Comment: It has to be said out loud – Finland can win the Davis Cup this fall

Comment It has to be said out loud Finland

There is no team in the Davis Cup finals that Finland cannot beat, writes Urheilu’s Sakari Lund.

Sakari Lund sports reporter

When the Finnish tennis players made their way to the top eight countries in the world over the weekend, the word “unbelievable” was repeated in many comments. The achievement was great and extremely hard, one of the hardest in Finnish sports in a while. But I wouldn’t use the word “unbelievable” because it felt quite realistic beforehand.

Perhaps the most likely way is that Holland and Croatia will be overthrown, but winning the United States didn’t seem like an impossible idea either. Such a team is currently assembled in Finland.

The Davis Cup format suits Finland perfectly. If I played with teams of even ten people, Finland would have no division against big countries. For example, the United States has 11 players in the top 100 in singles. But Finland now has just enough players of such a hard level that it can go far in the Davis Cup.

In advance, the idea of ​​overthrowing the United States started above all from the fact that Finland’s number one player Emil Ruusuvuori had beaten the US number one player Frances Tiafoe in all three head-to-head matches.

On Saturday, it seemed that the USA captain Bob Bryan didn’t dare to put Tiafoe against Rosuvuorti. Of course, that must have had an effect as well. that Tiafoe had lost his previous two matches of the week. So he sat on the bench and Ruusuvuori beat the 13th ranked in the world instead Tommy Paul’s.

Ruusuvuori has shown on several occasions that it can beat players from the very top. Also Harri Heliövaaran the Finnish doubles pair built around can beat anyone. It was the decisive factor in the week of Split Otto Virtanen development to a new level.

Virtanen’s potential has been known for a long time. A ferocious pass and a palm make a strong impression when successful. However, the level of the game has fluctuated too much. Now a new uniformity has been found. And even though in two matches it looked as if Virtanen’s sense of humor was completely gone, he was able to pull himself together and win the matches.

Virtanen’s contribution in Split was extremely important. In the final tournament, only three matches are played in match pairs. The second players start, and Virtanen led Finland each time. Then the opponent is already in a tight spot, the remaining two matches must be won.

Captain Jarkko Nieminen contribution cannot be overemphasized. Nieminen has known all the players for a long time, spars with them and keeps in touch. During matches, Nieminen’s calm nature gives the players a sense of security. Much has been said about Nieminen knowing exactly what to say to someone and who not to say anything to. The team spirit is top class.

Finland is also favored by the game platforms of the final tournament. In Split, we played on fast, hard courts in the hall. They suit Finnish players perfectly. In the final stage of Malaga, the platform should be quite similar.

It has to be said out loud, as wild as it sounds: Finland can win the Davis Cup. When you look at the teams in the finals, there isn’t a single one that Finland can’t beat. The role of doubles is big when only three matches are played. It can be a strength for Finland. Of course, it is also the case, as Nieminen already stated before the week of Split: Finland can also lose to all teams. It can be very even.

Finland’s first opponent in Malaga is last year’s champion Canada. Canada was led to victory by the country’s star players Felix Auger Alias and Denis Shapovalov. Both have had a difficult season and Shapovalov has been injured. Neither played last week in the Davis Cup, rather unknown Alexis Galarneau and Gabriel Diallo bore the main responsibility.

It remains to be seen whether Canada’s star players will arrive in Malaga. Whether they come or not, Finland’s opportunities seem good. With a win against Canada, we would already be in the top four.

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