Spain will face Canada in Sunday's Davis Cup final after Rafael Nadal and Feliciano Lopez edged the hosts past Great Britain.

A gripping semi-final saw the singles split and the tie came down to drama in the doubles on Saturday.

The Spanish duo, in front of a partisan crowd in Madrid, survived a major test as Nadal and Lopez needed two tie-breaks to fend off Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski.

With Andy Murray roaring on the British team from courtside, his older brother and Skupski pushed Nadal and Lopez through two intense sets before falling just short, losing 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (10-8).

The British pair had set points to take it to a decider, but Spain, and Nadal in particular with one sublime overhead after a brilliant reach, produced their best when the pressure was at its greatest.

It was always likely Britain would need Kyle Edmund to win his singles rubber and he duly delivered with a 6-3 7-6 (7-3) win against Lopez – a late stand-in for the injured Pablo Carreno Busta.

But Nadal coasted to a 6-4 6-0 beating of Dan Evans, who tailed off after putting up a valiant effort in the first set against his more illustrious opponent.

And after the late-night doubles joy, with the contest finishing well after midnight, Nadal said: "I think we played a great match. 'Feli' served great the whole match and at important moments he did everything well.

"Thank you very much to Feli and the rest of the team."

Lopez said: "There was a lot of drama today on the court. We are very pleased we somehow managed to play those points in a very good way.

"It was a lot of drama but this is what you expect when you play this kind of match. I think we have a very good opportunity tomorrow to lift this cup."

Earlier, Canada reached the Davis Cup final for the first time in their history by winning a similarly thrilling tie against Russia.

Denis Shapovalov kept Canada in with a chance by beating Karen Khachanov 6-4 4-6 6-4 after Andrey Rublev overcame Vasek Pospisil 6-4 6-4.

And the Canadian duo defeated their Russian rivals 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-5) in a thrilling deciding doubles rubber.

Canada won a thrilling tie against Russia to seal a place in the Davis Cup final for the first time on Saturday.

Russia prevailed in a deciding doubles tie-break in an epic contest with Serbia a day earlier but were unable to repeat the trick as Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil made history for Canada.

The duo secured a 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-5) triumph over Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov in Madrid, despite Pospisil having received treatment on a shoulder injury prior to the final set.

It marked the culmination of a memorable tussle, in which Russia struck first when Rublev earned a fourth singles victory of the week with a 6-4 6-4 win over Pospisil.

That meant Shapovalov had to defeat Khachanov to keep Canada's hopes alive and things were not looking good when the Russian raced into a 4-1 lead.

Shapovalov rallied brilliantly to take the opener, but succumbed when serving to stay in the second at 5-4 down.

A tense decider went the way of Shapovalov, who celebrated a 6-4 4-6 6-4 victory in a match featuring 73 unforced errors.

Spain or Great Britain, who contest the other last-four tie, await in the final.

Spain will face Great Britain in the Davis Cup semi-finals but Serbia's hopes of glory in the tournament came to a tearful end in Madrid on Friday.

With world number one Rafael Nadal in sparkling form, host nation Spain fought back after losing the opening singles rubber to defeat 2016 champions Argentina in a late finish in the capital.

Their reward is a last-four clash against a Britain squad that progressed past Germany without the need to play doubles, Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans recording respective wins over Philipp Kohlschreiber and Jan-Lennard Struff.

Edmund prevailed in straight sets to reward the decision taken by captain Leon Smith to retain the same line-up that secured qualification for the knockout stage by beating Kazakhstan.

That meant Andy Murray once again sat out proceedings, the Scot instead taking up a supportive role from close to the court as he cheered his team-mates on.

Evans had lost his previous two matches but held his nerve in a deciding tie-break against Struff, with the 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 7-6 (7-2) result securing an unassailable 2-0 advantage.

They will have to find a way to cope with Nadal on Saturday, though, after the Spaniard dazzled on home soil, crushing Diego Schwartzman in just over an hour before combining with Marcel Granollers in the decisive doubles.

Nadal and Granollers got past Maximo Gonzalez and Leonardo Mayer 6-4 4-6 6-3.

In the other half of the draw, Russia came out on top in a tight, tense doubles contest to knock out Serbia.

Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov saved three match points before eventually overcoming Viktor Troicki and Novak Djokovic 6-4 4-6 7-6 (10-8), sparking wild celebrations.

However, while a jubilant Russia will look forward to facing Canada next, there was nothing but disappointment for a Serbia squad desperate for success to reward the retiring Janko Tipsarevic's service in the competition.

Troicki offered an apology in an emotional news conference, telling the media: "We had chances to finish it. We didn't do it. I messed up in the crucial moments."

