Andy Murray's in-match commentary was a highlight on day one of the Madrid Open Virtual Pro, while Rafael Nadal made a winning start.

The Madrid Open should have taken place in the Spanish capital in May but the coronavirus pandemic forced the clay-court tournament to be postponed.

But, 16 ATP and 16 WTA Tour players swapped their racquets for PlayStation 4 controllers this week, with tennis suspended until at least mid-July.

The virtual Madrid Open got underway on Monday, with former world number one and three-time grand slam champion Murray providing plenty of entertainment.

Murray won his first match in Group 1, defeating Frenchman Benoit Paire in an eventful clash.

"Where is my player going? Where are you going?!," Murray said during the match.

"Ahh, get there! Get there!... My hands are sweating."

World number two Nadal also won his opener, overcoming Canadian sensation Denis Shapovalov 4-3 [4-3].

Nadal's video-game performance came after Davis Cup team-mate and Madrid Open Virtual Pro tournament director Feliciano Lopez joked that the 19-time major winner asked to postpone his first match.

Lopez later tweeted: "Guys, I was joking, of course... I said Rafa had a back injury from the pressure of playing on the PS4. We might need some sense of humour please!"

Elsewhere, Diego Schwartzman claimed back-to-back wins in Group 2 over David Ferrer and John Isner, while Stefanos Tsitsipas booked his spot in the quarter-finals with victories against Kei Nishikori and Fabio Fognini.

In the women's competition, Caroline Wozniacki – who retired from the WTA Tour following the Australian Open – came through both her Group 3 matches and Sorana Cirstea tops Group 2.

Daniil Medvedev's run of poor results continued at the Open 13 Marseille as he suffered a heavy straight-sets defeat to Gilles Simon.

Top seed Medvedev looked to have put his shock loss to Vasek Pospisil in Rotterdam behind him when he beat teenager Jannik Sinner in three sets to reach the last eight in the south of France.

However, he lasted just 67 minutes on court as Simon won their quarter-final in a 6-4 6-0 rout, racking up his 29th victory in Marseille, the most he has claimed at any ATP Tour event.

Simon's win sets up a semi-final with Rotterdam finalist Felix Auger-Aliassime, the 19-year-old defeating Egor Gerasimov 7-5 6-2.

Pospisil was unable to earn a second shock victory in as many weeks, losing to world number six Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5 6-3.

Auger-Aliassime will be the sole Canadian in the last four, with Denis Shapovalov joining Pospisil exiting at the quarter-final stage.

Fourth seed Shapovalov won the second set against Alexander Bublik, but was unable to complete a comeback after losing the first and was eventually defeated 7-5 4-6 6-3.

Grigor Dimitrov consigned Denis Shapovalov to another early exit with a straight-sets victory in the first round of the Rotterdam Open.

Shapovalov was beaten by fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil in his opening match at the Oden Sud de France last week after falling at the first hurdle at the Australian Open.

The world number 16 suffered another setback on Monday, going down 6-3 7-6 (7-3) to the unseeded Dimitrov.

Dimitrov was beaten by outsider Gregoire Barrere in his first match in Montpellier last week but claimed a fourth tour-level victory of the year after saving all three break points he faced against the eighth seed.

The former world number three could face another Canadian in the form of Felix Auger-Aliassime or German Jan-Lennard Struff in the second round.

Roberto Bautista Agut, the sixth seed, came from a set down to defeat Marton Fucsovics, while fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta downed Adrian Mannarino 7-5 6-7 (3-7) 6-4.

Dan Evans advanced in the final match of the opening day of the tournament, seeing off qualifier Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 7-5.

Novak Djokovic vowed to "enjoy every moment" after reaching the second round of the Australian Open on an opening day that saw seeds Denis Shapovalov and Borna Coric crash out.

Djokovic started the defence of his title with a battling 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 2-6 6-1 victory over Jan-Lennard Struff at Melbourne Park on Monday.

Losing his serve three times while dropping the third set and having to edge a close tie-break in the opener meant Djokovic spent longer than he would have hoped on court, but he relished the two-hour-and-16-minute encounter.

Asked about winning his 900th Tour-level match, the second seed said: "I'm obviously very proud of all the achievements, but at the same time I try to remind myself how grateful I am to be playing this sport at a high level at this stage of my career. 

