Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pospisil powers Canada into World Group!

Hard-serving B.C. native does it all against Israel

Vasek Pospisil carried Canada into the World Group of the Davis Cup on Sunday.

Pospisil was part of all three of Canada's victories in a 3-2 win over Israel in the World Group playoffs at Ramat Hasharon, Israel. The power hitter from Vernon, B.C., clinched the tie with a 6-2, 7-6, 6-4 win over Amir Weintraub in Sunday's fifth rubber.

"This is the happiest moment of my life and my tennis career," Pospisil said in a news release. "This is something you dream about as a kid, to play for your country and get a win like this.

"I was feeling pretty tired this morning and I just tried not to let it get to my head. You never think matches like this are going to end, and so, when you win match point, it is shock, relief and a lot of emotion that just knocks you to the ground."

Pospisil recorded 27 aces in his second singles victory of the weekend. He and Toronto's Daniel Nestor also beat Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram in doubles on Saturday.

Pospisil had just two double faults. His serve was broken once, but he broke Weintraub four times.

"Vasek beat the state of Israel this weekend," Canadian captain Martin Laurendeau said. "It wasn't just a quality team. It was the opponent and the heat and the crowd. It was just a gutsy effort from our horse.

"Our team has been working to get back to the World Group for seven years now, and we are all so happy and so excited to have reached our goal this year. It wasn't easy."

Canada won all three of its Davis Cup ties on the road this year, and the victory over Israel qualifies the Canadians for the 16-country World Group for the first time since 2004.

It came without the help of Canada's top-ranked player, Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont. In his first action since injuring his hip at Wimbledon in June, the Canadian ace lost his first singles match on Friday and then withdrew from a reverse singles match on Sunday.

Peter Polansky of Thornhill, Ont., stepped in for Raonic, but lost 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 to Dudi Sela.

"It was tough (Sunday)," Polansky said. "I came up short on some of the bigger points. I fought hard, but it was just really tough conditions. It was my first live match in a while at Davis Cup, and I did my best."

The Czech Republic, Russia, Croatia, Italy, India and Austria all won their World Group playoffs and moved into the final 16 for next year. Australia and Switzerland never finished their tie, with Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka leading Australia's Lleyton Hewitt 4-6, 6-4, 6-7, 6-4, 5-3 in the decisive fifth set before the match was suspended because of darkness.

Spain beat France in one World Group semifinal, while Argentina outlasted Serbia in the other. Argentina led 2-1 heading into Sunday's matches and clinched it when Novak Djokovic retired in the second set of his match against Juan Martin Del Potro.


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