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Shapovalov/Pospisil Send Canada To Davis Cup SFs; Djokovic Helps Serbia To QFs

  • Posted: Nov 22, 2019

Shapovalov/Pospisil Send Canada To Davis Cup SFs; Djokovic Helps Serbia To QFs

Canadians triumph in deciding doubles rubber

Vasek Pospisil and Denis Shapovalov led Canada past Australia in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup Finals on Thursday, battling past John Peers and Jordan Thompson 6-4, 6-4 in a deciding doubles rubber.

Pospisil began the tie strongly for Canada, defeating John Millman 7-6(7), 6-4 to move his country within one win of the semi-finals. But Alex de Minaur rallied for Australia, beating Shapovalov 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 to force a doubles match to make the doubles a decider.

After dropping the first set, Thompson and Peers sprinted to a 3-0 lead in the second set. But Pospisil and Shapovalov won six of the next seven games to clinch the victory for Canada, which will face Serbia or Russia on Saturday for a spot in the championship tie.

Serbia won Group A earlier in the day with a 2-1 win against France. After Filip Krajinovic defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 7-6(5), Novak Djokovic clinched his country’s victory with a 6-3, 6-3 win against Benoit Paire. 

“”The team is looking good, we won all six sets yesterday, it was important getting a clean sheet against Japan coming into today’s match. Filip definitely gave me wings with his win, which was quite amazing,” Djokovic told DavisCup.com. “Tsonga was playing well and in good form and Filip was just fantastic on the court today. Credit to him.”

Great Britain dismissed Kazakhstan to clinch Group E. After Kyle Edmund triumphed for Great Britain and Alexander Bublik earned a comeback victory for Kazakhstan, Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski clinched their country’s win by moving past Bublik and Mikhail Kukushkin 6-2, 6-4.

“We played a great match from start to finish,” Murray told DavisCup.com. “We started really quick and were aggressive – we didn’t give them time to settle, time to play. That’s the style I like to play. Neal did a great job both days, played an amazing level of tennis, and we’re really happy to get the win and move on to the quarter-finals.”

Germany beat Chile 2-1. Philipp Kohlschreiber was victorious, and then Cristian Garin levelled affairs for Chile with a third-set tie-break win. But Nitto ATP Finals competitors Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies came through with a 7-6(3), 6-3 win for Germany.

 

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Davis Cup finals 2019: Leon Smith unsure whether to select Andy Murray

  • Posted: Nov 21, 2019
2019 Davis Cup finals
Venue: Caja Magica, Madrid Dates: 18-24 November
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra from Wednesday, 20 November; Live text coverage on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.

British captain Leon Smith says whether or not to recall Andy Murray for Friday’s quarter-final against Germany at the inaugural Davis Cup finals is one of his “more difficult decisions”.

Murray, 32, was rested for the Group E victory over Kazakhstan which booked their last-eight spot in Madrid.

With Britain facing the Germans at 16:30 GMT, Smith says he will make his decision in the morning.

“Andy is a team player and understands what is best for the team,” he said.

  • Great Britain 2-1 Kazakhstan – report
  • Live scores, schedule and results
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Former world number one Murray looked sluggish as he laboured to a three-set win over Dutch world number 179 Tallon Griekspoor in the opening group match on Wednesday, admitting afterwards he was still “a couple of kilos” heavier than he would have liked after gaining weight while taking time off with his new-born son and family.

In the Scot’s absence, Kyle Edmund played one of his finest matches of the year to beat Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin before Dan Evans was overpowered by Alexander Bublik in three sets.

British number one Evans, 29, is yet to win in the Madrid finals, although Smith is backing the 29-year-old to “find a way” to win.

Following 24-year-old Edmund’s performance, it appears likely Evans will make way for Murray’s return – if Smith decides he is in good enough shape.

“There is no awkwardness about who is going to play, who isn’t going to play, it is a good, open and honest discussion. That’s what we will do again,” Smith said.

“It might be one of the more difficult decisions I’ve had to make, but it is also better when you have got the quality we’ve got to be able to have those discussions.

“We can look at who is in the best physical condition, and look at the match-ups again, linking those factors together to do what is best for the team.