Croatia's hopes of defending their Davis Cup title took a huge early blow as they were beaten 3-0 by Russia in Madrid on Monday.

Champions a year ago, Croatia's chances of even progressing from the first stage in the 2019 Finals already look remote – with Rafael Nadal's Spain still to play in Group B.

Croatia took on Russia on centre court following the opening ceremony in a match-up that was hindered by key withdrawals ahead of the tournament.

Marin Cilic, who led Croatia to victory in 2018, missed out with injury, while Russia's Daniil Medvedev ducked out citing fatigue.

Russia dealt with the absence of their number one in far more convincing fashion than Croatia, though, with Borna Gojo comfortably eased out 6-3 6-3 by Andrey Rublev in the first of three contests.

The two remaining star names did battle next, but Russia again came out on top as Karen Khachanov rallied past Borna Coric 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4.

And then Rublev and Khachanov teamed up for a straight-sets doubles success against Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic.

Elsewhere, there was an upset as Italy went down to Canada 2-1, with both Fabio Fognini and Matteo Berrettini beaten in singles play.

Vasek Pospisil, ranked 150th in the world, defeated Khachanov at the US Open and claimed another scalp against Fognini, before Berrettini was turned over by Denis Shapovalov.

Italy sent in their two stars for the doubles, where they gained a measure of revenge over Pospisil and Shapovalov, winning in three.

Belgium survived David Goffin's awful start to his rubber to win 2-1 against Colombia.

Steve Darcis had earlier seen off Santiago Giraldo in straight sets, but Goffin fell four games behind in the opener against Daniel Elahi Galan before staging a fightback.

He won 3-6 6-3 6-3, although Colombia got on the board with a doubles comeback from Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made home advantage count as he defeated Andrey Rublev to progress into round two at the Paris Masters.

World number 35 Tsonga, who entered the final ATP Masters 1000 event of 2019 as a wildcard, proved one of the main attractions for fans on day one of the main draw and overcame Rublev 4-6 7-5 6-4 in a gruelling contest that lasted two hours and 23 minutes.

Tsonga's reward for a first victory in a Masters event in over two years is a meeting with Matteo Berrettini, who broke into the top 10 on Monday and occupies the last of two available ATP Finals spots.

Tsonga's compatriot Benoit Paire defeated Damir Dzumhur in straight sets, while Jeremy Chardy battled past Sam Querrey.

Adrian Mannarino set up a second-round tie with Rafael Nadal, while ATP Finals hopeful Alexander Zverev will go up against Fernando Verdasco, who beat Borna Coric.

There were also wins for Cristian Garin, Milos Raonic, Radu Albot, Jan-Lennard Struff and 2018 Australian Open finalist Marin Cilic.

 

TSONGA TEES UP BERRETTINI BOUT

New world number nine Berrettini sits 130 points clear of Roberto Bautista Agut in the Race for London rankings but will have to be at his best if 2008 Paris champion Tsonga can maintain the form he displayed against Rublev.

The Russian has impressed in 2019, winning in Moscow this month after victories over Dominic Thiem, Nick Kyrgios and Roger Federer over the course of the season.

His campaign came to an end with a whimper, though, as Tsonga fought back from behind to claim a first win in a Masters-level match since May 2017.

Rublev only dropped serve three times, but the second such occasion handed Tsonga set two, with an early break in the decider giving the Frenchman the chance to serve out the triumph with a first match point.

 

NADAL NEXT UP FOR MANNARINO

With Roger Federer having withdrawn from the tournament, the path looks clearer for defending champion Novak Djokovic and soon-to-be world number one Nadal to taste success.

Nadal will be taking nothing for granted against Mannarino, though, with the wildcard having made light work of NextGen ATP Finals qualifier Casper Ruud.

Two breaks in each set put Mannarino in command and he duly marched through 6-4 6-2 in one hour and 13 minutes. 

 

FRANCE'S FAN FAVOURITES PROGRESS

It was a perfect day for the French players on Monday, with all those in action making it through. Joining Tsonga and Mannarino in the second round was Chardy, who edged out fellow qualifier Querrey 5-7 6-3 7-5.

In-form Daniil Medvedev awaits Chardy, with the US Open finalist and Shanghai Masters champion aiming to sharpen up ahead of the ATP Finals.

Paire, meanwhile, will go head-to-head with French number one Gael Monfils after a 7-5 6-4 triumph over Dzumhur.

Matteo Berrettini gave his hopes of qualifying for the ATP Finals a huge shot in the arm, while Dominic Thiem benefitted from Pablo Carreno Busta's withdrawal at the Vienna Open.

