Shapovalov gives Canada edge over Australia in Davis Cup final


Denis Shapovalov brought Canada closer to his first Davis Cup title with a back-to-back victory over Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis in Sunday’s final.

18th-placed Shapovalov beat his 95th-placed rival 6-2, 6-4 in 1 hour 29 minutes in southern Spain, putting Canada 1-0 against 28-time winners.

The 18th-place Canadian was out of sorts in the semi-final defeat but hit back at Kokkinakis with 23 winners to the Australian’s five.

World No. 6 Felix Auger-Aliassime will be in contention to give Canada its first Davis Cup title against 24th-placed Alex De Minor in the second singles event.

If de Minaur wins, the title will be decided in doubles.

Shapovalov took a 4-0 lead after a quarter of an hour in Malaga, finishing the first set with his ninth winner half an hour later.

The Canadian hit three break points in the fourth game of the second set.

Kokkinakis converted his first break point of four when Shapovalov served for the match and held the serve, but Shapovalov could not be denied the win on his second match point.

Canada were runners-up to Spain in their only previous final in 2019, and Australia have not played in a final since 2003, when they won their 28th title.

she / dmk