World News The Russian tennis federation (RTF) team has won the Davis Cup title for the first time since 2006 after beating Croatia in Sunday’s final in Madrid.
RUSSIAN MEN’S TENNIS ON THE UP
With Medvedev and Rublev in their ranks – who are rated second and fifth in the world respectively – the Russian team were among the strong favorites heading into this year’s 18-nation Davis Cup Finals, where they were formally competing under the banner of the national tennis federation due to ongoing WADA sanctions.Alongside Medvedev and Rublev were Karen Khachanov and Aslan Karatsev, both top-30 players who played their part in the doubles matches on the way to the title, while Evgeny Donskoy was also on the roster. Sunday’s triumph was a particularly proud moment for 73-year-old Russian captain Shamil Tarpischev, who is the longest-serving Davis Cup captain.
En route to the decisive tie of the tournament, the RTF team had beaten Ecuador and then hosts and defending champions Spain during the round-robin stage, as well as Sweden in the quarter-finals before overcoming Germany in the semi-finals on Saturday.Croatia, the 2018 champions, had beaten Novak Djokovic’s Serbia in their semi-final but were unable to match the impressive Medvedev and Rublev in the Spanish capital.The result capped a strong year for Russian men’s tennis as Medvedev, 25, won the US Open in September, becoming the first male star from his country to win a Grand Slam title for 16 years.Compatriot Rublev, 24, ends the year at a career-high ranking of world number five and also scooped Olympic gold in Tokyo in the mixed doubles alongside Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, where they beat compatriots Karatsev and Elena Vesnina in the final.The Russian men’s team featuring Medvedev, Rublev, Karatsev and Donskoy also won the 2021 ATP Cup held in February in Melbourne.
RUSSIAN KINGS AND QUEENS HOLD COURT
Russia now holds the most prestigious international team titles in both men’s and women’s tennis, after Sunday’s success in Spain followed the triumph in the Billie Jean King Cup (formerly known as the Fed Cup) by female Russian stars in November.READ MORE: Russian female tennis stars hail ‘unbelievable’ cup win (VIDEO)Women’s star Pavlyuchenkova, 30, went all the way to the women’s singles final at the French Open earlier in the year, becoming the first Russian female player to reach that stage of a Grand Slam since Maria Sharapova played Serena Williams in the Australian Open final in 2015.