Spain is set to clash against Russia in the Davis Cup by Rakuten in Madrid - UBITENNIS
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Spain is set to clash against Russia in the Davis Cup by Rakuten in Madrid



Madrid, Turin and Innsbruck will host the 2021 Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals, which start on Thursday 25 November. Eighteen teams are bidding to win the prestigious Davis Cup Trophy. 


Each venue will host two of the six groups. The winners of these groups, along the two-second placed teams with the best records will get through to the quarter finals. 

Innsbruck and Turin will host one quarter final each. Madrid will stage two quarter finals, both semifinals and the final on 5 December. 

The Madrid Arena at the Caja Magica will host the Group A with Spain, Russia and Equador and the Group B that features Canada, Kazakhstan and Sweden. 

Spain will defend the title won in 2019 at the Caja Magica against Canada. The Spanish team will bid to win back-to-back Davis Cup titles for the second time after the two consecutive wins in 2008 and 2009. 

Spain will play without Rafael Nadal and Roberto Bautista Agut, who contributed to the triumph in front of their home fans two years ago. Nadal put an end to his 2021 season due to a foot injury. Bautista Agut was forced to withdraw from the Davis Cup due to an abdominal injury. Spanish Davis Cup Sergi Bruguera nominated Olympic bronze medallist and two-time US Open semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta, rising star Carlos Alcaraz, who won the 2021 Next Gen ATP Finals title in Milan, Feliciano Lopez and Marcel Granollers, who reached the doubles semifinals at the ATP Finals in Turin last week with his Argentine partner Horacio Zeballos. 

“Everyone is really looking forward to it. All the players I have selected are in good shape and ready to give their all. I cannot deny that playing at home is a real advantage. It gives a lot because during this type of competition the public is an important factor which can be decisive”, said Sergi Bruguera.

Alcaraz will make his debut in the Davis Cup. The 18-year-old player beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in a fifth-set tie-break in the third round en route to his first Grand Slam quarter final at the US Open last September and beat two top 10 players Matteo Berrettini in Vienna and Jannik Sinner in Paris Bercy. He beat Sebastian Korda in the championship match of the Intesa San Paolo Next Gen Finals in Milan. 

“The relationship between the players is very good. Carlos is an unbelievably nice guy. He is very humble. I have to congratulate his parents for the job they have done for him as a person. He is adjusting very well. He is happy. He is happy. The veterans are very good friends already and Carlos is like fresh air in the team. It’s nice”, said Bruguera. 

Spain is on a collision course against Russia in the top Group Stage match on Sunday 28 November at 16 local time. World number 2 Danil Medvedev leads the Russian team that also features this year’s Rotterdam champion and eight-time ATP Tour champion Andrey Rublev, 2021 Australian Open semifinalist Aslan Karatsev and Olympic silver medallist Karen Khachanov. Medvedev won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open, his fourth Masters 1000 title in Toronto and finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic at the ATP Finals in Turin. Shamil Tarpishev has captained the Russian Federation Team for the first time in 1974. 

World number 29 Khachanov lost to Rafael Nadal 6-3 7-6 and to Novak Djokovic 6-2 6-2 before winning a decisive double match to help Russia reach the semifinals. It was the best performance for the Russian team in the Davis Cup since 2008. 

“Time goes fast. Two years have already passed but of course the memories are always great and stay with you forever when you represent your country. We are a team, so, at the end of the day, whoever feels ready will play. It’s a long competition from the Group Stage until the final with a lot of matches which take a lot of energy. So we will see day by day how everyone feels. I am ready to be involved. There are lots of strong teams. Serbia with Novak Djokovic, Spain of course in our Group, Italy even without Matteo Berrettini, and USA, but we believe in ourselves”, said Khachanov. 

Khachanov has known his teammates very well for a long time and the good relationship inside the Russian team has contributed to their recent good results. 

“I have a lot of shared history with my teammates. I have known Danil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev from the junior times. We have been part of the same teams since a young age, we push each other, we are best friends. Aslan is a bit older but we know him and Evgeny Donskoy is like an older brother to all of us. He is a very nice guy”, said Khachanov. 

Russia is chasing a national double title after the women’s team won the Billie Jean King in Prague two weeks ago. Czech Republic was the last nation to achieve this double in 2012. 

“I followed the girls very closely. They did a great job. We are very happy and proud of them and I congratulated everyone personally. Now it’s our turn”, said Khachanov. 

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Elena Rybakina beats Jessica Pegula to reach the Miami Open final



World number 7 Elena Rybakina beat world number 3 Jessica Pegula 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 to reach her second consecutive final at the Miami Open. The Kazakh player moves one win of becoming the fifth player to win back-to-back titles in Indian Wells and Miami completing the Sunshine Double. 


Rybakina leads the WTA Tour in match wins in 2023 with a record of 21 wins to just 3 defeats. 

Rybakina needed three sets in her first two matches of the tournament and saved a match point against Paula Badosa before beating Elise Mertens, Martina Trevisan and Jessica Pegula in straight sets. 

Pegula broke Rybakina three times and served for the first set twice at 5-4 and 6-5. Rybakina won the final five points from 2-3 down to clinch the tie-break 7-3 improving her perfect record in tie-breaks to 7-0 this season. 

