Milos Raonic secures deciding point as Canada defeats Mexico 4-1 at Davis Cup

The Miele Canadian Davis Cup team defeated Mexico 4-1 in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Americas Zone Group I first round tie on Sunday after winning both reverse singles matches at the Club Deportivo La Asuncion in Metepec, Mexico. The deciding point was secured when Milos Raonic (Thornhill, Ontario) defeated Mexico’s Daniel Garza 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 in the first match of the day. Peter Polansky (Thornhill, Ontario) then won the dead rubber to give Canada the final point of the tie.

Holding a 2-1 advantage heading into the final day of play, Canada needed to win just one of the two matches to clinch the tie. It was up to world No. 37 Raonic to try and get it done in the early match. Despite going down a break in the first set, he fought his way back against Garza who showed increasing frustration and exhaustion as the play wore on. In the end, the power of Raonic was too much as he won 92 percent of his first serve points and fired 23 aces. Along with his singles win on Friday and doubles victory on Saturday, Raonic was the difference in this tie for Canada, posting a 3-0 record.

“This was a great opportunity for me and I’m proud that I got the chance to play and proud that I came through for the team,” said Raonic. “I’ve been doing a lot of my individual stuff but it’s very important for me to win for Canada too. It’s a different level of pride playing Davis Cup. It’s not my name on the draw, it’s Canada. It means a lot to the country and to the sport as far as growth is concerned for us to keep pushing for the World Group.”

Polansky got his first action of the weekend in the last match of the tie, which becomes a best two-out-of-three if the result has already been decided. He took on Mexico’s Manuel Sanchez and convincingly showed the depth that this Canadian squad has in singles, winning 6-4, 6-1 to finish the weekend on a high note.

“It’s a lot of joy and relief right now,” said Canada’s captain Martin Laurendeau. “We got off to a bad start on Friday and managed to pull it together and win the next four. It’s always a challenge to win on the road. We don’t have a great history on clay and the conditions are difficult, so it’s a big effort from all the guys and the staff to get everyone ready to perform.”

The team will now travel to Ecuador for a second round tie to be held from July 8-10, 2011. The location and venue will be decided by the host country at a later date. The winner of that tie will move on to a World Group play-off scheduled for September for a chance to reach the World Group. Only 16 nations entered in Davis Cup play qualify for the elite World Group.

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