"I can't take things for granted, I'm trying to enjoy every moment. It's a New Year resolution, to enjoy more. It's easier said than done when you're on the court.

"Especially in my position, I'm expected to win all my matches, there's a lot of pressure and emotions involved. But I try to really enjoy it, the two and half hours spent on court were a lot of fun."


SHAPOVALOV AND CORIC FALL AT FIRST HURDLE

The biggest shock of the day saw number 13 seed Shapovalov fall to a four-set defeat against Hungarian world number 67 Marton Fucsovics.

Fucsovics won 7-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 7-6 (7-3) in three hours and 13 minutes as the highly-rated Canadian crashed out.

Shapovalov lost his temper with the umpire when he was giving a code violation for racket abuse despite it not being damaged.

"I think that's a terrible call from the [umpire]," Shapovalov said. "The rule [according to] what I know is that if I break my racket, yeah you can code me, but you can't code me for slamming it.

"I'm not doing anything and it didn't impact anyone and the racket was still intact. He gave me a warning because I did it two or three times and I think that's not the way it works."

Number 25 seed Coric was eliminated in straight sets by Sam Querrey. 

The American won 6-3 6-4 6-4 as a dreadful run for Coric, which has seen him win only one of his last 10 matches, went on.
 

FEDERER AND TSITSIPAS COAST THROUGH

Roger Federer progressed in comfortable fashion, the third seed seeing off Steve Johnson 6-3 6-2 6-2 in only 81 minutes.

Johnson only forced one break-point opportunity in the match against the 20-time grand slam and did not convert it.

Sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, the ATP Finals champion and a semi-finalist in Melbourne last year, got off to a smooth start, defeating Salvatore Caruso 6-0 6-2 6-3.

 

RAIN LEAVES MATCHES UNFINISHED

Inclement weather left a host of Monday's other first-round matches incomplete, with Reilly Opelka closing in on an upset against Fabio Fognini when play was suspended at 6-3 7-6 (7-3) 1-0.

Rising star Jannik Sinner has a 2-0 lead over Max Purcell with the third set level at 4-4, while Roberto Bautista Agut was a set up against Feliciano Lopez.

Milos Raonic is one game away from a first-round win, his match against Lorenzo Giustino all-but over with the Canadian 6-2 6-1 5-2 to the good.

Denis Shapovalov would not play in the Australian Open if he felt conditions were unsafe amid continued concern over the air quality in Melbourne.

Bushfires that have ravaged Australia in recent weeks led to a smoky haze drifting over Victoria, having a significant impact on qualifying for the first grand slam of 2020.

Dalila Jakupovic had to retire from her qualifying match in distressing scenes after suffering a coughing fit during the second set against Stefanie Voegele.

Tennis Australia has since published its air quality policy, which states play will be suspended if the concentration of P2.5 particles, which can impair lung function, exceeds 200 micrograms per cubic metre.

The policy indicates there will be a discussion between medical staff and officials about whether it is advisable to play when the score is between 97 and 200.

Speaking ahead of the tournament, where he will face Marton Fucsovics in the first round on Monday, Shapovalov was asked what he would do if he believed conditions to be unsafe.

"I wouldn't play," he replied. "Obviously it's a grand slam, it's a big opportunity, but I'm 20 years old.

"I don't want to risk my life, risk my health being out there in these conditions when I can play for the next 10, 15 years.

"For my own health, if it gets bad, I just don't see what the point is. I think everyone's kind of on the same page. I don't think I've seen anyone happy with the way things are being dealt with."

On the air quality policy, he added: "They send some email and say they have professionals looking at it and they use the term 'playable'.

"For me it's just like, it's not great. You get warnings from the news telling people to stay inside, that it's not good to be outside, breathing this stuff in.

"And then you get an email from the tournament saying it's playable and you guys have to go out there and put your life in jeopardy, put your health in jeopardy.

"You see the effects on players it has right now, the last couple of days, but also you don't know what it's going to do later in our lives and how it could affect us if we're breathing this air in for two weeks."

 

Denis Shapovalov was surprisingly beaten in straight sets by 21-year-old Ugo Humbert at the Auckland Open on Friday.

A day after first and third seeds Fabio Fognini and Karen Khachanov were knocked out, second seed Shapovalov was beaten 7-5 6-4.

Humbert, who broke serve in the final game of each set, described the win as "one of the biggest of my career" as he set up a semi-final against John Isner.

