Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Canada defeats U.S. in Davis Cup for first time

   New format, more frustration for the United States.
   Canada defeated the Americans for the first time today, winning 2-1 in Group F in the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid. It was Canada's maiden victory in 16 meetings against the United States and the first between the nations since 1965.
   Vasek Pospisil topped 6-foot-11 (2.11-meter) Reilly Opelka 7-6 (5), 7-6 (7), and Denis Shapovalov beat Taylor Fritz 7-6 (6), 6-3.
   Shapovalov is ranked No. 15 at age 20. Pospisil, 29, had back surgery in January and returned at Wimbledon. He is No. 150 after reaching a career-high No. 25 in 2014.
   Fritz and Opelka, both 22, made their Davis Cup debuts. They are ranked No. 32 and No. 36, respectively.
   The scheduled doubles match was not played, but Sam Querrey, a 32-year-old San Francisco native, and Jack Sock were credited with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Pospisil and Shapovalov.
   Canada, which beat Italy 2-1 on Monday, became the first team to reach the quarterfinals. The United States (0-1) must beat Italy on Wednesday to have a chance of advancing.
   For the first time in the 119-year history of the Davis Cup, nations are competing at one site in the same week instead of going head-to-head at host countries over four weekends throughout the year.
   Competitions between nations have been shortened from the best-of-five matches to the best-of-three. The six group winners and two best second-place finishers advance.
   The United States leads all nations with 32 Davis Cup titles, but the last one came in 2007. If the Americans fall short again, they will break their drought record.
   In Group A, France defeated Japan 2-1. In the deciding match, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut outlasted Ben McLachlan (Cal, 2011-14) and Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-5.

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