Ymer brothers seal victory for Sweden, Croatia and France win – .

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Ymer brothers seal victory for Sweden, Croatia and France win – .


Nov. 25 (Reuters) – Brothers Elias and Mikael Ymer comfortably won their singles matches against Canada as seven-time champions Sweden got off to a flying start in the Davis Cup final in Madrid on Thursday.

Finalists in 2019, but without their best players Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime, Canada has fallen short of the rejuvenated Swedes looking to reconnect with past glory.

Australia, second behind the United States for Davis Cup titles, got off to a bad start in Group D in Turin as they fell 3-0 to 2018 champions Croatia.

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France recovered from a poor start in their Group C clash against the Czech Republic to win 2-1 in Innsbruck.

The Davis Cup final, postponed last year, underwent another format change with three cities hosting the 18 qualifying nations in six groups of three.

The group winners and the two best runners-up advance to the quarter-finals next week with the final in Madrid on December 5.

The hopes of the Spanish holders already look grim, however, without them hitting a bullet in anger as rising force Carlos Alcaraz was ruled out on Thursday after testing positive for COVID-19. Read more

Already without 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafa Nadal, they also had another of their 2019 heroes stolen with Roberto Bautista Agut ruled out due to an abdominal injury.

Spain face Ecuador in Group A on Friday in Madrid.

“I am very sad how I miss something so important and super special for me like the Davis Cup, I was very excited to be able to play for my country”, Alcaraz, who would have made his debut, said on Instagram.

Sweden’s Elias Ymer assisted world number 264 Steven Diez, who played for Canada for the first time since 2010, winning 6-4 6-2. His younger brother Mikael then defeated Canadian hero Vasek Pospisil on their 2019 run, 6-4 6-4.

Andre Goransson and Robert Lindstedt wiped out Robin Soderling’s side with a 7-6 (5) 6-4 victory over Pospisil and Brayden Schnur.

“Today my forehand exploded,” said Elias, 171st. “I was hitting winners everywhere. “

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His higher ranked brother Mikael produced an impressive match to dull Pospisil’s power.

“I tried to stay in the moment and I tried to take advantage of it. At the end of the day it’s just one game, although it’s a lot we play for, ”said the 23-year-old world number 93.

Former US Open champion Marin Cilic sealed Croatia’s victory over Lleyton Hewitt’s Australia with a 6-1 5-7 6-4 loss to Alex de Minaur after 276th-ranked Borna Gojo , surprised Alexei Popyrin 7-6 (5) 7-5.

“I would say it’s probably the most painful loss I’ve had,” said world number 61 Popyrin.

Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic made Australia a miserable day by beating De Minaur and John Peers.

Cilic dominated early against De Minaur but was pegged and had to recover from a breakdown in the deciding set to secure the victory.

“It’s a great way for me to move forward for the next matches,” Cilic said. “If I can build on that, that form, it’s going to be fantastic. “

Czech Tomas Machac caused huge upheaval on his Davis Cup debut when the 21-year-old, ranked 143rd, beat Richard Gasquet 7-6 (3) 6-2 to give his side a 1-0 lead in an empty Olympiahalle. Arena, a consequence of Austria’s lockdown.

Adrian Mannarino equalized by beating Jiri Vesely 6-7 (1) 6-4 6-2 before Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut gave the victory to France with a 3-6 6-4 6- win. 3 on Jiri Lehecka and Machac.

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Reporting by Rohith Nair and Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru and Frank Pingue in Toronto, Martyn Herman in London; Editing by Pritha Sarkar and Ed Osmond

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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