The American was taken to two tie-breaks by Kyle Edmund but prevailed 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5), his 25 aces getting him over the line as he seeks a third title in Auckland.

Benoit Paire reached his first semi-final at the event, coming from a set down to beat John Millman 3-6 6-1 6-4.

The fifth seed will face Hubert Hurkacz, who spurned six second-set match points in a mammoth tie-break before eventually seeing off Feliciano Lopez 6-4 6-7 (11-13) 6-4.

At the Adelaide International, home favourite Alex Bolt was soundly beaten by Felix Auger-Aliassime, the Canadian needing just 55 minutes to win 6-3 6-0.

He will meet Andrey Rublev in the last four after the Russian battled past Dan Evans 6-4 3-6 6-3 in just over two hours.

Spanish hopes were extinguished in the quarter-finals, where Tommy Paul surprised Albert Ramos-Vinolas to win 6-3 6-4 and Lloyd Harris beat fourth seed Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3 6-3.

Rafael Nadal made up for losing his singles rubber to David Goffin by helping Spain clinch a vital doubles victory over Belgium, ensuring they joined Novak Djokovic's Serbia in the ATP Cup semi-finals.

Spain took a 1-0 lead after Roberto Bautista Agut overcame Steve Darcis' replacement Kimmer Coppejans 6-1 6-4, but Nadal was unable to seal the deal against Goffin.

Goffin claimed just his second success over the 19-time major champion, producing an efficient attacking display to take a 6-4 7-6 (7-3) triumph.

Nadal returned to Ken Rosewall Arena for the decisive doubles match alongside Pablo Carreno Busta, but they failed to convert a set point before surrendering the opener to Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen.

Spain forced a match tie-break after a video review showed Vliegen struck the ball before it crossed the net and with momentum on their side, Nadal and Carreno Busta surged to victory.

Nadal found the corner with a tremendous forehand from the baseline for the first mini-break and a double fault from Gille gave them a second. A double fault from Vliegen sent Spain through to a showdown with Australia on Saturday.

"It was tough for us it was a big change from Perth to here with not much time to adapt and the conditions today were very heavy," said Nadal after the 6-7 (7-9) 7-5 10-7 success.

"They [Belgium] have been here for 10 days, for us it's the first day. Well done to them, a great level of tennis ... We are super happy to be in the semi-finals."

Dusan Lajovic got Serbia, who received raucous backing from the crowd in Sydney, off to a great start by claiming a 6-4 6-2 victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime in an hour and 39 minutes.

Canada were consequently relying on Denis Shapovalov beating Djokovic in the second singles rubber to remain in the competition and hopes were high when he took the opening set of a heated encounter.

The world number two had to save three break points to avoid falling behind early in the second set, but his hold of serve kick-started a run that saw him reel off five straight games to force a decider.

Shapovalov received a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct after reacting to boos from the crowd by swearing, though chair umpire Carlos Bernardes later told spectators who continued to jeer the Canadian to "go home".

The 20-year-old showed tremendous character to fight back and take the match to a final-set tie-break after Djokovic jogged to the stands to provide an unwell fan with water while serving for the victory.

Djokovic raced into a 6-1 lead in the tie-break and got the job done at the fourth attempt, completing a 4-6 6-1 7-6 (7-4) triumph.

Serbia finished off a 3-0 victory when Nikola Cacic and Viktor Troicki defeated Peter Polansky and Adil Shamasdin 6-3 6-2 in just 58 minutes. They face Russia in the semi-finals.

An emotional Nick Kyrgios explained his motivations for donating to the effort fighting Australia's bushfires after helping his nation to victory over Germany at the ATP Cup.

Kyrgios beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4 7-6 (7-4) in Brisbane, sending down 20 aces after his pledge to give 200 Australian dollars to the bushfires effort for each service winner he hits in January.

Alex de Minaur – Kyrgios' team-mate at the event, who impressively came from a set down to defeat an ill-tempered Alex Zverev 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 – followed suit after Kyrgios tweeted his intention to help, while stars from other sports have also joined in.

Brisbane Heat captain Chris Lynn struck three sixes as he top-scored in his team's win over Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League on Friday, with each maximum worth $250 to the recovery effort.

"I don't really care about the praise too much. I just think we've got the ability and platform to do something like that," Kyrgios told Amazon Prime when asked about the movement he inadvertently started.

