Tennis

Russia beats reigning champion Croatia in Davis Cup opener

Sweeping success: Karen Khachanov, right, and Andrey Rublev delivered for Russia, winning their singles matches as well as pairing up to best Croatia.

Sweeping success: Karen Khachanov, right, and Andrey Rublev delivered for Russia, winning their singles matches as well as pairing up to best Croatia.  

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Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev helped Russia open the inaugural Davis Cup Finals with a 3-0 victory over defending champion Croatia in Madrid on Monday.

World No. 17 Khachanov clinched the point for Russia by fighting back to beat Croatian No.1 Borna Coric 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4, after Rublev had earlier seen off Borna Gojo 6-3, 6-3.

Khachanov and Rublev completed a clean sweep with a 7-6(3), 6-4 doubles win over Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic.

Canada claimed a 2-1 victory over well-fancied Italy to strike first in Group F. World No. 12 Fabio Fognini slumped to a 7-6(5), 7-5 defeat by Vasek Pospisil, ranked 150th, before rising star Denis Shapovalov edged out Matteo Berrettini 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 7-6(5).

The 20-year-old Shapovalov saved three set points before snatching the first set in a tie-break, only for Berrettini to level the match in a second-set breaker.

A clash without a single break of serve, was decided by another tie-break, with Shapovalov reeling off the last three points to win after two hours and 52 minutes on court.

Berrettini and Fognini boosted Italy’s hopes of making the quarters with a hard-fought doubles success over Shapovalov and Pospisil.

The results:

Group B: Russia bt Croatia 3-0 [Andrey Rublev bt Borna Gojo 6-3, 6-3; Karen Khachanov bt Borna Coric 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4; Khachanov & Rublev bt Ivan Dodig & Nikola Mektic 7-6(3), 6-4].

Group D: Belgium bt Colombia 2-1 [Steve Darcis bt Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-2; David Goffin bt Daniel Elahi Galan Riveros 3-6, 6-3, 6-3; Sander Gille & Joran Vliegen lost to Juan Sebastian Cabal & Robert Farah 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(3)]

Group F: Canada bt Italy 2-1 [Vasek Pospisil bt Fabio Fognini 7-6(5), 7-5; Denis Shapovalov bt Matteo Berrettini 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 7-6(5); Pospisil & Shapovalov lost to Berrettini & Fognini 6-2, 3-6, 6-3].

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 9:23:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/russia-beats-reigning-champion-croatia-in-opener/article30019721.ece

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