Davis Cup finals update: Finland takes out Canada

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for ITF)
(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for ITF) /

Finland is doing something it has never done in Davis Cup competition: Win. And the best part about it is that Finns are turning out in droves to cheer on their new favorite tennis players. There was no doubt which side most of the stadium was rooting for on Tuesday as Finland dispatched 2022 Davis Cup champ Canada 2-1.

The tie did not start off brilliantly for Finald, however. Canada’s Milos Raonic, finally back to being healthy and playing well, defeated Finland’s Patrick Kaukovalta 6-3 7-5. Raonic simply overpowered the Finn with excellent serving. In fact, while not all the way back, Raonic looked a lot closer to his former No. 3 form that he has in quite some time.

Trailing 0-1 and having to win the next match to force a doubles match to decide the tie, new favorite Finn Otto Virtanen stepped up. He has been on an incredible run at the Davis Cup leading Finland to the quarterfinals stage. Virtanen was monumental in Finland’s defeat of the United States in the group stage.

Finland sweeps past Canada in the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup

Virtanen is only 22 years old and might make an impact on the ATP tour next year. If his Davis Cup performance is any indication, he has found his game. He serves well enough and moves well enough to make deep runs at tournaments.

On Tuesday, Virtanen broke Canada’s Gabriel Diallo once in each set and held his own serve to win the match 6-4 7-5. His victory meant he would participate in the doubles match too, so Virtanen would have to play hero twice for Finland to progress to the Davis Cup semifinals for the first time in their history.

Virtanen and partner Harri Heliovaara were about to get key breaks against Canada’s Alexis Galarneau and Vasek Pospisil in each set to win the match 7-5 6-3. Finland will next play in the semis on Friday. The way he is playing, Otto Virtanen gives Finland a puncher’s chance against anyone else at the Davis Cup in 2023.

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