“Because we are scheduled tomorrow evening it gives us time to see if everybody is right and how they feel.”

Germany reached the quarter-finals by topping Group C, winning five of their six rubbers against Argentina and Chile.

Philipp Kohlschreiber, their experienced second-ranked singles players, has dropped one set in his two victories, while leading player Jan-Lennard Struff is ranked higher than any of the British players at 35th in the world.

Struff dropped their only rubber in a three-set loss to Chile’s Cristian Garin on Thursday with French Open champions Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies showing their class by cruising through the doubles matches.

“I think it will close, a 50-50 match again, although we shouldn’t have anything to fear,” Smith added.

Who else is in the quarter-finals?

Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique has overseen the transformation of the 119-year-old competition into a season-ending ‘World Cup of Tennis’, which saw the 18 nations split into six groups of three.

The six group winners automatically qualified for the last eight with the two best-placed runners-up joining them.

The quarter-final line-up is:

  • Australia v Canada
  • Serbia v Russia
  • Great Britain v Germany
  • Argentina v Spain

Australia take on Canada later on Thursday in the first last-eight tie, with the other three matches taking place on Friday.

Serbia face Russia from 09:30 GMT while Friday’s other two ties are both due to start at 16:30.

Scheduled start times of both sessions have been moved forward 30 minutes after late finishes earlier this week, with a tie between Italy and USA concluding at 4:04am local time on Thursday. In addition, the break between the first and second singles rubbers has been cut from 20 minutes to 10.

The same start times will be in place for Saturday’s semi-finals.

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Davis Cup finals 2019: Novak Djokovic helps take Serbia into last eight

  • Posted: Nov 21, 2019

Novak Djokovic ensured Serbia moved into the Davis Cup quarter-finals as Group A winners with a straight-set victory over France’s Benoit Paire.

The world number two won 6-3 6-3 after team-mate Filip Krajinovic overcame Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5 7-6 (7-5) earlier.

Germany beat Chile 2-1 to win Group C and set up a last-eight tie with Great Britain on Friday.

Australia face Canada in the first of the quarter-finals from 17:00 GMT on Thursday.

The other three ties are on Friday with Serbia taking on Russia from 09:30.

Great Britain face Germany and Spain play Argentina from 16:30.

Scheduled start times of both sessions have been moved forward 30 minutes after late finishes earlier this week, with a tie between Italy and USA concluding at 4:04am local time on Thursday.

  • GB beat Kazakhstan to reach Davis Cup quarter-finals

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Isner: 'I Would Have Laughed In Your Face'

  • Posted: Nov 21, 2019

Isner: ‘I Would Have Laughed In Your Face’

American will spend majority of offseason in Dallas ahead of 2020 season

There are only four players inside the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings who have finished each of the past 10 years inside the Top 20. The first three are the Big Three of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. The fourth: American John Isner, who ends 2019 at World No. 19 even after missing three months due to a broken foot.

“I’m very proud of that. That’s something that if you would have told me that when I first turned pro I would have laughed in your face. I would have laughed in your face if you would have told me I’d finish in the Top 20 just one year,” Isner told ATPTour.com. “But the fact that I’ve now done it 10 years in a row certainly speaks to a high level of consistency and it just takes a lot of time and dedication.”

Isner first cracked the Top 20 on 1 March 2010, and he has not dropped from the Top 25 since August 2011.

“I think the most important part throughout those 10 years is I’ve been able to stay very healthy. That’s probably one of the main reasons I’ve been able to stay in the Top 20 for so long,” Isner said. “I’m definitely proud of it. I think I have earned it. I’ve worked very hard to keep myself in tip-top shape and always try to reinvent my game a little bit and just try to stay ahead of the curve as much as I possibly can. To be able to do that at a nice even number like 10 years in a row is definitely something I can hang my hat on.”

It’s been an adventurous year for the 34-year-old. On 15 September 2018, his first child, Hunter Grace, was born. Isner made his second consecutive Miami Open presented by Itau final this March, but broke his left foot in the championship match against Roger Federer. After missing three months, Isner returned and won his 15th ATP Tour title in Newport.

He also found out that his wife was expecting a second child, and John Hobbs was born on 20 October. Isner then guaranteed his year-end Top 20 streak would move to 10 straight seasons.

