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Spain Defeats Ecuador In Madrid

  • Posted: Nov 26, 2021

Pablo Carreno Busta survived a major scare Friday at the Davis Cup Finals, overcoming Emilio Gomez 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(5) to give Spain victory against Ecuador in Group A in Madrid.

The 30-year-old recovered from squandering a 5-2 lead in the third set and two match points at 5-3, raising his level in the third-set tie-break as he hit with great depth and power to seal his win against the World No. 149 after two hours and 39 minutes.

“I am very happy because it was an important victory,” Carreno Busta said. “We now lead 2-0 and have the win. It is very important for the confidence and for the rhythm. In the second set and third set I felt more comfortable than in the first set. I had to continue fighting until the end because he played really well.”

A fired up Feliciano Lopez had given Spain a 1-0 lead when he recorded his seventh singles win at the Davis Cup Finals, defeating Roberto Quiroz 6-3, 6-3.

The 40-year-old hit 13 aces and saved all five break points he faced to earn victory after 82 minutes in front of a lively home crowd at the Madrid Arena.

“I still have the passion for the game,” Lopez said. “Without that passion I wouldn’t be here. I am 40 years old and have been playing on the Tour for such a long time and it is true without this passion it would not be possible to keep training each day. I have been waiting for moments like this, giving the first point to my country.”

Carreno Busta and Marcel Granollers then sealed the win for Spain in style, edging Gonzalo Escobar and Diego Hidalgo 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(2) after two hours and 45 minutes.

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Tsitsipas 'Focused On Healthier Future' After Elbow Injury Update

  • Posted: Nov 26, 2021

Stefanos Tsitsipas insists that he is “focused on a happier and healthier future” after posting a photograph on Facebook Thursday with bandages over his right elbow.

“Things often get tougher before they get easier, but with each struggle we get an opportunity to create our own unique story,” wrote Tsitsipas, in his Facebook post from a Swiss hospital bed. “Some days life is all about your dreams, hopes and visions for the future. There are also days where life is just about putting one foot in front of the other and that’s okay too.

“To all the fans, thank you for your continuous support and encouragement. [I’m now] focused on a healthier and happier future. Next stop, pre-season in Dubai two weeks from now and then looking forwards to Australia.”

The World No. 4 retired in his first match against Alexei Popyrin at the Rolex Paris Masters on 3 November, then withdrew from last week’s Nitto ATP Finals after a round-robin loss to Andrey Rublev.

Tsitsipas compiled a 55-19 match record this year, including his first ATP Masters 1000 trophy at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (d. Rublev) and at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon (d. Norrie), an ATP 250 event.

The 23-year-old, who rose to a career-high No. 3 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on 9 August, was runner-up in his first major championship final at Roland Garros (l. to Djokovic). He also reached finals at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Acapulco (l. to Zverev) and the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (l. to Nadal).

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Cilic Secures Tie For Croatia

  • Posted: Nov 25, 2021

Marin Cilic stepped up Thursday at the Davis Cup Finals, overcoming Alex de Minaur to give Croatia a 2-0 lead against Australia in Group D at the Pala Alpitour in Turin.

The World No. 30, who helped guide Croatia to the Davis Cup title in 2018, fired 29 winners and rallied from a break down in the third set to secure victory after two hours and 10 minutes.

“It is such a great occasion to be back on the court playing for Croatia,” Cilic said. “We have not had a match in the past 20 months. It was a pleasure to play against team Australia, they were fighting strong. Every match is important.”

Earlier, Borna Gojo earned just his second Top 100 win when he downed Alexei Popyrin 7-6(5), 7-5 to give Croatia a 1-0 lead.

The 23-year-old fired eight aces and saved all five break points he faced against the World No. 61 to secure victory in one hour and 52 minutes.

“It feels amazing,” Gojo said. “We have unbelievable support here, I would like to thank everyone who came from Croatia. It is a big win for me, but I am here as part of team Croatia and we need three points.

“He was probably the better player in the first set, but I knew if I focused on my serve and stayed close, I would have a chance eventually. We had a close one in Australia at the beginning of the year, so I knew I could compete with him.”

Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic will play De Minaur and John Peers in doubles in the final match on Thursday.

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Ymer Brothers Guide Sweden To Victory

  • Posted: Nov 25, 2021

Mikael Ymer followed in his brother’s footsteps on Thursday at the Davis Cup Finals, defeating Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-4 to give Sweden a 2-0 lead against Canada in Group B in Madrid.

Elias Ymer gave Sweden winning start when he overcame Canadian Steven Diez 6-4, 6-2 in 88 minutes. The 25-year-old was dominant throughout, winning 82 per cent (23/28) of his first-serve points and breaking five times to secure victory.

“I felt I played well,” Ymer said. “I really like Madrid. The court and the city are amazing. 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.”

The World No. 171’s younger brother then produced a strong performance to defeat Pospisil in the second match of the tie, saving the one break point he faced to secure victory after one hour and 31 minutes.

Andre Goransson and Robert Lindstedt moved Sweden into a final 3-0 lead when they defeated Pospisil and Brayden Schnur 7-6(5), 6-4 in the doubles.

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Herbert/Mahut Win Tie For France

  • Posted: Nov 25, 2021

Nitto ATP Finals champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut completed the French comeback Thursday at the Davis Cup Finals, defeating Tomas Machac and Jiri Lehecka 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 to secure a 2-1 victory against Czech Republic in Group C.

The pair saved four of five break points and hit five aces in Innsbruck, Austria, to win the tie for France after two hours and five minutes.

“It was difficult because the Czech team played very well, and we arrived late from Turin,” Mahut said. “I thought we had a slow start, but the second set and third set we played well.”

“We got used to the conditions,” Herbert added. “We needed the whole staff to get the energy up and we tried to be really positive and we managed to turn the match around.”

Machac had given Czech Republic an early advantage when he sprung a surprise, defeating Richard Gasquet 7-6(3), 6-2 on his Davis Cup Finals debut.

The World No. 143 rallied back from a break down in the first set and committed just seven unforced errors to secure victory after one hour and 36 minutes in their first Head2Head meeting.

“It feels really good,” Machac said. “I am so happy I played today and won today for the Czech Republic. It was a really tough match from the beginning, mentally especially. I am really happy. In the tie-break I played really well without any mistakes. That was the crucial moment.”

Adrian Mannarino then drew France level, downing Jiri Vesely 6-7(1), 6-4, 6-2. The 33-year-old won 77 per cent (51/66) of his first-serve points and caused Vesely problems with his consistent depth on return to secure victory after two hours and 38 minutes.

“I was trying my best to keep fighting,” Mannarino said. “I served very well in the key moments, which helps. I got used to the speed of his serve. He was serving very fast and at the beginning it was tough. On his second serve at the end, I was putting a lot of pressure on it.”

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