Saturday, December 4, 2021

Russians rout Germany to reach Davis Cup title match

Daniil Medvedev, practicing in Indian Wells in October,
clinched the Russian Tennis Federation's victory over
Germany today in Madrid. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Without Alexander Zverev, Germany was no match for the Russian Tennis Federation.
   Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev — ranked No. 2 and No. 5, respectively — needed less than two hours combined to clinch the Russians' 2-1 victory today in the semifinals of the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid.
   Rublev overwhelmed No. 54 Dominik Koepfer 6-4, 6-0 in 48 minutes to give the RTF a 1-0 lead. Medvedev, who won his first Grand Slam title in the U.S. Open in September, followed with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Jan-Lennard Struff in 66 minutes.
   Germany won the inconsequential doubles match. The third-ranked Zverev, the singles gold medalist in the Tokyo Olympics and recent ATP Finals champion, boycotted the Davis Cup because of the format change two years ago.
   Both Rublev and Koepfer have played in Northern California Challengers. At 17, Rublev lost in the first round in Aptos to former No. 2 Tommy Haas in 2015. Koepfer reached finals in San Francisco in 2018 and Aptos in 2019.
   The RTF, seeking its first Davis Cup title since 2006 with Dmitry Tursunov, will face 2018 champion Croatia on Sunday at 7 a.m. PST (CBSSN). The Russians likely must sweep the singles matches again versus No. 30 Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion, and No. 243 Nino Serdarusic or No. 279 Borna Gojo because Croatia has the top-ranked doubles pair of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic.
   Croatia is missing former world No. 12 Borna Coric, who had shoulder surgery in May.
   Juniors — Rudy Quan of Sacramento, Calif., and Kristina Penickova of Campbell in the San Francisco Bay Area breezed to singles titles in the Eddie Herr International Championships in Bradenton, Fla.
   Quan, a wild card, crushed unseeded Lorenzo Carboni of Italy 6-0, 6-1 in the boys 16-and-unders. Penickova, seeded No. 3, routed No. 5 seed Anita Tu of Melbourne, Fla., 6-1, 6-2 in the girls 12s.
   Quan won the 12s in the Easter Bowl, national Clay Courts, national Hardcourts and Junior Orange Bowl in 2018 but missed most of 2019 with a stress fracture in his elbow. COVID wiped out much of 2020.
   In the boys 18 doubles final, No. 4 seeds Aleksander Orlikowsky and Olaf Pieczkowski of Poland beat wild cards Benjamin Kittay of Potomac, Md., and Michael Zheng, a Stanford commit from Montville, N.J., 7-5, 6-4. 
   USTA — No. 1 seeds Tracie Currie of Ventura, Calif., and Francesca La O of San Francisco beat No. 4 seeds Colleen Clery Ferrell and Hiromi Sasano of San Diego 6-3, 6-4 to take third place in women's doubles in the National 40 Hard Court Championships in La Jolla, Calif. 

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