Team Canada won their first two singles matches against Team USA and reached the quarter-finals. Also, this was their first victory over the USA in 16 attempts.
Vasek Pospisil defeated Reilly Opelka in the first singles tie, 7-6(5),7-6(6) and the momentum was carried forward by youngster Denis Shapovalov, who defeated Taylor Fritz in straight sets, 7-6(6),6-3.
With the tie sealed, Canada pulled out of the doubles match and stirred up a controversy as the fans were aghast over this decision by their team. Speaking on this after his first match victory against Japan, Novak Djokovic commented “I don’t like that. That shouldn’t be allowed to be honest, I think everyone should be obliged to at least come out and play.”
Novak added further, “Maybe some of the players like Felix, I think he’s injured, and they wanted to rest their players for the quarterfinals and onwards.”
Even Andy Murray supported Novak Djokovic over this and felt that Canada should have played that match. “I think that when we spoke in here yesterday, I was saying I felt like one of the positive things to the way the group stages work is that all of the matches are going live, there aren’t any dead rubbers” – Muray opined further.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) had claimed that all the three Canada players were deemed unfit to play the doubles dead rubber against the USA. Team USA did defeat Italy in their final group stage tie but failed to qualify for the quarter-finals.
Team Australia too followed Canada’s way after winning their tie against Belgium in the first two singles matches and retired one game into their doubles dead rubber match. Belgium was given a 6-0,6-0 win by the organizers.
Tennis Australia tweeted that their doubles player John Peers had wrist injury concerns but their team captain Hewitt said that he had a sore elbow. Hewitt added -“It was an easy decision for me because I am not risking him before we have a quarter-final match tomorrow. He will be getting treatment tonight and hopefully, it pulls up well for tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, the quarter-finals are set and Canada is playing Australia for a place in the semis. Nick Kyrgios has been rested for the quarters as the Australian team is going with John Millman, Alex de Minaur, Jordan Thompson and John Peers.
Team Canada is looking strong with players like Vasek Pospisil, Denis Shapovalov while the rising star Felix Auger Aliassime is recovering from an ankle injury.