Canada bests Israel in Davis Cup doubles
Nestor and Pospisil give team 2-1 lead heading to Sunday
Canada's Davis Cup team is one victory away from joining the elite World Group.
Vasek Pospisil and Toronto veteran Daniel Nestor played to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 doubles victory over host Israel's Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram on Saturday at Ramat Hasharon.
The win pulled Canada ahead 2-1 at the Davis Cup World Group playoff tie with two matches set for Sunday.
Canada's top player, hard-serving 20-year-old Milos Raonic, will try to finish off the tie when he takes on Israel's top-ranked player Dudi Sela. If necessary, Pospisil is scheduled to go against Amir Weintraub in the second singles match.
"Today's win I guess takes a little bit of pressure off our backs but this tie is far from being over," said Pospisil. "There are two really tough matches tomorrow, so we won't be getting ahead of ourselves and we will come back out tomorrow and focus."
After splitting the first two sets, Canada pulled ahead with a break in the third to go up 5-4 before serving out the set.
Erlich struggled with his serve in the fourth set and Canada broke on a doubled fault for a 4-3 lead. It was his fifth double fault of the set.
Nestor, the fifth-ranked doubles player in the world, sees this moment as the turning point in the match.
"He double faulted enough times to give us the game, that was the difference of the match right there," said Nestor. "That was on the only game that was given away. Both of us were struggling in that game but luckily he was struggling more."
Nestor then held serve at love to give Canada a chance to break for the match, but Israel staved off the threat to make it 5-4.
Serving on Canada's fifth match point opportunity, Pospisil blazed the winner as Ram returned long and silenced a highly-vocal audience at the Canada Stadium located in the suburb of Tel Aviv.
Throughout the match, the referee was forced to make repeated pleas for silence that were often flat-out ignored.
"He's in a tough situation but honestly I think he could do a better job if he really wants to," said Nestor. "He could start giving warnings to the crowd and point penalties.
"It's a delicate situation. I was trying to have fun with it and stay focused and not really worry about it. If you stress about it it's going to take away from your game."
Vancouver's Pospisil was coming off a gruelling five-hour victory Friday against Sela in Friday's singles opener.
The win salvaged a split on the first day of the weekend series after Raonic was defeated by Weintraub. It was the Thornhill, Ont., native's first match since an injury at Wimbledon in June.
Raonic is currently ranked 31st in the world.
A win over Israel moves Canada into the 16-country elite World Group in 2012. The loser will remain in its zonal group for next year's competition.