Malaga, Spain, 28 November 2022 | Leigh Rogers

Australia’s quest to win a 29th Davis Cup title – and first in 19 years – has fallen short.

Canada was too strong in the 2022 Davis Cup final today in Malaga, powering to a 2-0 victory against the Australian team.

Leading into the final, Aussie captain Lleyton Hewitt revealed he was wary of Canada’s “firepower”. And Canadian stars Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime demonstrated exactly why, producing sensational displays to lead their nation to a first Davis Cup title.

Shapovalov struck 23 winners to five in a commanding 6-2 6-4 victory against Thanasi Kokkinakis in the opening singles rubber.

A shell-shocked Kokkinakis, who had never previously faced world No.18 Shapovalov, had no answers against his big-hitting opponent.

“I’m just a bit off the pace at the moment. I haven’t played enough tennis. Haven’t found my confidence yet,” said world No.95 Kokkinakis.

“I’m pretty flat, to be honest. All credit to Denis. He played well. He’s had a lot of matches. He’s a good player.”

Faced with the challenge of needing to beat world No.6 Auger-Aliassime to keep Australia’s hopes alive, Alex de Minaur produced a spirited effort in the second singles rubber.

However, Auger-Aliassime’s relentless pressure proved too much to handle.

The in-form 22-year-old Canadian fired 16 winners to five to outplay world No.24 De Minaur. This helped Auger-Aliassime record a 6-3 6-4 victory and secure the Davis Cup title for his nation.

Auger-Aliassime thrived under pressure, saving all eight break points he faced in the high-quality one-hour, 39-minute encounter.

“I just had one job to do, and that was to get my team into the deciding doubles. Sadly, I wasn’t able to perform today,” conceded De Minaur.

“You always want to do everything you can for your team, and I had chances. They just didn’t want to go my way today.”

A disappointed Hewitt was still full of praise for his team’s effort.

“I’m gutted for the boys,” said Hewitt. “You know, they put in their commitment and the work, and they did everything right. They have done absolutely everything all year that we have asked of them as a coaching staff.

“It’s not about me or the coaches. We just are trying to help these guys get the most out of themselves. We’re just extremely proud of the effort and the commitment and dedication that these guys have shown.

“They left it all out there once again. We came up slightly short, but I couldn’t be prouder.”

This is Australia’s 20th runners-up finish, from 48 finals appearances, in the prestigious team competition.

Australia’s Davis Cup finals appearances
Result Years Total
Champions 1907, 1908, 1909, 1911, 1914, 1919, 1939, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1973, 1977, 1983, 1986, 1999, 2003 28
Finalists 1912, 1920, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1936, 1938, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1954, 1958, 1963, 1968, 1990, 1993, 2000, 2001, 2022 20

As a 2022 finalist, Australia receives direct entry into the 16-nation round-robin stage of the 2023 Davis Cup Finals next September.

Aussies in action – 2022 Davis Cup Finals

Denis Shapovalov (CAN) d Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 6-2 6-4
Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) d Alex de Minaur (AUS) 6-3 6-4
Felix Auger-Aliassime/Vasek Pospisil (CAN) v Max Purcell/Jordan Thompson (AUS) not played

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