Auger-Aliassime to miss at least start of Davis Cup Finals for defending champion Canada
An injury to Canadian singles star Felix Auger-Aliassime forced captain Frank Dancevic to tinker with his lineup for Tuesday's quarterfinal against Finland at the Davis Cup Final 8 in Malaga, Spain.
Auger-Aliassime, who clinched the victory for Canada in last year's final against Australia, was dealing with a "lower-body issue," a Tennis Canada spokesman said in an email while adding the athlete hasn't been ruled out to play later in the week should Canada advance.
Auger-Aliassime is the lone Canadian singles player in the top-100 of the world rankings at No. 29. He reached a career-best No. 6 last year but his ranking has slipped due to a middling 2023 campaign. However, the 23-year-old showed strong form in successfully defending his Swiss Indoors title last month in Basel.
Denis Shapovalov, who won his singles match to help Canada to its title win a year ago, has battled knee issues this season and is not on the roster.
Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., was given the nod for the opening singles match against Patrick Kaukovalta at the Martin Carpena Arena and took it in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5. Montreal's Gabriel Diallo was to play Otto Virtanen in the other singles match.
Raonic held at love in the opening game, winning all four points with aces, and lost just one point on serve in the opening set. The former world No. 3, who returned to the ATP Tour this season after an extended injury absence, closed out the win in a tidy 67 minutes.
WATCH | Raonic gives Canada early lead over Finland in Malaga, Spain:
"I took care of my serve and I created quite a few opportunities," Raonic said. "Just kept putting myself in good positions and it worked out pretty well."
Finland's highest-ranked singles player — No. 69 Emil