“It has been a wild year. It’s been very busy. This year raising our daughter, finding out that Maddy was pregnant again. And of course trying to juggle my tennis career in between all of that as well. It has been very busy, there’s no doubt about that, but I wouldn’t change it for anything,” Isner said. “Busy is definitely a good thing, and I think both myself, and my team and especially my wife have handled it extremely well. We’re so blessed to have this great family right now and now the focus is on maybe my wife not being pregnant for a little bit, raising our two little kids and me finding some time to practise in between all of that as well.”

Isner will begin his 2020 season at the inaugural ATP Cup, leading Team United States in Group D, which will be contested in Perth.

“It’s very interesting. This is of course a brand new event and one that I think a lot of players are excited about, myself in particular. I think I’m going to have a nice little off-season, spending a lot of my time in Dallas, being able to focus on my family, but also focus on myself and keeping myself in good shape, and trying to stay sharp on the tennis side of things as well,” Isner said. “I’m looking forward to that event and I think it’s a very good thing. It’s guaranteed matches. The past three, four years I’ve sort of stumbled in Australia. It sort of takes me a long time to get going and feel good about my game, so I’m very much looking forward to the ATP Cup.”

Did You Know?
Despite missing three months, Isner still earned 30 wins for the 10th straight year.

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Edmund gives GB Davis Cup lead against Kazakhstan

  • Posted: Nov 21, 2019
2019 Davis Cup Finals
Venue: Caja Magica, Madrid Dates: 18-24 November
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra from Wednesday, 20 November; Live text coverage on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.

Kyle Edmund stepped up in Andy Murray’s absence to give Great Britain the perfect start against Kazakhstan in a decisive Davis Cup group tie in Madrid.

Assured of a quarter-final place with a victory, Britain lead 1-0 in the three-rubber tie after Edmund won 6-3 6-3 against Mikhail Kukushkin.

British number one Dan Evans will put his team in the last eight if he beats Alexander Bublik later on Thursday.

Murray has been rested as he continues his comeback from hip surgery.

If Evans loses, Britain will have another chance to win the tie through Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski in a deciding doubles rubber which follows the second singles match.

Kazakhstan, backed by a rowdy set of supporters, need to fight back to win or they will be eliminated from the new-look 18-team finals tournament which is being played across the week in the Spanish capital.

Britain could still reach the last eight as one of the two best runners-up even if they are beaten by the Kazakhs, although it would only be a slim chance with Group B runners-up Russia already guaranteed to qualify ahead of them.

  • Live scores, schedule and results
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Edmund rediscovers form to give GB advantage

Murray’s absence was unsurprising after the Scot laboured to a three-set win over Dutch world number 179 Tallon Griekspoor on Wednesday, which left him admitting he was not as sharp as he would like to be after taking a month off competitive tennis to spend with his new-born son and family.

That placed the pressure on 24-year-old Edmund to perform, at the end of a year in which he struggled for wins and tumbled down the world rankings as a result.

But Edmund, the 2018 Australian Open semi-finalist who has dropped to 69th in the world, outplayed 67th-ranked Kukushkin in a noisy Caja Magica.

Kukushkin was backed about 100 boisterous and colourful fans, armed with drums and a trombone like they were when their women’s team played Britain in the Fed Cup earlier this year.

However, that did not put off Edmund, who himself was well supported by a noisy contingent of Union Jack-waving British supporters, who have travelled to Madrid in their droves.

Edmund showed no signs of the troubles which have plagued him on the ATP Tour this year, hitting 10 aces and 23 winners in a dominant performance.

The Yorkshireman’s explosive forehand – his key weapon – was particularly destructive, helping him take his fourth chance in the decisive break of the first set and save two break points in the following game.

After breaking again for a 4-2 lead in the second set, he took eight of the last nine points to race through the closing stages, converting his first match point when Kukushkin hit a forehand long.

That meant Edmund won in just one hour and 15 minutes, leaving the celebrating British fans dancing in the stands, while finally silencing the Kazakhs.

“The atmosphere has been amazing, I think we have got the most travelling fans so amazing to get so many people coming here from Britain,” Edmund said.