Italian Berrettini ended Andrey Rublev's seven-match winning streak with a hard-earned 7-5 7-6 (7-4) triumph in Austria to book a semi-final berth.

Berrettini, who will break into the world's top 10 on Monday, is eighth in the race for a place at the end-of-season tournament in London and is 130 points clear of Roberto Bautista Agut – a last-eight loser to Reilly Opelka in Basle.

Austrian home favourite Thiem, aiming to win this tournament for the first time, will be next up for Berrettini in the last four.

World number five Thiem was leading 5-0 against Carreno Busta when the Spaniard was forced to retire.

Diego Schwartzman still has an outside chance of reaching London himself and recovered from falling 3-0 behind in the first set to defeat Karen Khachanov 7-6 (8-6) 6-2.

The Argentinian plays Gael Monfils for a spot in the final after the Frenchman earned a convincing 7-5 6-1 triumph over Aljaz Bedene. 

Monfils moves into the top 10 in the race to London, as the battle for places in the English capital heats up.

Dominic Thiem ended his Fernando Verdasco hoodoo to reach the quarter-finals of the Vienna Open in his homeland.

Top seed Thiem had lost all four matches against the experienced Spaniard before coming from behind to secure a 3-6 6-3 6-2 victory on Thursday.

The world number five will face Pablo Carreno Busta in his 11th last-eight encounter of another impressive season after recovering from a poor start.

Verdasco charged into a 3-0 lead and did not face a break point in the first set, but Thiem won 97 per cent of points on serve in the second as he forced a decider.

Thiem dominated the final set, Verdasco winning just one point on the Austrian's serve to bow out in the second round.

Andrey Rublev's hopes of winning back-to-back titles are still alive after the Russian beat Hyeon Chung 6-4 6-2.

Rublev, winner of the Kremlin Cup on home soil last weekend, will take on Matteo Berrettini, while fourth seed Gael Monfils defeated teenage wildcard Jannik Sinner 6-3 7-6 (10-8).

Diego Schwartzman accounted for Sam Querrey with a 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 7-6 (7-5) victory and Pablo Carreno Busta needed three sets to get past Mikhail Kukushkin, with Aljaz Bedene also advancing at the expense of Gilles Simon.

Andrey Rublev celebrated his 22nd birthday in style, inflicting more Moscow woe on Adrian Mannarino to clinch the Kremlin Cup on home soil.

Home favourite Rublev had failed to win a match at the tournament in six previous visits but was a comprehensive 6-4 6-0 victor over Mannarino, who was beaten by Karen Khachanov in last season's showpiece.

Rublev broke at the first time of asking and that proved enough to clinch an otherwise tight opening set.

But it was one-way traffic in the second with Mannarino – who had not dropped a set in reaching the final – fittingly giving his opponent several gifts to capitulate in a match that lasted a little over an hour.

It marks Rublev's second ATP Tour title and he will break into the world's top 25 for the first time on Monday.

Andy Murray advanced to the second round at the European Open with a straight-sets win over Kimmer Coppejans.

The former world number one triumphed 6-4 7-6 (7-4) to win a match in two sets for just the second time since August.

He was made to work hard by Coppejans, who broke Murray three times in total, including in his first two service games in the second set, but the Briton eventually prevailed in an hour and 45 minutes.

Seventh seed Jan-Lennard Struff dropped just three games in beating Gregoire Barrere, while Gilles Simon and Feliciano Lopez were among the other players to advance.

At the Kremlin Cup, home hope Andrey Rublev overcame Alexander Bublik 6-1 3-6 6-4.

After taking the opener, Rublev then lost the first five games in a row en route to losing the second set and the sixth seed was a break down in the decider only to rally and progress.

Ivo Karlovic staved off a match point and won a third-set tie-break against Aljaz Bedene to progress, along with Jeremy Chardy and Philipp Kohlschreiber, who beat Nicolas Jarry and Pierre-Hugues Herbert respectively.

Pablo Carreno Busta was the only seed in action at the Stockholm Open and he defeated John Millman 6-4 6-3, with Sam Querrey among those to also go through.

Andy Murray reached his first ATP Tour singles quarter-final for a year at the expense of Cameron Norrie and will face Dominic Thiem in the China Open.

Murray consigned recent US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini to a first-round defeat in Beijing and battled his way past fellow British player Norrie 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (4-7) 6-1 on day three.

The former world number one needed eight minutes short of three hours to win through, securing back-to-back tour-level singles successes for the first time since undergoing hip resurfacing in January.

