Great Britain and Canada will go into the second day of their Davis Cup tie all square after Vasek Pospisil defeated Kyle Edmund in straight sets.
Dan Evans, Britain’s number one this weekend, had given Leon Smith’s side the perfect start after he swept aside teenager Denis Shapovalov in the day’s opening singles match.
However, Edmund wasn’t able to follow in his compatriot’s footsteps, as he went down 6-4 6-1 7-6 (7-3) to Pospisil- the Canadian number one in the absence of Milos Raonic.
Pospisil at home on a quick hard court
Pospisil, a Wimbledon quarter-finalist in 2015, has slipped well down the rankings - to world number 133 - after a wretched 12 months, however the Canadian looked right at home on a speedy indoor court in Ottawa.
Edmund, whose best results have come on slow clay courts, wasn’t able to impose his potent game as his forehand, which is usually his major weapon, often broke down.
Britain will now turn their attentions to Saturday’s pivotal doubles match, which sees Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot face Pospisil and Daniel Nestor.
With world number four Raonic unavailable, Pospisil was always going to be a vital player for the Canadians this weekend, however there were concerns in the opening set when the 26-year-old took a medical time out for a leg injury.
Too many errors cost Edmund
Remarkably the delay appeared to affect Edmund, who lost his serve for the first time at 4-5 to concede the first set.
Edmund appeared distracted by his opponent’s troubles, and the Brit made a string of errors from the baseline as he lost eight of the next nine games following the timeout.
If Pospisil’s movement had been hampered by the injury, the zippy court covered it well as Edmund struggled extend the rallies from the back of the court.
Pospisil, who won the Wimbledon doubles title with American Jack Sock in 2014, kept the points short with some forays to the net and his booming serve- which yielded 19 aces.
Serving first in the third set, Edmund managed to force a tie break, however his erratic groundstrokes continued to misfire.
The Canadian sealed the match in 2 hours and eight minutes to draw the visitor’s level.