“I couldn’t wait to get out here and it was such a buzz to thrive off the crowd.”

How Britain’s qualification hopes could pan out

Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique has overseen the transformation of the 119-year-old competition into a season-ending finals, which sees the 18 nations split into six groups of three.

The six group winners automatically qualify for the quarter-finals with the two best-placed runners-up joining them.

Britain’s 2-1 win over the Netherlands in their opening group match on Wednesday means they will top Group E by beating Kazahkstan.

  • If Great Britain win the tie (either 2-1 or 3-0) they qualify for the quarter-finals as group winners
  • If Great Britain lose the tie 2-1, they will not qualify as one of the two best runners-up
  • If Britain lose 2-1 to the Kazakhs then their hopes of progressing go down to the percentage of matches won
  • Following the win over the Netherlands, Britain have 2-1 record, meaning they would finish with a 3-3 (50%) match-win percentage
  • That means they can’t overtake Russia, who are currently the leading second-placed team with a 4-2 (67%) match-win percentage
  • A 50% match-win percentage for Britain would place them alongside Argentina and Belgium, meaning it would go down to a set-win percentage
  • Britain currently have a 7-3 (70%) set record but if, in the best-case scenario, Evans and Murray/Skupski both lost 2-1 that would give them a 9-7 (56.25%) set record
  • * Argentina, who are now guaranteed to finish as Group C runners-up after Germany won their opening rubber against Chile, have a 8-6 (57%) set record

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Nitto ATP Finals Caps Record Attendance Across 2019 ATP Tour Season

  • Posted: Nov 21, 2019

Nitto ATP Finals Caps Record Attendance Across 2019 ATP Tour Season

4.82 million fans attended ATP Tour events in 2019

The 2019 Nitto ATP Finals, held for an 11th consecutive year at The O2 in London, provided a thrilling finale to the 2019 ATP Tour season, bringing attendance across the 63 ATP events throughout the year to a record 4.82 million fans, while online consumption of the season finale hit unprecedented heights.

21-year-old Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Austria’s Dominic Thiem in a memorable singles final, 6-7(6), 6-2, 7-6(4), to complete a remarkable week of matches at The O2. It was only the third time in the history of the tournament (since 1970) that the singles championship match came down to a final set tie-break (1988, Becker d. Lendl; 2005, Nalbandian d. Federer).

Tsitsipas, who had won the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan just one year earlier, captured the biggest title of his career, as well 1300 ATP Rankings points and US$2,656,000 in prize money. At just 21 years, 3 months, the Greek became the youngest champion since 20-year-old Hewitt in 2001, and 6th-youngest champion in tournament history.

In doubles, the French pairing of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut captured the season-ending title for the first time in their careers, defeating Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus, 6-3, 6-4.

The season finale attracted 242,883 fans to The O2 across the eight days of competition, bringing the tournament’s cumulative attendance since 2009 to 2,803,967. This year’s attendance at The O2 elevated the attendance across the ATP Tour’s 63 events in 2019 to more than 4.82 million fans, an all-time record. The previous highest attendance had been set in 2017 (4.57 million).

The 2019 Nitto ATP Finals also attracted record audiences online, as the tournament generated unprecedented levels of fan engagement across social and digital media platforms. The event received almost 400m impressions on tournament related content – a 97% increase on 2018. And with 12.4m interactions generated across ATP and Tennis TV social media platforms, the 2019 event became the best performing ATP Tour tournament on social, a 145% increase on the previous year. Tennis TV received 41.24 million video views on social media throughout the tournament, taking the platform’s total views on social media in 2019 to more than 1 billion.

Away from the match action, the ATP’s new ATP Tour app was successfully launched, while a five-year renewal of the Tour’s premier partnership with Emirates was also announced.

