Last weekend Canada won the Davis Cup for the first time in their history which was a long time in coming considering they first competed for it back in 1913 though thy came close in 2019 when they lost to Spain in the final.
Canada shouldn't have even been in the final. They lost in April. They were given a second-chance wildcard to play in this event. Todd Woodbridge
“It was time for Canada,” Tennis Canada president Michael Downey said following that historic victory. “It was time for these young men to break through.”
“When kids see the trophy and they know that Felix (Auger Aliassime) and Denis (Shapovalov) and Vasek (Pospisil) and others delivered, it’s going to inspire them,” he added.
They beat Australia 2-0 in this year’s final, the country who holds the second-best success record in the competition which was launched in 1900, having won the trophy 28 times, four behind the USA who have a total of 32 wins.
However former doubles star Todd Woodbridge isn’t happy at Canadas achievement at his country’s expense, declaring there should be an asterisk attached to their win as they should not have been in the final in the first place but for the International Tennis Federation giving them a second chance after losing in the Qualifying Stages.
However, Canada was chosen as a replacement wild-card entry for the group stage of the Davis Cup Finals following the ITFs suspension of the defending champions Russia and Belarus in response to Putin’s illegal invasion of the Ukraine, which created a vacancy.
Canada, as the highest ranked losing nation at the qualifiers, was then granted a reprieve.
With that second-chance opportunity, Canada got through the Valencia elimination rounds in September to reach last week’s final eight in Malagá where they defeated Germany, Italy and finally Australia to clinch the title.
Woodbridge, who won 16 Grand Slam men’s doubles titles, believes Canada should not have been given that second chance after being swept aside 4-0 by the Netherlands in qualifying.
“I’m going to sound like a sore loser, but I don’t really care,” Woodbridge said on the Wide World of Sports programme.
“Canada shouldn’t have even been in the final. They lost in April. They were given a second-chance wildcard to play in this event. You do not win the Davis Cup on a second chance; you have to try again next year. But they have a serious asterisk against their name, which is unfortunate. I probably assume, that the ITF would have liked Australia to win the competition.
“If you’re going to change rules mid-year, it doesn’t hold the same values as it did once before.”
Woodbridge isn’t the only tennis player to take issue with Canada getting another chance as US Davis Cup captain Mardy Fish expressed similar views last September.
Former world No. 1 Andy Roddick also believes Canada’s inclusion didn’t make them a legitimate contender at the time in a tweet that has since been deleted.
“Canada was given a wildcard into this round after losing to qualify for this stage ….. tough to consider them legitimate if they win this whole thing,” Roddick had said on Twitter.
It will now be very interesting to see how they fare next year when they have to defend the title.