rakuten in Valencia, Spain. The competition will be held at the Pabellón Municipal Fuente de San Luis from September 13 to 18.
“At the 2022 Davis Cup Finals, we’ll be facing the best countries in the world with a young team eager to prove itself,” said Team Canada captain Frank Dancevic. “We may be the underdogs of the group, especially given the other teams’ experience, but we intend to shuffle the cards and do our best to propel Canada into the final round in November.”
A new format was adopted for the 2022 competition. The round robin will be played in September in four cities: Bologna, Glasgow, Hamburg and Valencia. The 16 countries that qualified for the Finals were divided into four groups (one in each city), and only the top two in each group will qualify for the final phase (quarterfinals, semifinals, finals) from November 21 to 27, 2022, at the Palacio de Deportes José María Martín Carpena in Malaga, Spain.
In Valencia, Team Canada will compete in Group B with Spain, Serbia and South Korea. Last April, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced that Canada (ranked No.6) had been awarded a bye into the Finals as the highest-ranking loser in the 2022 qualifiers.
Pospisil and Galarneau lead the squad
While Team Canada will be counting on several newcomers, the squad will be led by veteran Vasek Pospisil and Alexis Galarneau. Pospisil (No.145) will be at his 24th Davis Cup and has a record of 22 wins and 22 losses (singles and doubles). In 2019, he was on the team that made it all the way to the Davis Cup Final against Spain. This year, he took the top honours at the Quimper Challenger and got as far as the quarterfinals at the Dallas Open.
Alexis Galarneau, who just competed in the main draw of the National Bank Open presented by Rogers for the first time in his career, will join Team Canada for the second time. His first appearance was in qualifying play against the Netherlands last February. The Laval native has been steadily improving since turning pro and is currently No.238 after starting the season at No.378. In early August, he reached the finals of the Winnipeg National Bank Challenger, defeating top seed Liam Broady (No.131) along the way.
Liam Draxl has just competed in his second National Bank Open qualifying draw. He was the No.1 player in NCAA tennis in 2021 and will be joining the Canadian Davis Cup team for the first time. The No.492 has played in a number of ATP Challenger and ITF tournaments and won the title in Wichita, Kansas.
Gabriel Diallo (No.553) will also be at his first Davis Cup experience. Last week, he caused the upset when he ousted No.59 James Duckworth of Australia from the qualifying rounds of the National Bank Open. In June, Diallo won the ITF tournament in East Lansing, Michigan.
One more rookie joins Team Canada for the 2022 Finals: No.784 Cleeve Harper of Calgary. The doubles champion triumphed at the ITF tournament in Pittsburgh with Tyler Zink of the US and reached the doubles semifinals at the M25 in East Lansing. Last week, he and Liam Draxl were invited by Tennis Canada to compete in the doubles draw of the National Bank Open.
For more on the Davis Cup Finals by Rakuten, click here.