Russia beat Croatia in Davis Cup opener
Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev helped Russia open the inaugural Davis Cup Finals with a 3-0 victory over defending champions Croatia in Madrid on Monday.
Madrid : Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev helped Russia open the inaugural Davis Cup Finals with a 3-0 victory over defending champions Croatia in Madrid on Monday.
World number 17 Khachanov clinched the point for Russia by fighting back to beat Croatian number one Borna Coric 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-4, after Rublev had earlier seen off Borna Gojo 6-3, 6-3.
"When you're playing not only for yourself, but for your country, you have to fight harder," said Khachanov.
Russia, who are without US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev due to exhaustion, can wrap up a place in the quarter-finals with victory over Rafael Nadal's Spain in their second Group B tie on Tuesday.
The 18 nations have been split into six groups of three at the Caja Magica, with the pool winners and two best runners-up to play in the last eight of the first edition of the revamped tournament.
The teams face off in two best-of-three-set singles matches and one doubles rubber in each tie.
Khachanov and Rublev completed the clean sweep later on Monday with a 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 doubles win over Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic