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Sweden won the first victory of the 2021 Davis Cup Finals on Thursday by winning both singles matches in their tie against Canada at the Madrid Arena. The Ymer brothers turned the team on their backs for a victory that brings their country closer to the quarterfinals ten years after they reached them in 2011 with Robin Soderling, current captain, as the protagonist.

Elias Ymer beat Steven Diez by 6-4 and 6-2 and his brother Mikael could later with Vasek Pospisil (double 6-4), leader of a finalist Canadian team against Spain in 2019 and now greatly diminished by the absences of Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime. Pospisil, who won five of his seven singles and doubles matches two years ago at the Caja Mágica, could not beat Mikael and handed the series over to Sweden, who already beat Canada once in 1992, and finished the job with the point of doubles, which were achieved by Andre Goransson and Robert Lindstedt against Pospisil and Brayden Schnur (7-6 (5) and 6-4). The seven-time champion Scandinavian team has won 9 of their last 10 Davis series.

Croatia, the covered, can with Australia

At the Pala Alpitour in Turin, Croatia showed this Thursday that it can be the cover of the 2021 edition, with a team led by Marin Cilic, a Grand Slam champion who is in good shape, and the world’s number one doubles pair of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic. What perhaps no one expected is that Borna Gojo, 23 years old and 276th in the world, would offer such a good performance as to beat Australian Alexei Popyrin (61st) and overtake his country, so that later Cilic finished the task and managed to secure the first victory of the competition while waiting for the doubles point.

Gojo could with Popyrin and did it, in addition, in two contested sets (7-6 (5) and 7-5 in 1h52). The Balkan, who has only played six ATP matches and won one, with earnings in his career that do not reach 200,000 euros, did not fit any break and broke the serve of his rival to get 6-5 and serve in the second set. His appearance was caused by the last minute withdrawal of his compatriot Borna Coric, who is dragging a right shoulder injury. Later, Cilic, recently champion in St. Petersburg and absent in 2019 when Croatia lost their two Finals group stage ties 3-0, He did his homework, albeit with some suffering, and he managed the number one aussie, Alex de Miñaur (6-1, 5-7 and 6-4), which two years ago won all three of its singles matches. The Croatian national team, champions in 2018, aspires to everything after this show of power.

France suffers to beat Czechia

France had a hard time in Innsbruck to come back against the Czech Republic (2-1). Richard Gasquet, who played as number two, fell to rookie Tomas Machac (21 years old and 143rd) 7-6 (3) and 6-2. Later, Adrian Mannarino, who played in the place of Arthur Rinderknech, avoided the French debacle by turning an adverse score against Jiri Vesely (6-7 (1), 6-4 and 6-2). And in the doubles, the recent champions of the ATP Finals, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, could with Jiri Lehecka and Machac, also with a comeback (3-6, 6-4 and 6-3).

In any case, it is not a good result. for the ten-time Davis winner, who failed in 2019 in his attempt to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2009, became entangled against a young team who fought without complexes to narrow a very tight record between both countries (10-7 now for the winners). Djokovic’s Serbia debuts at the Austrian headquarters this Friday (16:00) against the host country, who cannot count on Thiem and is led by Novak (118th).

Davis Cup results.