On Monday, Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov helped Russia open Davis Cup Finals’ inaugural with a 3-0 victory over Croatia, the reigning champions, in Madrid.
World number 17 Khachanov beat Croatian number 1 Borna Coric 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-4, after Rublev earlier had seen off Borna Gojo 6-3, 6-3.
Khachanov said, "When you're playing not only for yourself, but for your country, you have to fight harder."
Russia can wrap up a place in the quarter-finals with victory over Rafael Nadal's Spain in their second Group B tie on Tuesday. They are playing without their star player US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev due to exhaustion.
The 18 participating nations have been divided into six groups of three at the Caja Magica. The pool winners and two best runners-up will 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 & one doubles in each tie.
On Monday, Khachanov and Rublev finished the clean sweep with a 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 doubles win over Nikola Mektic and Ivan Dodig.
In another match, Canada took over the well-fancied Italy with a 2-1 victory in Group F.
World number 12 Fabio Fognini plunged to a 7-6 (7/5), 7-5 defeat by Vasek Pospisil. Ranked 150th, before rising star Denis Shapovalov defeated Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/5).
Shapovalov said, "I'm really happy to get the win against a player like Matteo who has had such a good season."
"I always love representing my country... It's not often you get to play as a team, so it's amazing."
Italy were the favorites in Group F with Berrettini and Fognini, as both of them has enjoyed the season. The nation won their only Davis Cup title in 1976.
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