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