Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Davis Cup 2017 preview: Shapovalov in another key moment for Canada

Dusan Lajovic of Serbia reacts to Lucas Pouille of France during their Davis Cup semi final at the Pierre Mauroy stadium in Lille northern France Friday Sept. 15 2017 Canadian Challenge awaits India in the Davis Cup World Group Playoff
Kristopher Love | 17 September, 2017, 18:43

The results: Canada 1 India 1 [Brayden Schnur lost to Ramkumar Ramanathan 7-5, 6-7 (4), 5-7, 5-7; Denis Shapovalov bt Yuki Bhambri 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-7 (6), 4-6, 6-1]. And what we watched Friday night will make Sunday's single games no place for a nervous Canadian, regardless. He then became the youngest player to reach the fourth round of the US Open, only his second Grand Slam.

The 22-year-old Toronto native is now ranked 202 in the world, while Ramanathan, also 22, is 154th. A lot was expected from the two Indian youngsters since their arrival but injuries to Yuki, ranked 157, and lack of confidence in Ramkumar (ranked 154) has marred their careers.

The Canadians now lead the tie 2-1, with a pair of singles matches wrapping up play on Sunday.

It has to be a come-from-behind show.

On the other hand, Bhambri had won his only other five-setter in Davis Cup five years ago in similar fashion, when he overcame a two-set deficit against New Zealand's Daniel King-Turner in Chandigarh.

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

Yuki proved that his recent win over world number 22 Gael Monfils was no fluke and he give a good fight to the world's top players.

India is bidding to return to the World Group for the first time since 2011.

The Canadians will be keen to bounce back from the disappointment of a decisive fifth rubber defeat to Great Britain in this year's first round, when Denis Shapovalov was defaulted for hitting the chair umpire in the face with a ball. If Yuki and Ramkumar can even get one point on day one, it will make a huge difference to how the tie will shape up for India.

India would look to leverage its strength in doubles with the experienced Rohan Bopanna and the talented Saketh Myneni in their ranks.

One notable name missing is Milos Raonic. It is the fourth straight year that Indian team is knocking the World Group door.

Bopanna is in his 14th year of Davis Cup competition. Lucas Pouille leads hosts France into battle in Lille against Dusan Lajovic in Friday's opening singles. "I'm happy to be part of the Davis Cup team".

Noah's team are favoured to progress to the final against a Serbian side sorely missing injured former world No.1and 12-time Grand Slam victor Novak Djokovic, Viktor Troicki and Janko Tipsarevic. "We have a lot of stars".