OSIJEK, February 3, 2018 (Press Release)
Canada and Croatia are tied 1-1 after the first day of action at the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas first round tie in Osijek. Playing in the first match of the day, Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver), Canada’s second singles player, fell 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 to Borna Coric, Croatia’s top singles player. He was followed by Canada’s number one singles player, Denis Shapovalov, who defeated Croatia’s Viktor Galovic in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.
Coric got the better of Pospisil after two hours and 20 minutes of play, managing to convert on 5 break point opportunities while his opponent only got one. Although the Vancouver native got off to a good start, he was unable to keep pace with his opponent, who was continuously elevating his level of play. From the start of the second set, Coric became a wall, committing very few unforced errors. Pospisil, who just suffered his 15th Davis Cup loss compared to his 17 wins, was disappointed with his performance, but will be ready to bounce back tomorrow.
“I started the match well. I didn’t really know what to expect since I haven’t played much on this surface. After the first set, he undeniably raised his level of play, while I had a lapse both physically and mentally,” explained Pospisil. “I am disappointed with the result because I felt that I was hitting the ball well enough to win the match, but my body was not cooperating the way I wanted it to. I now have to leave all that behind me and concentrate on tomorrow.”
Shapovalov got off to a good start in the second match of the day. He broke his opponent in the first game which helped him gain momentum. The 18-year-old needed less than two hours to earn a point for his country. In his win, the fourth of his Davis Cup career, the Canadian tallied 10 aces while Galovic only got one, and he won 83% of his first service points.
“It was a good match. I think we both played well. I felt very comfortable playing on clay – I actually find that it is a surface that suits my game,” stated Shapovalov. “It was a great way for me to begin this Davis Cup tie and I am happy to have gotten a point for my team.”
With the teams tied at 1-1, the doubles match becomes that much more important. Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil will be competing in the doubles match, which will begin at 8:00 am ET. Nestor will be playing in his 52nd match while representing Canada, while Pospisil will be paying in his 16th. The duo holds a record of 6 wins and 4 losses in Davis Cup and is preparing to face Ivan Dodig, who made his Davis Cup debut in 2002, and Franko Skugor. The captains have up to an hour prior to the start of the match to make any changes to their line-up.