"My home town is Canberra and we've got the most toxic air in the world at the moment, so it is pretty sad. It's tough."

Having appeared choked up at that point, Kyrgios added: "I just chucked up a tweet and everyone got behind it. It is bigger than tennis.

"It's going to all the families, firefighters, animals, everyone who is losing homes, losing families. It's a real thing.

Australia completed a 3-0 Group F win after Chris Guccione and John Peers beat German doubles pair Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies 6-3 6-4.

In the section's other match, Canada were similarly emphatic against Greece, with Denis Shapovalov winning a pair of tie-breaks to best Stefanos Tsitsipas after Felix Auger-Aliassime demolished Michail Pervolarakis 6-1 6-3.

Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov then combined to win the doubles rubber against the same opponents, prevailing 6-2 6-3.

Great Britain and the United States both allowed leads to slip against Bulgaria and Norway respectively.

In Group C, Cameron Norrie beat world number 423 Dimitar Kuzmanov in three sets and Dan Evans made a fast start against Grigor Dimitrov to go a set up.

But Dimitrov prevailed 2-6 6-4 6-1 and he and Alexandar Lazarov triumphed after three tie-breaks against Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury in the small hours of the Sydney morning.

Taylor Fritz beat Viktor Durasovic 6-2 6-2 and John Isner had the USA in charge of the second singles rubber when he took the opening tie break versus Casper Ruud, only for two match points and a second breaker to go against him. He eventually lost, going down 7-5 in the deciding set.

Ruud and Durasovic then recovered from dropping the first set to beat Austin Krajicek and Rajeev Ram 10-5 in a match tie-break in Perth.

Steve Darcis and David Goffin inspired Belgium to a 3-0 Group C win over Moldova, while Daniil Medvedev's 1-6 6-1-6-3 victory against Fabio Fognini helped clinch a 3-0 victory for Russia against Italy in Group D.

The evolving world of sport means a new decade is likely to see widespread change.

With superstars like Lionel Messi, LeBron James, Roger Federer and Lewis Hamilton unlikely to be plying their trades in 2030, the stage is set for new names to come to the fore.

Omnisport's team of writers have tipped 20 20-year-olds to do just that over the next 10 years.

 

Men's football: Joao Felix

A €126m move from Benfica to Atletico Madrid made Joao Felix the second most expensive teenager in football history. His career in LaLiga is yet to truly ignite but the forward's lavish gifts are beyond doubt as he faces up to the decade when Cristiano Ronaldo will leave the stage for their native Portugal. Joao Felix is the anointed heir.

Basketball: Luka Doncic

The 2018 EuroLeague MVP and 2019 NBA Rookie of the Year, Doncic's incredible rise has continued unchecked this season – he is averaging 28.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 9.0 assists for the Dallas Mavericks. He should earn a first All-Star appearance this season and make his bow in the playoffs, where you would expect to see him featuring regularly in the coming years.

Cricket: Prithvi Shaw

Opening batsman Shaw became the youngest Indian to score a Test hundred on debut in 2018 and followed that up with a half-century in his second appearance. However, last year was one to forget for Shaw, who had injury problems before serving a six-month doping ban having taken a substance typically found in cough syrups. A first-class double hundred last month suggests he is ready to make up for lost time.

Tennis: Marketa Vondrousova

Although she was unable to win a title on the WTA Tour in 2019, Vondrousova was the runner-up at the French Open – one of three final appearances last year – and having risen to 16th in the world rankings she looks set to break the top 10 soon. The Czech's unorthodox playing style and penchant for drop shots makes her a particularly entertaining watch.

Formula One: Lando Norris

Norris enjoyed an excellent debut season in Formula One, helping McLaren to an impressive fourth place in the constructors' championship. After landing three straight points finishes to end the year, he carries momentum into 2020 and looks capable of challenging Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen over the next 10 years.

UFC: Chase Hooper

Featherweight Hooper was awarded a development deal after winning the second season of Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series in 2018 and is the youngest fighter on the UFC roster. He improved his unbeaten mixed martial arts record to 8-0-1 by stopping David Teymur in the first round of a thoroughly impressive UFC debut in December.

American football: Trevor Lawrence

The NFL is blessed with talented young quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson, but the potential star of the 2020s will not enter the league until 2021 at the earliest. Clemson's Lawrence possess the size, skill and nerve to succeed at the next level. He is still yet to lose a game in college and is one win away from back-to-back National Championships.

