Sunday, December 5, 2021

Russians run way with Davis Cup championship

Daniil Medvedev, practicing in Indian Wells in
October, won all five of his Davis Cup singles
matches in straight sets. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev carried the Russian Tennis Federation to its first Davis Cup championship in 15 years today.
   Medvedev and Rublev — ranked No. 2 and No. 5 in singles, respectively — won in straight sets again to clinch a victory over Croatia, the 2018 champion, in Madrid. Croatia played in its third Davis Cup final in five years.
   Rublev defeated No. 279 Borna Gojo 6-4, 7-6 (5), giving the RTF a 1-0 lead. Medvedev followed with a 7-6 (7), 6-2 win over No. 30 Marin Cilic in a matchup of U.S. Open champions. Cilic and Medvedev won at Flushing Meadows in 2014 and this year, respectively.
   The scheduled doubles match, top-ranked Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic of Croatia against Aslan Karatsev and Rublev, was canceled.
   The RTF lost only one live match in five ties during the Davis Cup as Medvedev, 25, and Rublev, 24, went 9-1 combined in singles. Medvedev, who has a freakish combination of size (6-foot-6 or 1.98 meters) and agility, won all five of his singles matches in straight sets.
   Rublev played in the 2015 Aptos Challenger in Northern California at 17, losing to former No. 2 Tommy Haas in the first round. Rublev was 9 when Russia won the 2006 Davis Cup with Dmitry Tursunov, a Moscow native who trained in NorCal as a junior and professional.
   Croatia was missing former world No. 12 Borna Coric, who had shoulder surgery in May.

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