Friday, 24 November 2023, 20:22
The Australia team has shattered Finland's bid to make Davis Cup history as they booked their place in a second consecutive final of the tennis tournament in Malaga.
The city's Martin Carpena arena could have easily been mistaken for Helsinki early on in the rubber today (Friday, 24 November) when Otto Virtanen took to centre court against Australia's Alexei Popyrin. Finland were gunning for their first Davis Cup final in history after only making it as far as the play-off stages in past tournaments. The proud Finnish masses drowned out the small Australian travelling contingency, but the Aussies delivered on the court.
The crowd took on more of a muted feel when world number 40 Popyrin saved a set point to take the first set in a tiebreak. The 24-year-old ran away with the match in the end defeating his lower ranked opponent 7-6 6-2, and putting Australia 1-0 up in the tie.
The Finnish team had caused a major upset on the opening day of the round-robin tournament when they shocked defending champions Canada. But Australia proved too tough a task as world number 12 Alex de Minaur won the second singles tie and booked his country's place in a 49th Davis Cup final. He defeated Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4 6-3.
Australia will look to go one better on Sunday's final after they came up short against a buoyant Canada last year. The Aussies await the winner of Saturday's blockbuster semi-final clash between Italy and Serbia.
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