Stephen Diez, the Spaniard “sneaked” into the Canadian Davis Cup team

Born in Toronto and raised in Malaga. Mature in Barcelona and in Lliçà d’Amunt he fell in love. And he trains in Cornella, while searching online for copies of his extinct racquet model all over the planet. His early life was an obsession with the Bohemian tennis player lifestyle. Born in Canada, Made in Spain, Stephen Days, with its invisible borders, will coexist in its two countries at the same time. Reason: Davis CupStephen, a member of the Canadian national team, who appears today for the first time in this edition that will be held again in Madrid against Sweden.

“In the world of tennis, everyone already knows that despite living in Spain, I represent Canada myself dual nationality. But when they hear someone in the dining room speaking fluent Spanish, they are surprised,” the player laughs 30 years, of Spanish parents and surnames, Díez-Monge, from the Anglo-Saxon name, Stephen.

Stephen Davis, left, with the rest of the Canadian Davis Cup team

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Spain’s 2015 champion, “Stevo”, as he is sometimes affectionately called, Number 264 of the ATP order, lives in that tennis that is not much seen but is there, so close but so far from the surface Top 100 Through the maze of challengers and outlaws that require more than one talent to find a way out. Ten was about to cross it in 2019, then 134th in the world in its best ranking. “Except for the first 15-20, the rest are very even, Confidence and mentality That’s what makes the difference, Stephen warns. Canada Special Felix Auger-Aliassime And Milos Runic due to injury and Denis Shapovalov With a will to rest, Captain Frank Dansevich asks Stephen to play today against Ilyas Ymir, 171 players from the world, starting at 16:00.

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He was already in the team that was runners-up in 2019 against Spain, although, in the Davis Cup, he has not played since 2010. But nothing is roundabout. just an emotion. “This is the best for me, It is very good to represent your other country. I want to take this opportunity, and I will do my best,” said Stevo, who was recently cited Bone edema In the back and injuries most of the season he survived with 177 and was sent off as 264. Withdrawal in four consecutive tournaments at this last stage, the last of which was Indian Wells, forced him to stop for six weeks.

“I haven’t played in the Davis Cup in over 10 years and I want to take advantage of this opportunity, I will do my best”

“I am not telling you that I lost the placebo, but with everything that happened to me, I was in hiding. Which is why this Davis Cup motivates me the most.” Admits Stephen Diez, who at the age of seven moved to Malaga, and at the age of twelve to Barcelona.

In addition to the Hispanic Canadian player, Canada owns Vasek Pospisil (133 of the world), Braiden rope (234) and Peter Polanski (277). The absence of the top 100 separates the Canadian side from favoritism to the title, which shares the group with Sweden and Kazakhstan in this first stage. “Passing the group would already be a bonus. Not having our best players can affect us emotionally, but We have to be strong as a team And we have confidence in our top seed, Pospisil, who has competed really well for two years now. The good thing is that we have no pressure,” explains Stephen. He admits the beauty of a possible meeting with Spain in the qualifying rounds and a hypothetical duel with Pablo Carino, an antique from 91 as Diaz, with whom he sometimes shares training sessions at Cornella.

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“Playing against Spain will be very special, especially with family and friends in the stands. And if he really played against Pablo, imagine, I have a good friendship with him, “I get on really well with all the guys on the team,” Stephen says. It has already happened between Spain and Canada in the last two years but Diez hasn’t gotten off the right track. Although there is friendship in the world, the solitude of a tennis player can often be on the ring, more often without the company of his person. “It’s so grateful to play a team competition like the Davis Cup, and more, like this. Life as a tennis player is so lonely and being on a team helps us have fun as a group. And put our arrogance aside, Diez admits.

Entirely alone in the face of danger is above all the player who, despite his appearance, has not yet stepped into the list of the top 100, because among the selected hundred tennis gives you a living, but without joys. The Canadian of Hispanic descent lived it during pandemic, where were the tennis players The Forgotten Independent, with no income other than his own savings, at the mercy of championship prizes.

“It is so appreciative to play for a team like the Davis Cup. The life of a tennis player is so lonely”

But, receding so many times, and reappearing so many times, any difficulty is already insignificant to everything Stephen has experienced, financial problems conditioned by a strange and questionable relationship with his racket. At the age of 25, he was close to the top 100 162 in 2016 But the discontinuation of the Prince racket model forced him to choose another model. An eternal search for answers without a solution coming, so the increasingly painful delay in adapting to the new racket drowned him out Up to 417 of the rankings in two years. Even if saturated, he gave up a tournament match in Portugal in 2018.

However, Stephen buried his disastrous “alter-ego” “To my family and my love for this sport” And I was born again. The answer was to put yourself in the hands of your current coach, Marcus Roy, from the RV Tennis Academy, and a technician among others Beto Martin and Albert Montañez. And the answer to reconcile with the racket, as it has been for years: Go back to old model, scrambles for life to get as many specs as possible, dives to buy them on eBay and Wallapop and keeps his senses on if there’s another casual resource, like a shop in France where he can buy a bunch more specs.

Diez, play the Australian Open preview

Diez, play the Australian Open preview

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“I now have rackets of this model, I hope they don’t lose my bag at the airports or something,” he said. Díez jokes, he settled in Lliçà d’Amunt with his wife. “In the end, injuries this year was one of my other difficulties, I have already overcome many adversities. I still trust in giving. This batch I need to be among the top 100, 30 years old today in the tennis player is like 26 years ago. It would be very good for me to play Davis, nothing hurts me now, ”the tennis player admitted, with an endless physique – sculpted by Josep Anglada – and a steady density and a sharp right hand. Because of that talent not yet fully released, but also because of this stubborn stubbornness, Stephen Days He has earned full admission in the Top 100 list.

Amber Cross

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