BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia reached the Davis Cup final Sunday after Janko Tipsarevic won the decisive singles match against Vasek Pospisil to clinch a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Canada.
Tipsarevic beat Pospisil 7-6 (3), 6-2, 7-6 (6) to send Serbia into the final against the Czech Republic, which beat Argentina at home. By winning the doubles on Saturday, Canada had moved within one victory of reaching its first Davis Cup final. But in the opening singles Sunday, top-ranked Novak Djokovic beat Canada's Milos Raonic 7-6 (1), 6-2, 6-2 to tie the series at 2-2.
Canada had never made the semis before, while Serbia won the event in 2010. The final will be played in Serbia in November. Tipsarevic's straight-set victory was more dramatic than the score suggested. The Serb served for the match while leading 5-3 in the third set, and then wasted four match points in the tiebreaker. He finally clinched the victory when Pospisil fell on the clay court while trying to reach a passing shot, leaving his knee bloody.
"This is fantastic win for me and my country," Tipsarevic said. "It seems I can't have a match without drama." Pospisil said he thought he could turn the match around after forcing the third-set tiebreaker.
"I believed I could do it, but obviously it didn't happen," said Pospisil, who broke in tears after the loss. He said he hurt his ankle in his fall as well. "At that moment, I was in a lot of pain," he said. "Not only physically, but also psychologically."
Djokovic, coming off a four-set loss to Rafael Nadal in the U.S. Open final on Monday, dimmed Canada's chances with one of his trademark displays against the 11th-ranked Raonic. "This is like the (football) World Cup for us," Djokovic said. "Winning the Cup in 2010 gave us players so much confidence."
Djokovic kept the big-serving Canadian at 10 aces, compared to the 34 he had in his five-set victory against Tipsarevic on Friday, and broke Raonic six times in front of some 10,000 boisterous Serbian fans.
Raonic, apparently struggling with an ankle injury he sustained Friday, put up tough resistance in the first set. But his game started crumbling after being held to a single point in the tiebreaker. "I felt that I was dealing with anguish and pain," Raonic said. "He really played well in that tiebreaker."