. . & EVENTS
  Davis Cup quarter-final:  Canada 3, Italy 1
VANCOUVER, April 7, 2013 - Canada defeated Italy on Sunday to reach the Davis Cup World Group semi-finals.  Canada will next face Serbia, which defeated the United States on Sunday. The tie will take place September 13-15 in Serbia. Canada has never been in the world group semifinals since the current Davis Cup format began in 1981.

Canada's Milos Raonic beat Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 on Sunday, at UBC's Thunderbird Sports Centre.  The win gave Canada a 3-1 lead in the best-of-five tie.

The Canadian duo of Vasek Pospisil and veteran doubles great Daniel Nestor  fought hard in a four hour and half marathon match on Saturday to outlast the Italian tandem of  Daniele Bracciali and Fabio Fognini, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 3-6, 15-13 in Saturday's doubles rubber to give Canada a 2-1 edge.

Earlier, on Friday, Seppi beat Pospisil, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 and later in the day, Raonic defeated Fognini in straight set, 6-4, 7-6, 7-5.

The Canadian Davis Cup Team (from left to right) included, captain Martin Laurendeau, world No. 16 Milos Raonic (Thornhill, Ont.), No. 140 Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver), No. 6 doubles Daniel Nestor (Toronto) and Jesse Levine (Ottawa), who replaced injured Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls, Ont.) to make his Davis Cup debut for Canada. Filip Peliwo (Vancouver) and Adil Shamasdin (Toronto) are also in Vancouver with the team as part of an extended squad of players.

The Team Italy included: world No. 18 Andreas Seppi, No. 57 Paolo Lorenzi and No. 31 Fabio Fognini, while Daniele Bracciali took the spot of Simone Bolelli. Team Italy captain is Corrado Barazzutti.
The Davis Cup Moments
Enjoy series of  photos by Mamood Gouneili. 

Doubles proved pivotal this time. "Winning the doubles was huge," said Laurendeau. "There's a big difference between being up 2-1 and down 1-2."  With injured Dancevic pulling out, it was Pospisil chance to shine. The Canadian duo veteran Nester and the new tennis star Pospisil put the meltdown they suffered against Spain behind them and refused to go down, beating back Italian rally in a marathon match.  Thank you Vasek!

Livelier balls:
Not only did Canada have home-court advantage on a faster court (Premier indoor hard-court surface), but also had livelier balls - the Yonex Tour 1.  The less fluffy Yonex ball plays tighter and flies quicker through air, which played to the advantage of big-serving Raonic.

Coming semis:
Canada will next face world No.1 Novak Djokovic and his team of Serbians in Belgrade in September where it will be Canada's opponent's terms to dictate the terms of the competition. But there is not much Team Canada will be allowed to control this time around other than their choice of hotel.  Go Canada Go!

More . . . .
Davis Cup is the largest annual international team competition in sport with 130 nations competing. Only 16 countries entered qualify for the World Group each year.

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