Russia sweep past Sweden to reach Davis Cup semis

MADRID (AFP) – World number two and US Open champion Daniil Medvedev led Russia past Sweden and into a second successive Davis Cup semi-final late on Thursday.

Medvedev defeated world number 94 Mikael Ymer 6-4, 6-4 to secure the crucial winning point.

Russia will today face Germany for a place in tomorrow’s final with Novak Djokovic’s Serbia meeting Croatia in the other semi-final.

“Madrid feels like home, we’re winning a lot of matches,” said Medvedev.

“It was a great boost of confidence to beat the home team (Spain, in the group stage). We are winning a lot of matches, we didn’t lose a tie in the group.

“Saturday’s going to be my first semi-final, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Earlier, fifth-ranked Andrey Rublev had battled back to defeat 171st-ranked Elias Ymer, the older brother of Mikael Ymer, 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (7/3).

Russian Tennis Federation’s Daniil Medvedev returns the ball to Sweden’s Mikael Ymer during a Davis Cup quarter final match at the Madrid Arena stadium in Madrid, Spain. PHOTO: AP

“There’s a lot of pressure when you know that you have to win and your opponent has nothing to lose,” said Rublev.

“They go for it, they go for their shots and play without fear and in my case I know I have to win so you start to play less aggressive and you start to miss a bit more.”

He added, “Today was a super tough match. I didn’t manage to finish the match when I had a really great chance.

“I missed some easy balls and that brings him back to the game and since that moment he raised his level. He started to feel confident and he started to play much better and then it was 7-6 in the third.”

Russia also made the semi-finals in 2019 when the last edition of the Davis Cup took place.

They defeated 2010 champions Serbia to make the last four – where they lost to Canada – with a tiebreak win in the third set of the deciding doubles.

Djokovic featured in that tie but Medvedev was absent.

Medvedev has won all three singles rubbers he has played in this year’s competition and has yet to drop a set.

However, he looked weary on Thursday, hitting 20 unforced errors and nine double faults against his unheralded Swedish opponent.

Russia captain Shamil Tarpischev was in charge of his 100th Davis Cup tie having led the former Soviet Union team for the first time in 1974.