Davis Cup: Canada's Shapovalov beats Bhambri to even tie with India

Davis Cup: Canada's Shapovalov beats Bhambri to even tie with India

Ramkumar Ramanathan and Yuki Bhambri had contrasting fortunes in their respective singles encounters as the opening day of the Davis Cup World Group play-off between India and Canada finished 1-1 here. The second wind and tactic change caught Bhambri off guard, as Shapovalov secured an early break and the second in the set to close out the match.

"It was a lot of tennis and a lot of ups and downs".

The Canadian defeated Bhambri 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-7 (8), 4-6, 6-1 in a match that lasted almost four hours.

He would bounce back in a big way during the pressure of the fifth set, however, emerging with a huge 6-1 victory.

Shapovalov has offered an insurmountable 3-1 in Canada. Shapovalov made the world take note of him with his shock win over Rafael Nadal at the Montreal Masters.

"It's been a insane last two months", he said.

"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", Indian captain Mahesh Bhupathi told PTI. I grew up dreaming of being able to represent my country and it is an honor to be able to do it. "I believed in myself and stayed tough".

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In the final rubber, India's Yuki Bhambri beat Brayden Schnur 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, although that match didn't impact the final result.

Shapovalov opened the match against India's Ramkumar Ramanathan with an ace, then ripped off 11 straight points. Schnur looked down and out, trailing by two sets to one, and down by a break in the fourth set but found energy to fight when Ramkumar dropped serve immediately. Ramanathan took the match 5-7, 7-6 (4), 7-5, 7-5.

The Canadian team did not field Vasek Pospisil, world number 82, for the singles, probably since he is going through a rough patch of late. "I felt so good on the court today". "It's something I will learn from, when to give energy in these long matches".

After his rise to stardom in the past six months, it is fascinating to watch an 18-year-old athlete come to terms with his ability.

Canada entered the event in 16th place in the nations rankings, followed closely by India in 18th.

India and hosts Canada ended Day 1 of the Davis Cup tie at 1-1 in Edmonton.

The visitors needed to win both of last night's Reverse Singles matches to qualify. So it was very important for us to take advantage of another relegation match in Canada and make the most of that chance.

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