Team needs one more victory to clinch the relegation tie
The Miele Canadian DavisCup team took a commanding 2-0 lead in its best-of-five DavisCup by BNP Paribas Americas Zone Group I second roundplay-off tie on Friday. Peter Polansky (Thornhill, Ontario) and Milos Raonic (Thornhill, Ontario) defeated Jhonson Garcia and Victor Estrella of the Dominican Republic respectively in front of a home crowd on the Grandstand Court at Rexall Centre in Toronto.
Polansky secured the first rubber for his team with a 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Garcia, the No. 2 seeded player for the Dominican Republic. Under somewhat cool temperatures, Canada’s top-ranked male singles player had a tough time adjusting to Garcia’s slower pace but was able to pick up his game and respond with a strong third and fourth set to close it out.
“The conditions were tough out there and I thought he played a heck of a game with a lot of slices and high balls that were really slow. It was tough for me to adapt to those,” said Polansky. “In the second set I was getting really frustrated and in the third set I just told myself to play my game. I really had to focus but I’m glad that I got that first one.”
Fighting off two match points, Raonic won the first five-setter of his young career, knocking off a resilient Estrella 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(3), 9-7 in a three-hour and 20 minute marathon. Raonic had struggled a little after the fourth set with tightness in his right forearm that caused him trouble on his serve, but he was able to recover and pull break serve and pull it out in the fifth set. Estrella had physical troubles of his own, experiencing severe cramping in his right quadriceps.
“You have to stay positive and forget about the matches in the past. It is something I have improved on during this year, controlling my emotions and today it paid off,” said Raonic.
The team needs just one victory in the final three matches to secure the win. Saturday’s lineup will see Canada’s doubles pairing of Daniel Nestor and Frank Dancevic take on Luis Delgado and Jose Hernandez of the Dominican Republic. Sunday will feature the reverse singles matches with Polansky up against Estrella and Raonic versus Garcia.
“The was a big, tough match and it proves how much work he has done on the court and in the gym and it was the time to not let your emotions get involved and just leave it all on the court,” said Canadian team captain Martin Laurendeau. “When you go into an element that you have never been in, you have to take things as they come and for him it was a first fifth set and now he has that experience that he will remember for a long time.”
A win for Canada against Dominican Republic would secure their spot in the Americas Zone Group I for 2011. The losing nation will be relegated to Americas Zone Group II for next season. Only 16 countries entered in Davis Cup competition qualify for the elite World Group.
Action will continue on Saturday, September 18 at 2:00 p.m. with the doubles rubber. Fans interested in tickets for this world-class event can contact 1-877-2TENNIS (283-6647) ext. 4575 for information. Tickets start as low as $10.
Fans can also tune in to the live Web cast of all the matches on lovemeansnothing.ca.
Davis Cup by BNP Paribas match and Web cast schedule for Canada vs. Dominican Republic
(Local and Eastern time)
Friday, September 17, 2010
Raonic (CAN) def. Estrella (DOM) 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(3), 9-7
Polansky (CAN) def. Garcia (DOM) 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
Saturday, September 18 at 2 p.m., Doubles
Sunday, September 19 at 11 a.m., Reverse Singles