Gabriel Diallo, Alexis Galarneau, Vasek Pospisil and Denis Shapovalov stand arm-in-arm and sing the national anthem.

Photo : Martin Sidorjak

Team Canada presented by Sobeys will kick off their Davis Cup title defence next week as the group stage of the 2023 Davis Cup Finals gets underway. 

The reigning champions are in Group A and will be competing in Bologna, Italy with Chile, Sweden, and the host Italians. 

Four of the five members of Canada’s championship squad will be there to try and get Canada back into the quarter-finals. 

Here are the men who will be donning the maple leaf in the Davis Cup Finals group stage. 

Denis Shapovalov 

  • Rank: 26 
  • Davis Cup Appearance: 9th 
  • Davis Cup Record: 14-9 
  • 2023 Record: 13-13 

Shapovalov returns to the court for the first time since reaching the round of sixteen at Wimbledon in July. A knee injury kept him out of the entire North American summer hard-court swing. 

Last year, Shapovalov was a key member of the squad that brought home the trophy, helping them stay alive in the quarter-finals with a doubles victory over Germany before putting Canada ahead with a solid win in the opening singles match of the final with Australia. 

2023 has been difficult for Shapovalov, but he has played his best at big events with solid runs at all three majors and was at his highest level of the year prior to the injury at the All-England Club. 

Gabriel Diallo 

  • Rank: 159 
  • Davis Cup Appearance: 3rd  
  • Davis Cup Record: 0-1 
  • 2023 Record: 1-4 

Diallo is a player who has been on the rise over the last 20 months, catapulting from No 991 at the start of 2022 to inside the Top 150 as recently as last month. 

Less than a month removed from winning his first career ATP Challenger title in Granby, the 6’8” giant from Montreal made his Davis Cup debut in the group stage against Serbia in 2022 and was a part of the squad in Malaga. 

Last month in Toronto, Diallo won his first match on the ATP Tour, upsetting world No. 21 Dan Evans in straight sets before losing to the eventual finalist Alex de Minaur in two tight sets. 

Vasek Pospisil 

  • Rank: 192 
  • Davis Cup Appearance: 24th  
  • Davis Cup Record: 27-24 
  • 2023 Record: 0-2 

The new Mr. Davis Cup is back for his 13th year as a member of the Canadian Davis Cup team, having participated every year since 2011 (he made his debut in 2008).  

In 2022, the veteran leader of the Canadian squad was Captain Clutch, winning four decisive doubles ties, two in the group stage in Valencia as well as the quarter-finals and semifinals of the knockout stage in Malaga, to finally get his hands on the trophy. 

Read also: The History of the Davis Cup

Injuries have limited Pospisil to just two tour-level matches in 2023 but the man from Vernon, BC will be hoping that a return to Team Canada is just what the doctor ordered to get his season back on track. 

Alexis Galarneau 

  • Rank: 200 
  • Davis Cup Appearance: 4th  
  • Davis Cup Record: 0-2 
  • 2023 Record: 0-1 

Galarneau was the only member of Team Canada who was there every step of the way during the 2022 title run. 

He made his Davis Cup debut in the qualifying round against the Netherlands and then was a part of the squad at the group stage in Valencia, playing doubles with Pospisil against Serbia, and in the finals in Malaga. 

It has been a solid summer for the Laval native. He won his first ATP Challenger title on home soil in Granby and then pushed world No. 22 Francisco Cerundolo to three sets in an epic opening match at the National Bank Open in Toronto. 

Canada plays their first tie on Wednesday, Sep. 13 against Italy. They play Sweden on Thursday, Sep. 14 and wrap up against Chile on Saturday, Sep. 16. All ties begin at 3 p.m. local time, 9 a.m. EDT.