Australia is back in the Davis Cup final after the nation defeated Finland 2-0 in Friday’s semifinal showdown in Malaga, Spain.
Alexei Popyrin beat Otto Virtanen 7-6 (5), 6-2 and Alex de Minaur took care of Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4, 6-3 in singles, ensuring the tie did not need to advance to a doubles match.
Serbia and Italy will meet in the other semifinal on Saturday, with Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner slated for a rematch of their Nitto ATP Finals championship match last week. Australia will battle the winner between Serbia and Italy in Sunday’s final.
Virtanen helped Finland upset defending champion Canada — which beat Australia in last year’s final — by winning in both singles and doubles in the countries’ quarterfinal meeting. On Friday, Virtanen had eight aces to Popyrin’s four, but Popyrin capitalized on Virtanen’s 30 unforced errors in order to pull away for victory.
de Minaur, ranked No. 12 in the world, had 18 opportunities for break point but converted just five of them. Still, de Minaur battled from down 2-0 in the first set and was not seriously threatened in the second.
Australia’s last Davis Cup title came 20 years ago in 2003, when Lleyton Hewitt (now the nation’s captain) helped the Australians defeat Spain in the final.
–Field Level Media