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Davis Cup: The Finnish Fairytale is over

by Jonas Eriksson

The Finnish fairytale is over at the Davis Cup 2023. As predicted, Australia were a little too tough of a team.

Davis Cup 2023: The Finnish Fairytale is over

But the Finns can take great pride in their performance. I don’t think anyone expected them to reach the semi-finals and they had to win their quarter without their best player Ruusuvuori.

Yesterday, Ruusuvuori played, but he wasn’t a hundred percent healthy and it simply wasn’t enough against De Minaur in the second match of the day.

The first match was between Finnish Fairytale hero, Otto Virtanen, and Alexei Popyrin. Popyrin started nervously and in the first set, despite winning it in the end, he did not look like the better player.

“To win a match that means so much for us is an honour and something I’ll never forget. I thought I was ready, but when I heard the Finnish fans and the Australian chanting so hard, it was nerves I’ve never experienced before.”

“It’s everybody’s dream to play for their country. I was born there, I was raised there. All my first coaches were Australian. I looked up to Lleyton, looked up to all the older Aussie legends. To be able to put on the green and gold, to be able to go out there and play for your country, no matter the format, if it’s this Davis Cup or the old Davis Cup, you give your all. It’s nerves, it’s pressure, you’re playing for everybody back home.”

“It’s something that nothing will ever compare to. So for me it really was the biggest moment of my career to get the first live rubber win, to get one foot into the final. It was something that I’ll never forget.”

Alexei Popyrin

The first set tie-break effectively decided the match as Virtanen did not take all the chances he was given and Popyrin managed to control his nerves towards the end. After that, the Aussie showed that he is the stronger player and finished the match 7-6 (5) 6-2.

You can trust De Minaur

Despite Ruusuvuori throwing everything he had at De Minaur in the second match, De Minaur showed his mental strength. He did not show nerves and just played a very solid match against the top Finn.

In the end, the scores made it look easier than it was, but you never felt like Australia’s match victory was in question. 6-6-4 6-3 was the score in De Minaur’s favor.

This sends Australia into a second consecutive Davis Cup final. Can they win it this time?

I think so. They have the most complete team if you look at the doubles and I think the best chance of either Serbia or Italy is to get it done in the singles and that is a huge pressure to have.

“I’m very happy to be in another final”, said De Minaur ahead of Sunday’s clash with either Serbia or Italy. “No team really wants to play us. We’re a very solid squad, we’ve got a lot of depth in every position. If we can get ourselves to the doubles we’ve got an unbelievable pairing.”

Alex De Minaur

Who do you think takes home the trophy on Sunday? Check out our Davis Cup page for our predictions and more.

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