Davis Cup Gabriel Diallo plays the hero

Davis Cup: Gabriel Diallo plays the hero

Gabriel Diallo struggled, but he played hero by winning the game that allowed Canada to reach the final stages of the Davis Cup at Stade IGA on Saturday.

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The great tennis player from Villeray County, ranked 132nd in the world, defeated Seongchang Hong (224th) in three sets 7-5, 4-6 and 6-1, allowing Canada to win 3-1 over South Korea . to the great delight of the spectators present in 1925.

The group stage of the final will take place next September. The site will be announced at a later date.

This weekend was that of Diallo, who also won the first game of the confrontation in straight sets 6-4 against Soonwoo Kwon on Friday evening.

This victory, above all, made everyone breathe a sigh of relief, because after the defeat of Alexis Galarneau and Vasek Pospisil in doubles against MinKyu Song and JinSung Nam at the beginning of the day, we began to fear that South Korea would repeat the scenario disaster that they had caused in Belgium overcame a 2-0 deficit last year and won 3-2.


Gabriel Diallo played a very good game, but he should have finished off Hong quicker.

In fact, he multiplied the unforced errors during the first two rounds, where he totaled 53. Meanwhile, Hong won 71 points in these two rounds. If we strip out Diallo's mistakes, he only managed 18 points in 22 games.

And if we want to have fun playing with numbers, 53 unforced errors equals 13 games. So it's really a lot.

So we were worried at the start of the third set, especially since Diallo, whose serve was solid, had just been caught twice in the middle set.

Well, the young man pulled himself together, he cleaned up his game and Hong faltered. The two players exchanged one game, then Diallo won the next five games, defeating his opponent twice to finish the job.

The difference? He made only 11 unforced errors, giving Hong no chance to gain momentum.


So what happened between the second and third sets to allow Diallo to recover?

“I went into the locker room and talked to myself,” he joked before becoming more specific.

“I started playing more aggressively, coming to the net and giving him less time, which gave me easier balls. I didn't play badly in the first set, but in the second I got a little sluggish and started to get nervous. I've lost a little bit of my identity, but that's part of tennis and you have to deal with it when you have very good phases and when there are others when things aren't going so well.

The fact is that Diallo experienced a lot of emotions over the weekend.

“It's very special, it's a home and the fact that Frank gives me the opportunity to play in front of all my friends and people in my neighborhood, I'm very grateful for that. It’s the type of match that is very difficult to replicate on the circuit.”

Short in doubles

Canada lost to South Korea in the doubles and will have to wait to secure its place in the final stages of the Davis Cup.

Canadian captain Frank Dancevic said Friday night that this doubles match would be difficult, and he was right.

Alexis Galarneau and Vasek Pospisil lost to MinKyu Song and JinSung Nam in three sets 4:6, 7:6(4) and 3:6 at Stade IGA on Saturday.

The Canadians quickly faced headwinds when Galarneau was broken on serve in the third part of the first set.

The 24-year-old from Laval had a difficult start to the meet but gained confidence as the 2-hour, 24-hour marathon progressed.

“It was complicated at the start of the game. “There was a little bit of nervousness and I hadn't played a competitive game in over two months and I got better from game to game,” admitted Galarneau afterwards.


The Canadians were patient in the second set and eventually stole two serves from the Koreans in the tiebreak to force a final set.

The visitors broke Pospisil's serve in the second game and that was what they needed to win, even if the Canadian duo didn't give up.

Doubles player MinKyu Song was dominant and only conceded ten points in nine service appearances.

The Koreans knew how to take advantage of their chances with 50% success on four break points, while the Canadians only had one chance and didn't use it. They also made too many unforced errors, often due to poor decisions. But in the end it was mainly the Koreans who were good.

“They served well, but the player in front of the server closed the net well and managed to get the ball where we weren't,” Galarneau said.