After a second rain delay Pegula rallied from 0-40 down to hold serve at deuce. The US player earned a break before consolidating it with a hold of serve for 3-0. Rybakina won four consecutive games from 2-4 down to seal the win after 1 hour and 51 minutes. 

“Jessica played really well some moments. It’s not easy to play against her because she keeps the ball really low, and it’s difficult. I was playing today better when I was down. I was doing everything correct”, said Rybakina. 

Rybakina is the first player to serve 10 aces or more in five matches in the same tornament since Serena Williams at Wimbledon in 2016. 

Rybakina will face the winner of the second semifinal between Petra Kvitova and Sorana Cristea. 

Kvitova beat Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4 3-6 6-3 after 2 hours and 12 minutes to reach the semifinal at the Miami Open for the first time in her career. 

Kvitova earned an early break and close out the first set with an ace on her third set point. Alexandrova hit a backhand crosscourt return to break serve for 4-2 in the sixth game of the second set and held on her serve to draw the match level at one set apiece. 

Kvitova saved a break point to hold serve for 4-3 in the third set. The Czech player hit a crosscourt forehand to earn a break for 5-3 and converted her second match point in the next game to seal the win. 

“I am glad that my serve helped me in important moments, especially in the third set. The chance for the break came. I took it, and it was very emotional in the end. I am very happy that I found a way to win it”, said Kvitova. 

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Carlos Alcaraz continues his quest for the Sunshine Double with a win against Taylor Fritz in Miami



Carlos Alcaraz beat Taylor Fritz 6-4 6-2 to reach his second consecutive semifinal at the Miami Open. Alcaraz continues his quest for the Sunshine Double, a sweep of Masters 1000 titles in Indian Wells and Miami in the same year. Alcaraz converted three of his five break points. Both players ended the match with 20 winners, but Alcaraz made 13 unforced errors to Fritz’s 28. 


Alcaraz earned an immediate break in the opening game. Fritz brought up two break points in the second game, but Alcaaraz saved them with half-volleys  to hold on his serve. The Spanish player started the second set with an early break in the first game of the opening set and won the final three games including a break in the seventh game to seal the second set 6-2 after 1 hour and 18 minutes. 

“A little bit of nerves at the beginning of the match. It was new for me, playing against him. I knew that I had to play my game, the way that I was playing the previous matches, a high level for me. Of course I am very happy with the way I started the match, with no mistakes and with a lot of power. It was a key for me to break his serve at the beginning and then play the game”, said Alcaraz. 

Alcaraz has improved his seasonal record to 18 wins to 1 defeats. The Spaniard set up a blockbuster semifinal match against Sinner in a re-match of this year’s Indian Wells semifinal. Alcaraz leads 3-2 in his five head-to-head matches and beat his Italian rival in Indian Wells. Sinner defeated Alcaraz twice last year at Wimbledon and in the Umag final. 

If Karen Khachanov beats Danil Medvedev in the other semifinal, he will overtake Fritz at world number 10 in the ATP Ranking. 

Fritz holds a record of 13 wins to 3 defeats this season. He won the Delray Beach title and reached the quarter final in Indian Wells. 

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Danil Medvedev sets up all-Russian semifinal against Karen Khachanov in Miami



Danil Medvedev edged US qualifier Christopher Eubanks 6-3 7-5 in a rain disrupted match to reach the semifinals at the Miami Open for the first time. 


Medvedev has reached the semifinals at a fifth consecutive ATP tournament after winning three consecutive titles in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai and reaching the final in Indian Wells. Medvedev has won 22 of his past 23 matches. 

Medvedev saved break points in the fourth game. The match was delayed by rain for half an hour. As the match resumed Medvedev reeled off the next four games to close out the first set 6-3.

Medvedev broke serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Eubanks broke straight back for 3-4. Medvedev broke again in the 12th game as Eubanks mishit a return on the third match point. 

“I did not play my best tennis before the rain delay. The rain helped go out and have more energy. It helped me and I only played better and better, apart from one bad game on my serve, but it happens”, said Medvedev. 

Medvedev set up a semifinal clash against his compatrion Karen Khachanov, who edged past Francisco Cerundolo 6-3 6-2. Khachanov reached his first ATP Masters semifinal since 2019. 

Cerundolo earned the first break of the match in the fifth game of the first set, but Medvedev broke straight back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Khachanov broke for the second time in the eighth game to close out the first set 6-3. 

Khachanov broke twice in the first and fifth games to win the second set 6-2. Cerundolo won just four of 18 points and made 22 unforced errors. Khachanov hit 22 winners to Cerundolo’s 19.

Cerundolo entered this match with a 8-1 record at the Miami Open after reaching the semifinal in last year’s edition. 

Khachanov has moved up to 11th in the ATP Live Ranking and will return to the top 10 if he wins the title. He reached the semifinal at the Australian Open last September. 

“At the end of the day it was a question of finding rhythm. At the beginning, it was pretty windy and I could not where the wind was coming through. I then started to hit through the ball more and I felt better and better. After I broke him back I felt I was on a good rise and felt that I could not miss. That is good feeling to have during a match”, said Khachanov. 

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