The ATP’s crown jewel event is to be held at The O2 in London for a 12th consecutive and final time in 2020, before moving to Turin, Italy, in 2021. Fans are able to purchase pre-sale tickets for the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals from today, by visiting: https://www.axs.com/NittoATPFinals_presale 

BY THE NUMBERS:
•   399,112,369 – number of impressions across all ATP digital platforms (ATPTour.com, NittoATPFinals.com, live scoring apps, and social media platforms, and Tennis TV) throughout the event, a YOY increase of 97%.
•   69,110,871 – number of video plays on ATP digital media platforms, including ATPTour.com, NittoATPFinals.com, ATP & Tennis TV social media platforms, a year-on-year increase of 88%. 
•   41,240,000 – number of Tennis TV social media video views, taking the platform’s total views on social media in 2019 to more than 1 billion. 
•   12,397,163 – number or interactions (likes, comments, retweets, replies etc.) on ATP and Tennis TV social media platforms throughout the event, a year-on-year increase of 145%.
•   9,000,000 – amount of prize money (US$) on offer at the 2019 season finale.
•   6,200,000 – viewership in the UK of the BBC Breakfast programme that featured an exclusive sit-down interview with all eight singles players ahead of the season finale. The clip was also viewed on social media more than a quarter of a million times.
•   4,823,370 – number of fans that attended the 63 tournaments ATP tournaments in 2019, an all-time record.
•   2,803,964– cumulative attendance at the season-ending tournament since it moved to London in 2009.
•   2,656,000 – amount of prize money (US$) that Stefanos Tsitsipas won by capturing the title.
•   1,570,000 – number of streams on Tennis TV the ATP’s official live streaming service, with each viewer watching an average of 475 minutes each.
•   242,880 – attendance inside The O2 arena across the eight days.
•   60,000 – number of single use plastic cups removed from the waste stream through elimination of single use cups and use of tournament take-home cups.
•   3,410 – metres of string used by Tecnifibre, Official Stringers of the Nitto ATP Finals, during the tournament.
•   1,300 – ATP Rankings points won by Stefanos Tsitsipas.
•   310 – number of racquets strung by Tecnifibre during the tournament. No plastic bags were used in the delivery of newly strung racquets to players by the official tournament stringers.
•   11 – number of years the event has been held at The O2 in London. The only city to host the season finale longer is New York, which held the season finale for 13 years from 1977-1989. 
•   8 – number of different nations represented in the singles field, for the fourth consecutive year.
•   5 – number of times Nadal, Djokovic and Federer have finished the season as year-end No.1.
•   4 – number of singles players 23-and-under in the field (Tsitsipas, Zverev, Berrettini, Medvedev), the most since 2009.
•   1 – number of continents (Europe) represented in the singles field, a first in the 50-year history of the event.

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2020 Nitto ATP Finals Pre-Sale Tickets Available Now

  • Posted: Nov 21, 2019

2020 Nitto ATP Finals Pre-Sale Tickets Available Now

For a limited time, tickets can be purchased at 2019 prices

Tickets to the 2020 Nitto ATP Final, to be held 15-22 November at The O2, are now on pre-sale. For a limited time, fans can take advantage of access to 2020 tickets at 2019 prices.

Buy Pre-Sale Tickets

The 2020 Nitto ATP Finals marks the 50th anniversary of the season finale and will be the final edition held in London, concluding a successful 12-year run before it moves to Turin, Italy, in 2021.

The season finale attracted 242,883 fans to The O2 across the eight days of competition in 2019, bringing the tournament’s cumulative attendance since 2009 to 2.8 million.

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Tsitsipas Completes Successful Transition, Lands Nitto ATP Finals Crown

Stefanos Tsitsipas capped off a memorable week at The O2 when he prevailed against Dominic Thiem 6-7(6), 6-2, 7-6(4) in the singles final – only the third time in tournament history that the championship match came down to a final set tie-break. In doubles, the French pairing of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut captured the season-ending title for the first time.

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Davis Cup: Rafael Nadal helps Spain into quarter-finals but Croatia are out

  • Posted: Nov 21, 2019
2019 Davis Cup finals
Venue: Caja Magica, Madrid Dates: 18-24 November
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra from Wednesday, 20 November; Live text coverage on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Clickherefor Live Guide.

Rafael Nadal’s Spain eased into the quarter-finals at the Davis Cup finals, beating a weakened Croatia to send the defending champions out of the event.

With Croatia missing Marin Cilic and Borna Coric, doubles specialist Nikola Mektic had to play singles against Roberto Bautista Agut, losing 6-1 6-3.

