Davis Cup: Raonic Nets Canada World Group Spot

Frank Doyle | Updated Sep 17, 2012


Canada Nails Down Spot in World Group

Milos Raonic continues to lead Canadian tennis in the right direction. He put a 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 beating on Izak van der Merwe on Sunday to help Canada secure a World Group spot. Canada finished off South Africa 4-1 in the Davis Cup playoff that began last week. Raonic wasn’t pleased with his earlier win last week and came out firing against van der Merwe. “I came out with more of an accomplished goal, other than winning. I came out, did a lot of things well, played on my terms and did what I wanted to do,” Raonic told reporters. “The other day I waited for him to lose to me. Today, I played.”

Milos Raonic Jumps Out To Fast Start

Raonic broke van der Merwe in the first game and then held serve throughout the opening set. The South African earned only 19 points on Raonic’s serve all day and five of those came on double-faults. Raonic trailed just once in overall games  and closed out his opponent in one hour 45 minutes. He piled up 13 aces and 24 service winners. Raonic, now ranked No. 15 in the world, is obviously the brightest young tennis star in Canada. With the 21-year-old leading the way, now the Canadians are hoping to advance past the first round in the elite World Group. “To qualify for the World Group for two straight years shows that we can consistently perform at a high level,” Canada captain Martin Laurendeau told reporters. “It was a great team effort this week, starting with the way we practiced, the way we prepared for the tie, and the way we executed and played the matches.”

Controversy Surrounded South Africa

The Canada-South Africa matchup was interesting from the get-go, even though the Canadians were heavily favoured. South Africa curiously deferred hosting obligations to Canada, which gave the Canadians home-court advantage at Montreal’s Stade Uniprix. The South Africans were also without their top two players. Kevin Anderson refused to take part in the event and didn’t travel to Montreal, while Rik de Voest withdrew before the action started with a wrist injury.

A New Era in Canadian Tennis

Before Canada secured its second berth in the 16-country World Group, it had just three total appearances in the World Group before that, so progress is evident.  The World Group starts up again in February, while the South African team is now relegated to the zone group.