Canada has made history by reaching its first Davis Cup final as it continued what has been an exciting run through the historic competition for them, which this year is being played in Madrid under a new format.
It's unbelievable to see. And to clinch it like this, in the doubles, I wouldn't have it any other way Denis Shapovalov
Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil defeated Russia’s Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov 6-3 3-6 7-6(5) in the deciding doubles rubber as they pulled back from the opening singles loss which gave their opponents, Russia, first blood to set the stage for a dramatic 2-1 semi-final victory.
In the crucial final tie-break of the doubles, Canada fought back from 0-3 and 2-4 deficits and then earned themselves a minibreak to go up 6-4, converting their second match point when a Pospisil serve was returned wide.
“I’m at a loss for words,” Shapovalov said. “It’s incredible how far we’ve come this week, with me and Vasek playing on a different level.
“It’s unbelievable to see. And to clinch it like this, in the doubles, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
In Sunday’s final the Canadians will face either the hosts Spain or Great Britain who will contest the second semi-final in the late afternoon-evening slot at the Caja Magica.
Canada, who first played in the Davis Cup competition in 1913, previously reached the last four in 2013 when the team lost to Serbia 3-2.
As mentioned, the day started with Russia’s Rublev overcoming a sub-par Pospisil 6- 6-4 only for Shapovalov to immediately hit back by collecting the second singles point with a 6-4 4-6 6-4 defeat of Khachanov to level the tie.
Pospisil, ranked 150th in the world in singles after missing the first half of 2019 following off-season back surgery, had been steady throughout Canada’s Davis Cup run, winning all but one of his singles matches.
The 29-year-old recorded three major upsets at the Finals, beating No. 12 Fabio Fognini of Italy, No. 36 Reilly Opelka of the US and No. 48 John Millman of Australia this week.
“We’ve got a huge day, a historic day for us tomorrow, and we’re going to leave it all out there,” said Pospisil.
“I thought both teams played phenomenal,” Canada captain Frank Dancevic said.
“The Russians threw everything they had at us. It was just a matter of who came up with the better shots. There was no room for error today -– they went for their shots, went big in the big moments, and here we are into the final.”