EDMONTON, September 16, 2017 (Press Release)
The Canadian Davis Cup team is tied 1-1 with India after the opening day of competition at the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-off tie at Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton.
Canada’s No. 2 singles player Brayden Schnur (Pickering, Ont.) fell 5-7, 7-6(4), 7-5, 7-5 in the first rubber to Indian No. 1 Ramkumar Ramanathan, before Canada’s top player Denis Shapovalov defeated Indian No. 2 Yuki Bhambri 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-7(6), 4-6, 6-1.
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) 16. September 2017
Ramanathan dispatched Schnur in three hours and 16 minutes, and recorded 20 aces to Schnur’s 14. While the 22-year-old Canadian captured the first set in his first-ever Davis Cup match, Schnur struggled to capitalize on his break point opportunities, only converting 3 of 18 chances. However, he remained optimistic following his first career five-set match, and first tie representing the Canadian flag.
“I’m playing in Edmonton, playing in Canada, my home country. I had the crowd behind me,” Schnur reflected on his Davis Cup debut. “We have a great team, and I think we’re going to pull this tie out. I just told myself I was going to go out there and embrace it and that I was going to beat this guy, but came up short today. Credit to him – he played well.”
Shapovalov came out strong to start the second rubber of the day, taking a two-set lead however Bhambri swung back and took the next two. The marathon three hour and 52 minute-match was finally decided when Shapovalov captured two breaks in the fifth set to secure the win. The 18-year-old rising Canadian talent registered 19 aces during his first career five set match, with his fastest serve of the evening clocking in at 219 km/h.
“I haven’t played too many Davis Cup ties so it’s all pretty fresh for me,” Shapovalov said following his first match as Canada’s No. 1 Davis Cup player. “Obviously the pressure’s different, playing for your country in a team atmosphere. For me, it’s fun to be in these positions. I’m learning every day and getting new experiences. I think we have a really good chance in the doubles. Vasek [Pospisil] and Daniel [Nestor] are a lethal combo, they’ve done so well together so I really believe that they can win tomorrow.”