Salem Radio Network News Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Sports

Tennis-Rublev puts Russian team ahead in Davis Cup final

By Fernando Kallas

MADRID (Reuters) – World number five Andrey Rublev beat Borna Gojo 6-4 7-6(5) at the Madrid Arena on Sunday to give the Russian Tennis Federation a 1-0 lead over Croatia in the Davis Cup final and put them in a strong position to capture a third title.

Croatia, playing in their third Davis Cup final in the last five seasons, face a daunting task to draw level, with Marin Cilic set to face U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev next.

Both countries are bidding to claim a third title and equal the Czech Republic and Germany in seventh place on the all-time list of Davis Cup winners.

World number 279 Gojo entered the match as the big surprise of the tournament and a favourite of the Spanish crowd. He was unbeaten in the Davis Cup Finals with three victories over world number 61 Alexei Popyrin of Australia, number 27 Lorenzo Sonego of Italy, and 33rd-ranked Serbian Dusan Lajovic.

But Rublev played a near flawless match, overpowering Gojo with strong serving to keep the Croatian on the back foot.

Gojo battled hard but Rublev broke his serve at the fourth attempt before taking the opening set in 35 minutes.

Gojo fired down 11 aces and the second set went to 6-6 before Rublev edged the tiebreaker to clinch victory.

“It was super tough and I fell a lot of pressure, but it’s good to put my country in the lead,” Rublev told reporters.

Russia could become only the fourth nation to win both Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup titles after the women’s team won that event in Prague with a 2-0 victory over Switzerland in the final last month.

(Reporting by Fernando Kallás in Madrid and Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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