Pospisil, Raonic give Canada 2-0 lead at Davis Cup

Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic both won their matches in straight sets against Colombia, setting them up for success at the Davis Cup in Halifax.

HALIFAX — Canada has a 2-0 lead in its Davis Cup tennis playoff against Colombia.

Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil beat Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 7-6 (2) 6-3 in the opening singles match at the Halifax Metro Centre on Friday. Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., then followed with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 decision over Alejandro Gonzalez.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Watch Canada continue its Davis Cup tie against Colombia Saturday on Sportsnet ONE starting at 1 p.m. EST / 4 p.m. PST

“It certainly wasn’t the best tennis that I ever played but I am happy with the way I competed,” said the 24-year-old Pospisil. “I played really well on the big points. “The court here in Halifax is very, very fast, which favours my serve, but also makes it difficult to set up points. But I managed to adjust, and that’s why I felt really happy after this first win”

Raonic dominated his match with a powerful serve and forehand. Raonic finished Gonzalez off in one hour 45 minutes with 30 aces to the Colombian’s one.

“Canada is a very difficult opponent” said Colombian captain Mauricio Hadad. “Both our players had their chances, particularly Santiago, but Pospisil came up with some big serves and huge forehands in the most important moments of the match.”

Raonic was so focused on doing well and winning second point for Canada today that he wasn’t even bothered with the fact that the radar gun that measures the speed on the serve wasn’t working properly.

“I was serving quite well today despite some problems earlier in the match, and I know that this can be demoralizing for my opponents,” said Raonic. “I was really motivated to do well today, although my performance was probably at a B-plus level.”

Martin Laurendeau, the captain for Canada, praised both his players.

“It was a good day at the office. Two wins without losing a set, against solid team is very satisfying.” said Laurendeau. “But we still have to win one more point. It can happen on Saturday in doubles, but Colombians are a very good team. We have to play well again”

Fast surface at the Halifax Metro Centre favours Canadian players who are used to hard courts and playing indoors.

“But doubles is a different story, there is no rallies, and if you are returning well and can finish the point the big serve is not a deciding factor” said Laurendeau.

The best-of-five tie continues Saturday with Pospisil and Toronto’s Daniel Nestor facing Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in doubles. On Sunday, Raonic plays Giraldo while Pospisil takes on Gonzalez.

Frank Dancevic of Niagara Falls, Ont., is Canada’s spare.

The winner of the tie moves into the elite World Group next season. Canada is looking to reclaim its World Group spot after a first-round loss to Japan earlier this year.

A loss to Colombia would relegate the Canadians to Americas Zone Group I for the first time since 2011.

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