Sep 13 2013
Serbia were pegged back to 1-1 in their Davis Cup semi-final against Canada despite victory for world number one Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic brushed aside Vasek Pospisil 6-2 6-0 6-4 but Milos Raonic levelled the tie with a gruelling five-set win over Janko Tipsarevic.
The Czech Republic took a 2-0 lead over Argentina in the other semi-final after wins for Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych.
Djokovic was barely tested as he saw off world number 41 Pospisil in only an hour and 40 minutes in Belgrade.
Three aces could not keep Pospisil in the first set as the world number one forced six break points and took two of them.
He was even more dominant in the second set, dropping only 13 points in six games, and though Pospisil put up a fight in the third Djokovic put the match to bed.
Tipsarevic then broke twice to win the first set 7-5 against Raonic and the next three were each won by a single break, the two players trading blows to take the match to a deciding set.
The Serbian is a past master in five-set matches, having won his previous three this season and 18 of 26 in his career, but after the set went on serve all the way to 8-8, Raonic finally made the crucial break.
He duly served out to win 5-7 6-3 3-6 6-3 10-8 in four hours and 11 minutes.
In Prague, Stepanek took two and a half hours to complete a surprisingly straightforward 7-6 (7/3) 6-3 6-2 win over Juan Monaco.
Thirteen aces helped the veteran easily overcome a 31-place ranking gap, albeit with home advantage and on a hard court against clay specialist Monaco.
Each player broke serve twice in a hard-fought first set but Monaco could manage just one more break in the remaining two sets as Stepanek dominated proceedings.
Berdych then saw off Leonardo Mayer in four sets, 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-4.
He faced a break point while serving for the match at 5-4 in the fourth, but closed out the victory with his second match point.
The Czech number one set up his win by taking five of his six break points over the course of the match - though Mayer was also clinical until the final game and broke three times from five chances.
Elsewhere, US Open winner Rafael Nadal was in action for Spain as they went 2-0 up against Ukraine in Madrid in the World Group play-offs.
The world number two, who beat Djokovic in last week's final at Flushing Meadows, breezed through the first two sets and, despite some overdue resistance from Sergiy Stakhovsky, won 6-0 6-0 6-4. Fernando Verdasco previously beat Alex Dolgopolov by three sets to one.