Canada made Davis Cup history on Sunday by reaching the Davis Cup quarterfinals for the first time by beating top-ranked Spain at the Thunderbird Sports Centre in Vancouver.
Canada took an insurmountable 3–1 lead in the best of five matches against Spain when its top-ranked player Milos Raonic easily defeated Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6–3, 6–4, 6–2.
“We’re working on our history,” Raonic said in an interview with Sportsnet after the match. “We’re making history.”
“It’s been a long time coming,” Canadian Davis Cup captain Martin Laurendeau said. “We feel we’re competitive at this level.
“Playing at home, we couldn’t ask for anything better.”
After a tough doubles loss in five sets on Saturday, Canada led 2–1 in matches. Canada had won the two singles matches on Friday and only needed to win one of the two matches on Sunday to move on.
Spain opted to play Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the fourth rubber against Raonic after the exhausting five-set doubles match wore out Marcel Granollers. It was the first Davis Cup experience for Garcia-Lopez.
Garcia-Lopez, ranked No. 82, proved to be no match for the 15th-ranked Raonic. Raonic dominated from start to finish and was especially effective at the net. He played without fear as Garcia-Lopez did not have the weapons to trouble him.
Spain came to Canada without their top four singles players David Ferrer (No. 4), Rafael Nadal (No. 5), Nicolas Almagro (No. 11), and Feliciano Lopez (No. 24). Their top player in Vancouver was Marcel Granollers (No. 34).
The tie turned Canada’s way in the second singles rubber on Friday when Frank Dancevic, ranked No. 166, demolished Granollers 6–1, 6–2, 6–2. It was a flawless performance from Dancevic and one of those Davis Cup stories where an unheralded player steps up for his country and beats a much higher-ranked player.
Interestingly, Raonic’s coach is Spaniard Galo Blanco and he spends a fair bit of time training in Barcelona.
Canada’s Davis Cup journey continues in early April against Italy, which beat Croatia this weekend.
Follow Rahul on Twitter @RV_ETSports
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