2021 Davis Cup Finals day four wrap: Round Robin stage complete
ALL eight quarter finalists for the 2021 Davis Cup Finals have been decided after the fourth day of action. In Rookie Me Central’s day four wrap, we run through the six matches, and what is next for the nations as they strive for Davis Cup glory.
RUSSIA (2) defeated SPAIN (1)
Russia has topped Group A despite a spirited effort from reigning champions Spain. The Russians got up 2-1 over their opponents, off the back of a come-from-behind doubles win from Andrey Rublev and Aslan Karatsev over Feliciano Lopez and Marcel Granollers. Team Russia dropped the first set 6-4, before bouncing back to record a 4-6 6-2 6-3 win to seal the overall tie narrowly. Earlier in the day, the teams were split after Spanish veteran Lopez upset Russian young gun Rublev in three sets, 2-6 6-3 6-4. Lopez hit six more winners (24-18) and only one more unforced error (11-10), holding firm to save 10 break points and win in a nail-biter. It was more straightforward from world number two Daniil Medvedev who rolled Pablo Carreno Busta in straight sets, 6-2 7-6. Serving the only 11 aces of the match, Medvedev hit just seven unforced errors, and broke five times to three during the victory. However, despite the reigning champion’s best efforts, the loss was enough to knock Spain out of Davis Cup contention.
GROUP A RESULTS:
Feliciano Lopez (ESP) defeated Andrey Rublev (RUS) 2-6 6-3 6-4
Daniil Medvedev (RUS) defeated Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) 6-2 7-6
A. Rublev/A. Karatsev (RUS) defeated F. Lopez/M. Granollers (ESP) 4-6 6-2 6-3
KAZAKHSTAN (3) defeated CANADA (0)
Kazakhstan swept its way to victory over Canada to top Group B and book its place in the final eight. The Middle Eastern nation won 3-0, though two of those wins were three-setters in a tight contest against the understrength North American nation. It was little surprise to see Kazakhstan close out the tie in the singles, with the higher ranked singles duo of Mikhail Kukushkin and Alexander Bublik winning their respective matches. Kukushkin defeated Brayden Schnur in a tight three-set contest, 6-3 6-7 7-5 in just under three hours, hilst Bublik knocked off Vasek Pospisil 6-2 7-6 in 59 minutes, though the second set went to 8-6 in the deciding tiebreak. Not to stop there, the Kazakh doubles combination also won in three sets, knocking off Schnur and Peter Polansky, 6-4 6-7 6-1. The result meant Canada finished without a match win, and Kazakhstan advanced to the final eight to take on Serbia.
GROUP B RESULTS:
Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) defeated Brayden Schnur (CAN) 6-3 6-7 7-5
Alexander Bublik (KAZ) defeated Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 6-2 7-6
A. Golubev/A. Nedovyesov (KAZ) defeated P. Polansky/B. Schnur (CAN) 6-4 6-7 6-1
GREAT BRITAIN (2) defeated CZECH REPUBLIC (1)
Great Britain survived a potentially devastating result by holding off a determined Czech Republic to top Group C and knock world number ones France out of title contention. The British combination of Daniel Evans and Cameron Norrie has been in form this year, but it did not stop rising Czech talent Tomas Machac causing a boilover against Evans in the opening match to get his side into the early 1-0 lead. He won 6-2 7-5, hitting 22 winners to 19 and only producing seven unforced errors to 12. There were some similarly worrying moments for Norris in his match against Jiri Lehecka, before steadying in the final set to secure the 6-1 2-6 6-1 victory in an hour and 41 minutes. He was far from clean with seven more unforced errors (17-10) for only four more winners (25-21), but was able to level the overall tie. The British doubles combination of Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski came up with the goods when required, winning against Machac and Jiri Vesely 6-4 6-2, to seal the victory and head into the final eight against Germany.
