Matteo Berrettini’s rise from the sub’s bench and onto the doubles court was not enough to prevent Italy from taking a 2-1 loss to surprise packet Canada in their Davis Cup semi-final on Saturday.
The result which was decided in the concluding rubber in Malaga send Canada into a Sunday trophy showdown with Australia, which put out Croatia 24 hours earlier.
The North Americans are into the title match in the competition for the second time after a loss to Spain three years ago.
Australia, the 2003 titleholder, set up the first Davis final since 1981 without a European side in the final mix.
The former Wimbledon finalist and Fabio Fognini went down 7-6(2), 7-5 to the Canadian pair of Felix Auger-Aiassime and Vasek Pospisil in the deciding rubber.
Berrettini, who had been present this week even while recovering from a foot injury, stepped into the breach to replace Simone Bolelli as Italy entered the final chapter of the fight.
“Ours is an individual sport and we tend to think about ourselves and be with our own teams,” Berrettini said.
“In some ways it’s a change of mindset, but it’s something that brings us a lot. We have a good young group of guys that can be part of the team for several years.
“Being a team means putting your own needs second to those of the team as a whole”.
After Lorenzo Sonego put Italy into the early lead with his 7-6(4) 6-7(5), 6-4 win over Denis Shapovalov in a lengthy three and a quarter hours, FAA levelled the scoreline as he defeated Lorenzo Musetti 6-3, 6-4, handing the Italia his second loss of the weekend.
“It’s an unbelievable moment for me,” Sonego said. “Shapo fights non-stop, I had to be focused every point and I needed the help of all my team.
“This is just a great moment for Italy.”
Main photo:- Felix Auger-Aliassime celebrates celebrates win – by ATPTour/com