Photo Credit: Tennis Canada
Written by: Tom Tebbutt
***Tom Tebbutt is a tennis writer who covered the sport from 1990 to 2010 for The Globe and Mail. He currently blogs at TennisCanada.com and co-hosts the Aces tennis radio show on Sportsnet 590 The FAN in Toronto. Over a nearly 40-year career, he has worked with numerous other other publications and media outlets on the sport of tennis.***
There had never been so much at stake for a Canadian Davis Cup team as there was on Sunday, one match win and it would be able to play – at home – for the 2013 Davis Cup.
A gritty victory by Milos Raonic in Friday’s singles and an inspired performance by Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil in Saturday’s doubles had set the stage. But a third point in the best-of-five-match tie was always going to be a tough ask.
The writer of this blog is not a big Nenad Zimonjic fan, but it turns out he was right when he predicted, before the semi-final began, that if Serbia had one point heading into the final day, it would win.
And that’s the way it turned out as Novak Djokovic defeated Milos Raonic 7-6(1), 6-2, 6-2 and Janko Tiparevic came through in the decisive fifth match, overcoming a valiant third-set comeback by Vasek Pospisil, to win 7-6(3), 6-2, 7-6(6).
The two Serbs were higher-ranked than their opponents, had more experience as leaders of a 2010 Davis Cup winning team, were favoured by a clay surface that blunted the aggressive gamestyles of Raonic and Pospisil and were playing at home.
Still, there was always a chance that a ‘lights-out’ performance from either of the Canadians, or an injury or illness issue for one of the Serbs, and the visitors would have been playing in Quebec City from November 15-17 against the defending champion Czechs for the prize sometimes referred to as Dwight Davis’ “silver salad bowl.”
While there will be no lettuce, watercress or arugula in that dish for Canada this year after the result in Belgrade, the semi-final was a huge positive for the Miele Canadian Davis Cup team.
To view the full article, please go to Tennis Canada