In a grueling Davis Cup semi-final clash in Malaga, Spain, Lorenzo Sonego fought his way to a 1-0 lead for Italy over Canada by defeating Denis Shapovalov 7-6(4), 6-7(5), 6-4 in a marathon encounter. This victory puts Italy one step closer to a final showdown against Australia, with hopes high for the 1976 winners.
Sonego faced a slow start but managed to recover from an early break deficit by rediscovering his serve’s rhythm, ultimately clinching the opening set in a tiebreak. Despite Shapovalov’s errors, Sonego had to save five set points to level the score at 5-5, pushing the second set into a tiebreak. Although he missed several opportunities to close out the match, Sonego shifted gears after the three-hour mark, securing a crucial break in the final game to elicit wild celebrations from the Italian fans in attendance.
Italy, missing the injured Jannik Sinner and Matteo Berrettini, has a chance to reach its first Davis Cup final since 1998 if Lorenzo Musetti can overcome Felix Auger-Aliassime in the second singles rubber. The duo of Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini, key players in Italy’s remarkable 2-1 quarter-final win over the United States, is slated to face Vasek Pospisil and Shapovalov in the deciding doubles match if needed.
Australia, on the other hand, secured their place in the Davis Cup final for the first time in 19 years with a 2-1 victory over Croatia on Friday. The eagerly anticipated final is scheduled to take place on Sunday.