Raonic pulls Canada even with Mexico in Davis Cup

Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., mauled Manuel Sanchez 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in Friday's second match to pull Canada even at 1-1 in their Davis Cup tie with Mexico at Metepec, Mexico.

Milos Raonic defeated Manuel Sanchez 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 to pull Canada into a 1-1 tie with Mexico in the countries' Davis Cup tie Friday in Metepec, Mexico.

The hard-serving 20-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., made short work of Sanchez on the outdoor clay court.

Raonic is ranked No. 37 in the world compared to No. 546 for Sanchez.

"I was really eager to get back on court after not playing a competitive match for a week and a half," Raonic said. "I feel really good and had a lot of confidence in my ability to come out here and play well.

"I believe in myself and the team believes in me. I'm looking forward to coming back out over the rest of the weekend and, hopefully, doing more of the same."

Earlier in the day, Mexico's Daniel Garza rallied to defeat Frank Dancevic of Niagara Falls, Ont., 2-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.

The 439th-ranked Garza clawed his way back into the match thanks to a series of unforced errors by Dancevic, ranked No. 202.

"This is Davis Cup and anything can happen," Canadian captain Martin Laurendeau said. "Rankings don't matter here.

"Garza started to feel really good and Frank gave him an opening and, all of a sudden, he was fighting his opponent, fighting the ball and fighting the crowd."

The best-of-five tie will now come down to two-out-of-three clash with the doubles match to be played on Saturday and the reverse singles on Sunday.

Raonic and Vasek Pospisil of Vernon, B.C., will take on Luis Diaz-Barriga and Miguel-Angel Reyes-Varela in doubles, while Sunday will see Raonic play Garza and Dancevic faceoff against Sanchez.

A win over Mexico will send the Canadians to a second-round pairing with Ecuador in July, while a loss would force them to play a relegation tie to keep their spot in Americas Zone Group I for 2012.