Milos Raonic secures Canada's spot in Davis Cup
Canada's Milos Raonic returns a volley against South Africa's Izak van der Merwe in Davis Cup action at Stade Uniprix tennis stadium at Jarry Park in Montreal, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Peter McCabe)
Published Sunday, September 16, 2012 3:31PM EDT
MONTREAL--Canada has secured a spot in the Davis Cup World Group.
Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., defeated Izak van der Merwe 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 in the first of two singles matches Sunday, clinching the best-of-five series over South Africa.
Frank Dancevic of Niagara Falls, Ont., defeated Nikala Scholtz 6-2, 6-2 in the final singles match with the World Group spot already locked up.
Raonic and Vasek Pospisil won their respective singles matches in straight sets Friday, but the Canadians missed a chance to clinch Saturday at Uniprix Stadium when Toronto's Daniel Nestor and Vancouver's Pospisil lost to van der Merwe and Raven Klaasen in doubles.
Raonic got off to a quick start Sunday against van der Merwe, breaking the South African in the opening game. His renowned serve was once again his strength, as the 21-year-old held serve in each game of the first set.
His return game helped him stake out a 3-0 lead in the second set, breaking van der Merwe twice in the middle frame.
Raonic trailed just once in overall games, van der Merwe picking up the first one of the third set.
As each side held serve in the clinching set, van der Merwe nearly broke the streak in the final game, climbing back from a 40-15 deficit to force a deuce. But Raonic stayed strong for the advantage for the match point.
The Canadian finished the match, which lasted just one hour 45 minutes, with 13 aces and 24 service winners.
The victory advances Canada into the elite World Group, while South Africa is relegated to zone play.