Canada has proved to be a two man dream team so far at the Davis Cup finals that is being played on an indoor hard court at the Caja Magica venue in Madrid. Vasek Pospisil and Denis Shapovalov have played all ties for their country including both singles and doubles. That continued Thursday evening as they combined to beat a fighting Australian team 2-1 clinching the doubles tie after being level at 1-1 after the singles.
Pospisil gave them the lead after beating John Millman 7-6(7), 6-4. Pospisil who played his aggressive game style attacked the net when needed to put pressure and managed to take the lead after saving setpoint in the tie breaker. The Canadian is only ranked at 150th due to various injury issues but has adjusted well to the speed of the surface which aids his big hitting style. He won the match to give Canada the lead.
In the second match, Shapovalov appeared to be in control against Alex de Minaur but the Australian turned the match around with a courageous fight back that saw him come back from a set down and also from a break down in the deciding set as well. De Minaur finally clinched a close encounter 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the battle of youngsters both ranked in the Top 20. Later Pospisil and Shapovalov won the doubles tie 6-4, 6-4 over John Peers and Jordan Thompson. This was the first ever win for Canada over Australia in Davis Cup having lost their nine previous meetings. They had earlier clinched a first ever win over United States as well.
Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt later said that Nick Kyrgios had pulled out with a recurrence of a collarbone injury. He added that his team had given it their all and were feeling hurt with the close defeat.
Novak Djokovic clinched a quarterfinal spot for Serbia when he beat Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-3. Djokovic broke once in the first set and twice in the second set to win in straight sets. The World No.2 continued his good form having previously won in straight sets against Yoshihito Nishioka in the Japan tie the previous day as well. Earlier Filip Krajinovic came up with a surprise win over Jo Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 7-6(5). France got a consolation win when their fancied doubles pairing of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut beat Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki 6-4, 6-4. Serbia will now play the best placed runners up Russia who finished behind Spain in their group. Group B winners Spain will face the next best runners up Argentina.
The quarterfinal line up was set when six group winners were joined by the two best runners up. Germany won Group C beating Chile 2-1 with their doubles team Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies getting the crucial win over Marcelo Tomas Barrios and Alejandro Tabilo after the teams were level at 1-1 after the singles. Phillip Kohlschreiber beat Nicolas Jarry 6-4, 6-3 while Cristian Garin levelled the tie with a 6-7 (3), 7-6 (7), 7-6 (8) win over Jan-Lennard Struff.
Germany next faces Group E winners Great Britain who overcame Kazakhstan 2-1. Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski got past Alexander Bublik and Mikhail Kukushkin 6-1, 6-4 in the deciding doubles rubber. Kyle Edmund had given them the lead beating Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-3. Bublik had evened the tie beating Daniel Evans 5-7, 6-4, 6-1. The remaining three quarterfinal ties will be played on Friday with the semi-finals and finals over the weekend. Spain could face Serbia in the final which would pit the home favourite Rafael Nadal against Djokovic.