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Bublik & Kukushkin Deliver For Kazakhstan

  • Posted: Nov 28, 2021

Alexander Bublik helped guide Kazakhstan into the quarter-finals at the Davis Cup Finals on Sunday in Madrid.

The World No. 36 downed Vasek Pospisil 6-2, 7-6(6) in 83 minutes to clinch a 2-0 victory for Kazakhstan against Canada. Bublik won 84 per cent (42/50) of his first-serve points and hit five aces in a dominant display.

Earlier, Mikhail Kukushkin laid the foundations for Kazakhstan’s victory, edging Brayden Schnur 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-5 in the first match of the tie. The World No. 183 recovered from squandering three match points at 6-5 in the second set as he raised his level in the decider to triumph.

In the final match of the tie, Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov sealed Kazakhstan’s win in style, beating Peter Polansky and Schnur 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-1.

Kazakhstan beat Sweden in its opening tie in Group B and has now reached the quarter-finals at the Davis Cup Finals six times.

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Croatia Reaches QFs

  • Posted: Nov 28, 2021

Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic delivered on Sunday at the Davis Cup Finals to seal Croatia’s qualification from Group D in Turin.

The pair has won nine tour-level titles this season and showed their experience to move past Fabian Marozsan and Peter Nagy 7-6(6), 6-2 in one hour and 30 minutes to seal a 2-1 win for Croatia against Hungary.

“We wanted to win and give a statement and now we will go into tomorrow’s match with confidence,” Mektic said. “We won a tight first set again, but we are happy to win.”

In the first rubber on Sunday, Croatian Nino Serdarusic moved past Marozsan 6-4, 6-4 after 72 minutes. The World No. 242 was strong on serve, winning 95 per cent (36/38) of points behind his first delivery and struck seven aces.

Hungary then levelled the tie when Zsombor Piros upset World No. 30 Marin Cilic 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 after two hours and 35 minutes. The 22-year-old broke five times and hit 26 winners to triumph.

Croatia wins the group, having also beaten Australia in Turin, and plays Italy in the quarter-finals on Monday.

Colombia ended its Davis Cup Finals campaign with a 2-1 victory against the United States, but it was not enough to secure its qualification from Group E in Turin.

In the decisive doubles rubber, Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah led Reilly Opelka and Jack Sock 2-0 in the first set when Sock was forced to retire due to injury.

Earlier, Frances Tiafoe had given the United States a 1-0 lead when he edged Nicolas Mejia 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(7) in two hours and 41 minutes.

The United States needed to win the tie 3-0 to have a chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals, and Tiafoe gave the former champion’s hope, firing 11 aces and winning 84 per cent (53/63) of his first-serve points to triumph.

However, John Isner was unable to follow in Tiafoe’s footsteps, losing to Daniel Elahi Galan 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5) in two hours and three minutes.

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Salisbury/Skupski Seal QF Spot For Great Britain

  • Posted: Nov 28, 2021

Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski overcame Tomas Machac and Jiri Vesely 6-4, 6-2 Sunday at the Davis Cup Finals in Group C to book Great Britain’s spot in the quarter-finals.

The pair did not face a break point and fired 36 winners to complete Great Britain’s 2-1 comeback victory against the Czech Republic after 74 minutes.

“Today was tough,” Great Britain captain Leon Smith said. “You look at the rankings and people think it is straightforward but it is never like that in the Davis Cup. I’m thrilled for these guys [Salisbury and Skupski]. To come out and play as well as they did speaks volumes. We asked for passion, determination and the quality comes after that. I’m really proud of them.”

In the first match of the tie in Innsbruck, Austria, Machac won 80 per cent (24/30) of his first-serve points to upset World No. 25 Daniel Evans 6-2, 7-5 in one hour and 35 minutes to give the Czech Republic the lead.

However, Cameron Norrie then levelled the tie, downing Jiri Lehecka 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 in one hour and 43 minutes. Norrie broke five times and hit 23 winners in his victory. Great Britain tops Group C, after also defeating France 2-1 on Saturday.

In the second tie of the day in Austria, Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz defeated Philipp Oswald and Oliver Marach 6-3, 6-4 to clinch Germany’s spot in the quarter-finals in Group F.

The pair won 82 per cent (28/34) of his first-serve points and did not face a break point to overcome the Austrians in 85 minutes and seal a 2-1 victory for Germany against Austria.

Earlier Jurij Rodionov overcame Dominik Koepfer 6-1, 7-5 in 87 minutes to give Austria an early advantage. The World No. 139 fired six aces and saved four of the five break points he faced.

