Five things we learned from Great Britain's Davis Cup win over Canada

06 Feb 2017 01:54

Great Britain defeated Canada in their Davis Cup first-round tie in Ottawa after Denis Shapovalov was defaulted for striking a ball into the eye of umpire Arnaud Gabas.

Britain move through to a quarter-final away in France in April.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at five things we learned from the match.

A MOMENT OF ANGER CAN BE VERY COSTLY

It was impossible not to feel sorry for Denis Shapovalov as he sat red-eyed in the press conference room and gave a statement of intense regret. The 17-year-old was merely letting out frustration after his serve was broken and defeat by Kyle Edmund in the deciding rubber drew closer. The force with which he struck the ball was reckless in the extreme and, unfortunately for him, it flew straight into Gabas' eye. Default was the only course of action and he will be hit with a substantial fine and, possibly, a ban. Shapovalov had previously impressed with his maturity during the week and acted as honourably as he could after the event. He will undoubtedly learn from the experience and should be allowed to get on with his career.

GREAT BRITAIN CAN COPE WITHOUT ANDY MURRAY - FOR NOW

Britain's last two Davis Cup victories have both come without the world number one. Kyle Edmund starred in Serbia last summer, with Murray travelling to Belgrade to support his team-mates, but here his absence did not prove costly. Admittedly the rankings heavily favoured Britain anyway but, as Vasek Pospisil showed with his two excellent performances in beating Edmund and Dan Evans, they can be misleading. Edmund and Evans both showed quality and maturity with their displays against Shapovalov while the doubles pair of Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot won a crucial rubber. Having been so disappointed by his display against Pospisil, it was particularly impressive to see Edmund handle the pressure of a deciding rubber against a teenager so well. But France are a different matter entirely and Britain surely have no chance without Murray.

DOM INGLOT FULLY DESERVES HIS PLACE IN THE TEAM.

Doubles specialist Inglot knows his role - to step in should Andy Murray skip a tie or not want to play doubles with his brother. So far he has been called upon four times and this was by far his most impressive performance. He was unfortunate that his first two matches were against Bob and Mike Bryan, and even though he and Jamie Murray won against Serbia last summer, the nerves were obvious. Here Inglot was the best player on the court as he and Jamie defeated a very dangerous pair in Daniel Nestor and Pospisil. It was great to see such a popular player step up and be given his dues.

VASEK POSPISIL MUST RETURN TO THE TOP 100

Watching Pospisil beat first Edmund and then Evans, it seemed inconceivable that prior to this tie he had won just 10 tour-level matches in 13 months. His ranking has plummeted from 39 at the start of last year to 133 and it was no surprise he was in tears after beating Edmund. He said in the build-up to the tie he felt he was getting back to the level he knew he could play and he certainly showed that, albeit on a lightning fast court that suited him down to the ground. The 26-year-old must use this weekend as a spur to climb back up the ladder. His attacking game is great to watch and he has a lot to offer.

DENIS SHAPOVALOV HAS A BRIGHT FUTURE

Assuming he can get over the way the tie ended, which may take some time, Shapovalov should take a lot from this tie. Not many 17-year-olds play in Davis Cup, which gives an indication of how highly Canada rate him. An intelligent teenager with his feet on the ground, he showed confidence in his tennis and was not fazed by the task ahead of him. His game, meanwhile, is truly exciting. Flashy with an unorthodox but effective one-handed backhand, Shapovalov produced enough shots of real quality to show that he has a chance of reaching the very top of the game.