Canada are back in their comfort zone at the Davis Cup Finals, with Felix Auger-Aliassime eager to repeat the title victory a year ago over Australia in Malaga.
The Spanish-run event – a mere shadow of its glory day of home-and-away competition – is running out the clock this week in Iberia, with corporate infighting and intrigue ensuring that management of the historic event will change.
FAA led the charge for the North Americans a year ago in the finals defeat of historic Davis stalwart Australia, winning a singles rubber against Alex de Minaur.
The Canadian owns a 5-1 record in the competition over the past two seasons.
Canada will open on Tuesday against Finland, led by 69th-ranked Emil Ruusvuori and bolstered in doubles by Harri Heliovaara.
“I went to take a few steps on Centre Court to see it again and to remember where the winning moment happened”, FAA said.
“Maybe it’s extra special because I was the player to clinch it and the whole team was running on court and celebrating.
“It was fun tore-live. It’s nice to come back to a place where you have good memories, and hopefully that can serve us well this week.”
Canadian coach Frank Dancevic is hoping to complete a title doubles for the nation after the women’s team won the Billie Jean Cup this month over Australia.
“We’re going to go 110 per cent again,” the former journeyman player said.
“This year we are focused, but we are also more relaxed knowing that we got the trophy last year… and we have the capabilities to do it again in the near future.
”It’s an incredible period for tennis in Canada.”
Dancevic can call on not only FAA. but Denis Shapovalov, whose injury run is hopefully at an end.
Also in the stable: veterans Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil along with the young guns who helped see the team through the preliminary stages,
Gabriel Diallo and Alexis Galarneau.
Dancevic remains optimistic going in: “We’re not going to hold back.”
Added Popspisil: “We’ve been building to this moment over the last 13 or 14 years, or even prior to that.
“Every couple years we have got a better achievement on the big stage. It’s incredible but it’s something that you can’t take for granted.
“It’s been nice to have been part of that journey. I’ve seen the growth of the sport in our country and we’ll just try and keep riding that wave as long as possible.”