Finland stuns Canada to reach first Davis Cup semi-final

Finland reached the Davis Cup Final Four for the first time with a 2-1 win over defending champion Canada.

Otto Virtanen and Harri Heliovaara 2023 Davis Cup Malaga / Manu Fernandez/AP/SIPAa Otto Virtanen and Harri Heliovaara 2023 Davis Cup Malaga / Manu Fernandez/AP/SIPAa

Finland ousted defending champion Canada on Tuesday in Malaga, rallying from an early deficit to claim a 2-1 victory and reach the final four at the Davis Cup for the first time.

Milos Raonic staked Canada to a 1-0 lead, but Otto Virtanen (d. Gabriel Diallo) leveled the tie before pairing with Harri Heliovaara to notch a decisive 7-5, 6-3 victory over Vasek Pospisil and Alexis Galarneu.

Finland will face either Australia or Czechia in the semi-finals in Malaga on Friday.

Heliovaara and Virtanen saved five of six break points and broke their Canadian opposition three times from 14 opportunities as they dominated in all facets to win in one hour and 45 minutes.

“This is why we play tennis, absolutely,” Heliovaara said. “I play for the emotions. That’s the best you can, highs and lows. Today was definitely one of the highest days of my career in terms of emotions.”

“Obviously it’s a great moment now today and it’s still not time to celebrate,” added Captain Jarkko Nieminen. “We have chance to go even further, and with this great feeling and confidence, it’s really nice to step on court on Friday.

“It’s incredible, the whole journey with these guys since I started as a captain. It’s amazing team.”

Virtanen plays hero again for Finland

Virtanen, ranked 171, has had an incredible Davis Cup season, racking up wins over Botic Van de Zandschulp, Dino Prismic and Mackenzie McDonald in his three matches during Finals Group Play in September.

After Raonic ripped past last-second fill-in Patrick Kaukovalta (for Ruusuvuori), 6-3, 7-5, Virtanen returned the favour with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Gabriel Diallo.

Virtanen has won all five of his Davis Cup rubbers in 2023 (4-0 in singles).


Czechia v Australia, Wednesday 10 AM

Italy v Netherlands, Thursday 4 AM

Serbia v Great Britain Thursday 10 AM

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