Murray, winner of this tournament three years ago, said he felt the effects of playing two matches in as many days and welcomed the opportunity to put his feet up ahead of a showdown on Friday with world number five Thiem.

"I'm tired, I just had a sleep before coming," said Murray. "I'm really tired. That's the first time I've had to do that since I came back... It's something that I need to kind of get used to again, especially playing at this level and that intensity.

"It was a good step for me. It's great that I won the match. Whether I'd won or lost it, I was able to come out the following day and be competitive and play some good tennis. But obviously I'm happy I've got the day off tomorrow to recover."

Thiem eased to a 6-3 6-3 victory over wildcard Zhizhen Zhang, who was unable to force a single break point.

Top seed Thiem, able to seal his place in the ATP Finals if he reaches the final this week, broke twice in the first set and once in the second to advance.

Fabio Fognini and Karen Khachanov also progressed with straight-sets victories over Andrey Rublev and Jeremy Chardy respectively.

Daniil Medvedev showed no sign of suffering a US Open hangover as the top seed eased through to the quarter-finals at the St Petersburg Open.

Playing for the first time since his five-set defeat to Rafael Nadal in the final at Flushing Meadows, Medvedev brushed aside fellow Russian Evgeny Donskoy 7-5 6-3 after 76 minutes on court.

Next up for Medvedev will be another compatriot in fifth seed Andrey Rublev, who dominated in a deciding set to oust Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-1.

US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini was on court for less than an hour in his 6-1 6-2 victory against Roberto Carballes Baena, with the third seed's quest for a third title on the ATP Tour this year continuing against Belarusian qualifier Egor Gerasimov in the last eight.

However, Russia's Karen Khachanov failed to make it into the quarters, the second seed going down 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 to Joao Sousa.

There was also a shock at the Moselle Open on Thursday, as top seed David Goffin was beaten 6-3 6-2 by Pablo Carreno Busta.

Seventh-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon also exited the tournament on home soil in Metz but there was better news for his countrymen Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille, the duo recording respective victories over Pierre-Hugues Herbert (6-3 6-4) and Lorenzo Sonego (6-1 6-4).

Nikoloz Basilashvili, the second seed for the tournament, also progressed to set up a meeting with Tsonga, ousting qualifier Yannick Maden 6-2 7-6 (8-6).

 

Rafael Nadal moved into the US Open quarter-finals as Alexander Zverev again fell short on Monday.

Nadal dropped his first set of the tournament before proving too good for 2014 champion Marin Cilic in New York.

The Spanish great will be hard to stop in the bottom half of the draw, with Zverev again unable to make the most of a chance at a major.

 

NADAL GETS THE JOB DONE

Nadal faced his toughest test yet before overcoming Cilic 6-3 3-6 6-1 6-2 after two hours, 48 minutes.

The 18-time grand slam champion is well-placed to reach his fifth decider at Flushing Meadows after running away from Cilic.

Nadal hit 37 winners and 26 unforced errors, breaking Cilic six times in another impressive display.

ZVEREV FALLS BEFORE QUARTERS AGAIN

Zverev's wait for a true breakthrough at a grand slam goes on after a 3-6 6-2 6-4 6-3 loss to Diego Schwartzman, who will face Nadal.

The German has made just two major quarter-finals – at the French Open in 2018 and 2019 – and suffered his second fourth-round loss at a major this year.

Zverev played five-setters in the opening two rounds and was pushed to four in the third.

"I had some things that were bothering me because of the fall I had two days ago," he told a news conference after his loss. "I couldn't practice freely yesterday. Warm-up was tough today. My right hip and my back is very swollen because of the fall.

"But other than that, fatigue... obviously it was very tough matches, but I feel fine."

 

MONFILS, BERRETTINI SET UP SURPRISE QUARTER-FINAL

Gael Monfils needed just 86 minutes to thrash Pablo Andujar 6-1 6-2 6-2 and reach his fourth US Open quarter-final.

The 2016 semi-finalist is 2-6 in last-eight clashes at majors, but has a huge opportunity against 23-year-old Italian Matteo Berrettini.

"I play great tennis here, very great tennis. I always say that I love the atmosphere. I love the energy. The energy is very important," Monfils said.

"Every stadium I go, definitely those stadium here in New York are one of the best for my game and for my personality.

"I feel very comfortable, so I think that's why I play always great tennis here."

Berrettini moved into his first grand slam quarter-final thanks to a surprise 6-1 6-4 7-6 (8-6) victory over Andrey Rublev.

Alexander Zverev survived and Rafael Nadal cruised as four top-10 seeds incredibly suffered losses in the US Open first round on Tuesday.

