MADRID, November 18, 2019
The revamped Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals kicked off on Monday with two-time Davis Cup winners Russia securing an opening win in Group B over defending champions Croatia at the Caja Magica in Madrid.
Contesting the first Centre Court match, Andrey Rublev snapped a five-match Davis Cup losing streak by posting a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Borna Gojo. Then, Karen Khachanov earned his first win in three meetings with Borna Coric 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4 to give Russia an unassailable 2-0 lead over the Croatians.
“When you play, not only for yourself but your country, you need to give extra toughness and extra fight. It was a tough match, it was a solid match from both of us. First time playing here in Madrid on hard court, opening match, extra pressure, it was important to start well. Had some opportunities and took them, I’m really happy we won this tie,” said Khachanov, quoted by the Davis Cup Finals website.
— Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals (@DavisCupFinals) November 18, 2019
Canada defeats Italy
Denis Shapovalov edges out World No. 8 Matteo Berrettini 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 7-6(5) to clinch a 2-0 win for Canada over Italy in Group F. After zero breaks across the three sets, Shapovalov clinched it on the very first match point.
“I’m really happy to get the win, and against such an amazing player as Matteo,” Shapovalov said. “He’s had such an unbelievable season and he’s playing some great tennis. It’s amazing to win the match, especially like this, in three tiebreak sets.”
Earlier on Stadium 2, Vasek Pospisil opened the tie with a 7-6(5), 7-5 victory over Fabio Fognini.
Goffin, Darcis win tie for Belgium
Meanwhile on Stadium 3, David Goffin and Steve Darcis secured an unassailable 2-0 lead for Belgium against Colombia in Group D. Goffin rallied from a set down to overcome an inspired Daniel Elahi Galan to secure a3-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory.
“The challenge was to fight against myself, it was not easy. Sometimes you have to fight, sometimes you have the flow and you fly. I’m happy the way I fought, I didn’t give up, because that’s the most important thing because I’m playing for my country,” said Goffin.
Darcis eased past Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-2 in 64 minutes.
DAY 1 Results
Centre Court – Group B
Russia defeated Croatia 3-0
Andrey Rublev (RUS) d. Borna Gojo (CRO) 6-3 6-3
Karen Khachanov (RUS) d. Borna Coric (CRO) 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4
Karen Khachanov/Andrey Rublev (RUS) d. Ivan Dodig/Nikola Mektic (CRO) 7-6(3) 6-4
Stadium 2 – Group F
Canada defeated Italy 2-1
Vasek Pospisil (CAN) d. Fabio Fognini (ITA) 7-6(5) 7-5
Denis Shapovalov (CAN) d. Matteo Berrettini (ITA) 7-6(5) 6-7(3) 7-6(5)
Matteo Berrettini/Fabio Fognini (ITA) d. Vasek Pospisil/Denis Shapovalov (CAN) 6-2 3-6 6-3
Stadium 3 – Group D
Belgium defeated Colombia 2-1
Steve Darcis (BEL) d. Santiago Giraldo (COL) 6-3 6-2
David Goffin (BEL) d. Daniel Elahi Galan (COL) 3-6 6-3 6-3
Juan-Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah (COL) d. Sander Gille/Joran Vliegen (BEL) 6-7(5) 6-4 7-6(3)