Sport climbing: Janja Garnbret

Sport climbing will make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 and Garnbret is a favourite for success. She successfully defended her bouldering and combined titles at last year's world championships and added gold in the lead discipline. The Slovenian's tally of 14 International Federation of Sport Climbing titles is unprecedented.

Rugby league: Tom Flegler

Front-rower Flegler enjoyed a hugely promising breakthrough year with Brisbane Broncos in 2019, featuring 23 times in his maiden campaign. He has reportedly knocked back a host of lucrative offers to remain with Brisbane in 2020 and will now aim to make an even bigger impact.

Women's football: Georgia Stanway

Vastly experienced for her age, Stanway joined Manchester City from Blackburn Rovers and made her Women's Super League debut at 16 in 2015. She won her second FA Cup with a goalscoring player-of-the-match display as City beat West Ham 3-0 in 2019's Wembley final and was the youngest member of an England squad Phil Neville led to the World Cup semi-finals. If the Lionesses are to take the next step over the coming decade, expect Stanway to play a vital role.

Rugby union: Marcus Smith

Harlequins fly-half Smith is knocking on the door for full England selection after an impressive first two years of his club career. He was man of the match in last July's win over Barbarians, which fans of Eddie Jones' side will hope is a sign of things to come over the next decade.

Golf: Matthew Wolff

The PGA Tour welcomed a host of talented rookies in 2019, but Wolff may just be the best of the bunch. A standout college player with an unorthodox swing that generates enormous power, he won last July's 3M Open in only his third professional start.

MotoGP: Fabio Quartararo

After Jorge Lorenzo, the only man to defeat Marc Marquez in a MotoGP world championship, retired, and with Valentino Rossi nearing the end of his career, fans are looking to the next generation. That group looks set to be led by Quartararo, who will ride a factory-spec Yamaha for 2020 after claiming six pole positions and seven podiums in a magnificent rookie season.

Golf: Nasa Hataoka

Already fifth in the women's world rankings, Hataoka has claimed three LPGA Tour titles in the past 18 months, after becoming the first amateur to win a major on the Japan LPGA Tour back in 2016.

Baseball: Vladimir Guerrero Jnr

Guerrero has a lot to live up to but has already shown enough to suggest he may follow his father into baseball's Hall of Fame. Having signed for the Toronto Blue Jays as a free agent in 2015, Guerrero served his time in the minors before making his debut in the Major Leagues last April. He spent the rest of his maiden season displaying the kind of power that has marked him out as a star of the future, hitting .272, mashing 15 home runs and knocking in 69 RBI. By the end of the next decade, his may well be the face of baseball.

Ice Hockey: Quinn Hughes

Hughes, who could not even debut for the Vancouver Canucks until he recovered from an ankle injury in March, is an elite defenseman who also sat top of the rookie assist chart in late December.

Swimming: Michael Andrew

This year is an Olympic one and for the first time since the 1996 Games, Michael Phelps will not be in the pool. The United States needs a new swimming hero, and the hope is that Phelps' namesake can be the next star. Andrew was the youngest US swimmer to ever turn professional when he did so at 14 and, having finished fourth in the 50 metres butterfly at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships, he appears primed to be a breakout star in Tokyo.

Tennis: Denis Shapovalov

Shapovalov finished 2019 at a career-high ATP ranking of 15th, having won his first title in Stockholm. Expect his threat at the 2020 majors to be very real.

Athletics: Sydney McLaughlin

At the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, gold in the 4x400 metres relay followed silver in the 400m hurdles for McLaughlin. Only a Dalilah Muhammad world record was enough to deny her the victory.

Boxing: Joseph Adorno

Currently plying his trade in the lightweight division, Adorno was brought up in Puerto Rico and his thunderous left hook has drawn comparisons to Miguel Cotto – the great four-weight world champion hailing from that boxing-mad island. Promoters Top Rank will look to step up Adorno's level of opposition in 2020, although anyone climbing into the corner opposite a young man boasting a 14-0 record with 12 knockouts should make sure they get well paid.

Rafael Nadal and Roberto Bautista Agut sealed Spain's sixth Davis Cup triumph at the expense of Canada's young guns on an emotional Sunday at a raucous La Caja Magica.

