Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini kept alive Italy’s hopes of capturing their first Davis Cup title since 1976 in Malaga on Thursday, where the doubles duo edged out Tommy Paul and Jack Sock 6-4, 6-4 for a hard-fought victory. in the quarterfinals against the USA.
Bolleli and Fognini, who have lifted five Tour titles together, including two this season, hit the only break of serve in each set in the decisive doubles match to give Italy a 2-1 victory against the 32-time champions.
“I am very happy, I am here with my ‘brother’ and we played very well,” Fognini told daviscup.com after helping Italy reach the semi-finals of the team event for the first time since 2014.
“I’m happy for myself, for Fabio, for the team,” added Bolelli. “It was very tough, but it’s great to be in the semifinals.”
Bolelli’s and Fognini’s doubles exploits came after the two teams shared a couple of exciting singles matches in Spain. Lorenzo Sonego defeated Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 7-6(7) to give Italy the early lead, while there was also a harrowing tiebreaker in the second match between Lorenzo Musetti and Taylor Fritz. The American saved two set points in the opening set before finishing off a 7-6(8), 6-3 win to level the tie, but Fritz’s victory was ultimately for naught as Bolelli and Fognini held on. firm in the doubles.
Italy’s opponent in the semi-finals on Saturday will be Canada after Felix Auger-Aliassime led his country to a comeback against Germany in Thursday night’s quarter-final action.
After Jan-Lennard Struff defeated Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(2) in the first round of singles, Auger-Aliassime’s 7-6(1), 6-4 win against Oscar Otte left the tie in the hands of being decided by the doubles. Despite Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz racing into the first set, Vasek Pospisil and Shapovalov found their range in the return to break their opponents’ serve three times en route to an impressive 2-6, 6-3, 6 win. -3 to the delight of the vocal Canadian supporters in the crowd.
“A huge credit to Felix, first of all, for bringing the team to the board,” Shapovalov said after he and Pospisil clinched Canada’s second semifinal in four years. “He saved us today… It’s always a pleasure to play with Vasek. It’s always amazing to share the court with him and we bring some power.”
“We had a bit of momentum and having the support of the crowd helps us carry the momentum all the way,” Pospisil said. “It’s a challenge to be ready, but given the circumstances I think we played very well.”
What is the format of the 2022 Davis Cup Finals?
The group stage of the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals 2022 took place in four cities: Bologna, Glasgow, Hamburg and Valencia, from September 13 to 18. Sixteen nations competed in four round-robin groups of four teams. The top two teams from each group advanced to the knockout phase. The round of 16 takes place this week in Malaga, with the final on Sunday.