After consecutive 10-8 wins in the fifth by Canada, the homestanding Serbs suddenly find themselves in a 2-1 hole entering the final day of the their semifinal Davis Cup clash in Belgrade.
Friday, following a brisk straight set win by US Open runner-up Novak Djokovic, Milos Raonic stunned Serbian No. 2 Janko Tipsarvic 10-8 in the final set to level the tie.
Then today in doubles, more heartbreak for the homers as the Serbian team of Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac let go a mini-break lead in the fourth set breaker only to lose in the fifth to Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil 6-7(6), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5), 10-8.
The 4-hour, 20-minute concluded with Zimonjic getting broken following Pospisil serving more bombs to give Canada the surprising 2-1 lead.
“When all four players are playing well it’s always going to come down to a few points and we were fortunate to serve it out after carving out a break in the penultimate game of the match,” the 23-year-old Pospisil said.
Attention now turns to Sunday’s reverse singles which puts Raonic against Djokovic and then if Novak wins it’s Tipsarevic-Pospisil for the spot in the finals.
“The only positive is that both Raonic and Pospisil will be feeling the effects of their exertions and that gives us the confidence that we can came out on top in this sizzling match-up with the Canadians,” Serb captian Bogdan Obradovic.
“They were calmer at crunch time and a little bit luckier, we are behind but still optimistic that Novak and Janko can turn this around in tomorrow’s reverse singles.”
Raonic was gimpy on Friday with an ankle injury while Pospisil is coming off a four hour emotional win. And Tipsarevic is a question mark as the former Top 10 player is having a dreadful season, but a victory Sunday would surely salvage his year.
The winners will meet the Czech Republic in the mid-November finals. The Czechs routed the visiting Argentines 3-0 losing just one of 10 sets played in Prague.
Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek, who each won their singles yesterday, teamed to clinch the doubles today.
“Everything was in the right place, we didn’t drop a serve and we were taking out chances,” said Berdych. “There was not many easy games for the opponents which was important to us because you can put pressure [by taking] your chances. It was all perfect, [we worked] well [together]. When it was tough games we saved it pretty good with pretty tough shots. We played one of [those] very good matches we [can] play together.”
It’s the second straight year and the third time in five years for the Czechs in the finals.
In the World Group playoffs, paced by two wins from Rafael Nadal Spain is back into the World Group after a 3-0 win over the Ukraine. The Netherlands and Switzerland have also advanced.
Among those still undecided include Andy Murray’s British team which is 2-1 up on Croatia and Lleyton Hewitt’s Aussies who are 2-1 ahead in Poland.
The full results:
WORLD GROUP SEMIFINALS
CANADA leads SERBIA 2-1
Venue: Belgrade Arena, Belgrade, SRB (clay – indoor)
Novak Djokovic (SRB) d. Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 62 60 64
Milos Raonic (CAN) d. Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) 57 63 36 63 108
Daniel Nestor/Vasek Pospisil (CAN) d. Ilija Bozoljac/Nenad Zimonjic (SRB) 67(6) 64 36 76(5) 108
Novak Djokovic (SRB) v Milos Raonic (CAN)
Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) v Vasek Pospisil (CAN)
CZECH REPUBLIC defeated ARGENTINA 3-0
Venue: O2 Arena, Prague, CZE (hard – indoor)
Radek Stepanek (CZE) d. Juan Monaco (ARG) 76(3) 63 62
Tomas Berdych (CZE) d. Leonardo Mayer (ARG) 64 46 63 64
