Davis Cup: Pospisil beats Evans in gripping contest to keep tie alive

Davis Cup: Pospisil beats Evans in gripping contest to keep tie alive

The Canada leveled up the tie against Great Britain after a four set victory. Kyle Edmund will play Denis Shapovalov in a deciding fifth rubber.

Joe Nicholson

Vasek Pospisl kept Canada’s Davis Cup hopes alive after beating Britain’s Dan Evans in a gripping four set contest.

Britain led the best of five match tie by two-matches-to-one going into the final day, however their fate will now be decided by a fifth rubber – which sees Kyle Edmund take on Denis Shapovalov.

Pospisil, who is falsely ranked at 133 in the world, has been inspirational for his nation all weekend and has looked at home on a speedy indoor hardcourt, which is tailor-made for his thunderous serve and aggressive game.

The Canadian produced another stunning performance to claim his second singles victory of the weekend, winning 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-5) to force a decider in Ottawa.

Evans can't capitalise on quick start

Evans came into the match the fresher of the two players following his victory over Shapovalov in less than two hours on Friday.

In contrast this was Pospisil’s third straight day on court, after the Canadian played in Saturday’s doubles rubber, which lasted over three hours.

Knowing that a victory would seal the tie for Britain, Evans made the perfect start, breaking the Pospisil serve in the third game of the match.

Evans earned two more break points after storming to a 3-1 lead, however he couldn’t convert and the momentum quickly swung in favour of his opponent.  

The Brit played a loose game which allowed Pospisil to draw level at 3-3. From there both players held their serves comfortably to take the opening set to a tie break, which the Canadian won by seven points to three.

Evans’ dainty slice, which usually unsettles opponents, was regularly nullified by the Canadian, who continuously pedalled into his backhand corner to dictate points with his more potent forehand.

After an exchange of breaks at the start of the second set, Pospisil eventually established a 4-2 lead with some aggressive hitting and forays to the net.

Relentless serving from Pospisil

Every time Evans threatened to break back, Pospisil’s thunderous serve came to his rescue and the Canadian saved three break points to seal a two set lead.

Pospisil appeared to have the match on his racquet when he raced into a 3-1 lead at the start of the third.

However, the Canadian’s impeccable service run abruptly came to an end, as Evans remarkably reeled off the next five games to clinch the set and save the match.

Evans claimed an early lead at the start of the fourth however he was pegged back by the relentless Pospisil, who forced another tie break.

Once again the Canadian was able to rely on his serve, which allowed him to take risks with his returns.

After three hours and 23 minutes, Evans managed to save one match point with an ace.

However there was little he could do about the second, as Pospisil fired down booming serve, sending the home fans into raptures.