GROUP C RESULTS:
Tomas Machac (CZE) defeated Daniel Evans (GBR) 6-2 7-5
Cameron Norrie (GBR) defeated Jiri Lehecka (CZE) 6-1 2-6 6-1
J. Salisbury/N. Skupski (GBR) defeated T. Machac/J. Vesely (CZE) 6-4 6-2
CROATIA (2) defeated HUNGARY (1)
The world’s best doubles combination secured the Davis Cup win for Croatia against a determined Hungary, winning 2-1 in a tighter-than-expected contest. Croatia sent in world number 242nd Nino Serdarusic for the second singles as a chance to give him a shot against Fabian Marozsan, and he stood up under the pressure to win in straight sets, 6-4 6-4. Lucky he did, because the in-form Zsombor Piros claimed his second big scalp of the tournament with a stunning upset against world number 30, Marin Cilic. Coming off an upset win over Australia’s John Millman, Piros toppled Cilic in three sets, coming from behind to win 4-6 7-5 6-4. Whilst Cilic hit six more winners (24-18), Piros was calculated with his shot selection, only producing 19 unforced errors to 36. The result remarkably levelled the tie, but the world number one doubles combination came to the rescue. Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic came through against Marozsan and Peter Nagy, both of whom were ranked outside the Top 500. Croatia’s win set up a quarter finals clash with Italy.
GROUP D RESULTS:
Nico Sedarusic (CRO) defeated Fabian Marozsan (HUN) 6-4 6-4
Zsombor Piros (HUN) defeated Marin Cilic (CRO) 4-6 7-5 6-4
N. Mektic/M. Pavic (CRO) defeated F. Marozsan/P. Nagy (HUN) 7-6 6-2
COLOMBIA (2) defeated USA (1)
In what was effectively a dead rubber, Colombia knocked off fifth seed United States in an upset, getting up 2-1 thanks to a singles upset and a retirement. Colombia triumphed through Daniel Elahi Galan taking down big-serving John Isner in a tight three-setter, 6-3 3-6 7-6, winning 7-5 in the second set tiebreak. The win was made all the more important thanks to a retirement from the Americans in the doubles. Galan took it up to Isner from a service perspective, only serving to less aces (11-13), and hit just seven unforced errors to the American’s 29. Though both players only broke once, Galan stood tall in the crucial deciding tiebreak to take out the match. In the previous match, Frances Tiafoe represented the United States to shake off a disappointing first set to get past a determined Nicolas Mejia in three sets, 4-6 6-3 7-6. Tiafoe served 11 aces to nine and hit 27 inners to 21 during the victory, with only four more unforced errors (27-23). Despite the result, Colombia failed to make the final eight, the only match of day four that did not have a bearing on the last eight.
GROUP E RESULTS:
Frances Tiafoe (USA) defeated Nicolas Mejia (COL) 4-6 6-3 7-6
Daniel Elahi Galan (COL) defeated John Isner (USA) 6-3 3-6 7-6
J. Cabal/R. Farah (COL) defeated R. Opelka/J. Sock (USA) 2-0 RET
GERMANY (2) defeated AUSTRIA (1)
In the only group match where all three matches consisted of straight sets, Germany secured top spot in Group F and book a place in the quarter finals against Great Britain. German second singles player Dominik Koepfer could not repeat the heroics of the day before, going down to Austria’s Jurij Rodionov, 6-1 7-5. The match lasted one hour and 26 minutes, and was the first match of the tournament the Austrians had won. However, it would also prove to be the last. German number one singles player Jan-Lennard Struff defeated Dennis Novak in straight sets, 7-5 6-4. That match lasted 73 minutes, with Struff surprisingly out-served by Novak (seven aces to 11). He made up for it with 17 winners to 10 and only four more unforced errors (10-6). The specialist German doubles combination of Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz also closed out the tie with an important straight sets win, getting up 6-3 6-4 over Austrian pairing Oliver Marach and Philipp Oswald.
GROUP F RESULTS:
Jurij Rodionov (AUT) defeated Dominik Koepfer (GER) 6-1 7-5
Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) defeated Dennis Novak (AUT) 7-5 6-4
K. Krawietz/T. Puetz (GER) defeated O. Marach/P. Oswald (AUT) 6-3 6-4
Russia vs. Sweden
Great Britain vs. Germany
Italy vs. Croatia
Serbia vs. Kazakhstan