Tennis: Canada beat Russia to reach first Davis Cup final

AFP , Saturday 23 Nov 2019

Canada's Denis Shapovalov, right, and his partner Vasek Pospisil celebrate after winning their Davis Cup semifinal doubles match against Russia's Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev, in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. (Photo: AP)

Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil led Canada to their maiden Davis Cup final with victory in a deciding doubles rubber against Russia in Madrid on Saturday.

The 20-year-old Shapovalov had drawn Canada level by beating Karen Khachanov after Andrey Rublev's win over Pospisil in the opening match.

The Canadian pair then edged out Khachanov and Rublev in a dramatic deciding-set tie-break to set up a final clash against either Britain or hosts Spain on Sunday.

It was their third Davis Cup semi-final, after previous last-four defeats in 1913 and 2013.

They secured a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5) victory on their second match point to finish a tie which lasted six and a half hours.

Earlier, Shapovalov had seen off Khachanov, Russia's leading player in the absence of world number four Daniil Medvedev due to exhaustion, in a dramatic match.

The left-handed rising star, who reached his maiden Masters final in Paris earlier this month, saved three successive break points while serving for the match.

The in-form Rublev had made it four singles wins from as many matches this week by brushing aside Pospisil 6-4, 6-4.

Later on Saturday, Rafael Nadal's Spain take on Britain in the second semi-final.

British captain Leon Smith again decided to leave out three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray, instead selecting Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans for the two singles matches.

Edmund will face Pablo Carreno Busta before Evans takes on world number one Nadal and Jamie Murray teams up with Neal Skupski to play Marcel Granollers and Feliciano Lopez.

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