Sports

Davis Cup Finals: Murray, Nadal win

MADRID, Nov 20 (Agencies/IANS) | Publish Date: 11/20/2019 11:49:00 AM IST

Andy Murray made a successful return to the Davis Cup on Wednesday, rallying to beat the 179th-ranked Tallon Griekspoor 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (5). 

While world no.1 Rafael Nadal helped Spain pull even against Russia at the Davis Cup Finals before countrymen Marcel Granollers and Feliciano Lopez teamed up to clinch the Group B round-robin win in the decisive doubles match.

Murray trailed 4-1 in the third set and 4-1 in the decisive tiebreaker, but came back both times to give Britain a 1-0 lead over the Netherlands in Group E of the Davis Cup Finals.

Murray had not played in the Davis Cup since 2016, when Britain lost to Argentina in the semifinals. In October, the three-time Grand Slam champion won his first title since undergoing hip surgery in January.

Daniel Evans will face Robin Haase in the second singles match.

In the revamped Davis Cup format, teams play two singles and a doubles match, with the group winners advancing to the knockout stage along with the two best second-place finishers in the six groups.

The Netherlands lost to Kazakhstan 2-1 in on Tuesday.

Nadal defeated Karen Khachanov 6-3, 7-6(7), while Granollers and Lopez defeated recent Paris Masters runners-up Khachanov and Andrey Rublev 6-4, 7-6(5).

Meanwhile, Canada became the first team to enter the quarter-finals after defeating USA 2-1 on Tuesday evening.

The Canadians beat Italy on Monday in Group F and thanks to singles wins from Vasek Pospisil and Denis Shapovalov, downed the USA. Pospisil defeated Reilly Opelka 7-6 (5), 7-6 (7) while Shapovalov beat Taylor Fritz 7-6 (6), 6-3 to help Canada cement their place in last eight.

In Group A, the doubles pair of Pierre-Hugues Herbert/Nicolas Mahut clinched a 2-1 win for France 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-5 against Japan’s Ben McLachlan/Yasutaka Uchiyama.

France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-2, 6-1 and Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka beat Gael Monfils 7-5, 6-2 to setup the deciding doubles match.

In Group D, Australia beat Colombia after Nick Kyrgios and Alex de Minaur both won in straight sets. Kyrgios beat Alejandro Gonzalez 6-4, 6-4 and De Minaur swept Daniel Elahi Galan 6-4, 6-3.

Argentina thrashed Chile 3-0 behind a 6-4, 6-3 Guido Pella win against Nicolas Jarry, a 6-2, 6-2 Diego Schwartzman victory against Cristian Garin and a 6-3, 7-5 doubles victory for Maximo Gonzalez/Leonardo Mayer versus Nicolas Jarry/Hans Podlipnik-Castillo.

In Group E, Alexander Bublik/Mikhail Kukushkin provided Kazakhstan with a 2-1 win against the Netherlands with a 6-4, 7-6(2) victory against Robin Haase/Jean-Julien Rojer. Earlier in singles, Haase had defeated Bublik 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(5) and Kukushkin beat Botic Van de Zandschulp 6-2, 6-2.

In another match, Novak Djokovic cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 win over 73rd-ranked Yoshihito Nishioka, giving Serbia a 2-0 victory over Japan in Group A.

It was the 13th straight Davis Cup singles victory for Djokovic, who broke Nishioka’s serve three times in the first set and twice in the second at the Caja Mágica.

Filip Krajinovic had defeated Yuichi Sugita 6-2, 6-4 in the first match.

Japan, which lost to top-ranked France 2-1 on Tuesday, has no chance of advancing to the knockout stage.

 

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