Rob Soria is the Edmonton Oilers' correspondent for OurHometown.ca. Rob was born and raised in Edmonton and is the author of the Edmonton Oilers blog - OilDrop.ca. He has been a dedicated follower of the game and its history for years but his focus remains on his hometown Edmonton Oilers. If you have questions or wish to contact Rob, you can email him at email@example.com
Davis Cup - Raonic puts Canada in the driver's seat
By Rob Soria
Canada's Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic both had little trouble taking their opening leg of Canada's Davis Cup tie with South Africa. The Canadians made quick work of their South African counterparts, leaving Canada one win away from advancing to the next stage of the competition.
Edmonton - September 14, 2012 - After watching teammate Vasek Pospisil take the opening leg of Canada's Davis Cup tie with South Africa, beating Izak van der Merwein in straight sets, it was up to Milos Raonic to ensure Canada would end Day One of competition with a 2-0 lead over South Africa. The big man held up his end of the bargain, dropping Nikala Scholtz in short order, 7-5, 6-4, 7-5, moving Canada within one victory of advancing on to the next stage in the elite World Group.
With Raonic fresh off his quarter-finals loss to US Open champion Andy Murray, facing an opponent like Scholtz must have seemed like a walk in the park for the hard serving Canadian. Give the young South African credit, he managed to hold his own against the number fifteen ranked player in the world, in what was very much a "David vs Goliath" match up.
In the end, Milos was never really pushed but was made to work, which is rarely a bad thing. For a player like Raonic, who desperately wants to take that next step into the top ten in the world rankings, he has deficiencies in his game that need improving. The best way for him to accomplish that is by playing matches and working on his game. Hence playing a few extra games against an opponent he should have no trouble with, is of no real concern.
In a match that took just under two hours to complete, he gave the hometown crowd exactly what they had hoped they would be getting...a victory and an opportunity to watch that booming serve in action. He didn't disappoint on either front, as he pounded out twenty-six aces on the afternoon.
With the win, Canada will now have three cracks at grabbing the result they need, to advance on to the next stage of the competition. Prospisil will team up with eight time Grand Slam Doubles Champion Daniel Nestor, on Saturday and than close out the weekend, once again, playing alongside Raonic in Canada's final two singles matches.
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