Bautista Agut shed tears on court after beating 19-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 in the first rubber just three days after the death of his father.

The 31-year-old showed incredible character to return for the final and rose to the occasion with the backing of a partisan crowd in Madrid.

Nadal then took centre stage on a highly charged evening, defeating battling 20-year-old Denis Shapovalov 6-3 7-6 (9-7) to secure a first Davis Cup triumph in eight years for the hosts as Canada failed to spoil the party in their first final.

Victory for Nadal in his homeland meant there was no need to battle it out in a deciding doubles rubber and put the icing on the cake at the end of another glorious season, which saw him win two grand slams to take his incredible tally to 19.

The world number one served superbly from the start but had to bide his time to force a break.

Shapovalov fended off break points in each of his first two service games before his fellow left-hander took a 4-2 lead with a rasping cross-court inside-out forehand winner.

A fired-up Nadal hopped beyond the baseline in delight after a return from Shapovalov sailed long to end a first set in which the home favourite lost just three points behind his sensational serve.

Shapovalov found another level in the second set, showing his quality with searing winners off both wings, but Nadal roared after saving the first break points he faced before levelling at 3-3.

Nadal saved a set point in a tie-break that always looked to be on the cards and dropped to the court in delight after Shapovalov drilled a forehand wide to spark jubilant scenes.

Auger-Aliassime earlier made a mammoth 45 unforced errors as Bautista Agut's experience shone through, the world number nine raising the roof when he took the opening-set tie-break after his teenage opponent overcooked a couple of wild groundstrokes.

Bautista Agut continued to glide around the court with fluency and opened up a 3-0 lead in the second set, then went 4-2 up courtesy of another errant Auger-Aliassime forehand after he had got back on serve. 

The composed Bautista Agut refused to allow Auger-Aliassime - who has been sidelined with an ankle injury - a way back and pointed to the sky after a hold to love made it 1-0 Spain.

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.

Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil sent Australia packing as Alex de Minaur's singles victory proved fruitless in the first Davis Cup quarter-final.

With Pospisil defeating John Millman 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 in the opening match, Australia relied on a comeback from De Minaur to haul themselves level.

Next Gen ATP Finals runner up De Minaur – Australia's star player in Thursday's tie with Nick Kyrgios sitting out – did it the hard way, coming from a set down to beat Shapovalov 3-6 6-3 7-5 and tee up a deciding doubles encounter.

But Canada were too good in the doubles – Pospisil picking up where he left off while Shapovalov bounced back from his loss in style via a 6-4 6-4 win.

A break of serve in the opening game against Australian counterparts Jordan Thompson and John Peers paved the way for the pair to claim the first set with ease.

Thompson and Peers looked set to take the match all the way when they earned a 3-0 lead in set two, only for Shapovalov and Pospisil to restore parity before pushing on to seal progression with their first match point.

Serbia play Russia, Argentina face Spain and Great Britain go up against Germany in the other quarter-final ties, which will be played on Friday.

Rafael Nadal helped Spain to an opening win over Russia at the Davis Cup Finals, while Canada stunned the United States on Tuesday.

After Andrey Rublev had edged Roberto Bautista Agut in Madrid, Nadal overcame Karen Khachanov 6-3 7-6 (9-7).

The 19-time grand slam champion did not play the doubles, but Marcel Granollers and Feliciano Lopez got the job done in a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) victory over Rublev and Khachanov.

Spain will face Croatia, who lost their opener to Russia, in Group B on Wednesday.

Canada created history as they reached the quarter-finals from Group F with a first ever win over USA.

The meeting of the two north American neighbours was over after the two singles matches, with Vasek Pospisil putting Canada ahead when he defeated Reilly Opelka via two tie-breaks.

Denis Shapovalov then sealed victory for his country – their first in 16 attempts against USA – as he recorded a 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 result against Taylor Fritz.

Argentina opened Group C with a comfortable 3-0 triumph over Chile.

Guido Pella and Diego Schwartzman defeated Nicolas Jarry and Cristian Garin respectively, both in straight sets, while the doubles pairing of Maximo Gonzalez and Leonardo Mayer sealed the sweep.

Also on Tuesday, France overcame Japan 2-1 in Group A, Kazakhstan were too good for Netherlands 2-1 in Group E and Australia swept aside Colombia 3-0 in Group D.

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.

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