Canada eyes keeping Davis Cup World Group spot

Denis Shapovalov of Canada serves to Alexander Zverev of Germany during the semifinals at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament Saturday

"Boys played with a lot of heart the plan was to fight regardless of the score and Ram swung a losing battle and Yuki nearly did too", said India captain Mahesh Bhupathi. The 18-year-old also scalped Juan Martin Del Potro and Jo Wilfred Tsonga in his astonishing rise in world tennis in the last few months.

Ramkumar Ramanathan fought tooth and nail to clinch a 5-7, 7-6 (4), 7-5, 7-5 win over Brayden Schnur and put the Indians up 1-0.

Yuki Bhambri continued to play hard, but he once again failed to hold serve and Shapovalov looked set to seal a straight sets victory.

Yuki stretched teenage sensation Shapovalov right to the limit, in a tie that just fell short of four hours.

Denis Shapovalov defeated Yuki Bhambri 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-7 (8), 4-6, 6-1 in a marathon match that lasted almost four hours as Canada leveled the Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie 1-1 on Friday.

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On the other hand, Bhambri had won his only other five-setter in Davis Cup five years ago in similar fashion, when he overcame a two-set deficit against New Zealand's Daniel King-Turner in Chandigarh. However, with the second set at 3-3, it was Shapalov who finally got the break and took an important 4-3 lead.

The best-of-five tie marks the first ever meeting between Canada and India. And what we watched Friday night will make Sunday's single games no place for a nervous Canadian, regardless. "We only had best-of-threes in college". "I have had a lot of success and playing some great tennis. That was the most fun I've had in tennis with that crowd", he said.

Winning the first set 7-6 (2) in a tiebreaker, Shapovalov then turned on the jets and won the next set 6-4, before falling 7-6 (6) in the third and then 6-4 in the fourth.

Shapovalov eventually won the second set 6-4, putting Canada in a good position to level the tie.

But the 202-ranked Canadian was hit by a crisis of confidence when Ramkumar won the second set and pulled away with the third. India's non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi was forced to pair Rohan Bopanna with Purav Raja instead of Myneni, whose fitness to last five sets has come under scanner. He wasted six more in the tenth game of the third set and converted only two of four in the fourth set to lose the rubber in three hours 16 minutes.