17 September, 2017
Ramkumar, ranked 154th, tamed the debutant 5-7 7-6 (4) 7-5 7-5 in the first singles, which was also a marathon match lasting three hours and 16 minutes. Asked to explain change in nomination for the doubles rubber on Saturday, the Indian captain said, "Doubles we feel, this is our best team keeping in mind Saketh not yet physically ready to play a tough five set match".
"It was a lot of tennis and a lot of ups and downs". But what he has done this year ... he's really taken it to a new level this summer, and he's been able to sustain it. Denis Shapovalov took a quick 4-2 lead but Bhambri fought back and won the third set, even saving a match point along the way. Shapovalov was 20-2 on aces and 45-21 on total winners.
Shapovalov is now ranked 51st in the world, while Bhambri is 157th.
"It's been a insane last two months", he said. I have a lot of confidence right now and it helps me to win tough matches like today.
The Canadians now lead the tie 2-1, with a pair of singles matches wrapping up play on Sunday.
Earlier, India were given a flying start in Edmonton by Ramkumar Ramanathan when he defeated Brayden Schnur 5-7, 7-6 (4), 7-5, 7-5. Alas, he did it his way, dropping the third and fourth sets to stretch this one well past midnight Eastern, as a Northlands Coliseum crowd of around 6,000 dwindled by more than half by the time the final service ball was tossed. "Take the foot off the gas pedal off and put in lot of returns", Shapovalov said after the match. "It's something I will learn from, when to give energy in these long matches". I believed in myself in the fourth (set).
On their young shoulders was the pressure of extending Canada's streak of consecutive appearances of qualifying for the 16-team World Group of the 117-year-old event also known as the World Cup of Tennis.
Tackling Vasek Pospisil, the other singles player named by Canada, should not be a big problem for Yuki and Ramkumar.
Schnur and Bhambri will play in the second singles match on Sunday. "I'm happy to be part of the Davis Cup team".
The winning nation will be competing in the World Group for 2018, with the losing country to be relegated to its respective zonal group. With wins over Rafael Nadal and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in August and a run to US Open fourth round as a qualifier, Shapovalov was expected to steamroll through the lowly-ranked Indians.