MADRID/STARNBERG, November 25, 2021
Sweden secured a 3-0 victory over 2019 runners-up Canada in the opening tie in Group B of the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals.
World No. 171 Elias Ymer got Sweden off to a winning start in Madrid on Thursday evening, beating Steven Diez 6-4, 6-2 in the first singles rubber. The 25-year-old overcame a 4-1 deficit in the first set, winning 82 per cent of his first-service points. Ymer broke his opponent’s serve five times to prevail after one hour and 28 minutes.
“I was playing really well from the first game. I got the break,” Ymer said during his post-match press conference. “Then I think he raised his level, too. He was very aggressive. I’ve seen Steven a bit before. I didn’t think he played this aggressive. I was a bit surprised. I think with 4-1, Robin (Soderling) told me, you have to play more aggressive, you have to start using your forehand more.
“I am really happy I gave Sweden a good start and now I can support my brother next. You don’t see this often, two brothers playing No. 1 and No. 2 for their country. It is a very special occasion.”
Sweden is making their first appearance in the Finals.
“I really like Madrid. The court and the city are amazing,” said Ymer. “This week is so much fun because we are together, everyone. That makes it more relaxed off the court because we have so much fun. On the court you really want to play for the team. I feel like I’m not playing for myself.”
🇪🇸 Madrid is ready ✔
— TennisTourTalk (@TennisTourTalk) November 25, 2021
In the second singles rubber between the two No. 1 players, Elias’ younger brother Mikael Ymer defeated Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-4. The World No. 93 didn’t face a break point and broke Pospisil’s serve twice to secure victory in one hour and 29 minutes.
Asked about today’s key to success, Ymer responded: “To serve consistent, to stay calm, to stay focused and try to prolong the rallies.”
Andre Goransson and Robert Lindstedt completed the perfect start for Sweden in the doubles rubber with a 7-6, 6-4 win over Vasek Pospisil and Brayden Schnur.
Captain Robin Soderling is hoping to lead the Swedes into the quarterfinals for the first time since 2011 – when Soderling himself was Sweden’s No. 1 Davis Cup player. His team will next play Kazakhstan on Saturday.
Alcaraz tested positive from Covid-19
Meanwhile in Madrid, Spanish teen sensation Carlos Alcaraz has tested positive for Covid-19. The 18-year-old will remain in isolation under the supervision of the head of the RFET’s medical services.
DAY ONE RESULTSGroup B – Sweden defeated Canada 3-0
Madrid Arena, Madrid, Spain
Elias Ymer (SWE) d. Steven Diez (CAN) 6-4 6-2
Mikael Ymer (SWE) d. Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 6-4 6-4
Andre Goransson/Robert Lindstedt (SWE) d. Vasek Pospisil/Brayden Schnur (CAN) 7-6(5) 6-4
Group C – France defeated Czech Republic 2-1
Olympiahalle, Innsbruck, Austria
Tomas Machac (CZE) d. Richard Gasquet (FRA) 7-6(3) 6-2
Adrian Mannarino (FRA) d. Jiri Vesely (CZE) 6-7(1) 6-4 6-2
Pierre-Hugues Herbert/Nicolas Mahut (FRA) d. Jiri Lehecka/Tomas Machac (CZE) 3-6 6-4 6-3
Group D – Croatia defeated Australia 3-0
Pala Alpitour, Turin, Italy
Borna Gojo (CRO) d. Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 7-6(5) 7-5
Marin Cilic (CRO) d. Alex de Minaur (AUS) 6-1 5-7 6-4
Nikola Mektic/Mate Pavic (CRO) d. Alex de Minaur/John Peers (AUS) 6-3 6-1