Davis Cup: Canada clinch 2017 world group spot with doubles victory

Even without their two best players, Canada guaranteed themselves a spot in the Davis Cup world group next year after Vasek Pospisil and Adil Shamasdin won their doubles rubber in straight sets to clinch the playoff tie for Canada.

Davis Cup: Canada clinch 2017 world group spot with doubles victory
Vasek Pospisil (left) and Adil Shamasdin high-five during their victory on Saturday. Photo: Davis Cup
3 0

A strong serving performance from Vasek Pospisil and Adil Shamasdin clinched Canada’s spot in the 2017 Davis Cup world group on Saturday as the Canadians were unbreakable in a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(6) victory over the Chilean doubles pair of Nicolas Jarry and Hans Podlipnik-Castillo. With the win, the Canadians claimed an unassailable 3-0 lead in their world group playoff, meaning Canada will stay in the top level of international competition for another year.

Early break gives Canadians lead

Both teams came out looking for the early advantage and had their chances in the first few games. First, it was Chile, who held a pair of break points in the third game before the Canadians held. They were made to pay in the very next game when the hosts battled to bring up a break point of their own, which they converted to grab the early 3-1 lead.

The break seemed to give the Canadians confidence, as they took full control of the match from that point. Despite missing another break point opportunity in their next return game, Pospisil and Shamasdin only lost two points in their remaining three service games as they wrapped up the opening set.

Canada carries momentum through second set​

Picking up exactly where they left off in the opener, the Canadians raced to a double break point in the opening game of the second set. They only needed one to clinch the immediate advantage. With the way Pospisil and Shamasdin were serving, the break was a huge blow to the Chileans. The Canadians continued to dominate on their own serve, and while they failed to create another break point opportunity, they did not give their opponents any chances to break back, only dropping four points on their serve on the way in the set on their way to a two-sets-to-love lead.

Wild tiebreak seals Canadian victory

Needing to win the set just to have a glimmer of hope at staying alive in the tie, the Chileans finally started to match the Canadians in the third set. The finally made some inroads on the return early in the third, forcing the Canadians to deuce for the first time since early in the first set, but they were unable to create any break points. The Canadians returned the favour in the following game before both teams settled in and began to hold with ease.

The Chileans would have one more look at the Canadian serve at 6-5, but still could not reach break point. A tiebreak was needed to decide the set. The Canadians got off on the right foot, grabbing a minibreak on the first point, but Chile took it back almost immediately. They would swap minibreaks again before a third seemed to put the Canadians in control. Two match points arrived for Canada at 6-4, the first on their serve, but the Chileans, mounting one last charge with their lives on the line, saved them both. The last stand would fall short as they gave up another minibreak on the next point and the Canadians finished them off 8-6 to take the set, match, and tie.

If the teams chose to play the dead rubbers, they will take place tomorrow. However, Canada’s victory is already guaranteed.