We look ahead to the Group B clash between Serbia and Canada at the Pabellon Fuente de San Luis in Valencia
What’s at stake?
Canada is sitting in top spot in Group B with two wins from two ties. Should Frank Dancevic’s side score a third victory against Serbia today, Canada will progress to the Knockout Stage of the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals in Malaga as Group B winner.
Serbia has to come away from today’s tie with a win to give themselves any chance of getting through to the Final 8. And even then, depending on the scoreline, the team remain at the mercy of the outcome of the tie between Spain and Korea Republic on Sunday.
The two teams have met just once, back in 2013 in a World Group semi-final. Novak Djokovic and Janko Tipsarevic picked up all the points for Serbia on that occasion and the tie featured a young Vasek Pospisil.
The Canadian showed signs of his passion for the competition back then as he combined with Daniel Nestor to win an epic doubles match 6-7(8), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5), 10-8 before contesting the decisive singles a day later, falling to Tipsarevic in straight sets.
Canada’s current captain, Dancevic, was also part of the team as a player in that tie.
Who to watch out for
It will be interesting to see whether Canada can replicate the heroics of Friday night less than 24 hours later. Both Felix Auger-Aliassime and Pospisil put in a serious shift as Canada stunned Spain.
Auger-Aliassime played almost five hours on court, taking out world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz and clinching an extraordinary comeback in the doubles alongside Pospisil.
Davis Cup veteran Pospisil has put his body on the line for his country this week, so there’s a chance that Dancevic might look to rest his No. 2 singles player for the doubles encounter.
Serbian skipper Viktor Troicki has options on his team. Miomir Kecmanovic looks in fine form this week and will prove a handful for Auger-Aliassime in the battle of the No. 1s.
Who plays No. 2 in singles will likely depend on match-ups and how players are feeling. So far Serbia have fielded Laslo Djere and Dusan Lajovic, but on paper it would be Filip Krajinovic who is the second highest-ranked Serbian in the squad.
What the teams are saying
Viktor Troicki (SRB):
“After the singles [against Korea Republic], we were already thinking ahead to Saturday's match against Canada. It's a good thing we have a day of rest tomorrow to recuperate and then get ready for the next match.
“I'm sure the boys will be ready.”
Vasek Pospisil (CAN) on his loss against Roberto Bautista Agut:
“I think it was just a really high-quality match. A lot of positives for me for sure to take out of it.
“I'm very disappointed. I wanted to win. It's frustrating because I'm working hard. I'm a very hard worker. I train, like, many hours in the gym, on the courts. I'm the kind of guy you have to take out of the court to finish.
“But I'm positive. There's a lot of positives to take away from it because I played a very high level.”
Filip Krajinovic (SRB):
“We are focused on Saturday. That's for us really important right now.”