Tomas Berdych/Radek Stepanek (CZE) d. Carlos Berlocq/Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 63 64 62
Tomas Berdych (CZE) v Juan Monaco (ARG)
Radek Stepanek (CZE) v Leonardo Mayer (ARG)
WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS
SPAIN defeated UKRAINE 3-0
Venue: Caja Magica, Madrid, ESP (clay – outdoor)
Fernando Verdasco (ESP) d. Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) 36 64 64 62
Rafael Nadal (ESP) d. Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 60 60 64
Marc Lopez/Rafael Nadal (ESP) d. Denys Molchanov/ Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 62 67(6) 63 64
Rafael Nadal (ESP) v Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR)
Fernando Verdasco (ESP) v Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR)
NETHERLANDS defeated AUSTRIA 3-0
Venue: MartiniPlaza, Groningen, NED (clay – indoor)
Robin Haase (NED) d. Oliver Marach (AUT) 64 63 61
Thiemo de Bakker (NED) d. Jurgen Melzer (AUT) 57 75 57 64 61
Robin Haase/Jean-Julien Rojer (NED) d. Julian Knowle/Oliver Marach (AUT) 46 63 64 75
Robin Haase (NED) v Jurgen Melzer (AUT)
Thiemo de Bakker (NED) v Andreas Haider-Maurer (AUT)
GREAT BRITAIN leads CROATIA 2-1
Venue: Stadion Stella Maris, Umag, CRO (clay – outdoor)
Andy Murray (GBR) d. Borna Coric (CRO) 63 60 63
Ivan Dodig (CRO) d. Daniel Evans (GBR) 63 62 63
Colin Fleming/Andy Murray (GBR) d. Ivan Dodig/Mate Pavic (CRO) 63 62 67(6) 61
Ivan Dodig (CRO) v Andy Murray (GBR)
Borna Coric (CRO) v Daniel Evans (GBR)
SWITZERLAND defeated ECUADOR 3-0
Venue: Patinoire du Littoral, Neuchatel, SUI (hard – indoor)
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) d. Emilio Gomez (ECU) 64 63 63
Marco Chiudinelli (SUI) d. Julio-Cesar Campozano (ECU) 36 61 63 76(7)
Michael Lammer/Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) d. Emilio Gomez/Roberto Quiroz (ECU) 63 64 36 67(7) 64
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) v Julio-Cesar Campozano (ECU)
Marco Chiudinelli (SUI) v Emilio Gomez (ECU)
GERMANY leads BRAZIL 2-1
Venue: Ratiopharm Arena, Ulm/Neu Ulm, GER (hard – indoor)
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) d. Rogerio Dutra Silva (BRA) 63 75 64
Florian Mayer (GER) d. Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) 64 61 62
Marcelo Melo/Bruno Soares (BRA) d. Daniel Brands/Martin Emmrich (GER) 63 64 64
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) v Thomaz Bellucci (BRA)
Florian Mayer (GER) v Rogerio Dutra Silva (BRA)
AUSTRALIA leads POLAND 2-1
Venue: Torwar Hall, Warsaw, POL (clay – indoor)
Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) d. Lukasz Kubot (POL) 61 63 62
Bernard Tomic (AUS) d. Michal Przysiezny (POL) 75 76(1) 64
Mariusz Fyrstenberg/Marcin Matkowski (POL) d. Chris Guccione/Nick Kyrgios (AUS) 57 64 62 67(5) 64
Lukasz Kubot (POL) v Bernard Tomic (AUS)
Michal Przysiezny (POL) v Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)
ISRAEL leads BELGIUM 2-1
Venue: Lotto Arena, Antwerp, BEL (clay – indoor)
Steve Darcis (BEL) d. Dudi Sela (ISR) 61 62 62
Amir Weintraub (ISR) d. Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) 63 26 67(2) 76(4) 64
Jonathan Erlich/Andy Ram (ISR) d. Steve Darcis/Olivier Rochus (BEL) 63 57 16 75 63
Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) v Dudi Sela (ISR)
Steve Darcis (BEL) v Amir Weintraub (ISR)
COLOMBIA leads JAPAN 2-1
Venue: Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo, JPN (hard – outdoor)
Kei Nishikori (JPN) d. Alejandro Falla (COL) 63 64 64
Santiago Giraldo (COL) d. Go Soeda (JPN) 64 36 75 36 61
Juan-Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah (COL) d. Tatsuma Ito/Yuichi Sugita (JPN) 61 62 61
Kei Nishikori (JPN) v Santiago Giraldo (COL)
Go Soeda (JPN) v Alejandro Falla (COL)
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