Zverev looked like potentially joining the list of casualties before edging past Radu Albot in five sets at Flushing Meadows.

Nadal, meanwhile, never looked in trouble as he retained his perfect record in the opening round in New York.

However, top-10 seeds did fall as Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Roberto Bautista Agut and Karen Khachanov made first-round exits.

 

ZVEREV EDGES THROUGH

A two-time French Open quarter-finalist, Zverev's record at grand slams has been questioned and it seemed set to be a talking point again.

But, the German sixth seed managed to get past Albot 6-1 6-3 3-6 4-6 6-2 after three hours, 10 minutes.

Zverev has never been beyond the third round at the year's final major and while the draw opened up on Tuesday, he faces a tough second-round match.

The 22-year-old will meet Frances Tiafoe, who led Ivo Karlovic 6-2 6-3 1-2 when the Croatian retired.

 

NADAL UNTROUBLED

Nadal, an 18-time grand slam champion, eased past John Millman 6-3 6-2 6-2 to improve to 15-0 in the first round at the US Open.

The Spaniard was relentless and consistent, eventually converting five of 15 break points in a comfortable win.

Nadal will face another Australian, Thanasi Kokkinakis, after the 23-year-old claimed his first main-draw win at a major since 2015 by beating Ilya Ivashka 6-3 7-6 (10-8) 6-7 (4-7) 6-2.

SEEDS FALL

The fourth-seeded Thiem was not at full fitness as the Austrian bowed out to Thomas Fabbiano 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-2.

Thiem and Tsitsipas made first-round exits at Wimbledon and the US Open, the Greek going down to another young star in Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (9-7) 7-5.

Khachanov and Bautista Agut, the ninth and 10th seeds respectively, suffered shock losses.

Vasek Pospisil upset Khachanov 4-6 7-5 7-5 4-6 6-3, while Mikhail Kukushkin beat Bautista Agut 3-6 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-3.

Meanwhile, 2014 champion Marin Cilic progressed, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was beaten and Nick Kyrgios advanced in straight sets.

Flushing Meadows was abuzz with excitement at the news Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will meet in round one of the US Open.

Thursday's draw threw up an absolute humdinger of a tie between two of the greatest and most recognisable tennis stars of all time.

But there are plenty of other eye-catching matches in the first round of the final grand slam of 2019.

Below we have picked out six of the best to watch in New York.


SERENA WILLIAMS V MARIA SHARAPOVA

Undoubtedly the stand-out tie in the entire draw. There is little love lost between the two long-term foes, but the rivalry has been extremely one-sided. Sharapova's last prevailed against Williams way back in 2004 and, while the two have never faced off at the US Open, the Russian will need to roll back the years to end the drought.

ARYNA SABALENKA v VICTORIA AZARENKA

Sabalenka can be forgiven for cursing her luck at landing a daunting first-round tie with Belarus compatriot Azarenka, who she has never met in a competitive match. In a year that has seen her reach a career-high ranking of nine, a position she currently holds, a meeting with the former world number one straight out of the gate is not what she would have wanted as she aims to go beyond round four of a slam for the first time.

ALISON RISKE v GARBINE MUGURUZA

Two-time slam winner Muguruza faces a Riske-y tie in the opening round. The 29-year-old Riske has been consistently in the top 50 over the past six years and won the pair's past meeting in Tokyo in 2018.

RAFAEL NADAL v JOHN MILLMAN

On the face of it, this looks a complete mismatch, particularly as Nadal won their only competitive meeting at Wimbledon in 2017. But Australian Millman caused a mammoth upset at Flushing Meadows 12 months ago when he defeated Roger Federer to make the quarter-finals – his best result at a grand slam. He will be hoping for a repeat against three-time victor Nadal.

DENIS SHAPOVALOV v FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME

In a nice coincidence, two of Canada's finest young stars meet in a repeat of a 2018 first-round tie. On that occasion, Shapovalov consoled his good friend with a big hug after Auger-Aliassime was forced to retire in the third set with the opening two having been shared. Both men have been tipped for big futures and this one could be a cracker.

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS v ANDREY RUBLEV

Tsitsipas' season has stalled after a brilliant start to 2019 that saw him reach the Australian Open semi-finals, where Nadal proved too big of a hurdle to overcome. A first-round defeat at Wimbledon was the precursor to a difficult hard-court warm-up for the Big Apple, which saw early exits in Montreal and Cincinnati – albeit he did reach the last four in Washington. Rublev was a quarter-finalist in Cincinnati, losing only to in-form Russian compatriot Daniil Medvedev, and as a fellow star of the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals he will fancy his chances of an upset.

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