Connect with us

Tennis

Draw Analysis: Pospisil Looks for Davis Cup Repeat Against Korea – Tennis Canada

Published

on

Two years ago, Vasek Pospsil defeated Seongchan Hong in singles and the pair of JiSung Nam and Minkyu Song in doubles to lead Team Canada presented by Sobeys past the Republic of Korea in the Davis Cup Finals group stage. 

This weekend, he will be looking for a similar result to get his team through the qualifiers. 

The draw for Canada’s Davis Cup Qualifier tie with the Republic of Korea was announced on Thursday ahead of the two-day clash in Montreal. Pospisil will play the role of Canadian singles No. 2 and will team up with Alexis Galarneau in the doubles. 

“I feel great, it’s the first time in a long time that my body is pain-free. Mentally, I’m doing well because when there is no pain, it changes everything mentally,” said the Vernon, BC-native at the draw ceremony. “I’m ready to give everything on court as I always do and to try to win.” 

On day one, Pospisil will have a rematch of the 2022 epic with Hong, now the Korean No. 1, which the Canadian won in a third-set tiebreak. Then on Saturday, he and Galarneau are expected to face off with Nam and Song in the doubles match. 

Read also: Meet Team Canada for the 2024 Davis Cup Qualifying Tie

Gabriel Diallo will be the Canadian No. 1 singles player in the tie. He will open proceedings against Soonwoo Kwon on Friday and is slated to face Hong in the battle of No.1s on Saturday. If the tie goes to a fifth rubber, Pospisil will clash with Kwon. 

When asked if he felt more pressure when playing for his country, the veteran of 32 previous Davis Cup ties said, “The pressure always feels pretty high when you’re playing for your country. If anything, playing at home gives more energy versus making it more difficult because there is more pressure. I don’t think that’s what it does.  

Read also: Meet the Korean Team Competing in Montreal

“In a lot of ways, I like that much more than playing some of the individual events where, especially maybe at my age, it’s a little harder to get fully motivated. It’s one of the reasons why I always play well at Davis Cup because I get very motivated. I’m very focused.” 

The last meeting between these two nations came down to a deciding doubles match, won by Pospisil and Félix Auger-Aliassime. Three of the four players who played in that match are scheduled to do battle again this weekend. 

“We have a lot of regrets about the matches that happened in 2022,” said Korean captain Young-Jun Kim. “There was a match we think we could have won. We know these players and we think that we could win this year.” 

Read also: Dancevic – It’s Amazing to be Home for Davis Cup

This time around, with a best-of-five tie as opposed to the best-of-three they played in 2022, the doubles will not be a winner-take-all match. But landing third in the schedule still means it will play an important role in the outcome. 

Pospisil and Galarneau have partnered five times in Davis Cup competition and boast a 3-1 record in completed matches, all in 2023 (with one loss via retirement in 2022).  

Diallo Stepping Up at Home 

Diallo is reprising his role as Canadian No. 1. He played in the top slot in all four of Team Canada’s ties in the 2023 Davis Cup.  

But this occasion will be different. Not only is it Diallo’s first time representing his country on home soil, but it comes in his hometown. 

“It means the world to me, especially in my hometown. It’s my neighbourhood,” said Diallo. “It’s for those moments that we work really hard and to have the privilege to be called up here to represent my country and the city, it means the world to me.” 

Read also: ATP and WTA Unveil New Match Scheduling Rules and Strategic Ball Review for 2024

Of the four expected singles matches, three will be first-time meetings. Only Pospisil and Hong have played before, that being their 2022 Davis Cup thriller won by the Canadian. 

MATCH SCHEDULE 

Friday, February 2, 2024 

  • Gabriel Diallo vs. Soonwoo Kwon– 4:00 p.m. ET 
  • Followed by Vasek Pospisil vs. Seongchang Hong 

 Saturday, February 3, 2024 

  • Vasek Pospisil / Alexis Galarneau vs. Jisung Nam / Minkyu Song – 2:00 p.m. ET 
  • Followed by Gabriel Diallo vs. Seongchang Hong 
  • Followed by Vasek Pospisil vs. Soonwoo Kwon*

*If the tie is decided following the doubles rubber, the last singles rubber may not be contested.

The matches will be broadcast in French on TVA Sports 2 and live-streamed in English on CBC Gem, cbcsports.ca and the CBC Sports app. 

Tickets are still available for the tie. Get yours now!

Continue Reading