Despite a heartfelt performance in front of an impressive crowd, Canada couldn’t solve a solid British team who now holds the 2-1 edge after the second day of Davis Cup by BNP Paribas play at TD Place in Ottawa. Canadian doubles veteran Daniel Nestor (Toronto) and Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver) fell to Great Britain’s Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot 7-6(1), 6-7(3), 7-6(3), 6-3 in a closely-contested duel on Saturday afternoon in their World Group first-round tie.
For the second straight day, Canada and Great Britain battled before an electric stadium of supporters. The 7,023 fans in the crowd broke the record for highest-attended Davis Cup daily attendance in Canada, previously set just one day ago. However, even with the home court advantage, Canada was unable to contain a strong serving British team that won 82 percent of points on the first serve and had combined for 17 aces.
“We fought hard but they created more chances, they were the better team,” Nestor said after the match. “I wasn’t happy with the way I returned. I didn’t think I made any returns on key points that we had, but they served well. They’re a tough team and they were a little bit better.”
“We’re really pleased we got the win. We knew it was going to be a tough match,” said Jamie Murray. “We won the third set tiebreak, which was huge for us. We both felt they dropped off energy wise after that and Dom [Inglot] played a great game to break serve in the middle of the fourth set and that was that. We fought really hard from start to finish and stayed strong in the important moments.”
Despite the loss, Saturday marked a milestone match for Nestor. The 44-year-old competed in his 50th Davis Cup tie in Canadian colours this afternoon. Nestor first stepped onto the scene in 1992 as a 19-year-old rookie against Sweden, when he defeated world No. 1 Stefan Edberg in a singles rubber.
Great Britain has the opportunity to clinch a trip to the World Group quarter-finals versus France early Sunday, should Daniel Evans defeat Pospisil in the first rubber of the day’s reverse singles. However, Canadian team captain Martin Laurendeau has yet to count his team out.
“Everybody wants to be 2-1 after Saturday but all in all we need to stick with the process,” he said. “We’re still alive going into tomorrow and we’re just preparing for one match at a time. We will evaluate and regenerate everyone the best we can tonight and then re-evaluate where everybody stands tomorrow and just take care of that match and prepare the best we can prepare. We’ll just take it one match at a time. ”
Play resumes on Sunday at 12 p.m. ET with the reverse singles matches. Pospisil is scheduled to take on Daniel Evans in the first match of the day, with 17-year-old rising star Denis Shapovalov (Thornhill, Ont.) then lined up to face Kyle Edmund.