Shapo­valov de­faults

Bri­tain wins Davis Cup tie af­ter Cana­dian’s er­rant shot hits um­pire in eye

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY LISA WAL­LACE

Bri­tain ad­vanced to the Davis Cup World Group quar­ter-fi­nals fol­low­ing Kyle Ed­mund’s 6-3, 6-4, 2-1 vic­tory over Canada’s Denis Shapo­valov on Sun­day.

The match came to an early end in the third set as Shapo­valov was de­faulted for launch­ing an er­rant ball that hit the um­pire in the left eye. Shapo­valov had just been bro­ken by Ed­mund and was dis­ap­pointed with a shot. He took a ball out of his pocket and hit it in frus­tra­tion. The con­tact with the um­pire re­sulted in a de­fault.

The 17-year-old Shapo­valov was clearly dev­as­tated with the turn of events, hold­ing his head in a towel.

Bri­tain will play France in the quar­ters and is au­to­mat­i­cally as­sured a spot in the World Group next year. Canada will be forced to play a World Group play-off tie to keep its spot for 2018 play.

Van­cou­ver’s Vasek Pospisil de­feated Daniel Evans 7-6(3), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5) ear­lier Sun­day, ty­ing the Davis Cup World Group tie at 2-2.

Pospisil’s par­tic­i­pa­tion had been in ques­tion as he’s strug­gled with a knee is­sue over the week­end and ad­mit­ted a de­ci­sion wasn’t made un­til the last pos­si­ble mo­ment. In the end, he said the treat­ment he re­ceived Satur­day night was the dif­fer­ence and that Sun­day’s sin­gles match was the best he felt over the course of the week­end.

Evans, ranked 45th in the world, strug­gled to han­dle Pospisil’s serve and it was the dif­fer­ence in the match.

Pospisil, ranked 133rd, had 25 aces to Evans’s seven in the match that took three hours 23 min­utes to be de­cided.

“When he was be­hind he was serv­ing so well and I don’t even know how many break points I had and my con­ver­sion must have been di­a­bol­i­cal re­ally,” said Evans. “I’ve got to give it to him. He played bet­ter than me to­day.”

Evans seemed to find his sec­ond wind in the fourth set. He went up two games to none, but Pospisil had four aces to win the third. Evans came right back and won the fourth game. The set ended in a tiebreaker.

Trail­ing 4-2 Pospisil scored four unan­swered points to take a 6-4 lead. Evans made it 6-5 with an ace, but Pospisil fired a serve that Evans was un­able to re­turn, hit­ting it wide to give Canada the win.

“I thought he was ac­tu­ally go­ing away and then he sort of started go­ing for broke,” said Evans. “He was hit­ting the lines a lot, as you saw from the chal­lenges. He played well and ob­vi­ously the crowd car­ried him through. He fought hard.

“This will help him get back to where he has been. He’s been play­ing ter­ri­ble for the past how­ever long, but this week­end his play was as well as I’ve seen him play.”

Pospisil was able to break Evans’s serve and take a 2-1 early lead in the third set that left the Bri­ton frus­trated. But Evans com­posed him­self and came back to win the set 6-3.

“My serve dis­ap­peared and my legs were a lit­tle bit heavy and I went through a lit­tle bit of a phys­i­cal lull for 20 min­utes,” said Pospisil. “I was low on en­ergy through­out the whole third set.

“My serve just kind of went away.”

Lead­ing 1-0, Pospisil took con­trol in the sec­ond set. Evans pushed back to make it 5-4 but Pospisil main­tained com­po­sure and closed out the set to take a two sets to none lead.

Evans has never come back when trail­ing by two sets (0-11).

Pospisil was down three games to one in the first set, but came back to win the tiebreaker 7-3.

$1 1)050

Canada’s Denis Shapo­valov eyes the ball as he makes a re­turn to Great Bri­tain’s Kyle Ed­mund dur­ing Davis Cup World Group tie tennis ac­tion Sun­day in Ot­tawa.

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