Tennis-Spain's Lopez grateful for Davis Cup 'gift' at 40
Tennis-Spain's Lopez grateful for Davis Cup 'gift' at 40Lopez recorded his seventh singles win at the Davis Cup Finals after defeating Quiroz 6-3 6-3. The Spaniard hit 13 aces and saved all five break points he faced to earn victory in front of a lively home crowd in Madrid.
Russia claimed a third Davis Cup title on Sunday after Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev both won their singles matches to defeat Croatia. © Pierre-Philippe Marcou, AFP
Medvedev's 7-6 (9/7), 6-2 victory over Marin Cilic came after Rublev had earlier prevailed 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) over Borna Gojo, giving Russia an unassailable 2-0 lead in Madrid.
Croatia's greatest chance would have been in the doubles with world number one pair Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, but they always needed a surprise in the singles to take the tie to the final rubber.
Instead, Medvedev and Rublev, ranked two and five in the world respectively, held their nerve to make it nine out of 10 victories for Russia's power pair in the tournament.
Emma Raducanu shares advice received from Lewis Hamilton after becoming US Open champion
EMMA RADUCANU has lifted the lid on her friendship with "role model" Lewis Hamilton.Raducanu admitted she was rooting for Hamilton to be named SPOTY when asked if she had a speech prepared during her on-court interview at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday.
Cilic and Gojo were far from overwhelmed and, with Real Madrid's Luka Modric supporting in the crowd, they rose to the occasion in a compelling final that in the end turned on two close tie-breaks.
Russia have not won the Davis Cup since 2006 and failed to reach a single quarter-final between 2011 and 2018.
But Medvedev and Rublev are the leaders of a new generation of talent that could enjoy repeat successes in the future, with Aslan Karatsev and Karen Khachanov also ranked in the top 30.
Victory for the men also completes a Russian one-two after the women's team won the Billie Jean King Cup in Prague last month. The last country to do the double was the Czech Republic in 2012.
Croatia were no strangers to this stage, this their third Davis Cup final in five years after their 2016 defeat to Argentina and 2018 victory over France.
Novak Djokovic 'owes Daniil Medvedev dinner' after Russia keep Serbia alive in Davis Cup
DANIIL MEDVEDEV'S friendship with main rival and world Novak Djokovic is continuing to blossom after the Russian hinted that the world No 1 was sending him text messages during his team's Davis Cup tie against Spain.Djokovic and Medvedev have been the most successful players this year, ending 2021 holding the top two spots of the rankings, and have enjoyed a competitive rivalry this season.
But Russia were firm favourites and it was always going to take something special either from Cilic, the 33-year-old former US Open champion, or Gojo, who is ranked 279th in the world.
Cilic had chances in the first set, including a break point on Medvedev's second serve at 4-3 but an aggressive backhand return hit the tape and instead it went to a tie-break.
They changed over with Cilic up 4-2 after a Medvedev forehand skimmed wide but Medvedev won four out of the next five points to create a set point on the Cilic serve.
Cilic saved it with a courageous smash only to send a forehand approach just out to give Medvedev a second chance, which he spurned with a double fault.
A big serve down the middle though gave Medvedev 8-7 and this time Cilic caved, a backhand going awry to hand away the set.
With Cilic tiring and Medvedev growing in confidence, the second set was more of a stroll. Medvedev secured a break in the fourth game when a Cilic forehand popped up kindly off the net-chord before confirming victory with a second break when a Cilic forehand fell short.
Rublev's precision from the baseline had earlier proved decisive but Gojo pushed him hard, particularly in the second set, when the Croatian led 5-4 in the tie-break.
Yet Rublev delivered under pressure, arrowing a superb pass down the line before an inside-out forehand winner opened up match point, which he converted when a Gojo backhand drifted long.
"Needs to rebuild his career" - Journalist verdict as Dean Smith eyes first Norwich City signing .
He has barely featured for his current club this seasonThe Aston Villa striker is still awaiting his first senior start of the season having fallen down the pecking order in the Midlands.