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South Africa claw back point against Canada

By AFP

MONTREAL (AFP) - Raven Klaasen and Izak Van Der Merwe teamed up for a doubles win on Saturday as South Africa stayed alive in their Davis Cup World Group playoff against Canada.

Canada still lead the best-of-five match tie 2-1, and need to win just one of the reverse singles matches on Sunday to maintain their berth in the elite World Group.

But Klaasen and Van Der Merwe made sure the hosts will have to do some work on the final day with their 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/5) victory over Vasek Pospisil and Daniel Nestor.

Canada returned to the elite World Group this year after seven seasons at the level below, but fell 4-1 at home to France in Vancouver in the opening round in February.

On Sunday, Milos Raonic will try to get the clinching point when he takes on Van Der Merwe. Pospisil is scheduled to take on Nikala Scholtz in the last singles match.

Pospisil opened the tie on Friday with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Van Der Merwe and big-serving Raonic, ranked 15th in the world, defeated Scholtz 7-5, 6-4, 7-5.

South Africa's hopes of returning to the World Group next year had dimmed when Rick de Voest was forced out of the playoff on Thursday.

De Voest, the world number 170, was to have been his country's top singles player in the tie in the absence of 37th-ranked Kevin Anderson, who opted out.

South Africa haven't been in the World Group since 1998.

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