Nadal then beat Borna Gojo 6-4 6-3.

Meanwhile, Serbia, who won the Davis Cup in 2010, put themselves in pole position in Group A with a 3-0 victory over Japan at the Madrid event.

Filip Krajinovic defeated Yuichi Sugita 6-2 6-4, Novak Djokovic thrashed Yoshihito Nishioka 6-1 6-2, and Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki clinched a tight doubles match against Ben McLachlan and Yasutaka Uchiyama, winning 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-4).

Germany also triumphed 3-0 as they defeated Argentina. Philipp Kohlschreiber battled back from a set down to defeat Guido Pella 1-6 6-3 6-4 and Jan-Lennard Struff was too good for Diego Schwartzman with a 6-3 7-6 (10-8) success.

In the doubles, the German pairing of Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies overcame Maximo Gonzalez and Leonardo Maye after the longest tie-break in Davis Cup history as they won 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (20-18).

Great Britain’s near nine-hour tie with the Netherlands,which ended in a 2-1 victory for GB, meant that the tie between Australia and Belgium to decide who will win Group D started two hours later than scheduled.

Spain’s victory over Russia on Tuesday had finished in the early hours of Wednesday and a similarly late finish looked on the cards for both Australia v Belgium and the Group F match between the United States and Italy as questions over scheduling arose at the re-vamped competition.

The United States were at the centre of controversy after group winners Canada conceded their doubles rubber on Tuesday when they had an unassailable 2-0 lead.

It meant the US were given a 6-0 6-0 win for the doubles, which could potentially help them qualify for the last eight as one of the two best runners-up.

Organisers the ITF said three Canadian players had been declared unfit to play, but Britain’s Andy Murray was among critics of the decision to forfeit, saying: “I don’t think that’s good.

“So where Canada may have felt that that was a dead rubber in theory for them because they were already through, that could have implications to all of the teams potentially that might finish in second place.”

  • GB win thrilling Davis Cup opener
  • Live scores, schedule and results
  • Alerts: Get tennis news sent to your phone

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Djokovic, Nadal, Murray Triumph At Davis Cup Finals

  • Posted: Nov 21, 2019

Djokovic, Nadal, Murray Triumph At Davis Cup Finals

Spain clinches QF showing in Madrid

World No. 2 Novak Djokovic helped Serbia get off to an unbeaten start on Wednesday against Japan at the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid.

Djokovic beat Yoshihito Nishioka 6-1, 6-2 to clinch the win after Filip Krajinovic beat Yuichi Sugita 6-2, 6-4. In doubles, Viktor Troicki/Janko Tipsarevic gave Serbia the 3-0 win with a 7-6(5), 7-6(4) victory against Yasutaka Uchiyama/Ben McLachlan.

It was a nervy start,” Djokovic told DavisCupFinals.com. “It took time to get used to playing on the court, to get used to the conditions and the lights. But I was pleased. Nishioka is a tricky player. I’ve never faced him before, but he’s got some of the quickest legs on the Tour.”

Andy Murray, playing in his first Davis Cup match since 2016, came back from 1/4 down in the deciding-set tie-break to help Great Britain beat the Netherlands 2-1. The Scot rallied against Tallon Griekspoor, who was competing in his second Davis Cup match ever, 6-7(7), 6-4, 7-6(5).

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Nadal Beats Khachanov In Davis Cup Finals

“I fought extremely hard at the end, but he was dictating a lot of the points. I thought he served amazing. He was going for huge second serves, and I wasn’t able to find a way to dictate the points today. I just fought hard, just tried to get one extra ball back at the end, made a great scramble at 4/3 in the tie-break and that was enough to turn it my way,” Andy Murray told DavisCupFinals.com.

Dutchman Robin Haase beat Daniel Evans 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4, and in doubles, Neal Skupski/Jamie Murray gave Great Britain the victory with a 6-4, 7-6(6) win against Wesley Koolhof/Jean-Julien Rojer.

Spain clinched their place in the quarter-finals as Roberto Bautista Agut and World No. 1 Rafael Nadal didn’t drop a set against Croatia. Bautista Agut, World No. 9, dismissed Nikola Mektic 6-1, 6-3, and Nadal beat Borna Gojo 6-4, 6-3.

