Davis Cup: Canada take 2-1 lead over India


In Davis Cup Tennis World Group Play Offs being played at Edmonton in Canada, India and Canada are level with one victory each at the end of day one.

"Boys played with a lot of heart the plan was to fight regardless of the score and Ram swung a losing battle and Yuki nearly did too", said India captain Mahesh Bhupathi. "We were just fortunate enough to get ahead early and stay there". Ramkumar, ranked 154, will open India's campaign at the World Group Play-off tie against the 22-year-old Schnur, ranked 202 while Yuki Bhambri will play a crucial second singles against world number 51 and Canada's biggest hope Denis Shapovalov. On the final day, Yuki will take on Schnur and Ramkumar will lock horns with Shapovalov in the reverse singles.

As far as the singles is concerned, Denis Shapovalov - who set the tennis the world alight by taking out Rafael Nadal at the Montreal Masters - would be the man on whose soldiers the Canadian hopes rely.

Schnur won the first set before dropping the next three.

It was a bit of vindication for Shapovalov, who in some ways caused the necessity of the tie with India when he slapped a loose ball in frustration and broke an orbital bone of chair umpire Arnaud Gabas during the deciding match of the series against Great Britain in February in Ottawa, getting banished as Canada lost 3-2.

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Canada entered the event in 16th place in the nations rankings, followed closely by India in 18th. "In the fifth set, Marty (captain Martin Laurendeau) asked me to take the pedal off the gas a bit", Shapovalov said. Bhambri forced the fourth set, putting Shapovalov in uncharted territory. The Canadian found his mojo after breaking Yuki in the third and broke him again in the sixth game to take a 5-1 cushion and clinched the issue with a crushing forehand victor. Shapovalov had 20 aces in the match, compared to only two for Bhambri. Schnur, who played college tennis in North Carolina and turned pro this summer, won the first set and was in a position to win the second but wasted five break points.

The best-of-five tie marks the first ever meeting between Canada and India.

Bopanna-Raja lost 5-7, 5-7, 7-5, 3-6 to seasoned campaigners Nestor and Pospisil in two hours and 52 minutes on Saturday allowing the hosts to take advantage in the play-off. "We only had best-of-threes in college".

Pospisil is likely to be Canada's second representative in the singles.