• Canada, Raonic one win away from Davis Cup semis

    4/7/13 4:56 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Canada, Raonic one win away from Davis Cup semis Milos Raonic can put Canada in the Davis Cup semifinals with a win over Andreas Seppi on Sunday in Vancouver. The host nation is ahead 2-1 after a marathon doubles win.

    Canada leads Italy 2-1 in their Davis Cup quarterfinal tie after Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil outlasted Fabio Fognini and Daniele Bracciali 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 3-6, 15-13 in a thrilling doubles rubber on Saturday afternoon in Vancouver.

    The home team's victory means Milos Raonic can clinch the tie against Andreas Seppi in Sunday's opening singles match. Somewhat surprisingly, this is the first-ever meeting between Raonic and Seppi.

    Both men are coming off wins on Friday. Raonic defeated Fognini 6-4, 7-6(4), 7-5 to even the proceedings at 1-1 and improve his 2013 record to 12-4. The world No. 16 reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and won a third consecutive title in San Jose before cooling off. He lost in the Memphis first round and the Indian Wells fourth round then withdrew from a third-round match in Miami due to sickness.

    Raonic's win was preceded by a 5-7, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 comeback for Seppi against Pospisil. Seppi played the best tennis of his life last year and he continues to be solid if unspectacular. The world No. 18 is 12-7 for his 2013 campaign, which includes a semifinal in Sydney and fourth-round showings at the Australian Open and in Miami.

    Seppi is a tough opponent for a big hitter like Raonic who likes to keep points short, but the crowd favorite should still be in good shape. Canada has all the momentum after what happened on Saturday and fast conditions on a indoor hard court will only help Raonic. Look for Raonic to prevail in four sets.

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