Spain v Canada set for Davis Cup final

Published by Tennismash / Reuters / AP

Spain's Rafael Nadal (L) and Feliciano Lopez celebrate victory in the final double rubber against Great Britain in the Davis Cup semifinals in Madrid. (Getty Images)
Spain and Canada both come through enthralling semifinals to set up a clash in the final of the 2019 Davis Cup in Madrid.

Spain defeated Great Britain 2-1 on Saturday night in Madrid to set up a Davis Cup final against Canada.

Rafael Nadal and Feliciano Lopez combined in the decisive doubles rubber and saved four set points in the second set to beat Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski 7-6(3) 7-6(8) before a packed crowd at the Caja Magica.

Earlier on Saturday, Canada beat Russia 2-1 in a thrilling tie to advance to its first Davis Cup final.

Nadal made it 27 Davis Cup singles wins in a row to draw Spain level with Great Britain and send their tie to a decisive doubles rubber.

The world No.1 saw off Dan Evans 6-4 6-0 after Kyle Edmund gave Britain the perfect start by beating Lopez — a very late substitute for Pablo Carreno Busta — 6-3 7-6(3).

Canada clinches victory

Denis Shapovalov was in disbelief while captain Frank Dancevic admitted he almost blacked out as Canada advanced to the deciding match.

The 20-year-old Shapovalov teamed up with Vasek Pospisil to win the deciding doubles rubber against Russia’s Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov and seal a 2-1 victory.

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The singles rubbers saw Rublev beat Pospisil before Shapovalov levelled the tie at 1-1 with a three-set win over Khachanov.

Shapovalov and Pospisil — the latter ranked 150th after missing six months this year because of back surgery — held their nerve after the tie boiled down to a third-set tiebreak.

After winning 6-3 3-6 7-6(5) the two danced for joy as several hundred Canadian fans roared their approval.

“I don’t think any of us expected that we could get this far,” Shapovalov said.

“We knew we have a great team but you have to have a little bit of luck on your side and just play some ridiculous tennis and play at a ridiculous level. I think we just absolutely played ridiculous tennis.

“I’m super stoked to be in the final. It’s one of my dreams, you know, to play in the Davis Cup final.”

With Milos Raonic injured and another of Canada’s young guns, world No.21 Felix Auger-Aliassime, unable to play a match so far this week, Dancevic has had to rely on a two-man team.

After the latest thrilling tie at the revamped Davis Cup, Dancevic said it had been hard to sit on the chair and watch.

“When I was sitting there on match point, my heart was beating so fast, I was actually starting to black out,” he said.

“I was trying to control my breathing and just telling myself to breath slowly, stay calm… it’s an amazing feeling having your guys perform like this and put 110 per cent on the court.”

France, Serbia awarded 2020 Davis Cup wildcards

Meanwhile, France and Serbia have been given wildcard entries for the 2020 Davis Cup Finals, the International Tennis Federation announced.

They will join the four semifinalists from this year’s inaugural revamp: Britain, Canada, Russia and Spain.

Serbia lost to Russia in the quarterfinals, while France were eliminated in the group stage.

The teams set to compete at the 2020 qualifiers are the fifth to 18th placed teams from this year’s Davis Cup Finals and the 12 2019 Group I winners.

The draw for the qualifiers will be on Sunday in Madrid.

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