The start of yesterday was not perfect, but here we are. We found a way to win four matches in a row and that sent us through to the quarters, so we’re very happy,” Nadal told DavisCupFinals.com.

Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff beat Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 7-6(8) to help the Germans earn the 3-0 sweep. Struff hit 12 aces and won 80 per cent of his first-serve points.

Philipp Kohlschreiber also won, beating Guido Pella 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, and in doubles, Nitto ATP Finals qualifiers Kevin Krawietz/Andreas Mies outlasted Leonardo Mayer/Maximo Gonzalez 6-7(4), 7-6(2), 7-6(18).

“It’s our Davis Cup debut and it was unbelievable, I have no words for this,” Krawietz told DavisCupFinals.com.

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Murray fights back to give GB winning start at Davis Cup

  • Posted: Nov 20, 2019
2019 Davis Cup finals
Venue: Caja Magica, Madrid Dates: 18-24 November
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra from Wednesday, 20 November; Live text coverage on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.

Andy Murray survived a scare against Dutch world number 179 Tallon Griekspoor before giving Great Britain a winning start at the inaugural Davis Cup finals in Madrid.

Murray, 32, lost the opener in the new best-of-three sets format before winning 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 7-6 (7-5).

The group stage tie continues when British number one Dan Evans plays Robin Haase later on Wednesday.

Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski will play in the doubles to round off the opener.

Britain, who won the 2015 Davis Cup in the previous format, have been drawn against the Netherlands and Kazakhstan – who they face on Thursday – in the group stage.

Eighteen nations are contesting a football-style knockout tournament for the first time to determine the Davis Cup champions, with the winners of the six groups and the two best-placed runners-up reaching the quarter-finals.

  • Innovation or sacrilege? What you need to know about the new Davis Cup
  • Andy Murray cautious of schedule
  • ‘Format had to change’ – Jamie Murray

Brilliant atmosphere & thrilling finale

Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique has overseen the transformation of the 119-year-old competition into the season-ending finals, which has been met with fierce criticism from some and doubts about the atmosphere such a format would create.

While Spain’s opening match on Tuesday night was unsurprisingly watched by a partisan and full crowd at the Caja Magica, some matches have struggled to attend spectators.

Britain’s opening tie against the Dutch was not expected to be one and so it proved as about 1,000 Union Jack-clad fans created a boisterous atmosphere on a 2,500-capacity third show court which was about three-quarters full by most estimates.

The crowd was given plenty of entertainment by Murray and Griekspoor in a gripping match full of ebbs and flows, a final-set tie-break providing a thrilling finale which eventually separated the pair.

Supporters from both nations were left standing on their feet and roaring their player towards victory in the tie-break, with Murray sealing the type of win he has earned throughout his illustrious career after two hours and 51 minutes.

“The atmosphere was one of the things players were worried about in a neutral venue but both sets of fans were fantastic,” Murray said.

The new Davis Cup format

Eighteen nations are split into six groups of three, with the group winners and two best-placed runners-up progressing to the quarter-finals.

The two semi-finals will be played on Saturday, 23 November with the two winners going through to the final on Sunday, 24 November.

The six groups
Group A: France, Serbia, Japan Group B: Croatia, Spain, Russia
Group C: Argentina, Germany, Chile Group D: Belgium, Australia, Colombia
Group E: Great Britain, Kazakhstan, Netherlands Group F: United States, Italy, Canada
Which of the world’s top 20 are playing?
Rafael Nadal (Spain) [1] Fabio Fognini (Italy) [12]
Novak Djokovic (Serbia) [2] Diego Schwartzman (Argentina) [14]
Matteo Berrettini (Italy) [8] Denis Shapovalov (Canada) [15]
Roberto Bautista Agut (Spain) [9] Karen Khachanov (Russia) [17]
Gael Monfils (France) [10] Alex de Minaur (Australia) [18]
David Goffin (Belgium) [11]

Schedule – who plays when?

Group stage: Monday, 18 November – Thursday, 21 November

Quarter-finals: Thursday, 21 November – Friday, 22 November

Semi-finals: Saturday, 23 November

Final: Sunday, 24 November

More to follow.

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