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 the 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 and reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open, beat Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil 4-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-2.
Up two-sets-to-one, Nestor and Pospisil were unable to convert break chances third and fifth games of the fourth set.
Granollers and Lopez, both top-10 doubles players, got the break they needed in the sixth game to lead 4-2 and after pocketing the fourth frame they gave themselves more breathing room with a break in the third game of the fifth.
"They pretty much shut the door on us there," Pospisil said. "They played well throughout the whole match and we did the best we could with what we had."
"We're still in a great position," Pospisil added. "If you told us earlier we'd be up two to one going into the final day we'd be very happy with that."
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 refocus as he takes on big-serving Raonic in singles, with Dancevic due to meet Ramos.