Canada shock Spain to reach first Davis Cup QF
Originally published on: 04/02/13 00:00
The Canadians wrapped up victory over last year’s beaten finalists with a rubber to spare at the Thunderbird Sports Centre after standout performances from Milos Raonic and world No.151 Frank Dancevic.
The home side jumped into a 2-0 lead on day one against a depleted Spanish side that were without top players Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Nicolas Almagro and Fernando Verdasco. World No.13 Raonic opened the contest, recovering from a set down to beat Albert Ramos, while Dancevic swept past a demoralised Marcel Granollers in straight sets.
After veteran Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil failed to clinch the tie on Saturday, losing to the world No.3 duo of Granollers and Marc Lopez in five sets, Raonic sealed victory in the fourth rubber, beating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who replaced Granollers in the Spanish lineup an hour before the match, in straight sets.
“It’s pretty amazing and it’s something we should all be pretty proud of,” said an elated Raonic after the game. "I hope it gives Canada more respect from everybody else. I think we’re a great nation in so many ways and in tennis we’re just trying to build up a reputation.”
The North American country next face Italy, who are into the final eight for the first time in 15 years after Fabio Fognini beat Croatia’s Ivan Dodig in the decisive fifth rubber to clinch a 3-2 victory.
Tomas Berdych beat Stanislas Wawrinka on the final day to put Czech Republic into an unassailable 3-1 lead against Switzerland after the defending champions came out on the winning side of a crucial record-breaking doubles match, which ran for seven hours and one minute, on Saturday. Last year’s champions now face Kazakhstan away after they beat Austria 3-1.
The USA were made to work for their spot in the next round after Brazil recovered from a 2-0 deficit to level the tie at 2-2 after Thomaz Bellucci followed up Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares’ five-set doubles victory with a five-set win of his own against John Isner. But the home side’s nerves were settled when Sam Querrey, the American No.2, recovered from a first-set wobble over Thiago Alves to seal the tie 3-2.
Team USA will now face Novak Djokovic’s Serbia at home after the 2010 champions needed only two days to clinch victory over Belgium.
France and Argentina complete the quarter-final lineup after easing to 5-0 wins over Israel and Germany respectively.
Davis Cup QF lineup:
Canada v Italy
Serbia v USA
Argentina v France
Kazakhstan v Czech Republic
For more information visit www.daviscup.com