Russia beat Croatia to win third Davis Cup


MADRID:

Russia claimed a 3rd Davis Cup title on Sunday after Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev each received their singles matches to defeat Croatia.

Medvedev’s 7-6 (9/7), 6-2 victory over Marin Cilic got here after Rublev had earlier prevailed 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) over Borna Gojo, giving Russia an unassailable 2-Zero lead in Madrid.

Croatia’s biggest probability would have been within the doubles with world primary pair Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, however they at all times wanted a shock within the singles to take the tie to the ultimate rubber.

Instead, Medvedev and Rublev ranked two and 5 on the planet respectively, held their nerve to make it 9 out of 10 victories for Russia’s energy pair within the match.

“I can say that for all of us it’s very important to win here. It’s still the Davis Cup,” stated Medvedev in a press convention.

“We nonetheless see Novak (Djokovic) taking part in. Rafa (Nadal) received it final time.

“No matter the format, the best players in the world are happy to represent their country. It’s Davis Cup and we are the winners of it. That’s the most important thing.”

Cilic and Gojo had been removed from overwhelmed and, with Real Madrid’s Luka Modric supporting within the crowd, they rose to the event in a compelling ultimate that in the long run turned on two shut tie-breaks.

Russia has not received the Davis Cup since 2006 and didn’t reach a single quarter-final between 2011 and 2018.

But Medvedev and Rublev are the leaders of a brand new era of expertise that would get pleasure from repeat successes sooner or later, with Aslan Karatsev and Karen Khachanov additionally ranked within the high 30.

Victory for the boys additionally completes a Russian one-two after the ladies’s workforce received the Billie Jean King Cup in Prague final month. The final nation to do the double was the Czech Republic in 2012.

Croatia had been no strangers to this stage, this was their third Davis Cup ultimate 5 years after their 2016 defeat to Argentina and 2018 victory over France.

But Russia had been agency favourites and it was at all times going to take one thing particular both from Cilic, the 33-year-old former US Open champion, or Gojo, who’s ranked 279th on the planet.

Cilic had possibilities within the first set, together with a breakpoint on Medvedev’s second serve at 4-Three however an aggressive backhand return hit the tape, and as a substitute it went to a tie-break.

They modified over with Cilic up 4-2 after a Medvedev forehand skimmed huge however Medvedev received 4 out of the following 5 factors to create a set level on the Cilic serve.

Cilic saved it with a brave smash solely to ship a forehand approach simply out to provide Medvedev a second probability, which he spurned with a double fault.

An enormous serve down the center although gave Medvedev 8-7 and this time Cilic caved, a backhand going awry at hand away the set.

With Cilic tiring and Medvedev rising in confidence, the second set was extra of a stroll. Medvedev secured a break within the fourth recreation when a Cilic forehand popped up kindly off the net-chord earlier than confirming victory with a second break when a Cilic forehand fell brief.

Rublev’s precision from the baseline had earlier proved decisive however Gojo pushed him onerous, significantly within the second set, when the Croatian led 5-Four within the tie-break.

Yet Rublev delivered beneath strain, arrowing an outstanding go down the road earlier than an inside-out forehand winner opened up match level, which he transformed when a Gojo backhand drifted lengthy.

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