Team Canada’s Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil have advanced to the semifinals of the Rogers Cup in Toronto.
The duo moved on to the final four with a 6-3, 7-6 (6) victory over the Czech Republic tandem of Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek in doubles action on Friday. This was the first full match of the tournament for Nestor and Pospisil after receiving a bye through the first round and seeing their opponents last night – Nick Kyrgios and Jack Sock – retire after one set.
“Any win is great, and we fought hard today,” said Nestor. “We had a lot of close games there. Maybe we squandered a few opportunities. But it was important to win in the end, because I thought we were the better team.
“We created more chances, so it’s always nice to win those kind of matches. It would have been a tough one to lose. We get another opportunity tomorrow.”
The Canadians, who will play doubles together at Rio 2016, led 4-3 in the first set against the Czechs when they were able to go up a break. That led to a 6-3 opening set victory.
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Nestor and Pospisil went up a break to open the second set – but Berdych and Stepanek were able to break right back. It was a fairly evenly played set, resulting in a tie-break. The Canadians went up 3-0 only to have the Czechs storm back and tie it 3-3. Nestor and Pospisil took the lead back though and, despite Berdych and Stepanek saving a match point, won 8-6 to take the second set.
It was a busy day for Berdych who gave No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic a challenge earlier in the evening in singles play, ultimately falling 7-6 (6), 6-4.
Nestor and Pospisil will play second seeded Jamie Murray of Great Britain and Bruno Soares of Brazil in Saturday’s semifinal. Murray and Soares are coming off a 6-5, 5-7, 1-0 (with the third set being a first-to-ten tie break) win over Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Rajeev Ram of the United States.
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On Saturday – for the first time at this year’s Rogers Cup – Nestor and Pospisil will play at Centre Court.
“We like playing at home in front of big crowds,” said Pospisil. “Hopefully a lot of people will come out and support us. We will try to use the energy of the crowd as much as we can to our advantage.
“We like playing in Canada. We have played well here and we are playing well right now. We will take that into the match tomorrow.”
There was an upset earlier the day as top seeded Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States fell to Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau of Romania. Mergea and Tecau will face third seeded Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Marcelo Melo of Brazil in the other semifinal.
In singles play on Friday, Canada’s Milos Raonic was eliminated by France’s Gael Monfils, falling 6-4, 6-4 in quarterfinal action.