Canada split the opening day singles rubber matches in their World Group Playoffs tiebreak with Israel today.
The first match featured Vasek Pospisil who defeated Dudi Sela in a rather lengthy 5 set match, 7-6(4) 6-7(6) 6-1 6-7(2) 6-3. The momentum shifted back and forth throughout the match, most notably after Sela won the second set in a tiebreak and completely went away in the third. When Pospisil was serving well and the forehand was working well, he was able to dictate the points effectively. Sela made headway when Pospisil's game broke down, and fed off the crowd during some crucial points.
Things got a little heated during the second set when Sela thought some line calls were going against him. After losing a long rally where he thought he heard an out call for one of Pospisil's shots, Sela stormed the umpire's chair and walked halfway up the ladder to get right in his face. It was a tense moment, to say the least, and I can honestly say this was the first time I ever saw anyone climb up to the umpire to yell at him.
For Milos Raonic's return from injury he was matched up against Amir Weintraub. Raonic got off to a good start winning the first set, but we learned that he came down with a case of food poisoning a couple of days ago. This obviously did not bode well. As the match wore on, Weintraub picked up his level of play considerably. He was looking more and more energized as Raonic appeared to be running out of gas.
The second set was close, with Weintraub getting the late break to even the match at one set all. From there, Raonic couldn't get back out in front. His form fell off considerably later in the match, likely as a result of the rust Raonic accumulated during the time off. Weintraub went on to take the match in convincing fashion, 5-7 7-5 6-3 6-1. It is clear now that it will take some time before Raonic is match-tough again.
As of right now, Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil are scheduled to play the doubles rubber against Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram tomorrow. That match will start at 8AM ET on Saturday morning, and will be shown live on Sportsnet ONE.