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Davis Cup 2019 Qualifiers – Slovakia : Canada

On February 1st and 2nd, the new format of Davis Cup was played for the first time with 24 teams competing for a spot in newly established Davis Cup Finals held in Madrid. The Canadian team led by rising star Denis Shapovalov and playing captain Frank Dancevic faced Slovak team for the first time in almost 22 years. Bratislava saw 5 high quality rubbers played on clay over the two days with Felix Auger Aliassime securing the win for Canadians in the deciding 5th rubber against Norbert Gombos.

Results: Filip Horansky : Denis Shapovalov – 4:6, 5:7, Martin Klizan : Felix Auger-Aliassime – 7:5, 6:3, Martin Klizan, Filip Polasek : Felix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov – 3:6, 7:5, 6:3, Martin Klizan : Denis Shapovalov – 6:7, 4:6, Norbert Gombos : Felix Auger-Aliassime – 3:6, 4:6

Davis Cup – Slovakia vs. Sweden

For the last three days, I spent photographying the Davis Cup tie between Slovakia and Sweden. The Swedish team won several Davis Cup trophies in the past, but now it’s only a shadow of it’s former greatness. The tie took place in National Tennis Center in Bratislava and the stage was 1st round play off of Europe/Africa group. It’s the third league of Davis Cup competition. The 3-day weekend consisted of two parts.

Hail to the Heroes

Just before the doubles match on saturday, the arena saw a nice celebration. The Davis Cup Heroes of the past – Dominik Hrbaty and Karol Kucera received the ITF Davis Cup Commitment Award. This award is being presented to the players, who have represented their country in 20 or more Davis Cup ties. The award couldn’t be in better hands. Both Dominik and Karol played in many memorable Davis Cup ties and managed to reach the Davis Cup Final in 2005.

Saved by the bell

Several years later, both teams struggle in the Europe/Africa zone. The ranking difference between the Slovak and Swedish players indicated a relatively easy tie in favor of our players. However, the Swedish players fought for every point in every match and showed, that one shouldn’t put too much stock in ATP ranking when it comes to Davis Cup. In the end, we barely managed to win 3 matches out of 5. We lost the 2:0 lead and we got the necessary 3rd point in the very last match. The attendance turned out to be “quite nice” (pun intended) despite the relatively unattractive Europe/Africa tie. The results can be found on the official Davis Cup website.

During the weekend I posted 3 photo blogs from each day on my slovak blog: photos from Friday, photos from Saturday, photos from Sunday.

My favorite photos are below.