22-year-old Brayden Schnur, Canada’s no. 2 player this weekend, made his Davis Cup debut on Friday afternoon in Edmonton against world no. 154 and India’s No. 1 Ramkumar Ramanathan. Schnur was initiated to Team Canada in 2014 and played his first rubber to kick-start this World Group Play-off tie.
This year Schnur has made won two Futures titles, made three ATP Challenger quarterfinals and one semifinal. Ramanathan’s season has been highlighted by his straight sets upset over Dominic Thiem earlier this season in Turkey. The 22-year-old is riding a career-high ranking this year.
Ramanathan defeated Schnur 5-7, 7-6(4), 7-5, 7-5 in 3 hours, 16 minutes to give Team India an early 1-0 lead in this Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie.
Based on experience, Ramanathan, the higher ranked of the two with a 5-3 Davis Cup singles record, was the favourite.
Putting nerves aside, it was Schnur who controlled the the first set. He went unbothered on serve while creating three break opportunities on his opponents serve. Five aces and a 100% winning rate on his second serve secured the set 7-5 in 42 minutes. Schnur continued his serving dominance through the second set, but his first double fault came in a tiebreak that costed him the set 7-6(4).
From there it was Ramanathan who began playing the big points better than Schnur. In the third set Schnur went 0/6 on break point opportunities while Ramanathan capitalized late in the set to edge ahead.
Ramanathan broke Schnur again early in the fourth set to lead 2-1 but then the Canadian came storming back to level the match and edge ahead on serve 3-2. The pair would trade breaks again late in the set but it was Ramanathan that edged ahead 6-5 and served out the win.
India leads Canada after one rubber. Canadian No. 1 Denis Shapovalov takes on India’s No. 2 Yuki Bhambri in the second rubber on Friday afternoon.