Canada became the first team to make the semi-finals of the new Davis Cup on Thursday as they clinched a tense and decisive doubles rubber to defeat Australia in Madrid.
Nick Kyrgios had declared Australia capable of winning the tournament earlier this week but he played no part against Canada, perhaps due to injury, and his country crashed out in the quarters.
Canada’s Vasek Pospisil, ranked 150th in the world, was the star of the show as he beat John Millman 7-6 (9/7) 6-4 in the singles and then formed a winning team with Denis Shapovalov in the doubles, the pair beating Jordan Thompson and John Peers 6-4, 6-4.
In between, Alex de Minaur had given Australia hope of a comeback as he battled from a set down to outlast Shapovalov 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
“We just went out there and from the first point, we were just going maximum intensity, energy, focus,” Pospisil said. “Denis and I played extremely well. I think we clicked perfectly.”
A first victory in 10 meetings with Australia means Canada will face either Serbia and Novak Djokovic or Russia in the last four on Saturday, for a place in Sunday’s final.
“We’re just playing really well,” added Pospisil. “We’re in form.”
Serbia and Russia will face off on Friday morning before the other two last-eight ties featuring Great Britain against Germany and Spain versus Argentina.