Tennis: Spain stay alive with Davis Cup doubles win

Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez battled to a five-set doubles triumph to keep five-time champions Spain alive in their Davis Cup World Group first-round tie against Canada on Saturday.

Spain, winners of three of the past five editions of the nations tournament and runners-up to Czech Republic last year, still face a daunting task on Sunday, when they must take both of the reverse singles to turn the tables on the hosts, who take a 2-1 lead into the last day of the best-of-five match tie.

Granollers and Lopez, who won the doubles title at the ATP World Tour finals last November, beat Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil 4-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-2.

Spain haven't lost in the first round since 2006, when they fell 4-1 to Belarus.

But they opened their 2013 campaign without their four top players -- David Ferrer, Rafael Nadal, Nicolas Almagro and Fernando Verdasco.

Nadal has been sidelined since June by a left knee injury and then a stomach complaint. Almagro pulled out last week with a leg injury and Ferrer and Verdasco opted out of the tie.

Canada, seeking to reach the World Group quarter-finals for the first time, took full advantage of the absences to seize control on Friday.

Canada's world number 15 Milos Raonic got things going with a 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over Albert Ramos -- the world number 51 who was making his Davis Cup debut.

Canadian veteran Frank Dancevic, ranked 166th in the world, then stormed to a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Granollers, ranked 34th, to put the hosts up 2-0.

Now Granollers will have to regroup and refocus as he takes on big-serving Raonic in singles, with Dancevic due to meet Ramos.