Davis Cup: Bopanna-Raja lose as Canada surge ahead

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"At the end of the day we are even, we will take it", Indian captain Mahesh Bhupathi said after the day's play.

On their young shoulders was the pressure of extending Canada's streak of consecutive appearances of qualifying for the 16-team World Group of the 117-year-old event also known as the World Cup of Tennis.

India will hope to bounce back in the play-off when Rohan Bopanna and Purav Raja take on Vasiv Pospisil and Daniel Nestor in the men's doubles.

Yuki turned the match on its head after being down by two sets and a match-point in the third set but eventually lost 6-7 (2), 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4, 1-6 to World No. 51 Denis Shapovalov - an audacious performance in a three-hour-52-minute battle.

All eyes are on the provincial capital for crucial Davis Cup action between Canada and India with a 2018 World Group spot on the line. The teenager had never outright won a five-setter match past the third set; his four-set win over Kyle Edmund at the US Open was due to the Brit retiring with a back injury.

The duo exchanged many a long rally and intense points, but it was 154 ranked Ramkumar who prevailed to win the next third and fourth sets with an identical 7-5 scoreline to give India the lead.

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The defender said: "We are very optimistic ahead of today's game; we are condemned to beat them because we know Nigerians back home expect the best from us".

It was a bit of vindication for Shapovalov, who in some ways caused the necessity of the tie with India when he slapped a loose ball in frustration and broke an orbital bone of chair umpire Arnaud Gabas during the deciding match of the series against Great Britain in February in Ottawa, getting banished as Canada lost 3-2.

So the correct phrasing would be that neither of them had won a "live match" at the Davis Cup before. However, with the second set at 3-3, it was Shapalov who finally got the break and took an important 4-3 lead.

"It was my first one", he said of the best-of-fives. "They said it was important to set your tone from the beginning". I think that is what's impressing a lot of the coaches and players on tour. Bhambri forced the fourth set, putting Shapovalov in uncharted territory.

He is as confident right now as he is skilled and nimble, barely showing the physical effects of his first five-set match, just eight minutes shy of four hours of tennis.

India is favored in Saturday's doubles match. With wins over Rafael Nadal and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in August and a run to US Open fourth round as a qualifier, Shapovalov was expected to steamroll through the lowly-ranked Indians.