Russia’s 15-year wait for the Davis Cup title came to an end on Sunday after another stellar performance from Daniil Medvedev. Medvedev defeated Marin Cilic 7-6 (7), 6-2 in the second singles match to give Russia an unassailable 2-0 lead over Croatia in the final. It is Russia’s third Davis Cup title, and the first since 2006.
Andrey Rublev had earlier defeated Borna Gozo in straight sets to advance the Russians at the Madrid Arena. Russia’s second Davis Cup title was in 2002. Croatia were also seeking their third title after victories in 2005 and 2018. Russia won the team events after the women’s team won the Billie Jean King Cup final in Prague last month. The last country to do the double was the Czech Republic in 2012.
The win also marked a special week for Russia captain Shamil Tarpyshev, the longest-serving Davis Cup captain. He captained for the first time in 1974, and appeared in his 100th match as captain in the semi-final against Germany. The Russian team, officially called the RTF (Russian Tennis Federation), competed in the midst of an ongoing doping suspension in international sport.
2002, 2006, 2021
— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) December 5, 2021
After a hard-fought first set, No. 2 Medvedev broke serve twice in the second against 30th-ranked Cilic to win the Davis Cup for the fifth time in a row this year. Rublev had converted on his first match point to take a 6–4, 7–6(5) win over Gozo, who reached the Davis Cup final as a 279th-placed player in all but three of his matches. Were living
First Grand Slam title
First Davis Cup title
— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) December 6, 2021
It was fifth-ranked Rublev’s third consecutive win after a loss against Spain’s Feliciano López in the group stage. Gozo had no break throughout the match against Rublev, who converted one of his eights to grab the first set and eventually won the second set tiebreaker.
Croatia defeated Serbia and top-ranked Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, while Russia knocked out Germany. The Russians won a group that included defending champions Spain and Ecuador, then advanced to Sweden in the quarter-finals. Croatia won group A with Australia and Hungary, then beat Italy in the last eight.
The International Tennis Federation and Cosmos Tennis Group, behind the competition, said four cities would host the group stages next year, with another venue likely to host the knockout rounds in Abu Dhabi. Madrid was the only host of the competition in 2019 over a period of seven days. This year, Innsbruck in Austria and Turin in Italy were added as hosts over an 11-day period. This event was not played in 2020 because coronavirus global pandemic.