Nestor gets rest

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

For Daniel Nestor, rest was best.

Considering the daunting obstacle staring at the Canadian doubles specialist -- the surging Max Mirnyi of Belarus -- Nestor's decision to retire in their Davis Cup match yesterday at the Rexall Centre made more than a bit of sense.

With Canada already having won the first match in the best-of-five World Group playoff -- Frank Dancevic beat Vladimir Voltchkov 5-7, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3 in a four-hour, one-minute marathon -- and the heavily favoured Mirnyi leading 6-7 (4), 7-5, 2-1 and up a break against Nestor, the Torontonian decided to save his strength for doubles today.

Citing a left hip injury, not to mention a bothersome left wrist after surgery in June, the lefty left the court. Nestor and Frederic Niemeyer -- 6-0 as a tandem in Davis Cup play -- will meet Mirnyi and Voltchkov today at 2 p.m. The winner will lead 2-1 heading into two singles matches tomorrow.

"I felt after the second set, 'Do I really have it in me to win this match as opposed to coming out there and winning the doubles, which I have a better chance of probably,'" Nestor said after playing his first singles match in more than a year. "I started calculating what's more important and I felt that (retiring) was the right thing to do."

A surprisingly game Nestor had four set-point opportunities against Mirnyi's serve in the second, but couldn't put the world's 27th-ranked player away.

"I had chances to go up two sets and mentally, that would have helped me a little bit and physically, too," Nestor said. "Being up two sets to love, I'd probably still be out there now. But once you lose that set, he's gaining momentum and you just start to think (today) might be more important."

Nestor said he probably won't play singles tomorrow in the final match of the tie. Instead, Niemeyer likely will face Voltchkov in what could be a winner-take-all match.

A Nestor win would have been a huge bonus. The Canadians have made no secret of their game plan -- beat the 185th-ranked Voltchkov twice in singles and win the doubles match. With Dancevic's win in front of about 2,300 noisy school kids yesterday, it's one down, two to go.

When asked if the opener was a near must-win, Dancevic said, "Absolutely. I think (Voltchkov) is a little more vulnerable than Max. It's great we got the first match under our belt. We just have to try to steamroll after this."

Voltchkov was annoyed with Dancevic for asking the trainer to come out for back massages several times in a row in the fourth and fifth sets. Voltchkov responded by asking for a massage of his own at one stage.

"At that time, I felt like it wasn't kind of going fair," Voltchkov said. "But I'm not complaining."


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