Denis Shapovalov victorious in Davis Cup debut as Canada beats Chile 5-0

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Denis Shapovalov

A day after officially securing the victory over Chile in their Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-off tie on Saturday, Canada continued winning at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax on Sunday to complete the sweep with a final score of 5-0. In his Davis Cup debut, 17-year-old Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, Ont.) defeated Christian Garin 7-6(5), 6-4 before Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls, Ont.) beat Gonzalo Lama 6-4, 6-4.

Junior Wimbledon champion Shapovalov shook off some nerves and rust to take control of his match. Garin had more chances in the early goings, but Shapovalov saved four break points in the first set before winning the tiebreaker. In the second set, the junior world No. 10 was broken at 2-3 but rebounded immediately to break back, and ultimately secured his first Davis Cup win in just 83 minutes. Shapovalov, who acted as a hitting partner for the team in the Davis Cup quarter-finals last year, is currently ranked No. 245 on the pro circuit.

“It’s incredible to win, it was a lot of pressure knowing I was going to play today,” Shapovalov said. “I hardly slept yesterday. It’s a different match playing for your country, you’re representing your nation so it was tough but I think I controlled myself really well, and fought as hard as I could, and I’m happy I got the win.”

Team Canada had earlier secured the win over Chile, and thus a spot in the World Group for a sixth straight year in 2017, thanks to a straight-sets doubles win by Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver) and Adil Shamasdin (Pickering, Ont.) on Saturday. This came on the heels of Pospisil and Dancevic posting singles victories on Friday to put their squad up 2-0.

Canada now turns its attention towards the 2017 Davis Cup competition. The draw for next year will take place this Thursday in London, and will determine Canada’s potential pathway to the title starting with the first round from February 3-5. The draw will reveal Canada’s opening round opponent and if the tie will be at home or away.

The Canadian Davis Cup team was playing this tie in memory of Bruno Agostinelli Jr., who passed away earlier this year. Agostinelli Jr. was a coach at Tennis Canada’s national junior training program for U14 players in Toronto and a former member of the Davis Cup team, winning the fifth and deciding match for Canada against Peru in 2009. The team wore special patches this weekend to honour him.

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