Davis Cup 2021: Russia beat Croatia to win title after 15 years

Andrey Rublev overcame Borna Gojo 6-4, 7-6 (5) to give Russia a 1-0 lead before Daniil Medvedev defeated Marin Cilic in straight sets to secure the title for Russia.

Russia beat Croatia to win the Davis Cup title; Credit: Twitter/@DavisCup

Russia defeated Croatia in the final at Madrid to win the Davis Cup title after 15 years. Daniil Medvedev led the Russian Tennis Federation to their third title after delivering yet another clutch performance. The 25-year-old capped his amazing year with a 7-6 (7), 6-2 win over Marin Cilic in the second singles match to give Russia a 2-0 lead over Croatia and secure it’s first ever Davis Cup title since 2006. Andrey Rublev earlier had beaten Borna Gojo in straight sets to put the Russians ahead at the Madrid Arena.

Croatia, who were also aiming to clinch their third title, didn’t get a chance to turn to their No.1 ranked doubles team Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic after a clean sweep in the singles. They had earlier won the title in 2005 and 2018. Meanwhile Russia completed a sweep of team events after the women’s team won the Billie Jean Finals in Prague last month. The last nation to do the double was Czech Republic in 2012.

World No. 2 Medvedev has been in brilliant form during the Davis Cup finals and although the opening set against Cilic was a tight affair, he convincingly came out on top. The opening set went into tiebreak after both players failed to break the serve.

The Russian looked strong on serve in the second set and broke the World No. 30 twice to secure an impressive win in an hour and 14 minutes and secure the title for Russia. It was the fifth consecutive straight set victory in the Davis cup for Medvedev, who three months ago, defeated Novak Djokovic in the US Open final to lift his first Grand Slam title. 

“It feels amazing,” Medvedev said. “But I’m more happy for the team than for myself. We have an amazing team, amazing atmosphere. I’m happy to be part of it and bring the points we need.”

“Pretty amazing two weeks,” Medvedev said. “It’s never easy to come here at the end of the season but they were some of the best weeks of my career.”R

Special week for Russia captain Shamil Tarpischev

Earlier, Rublev overcame Gojo 6-4, 7-6 (5) to give Russia a 1-0 lead. The 24-year-old didn’t face a break point and hit 18 winners to win the match after an hour and 33 minutes. It was the third straight victory for Rublev after losing to Spain’s Feliciano Lopez in the group stage.

Croatia had defeated Djokovic-led Serbia in the semifinals while Russia over Germany to book their place in the title clash. Russia got through a group that contained champions Spain and Ecuador before beating Sweden in the quarterfinals. Croatia, on the other hand, won a group that had Australia and Hungary, and then defeated Italy in the last eight.

The triumph also capped a special week for Russia captain Shamil Tarpischev, the longest-serving Davis Cup captain. He first captained in 1974, and appeared in his 100th match as a captain in the semifinals against Germany.

Meanwhile the Russian team is officially being called RTF (Russian Tennis Federation) in the competition amid its ongoing doping suspension in international sport. 

Sportslumo Desk

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