Canada trails Croatia 2-1 at Davis Cup after doubles collapse

Team Croatia's Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig come back from being down two sets against Team Canada's Vasek Pospisil and Daniel Nestor to earn the victory in men's doubles Davis Cup action.

OSIJEK, Croatia — Canada’s Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil looked to be in total control of their Davis Cup doubles match Saturday.

But a strong Croatian rally turned the rubber around, handing the home team a 2-1 lead in the first-round World Group tie.

Toronto’s Nestor and Vancouver’s Pospisil took a two-set lead and were up a break in the third before Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig stormed back to win 2-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2.

“This is definitely a hard loss to process,” said Pospisil.

“We were playing so well at the start of the match, we were in control, but they were able to get that first break in the third set, which was the turning point.”

Saturday’s result leaves 18-year-old Denis Shapovalov in a must-win situation Sunday against Borna Coric. Pospisil is slated to play the final singles match against Viktor Galovic.

Nestor and Pospisil double-faulted five times and had 17 forced errors to their opponents’ 13.

The 45-year-old Nestor is participating in his 52nd Davis Cup tie. His 48 wins and 27 losses are a Canadian record.

“It’s disappointing,” Nestor said.

“We knew that we were playing against a very good team and we got off to a perfect start. However, when you take on such a strong team and you get the chance to close out the match, you need to take advantage of those opportunities, otherwise, it will come back to haunt you.”

Saturday’s defeat was Pospisil’s second of the first-round series. The 27-year-old dropped Canada’s first match Friday against Coric while filling in for Peter Polansky of Toronto.

The 48th-ranked Shapovalov won his singles match Friday, against Galovic, to even the tie at 1-1 heading into Saturday’s doubles.

Shapovalov is not only the youngest member of Canada’s Davis Cup team but also its highest ranked singles player. Pospisil is 85th, Polansky is 141st and captain Frank Dancevic of Niagara Falls, Ont., is 350th. Nestor is 60th in the doubles rankings.

Croatia has lost five of its last six Davis Cup ties at home but Canada has not won a road tie since 2011.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.