Jan-Lennard Struff then levelled the tie for Germany, downing Dennis Novak 7-5, 6-4 in 74 minutes. The World No. 51 hit eight aces and 16 winners in his one-hour 14-minute triumph.

“I am very happy,” Struff said. “It is tough as expected against Austria. Dennis is a good friend of mine, but I am very happy with my performance today. I played aggressively and I tried to put a lot of pressure on Dennis from the beginning.”

Germany will play Great Britain in the last eight for the second-straight edition.

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Ferrer & Stepanek Record Wins At Champions Tennis Event

  • Posted: Nov 28, 2021

On day three of the ATP Champions Tour’s Champions Tennis Spaniard David Ferrer and former World No. 8 Radek Stepanek recorded singles victories at the Royal Albert Hall.

Saturday’s afternoon session saw Ferrer down Marcos Baghdatis 4-1, 4-2, while Stepanek defeated Nicolas Almagro 4-2, 4-2. In the doubles match Tommy Haas and Greg Rusedski overcame Ferrer and Mikhail Youzhny 4-3, 4-1.

In the evening session, Xavier Malisse moved past Nicolas Almagro 4-3, 4-1, while Youzhny edged Fernando Gonzalez 4-3, 4-3. In the doubles match Tomas Berdych and Mark Philippoussis defeated Almagro and Ferrer 4-3, 3-4, 4-0.

The day was full of lighthearted fun and birthday celebrations, in addition to intense competition. It kicked off with the crowd joining in on a rendition of “Happy Birthday” to celebrate Stepanek. Later in the day ball girls and ball boys joined in on the action and were invited on to the court to play against some of the legends – one of them even finishing a point for Gonzalez.

At the end of the third day, Team Greg was in the lead with eight points, followed by Team Mark and Team Goran with two points each.

Champions Tennis sees players who have held the World No. 1 FedEx ATP Ranking, reached a Grand Slam singles final or been a singles player in a victorious Davis Cup team, compete in a mixture of team and individual events in both singles and doubles.

Across the four days some of the biggest legends of the game will take to the stage in front of a full house, including British star and US Open champion Emma Raducanu who will be facing Romanian and Hamburg European Open winner Elena-Gabriela Ruse. Other stars include British favourite Rusedski, fan favourite Mansour Bahrami, Chilean Gonzalez, Spaniard Ferrer, 2006 Australian Open runner up Baghdatis, and former doubles World No. 4 Stepanek.

Other players competing in the tournament include Malisse, Australian legend Philippoussis, 2010 Wimbledon finalist Berdych, former top-fiver Thomas Enqvist, former Russian number one Youzhny, German Haas, Swede and Canada Masters winner Mikael Pernfors, and Spaniard Almagro.

2021 also marks the last time the tournament is being held at the historic Royal Albert Hall, with this year’s tournament offering tennis lovers a fantastic final opportunity to watch legends of the game battle it out in the beautiful surroundings of this legendary building.

Paul McCann, VP, Tennis Events at IMG said: “For 24 years we’ve given fans the amazing opportunity to watch their favourite tennis superstars play in the iconic Royal Albert Hall, and this year has been like no other. It’s fantastic to see the players compete on the court again, and for a final time, cheered on by the roar of the packed crowd.”

Sponsors of Champions Tennis at Royal Albert Hall include: Original Penguin, Rado, Lacoste Fragrances Dunlop, Superstars, OneStream Software, Brewin Dolphin, Stella Artois, Harrogate, Vodafone, Jaguar, Nyetimber, onefinestay, Adnams, Lavazza.

Tickets are still available from £20 and can be purchased via the ATP Champions Tour website here: For more information please visit Champions Tennis on Twitter @ChampionsTennis and on Instagram @champions_tennis. This year’s Champions Tennis tournament is being live streamed on ATPChampionsTour and on Facebook at The ATP Champions Tour.

Team 1: Rusedski (Captain), Baghdatis, Haas, Stepanek
Team 2: Philippoussis (Captain), Berdych, Gonzalez, Malisse
Team 3: Enqvist (Captain), Ferrer, Youzhny, Almagro
Exho Singles: Raducanu, Ruse
Exho Doubles: Bahrami, TBC

Order of Play

Sunday 28 November
Exho Singles Raducanu v Ruse
Exho Doubles Bahrami/TBC v Pernfors/TBC
Final Singles Team 1st v Team 2nd
Final Doubles Team 1st v Team 2nd
Final Singles Team 1st v Team 2nd

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