Davis Cup: Canada defeat Australia to reach semi-finals
Last Updated: 22/11/19 1:18pm
The remarkable rise of Canadian tennis continued as Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil combined to defeat Australia and become the first semi-finalists of the new-look Davis Cup.
Canada have been playing as a two-man team because of injury but Pospisil in particular has been inspired and he defeated John Millman 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 in the opening singles rubber.
Mystery surrounded the absence of Nick Kyrgios, who had played in the opening two matches but was supporting from the sidelines this time.
Captain Lleyton Hewitt later explained: "He got injured last night. We didn't really have a choice. He couldn't play. So Johnny had to step up to the plate. He had a collarbone injury."
Alex De Minaur kept Australia in contention with a 3-6 6-3 7-5 victory over Shapovalov in the battle of the young guns in front of a disappointingly small but enthusiastic crowd.
But the Australians were unable to complete the comeback, with Pospisil, who is ranked a lowly 150 after injury, and Shapovalov defeating John Peers and Jordan Thompson 6-4 6-4 to set up a clash with either Serbia or Russia on Saturday.
Serbia eased through on Thursday, following up victory over Japan with a 2-1 success against France that eliminated the top seeds.
"This is the most ideal scenario for us," said Novak Djokovic. "Winning both ties after singles and not being really pressured by the doubles.
"So we're coming into the quarters now and playing against Russia tomorrow. That's definitely one of the best quality teams here. It's going to be a big challenge."
Russia were one of the two best-placed runners-up along with Argentina, who will take on hosts Spain.
Spain will be without their number two singles player, Roberto Bautista Agut, who left the competition to return home on Thursday after his father was taken seriously ill. The Spanish federation later announced that Bautista Agut's father had sadly died.
The 31-year-old, who lost his mother suddenly last year, had been due to get married next weekend.