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Spain falls to Russia and is left out of the Davis Cup

The Spanish team of Davis cup has been eliminated at dawn in the 2021 Finals at the hands of Aslan Karatsev and Andrey Rublev, who defeated Marcel granollers and Feliciano lopez (4-6, 6-2, 6-4) and lowered the champion despite having her ticket insured.

The Davis Cup quarterfinals will be Italy-Croatia, this Monday in Turin; Great Britain-Germany, Tuesday Innsbruck; and Serbia-Kazakhstan and Russia-Sweden, on December 1 and 2 in Madrid. In the decisive series for Spain, Feliciano rallied (2-6, 6-3, 6-4) to Rublev for a promising 1-0, but Daniil Medvedev put things in their place before Pablo Carreño.

Spain knew from the day of the draw that it would play against Russia and, in a positive scenario, most likely in the doubles. Although the Russians did not need to win the series, they did want the first place in Group A and incidentally leave a formidable rival on the road.

Despite the casualties —Rafa Nada, Roberto Bautista and Carlos Alcaraz—, Sergi Bruguera’s team showed grit and a special relationship with the tournament to compete to the limit. The first set of the doubles again opened the Spanish horizon in the tournament, a great start to Feli and Granollers without giving an option with their serve. Karatsev and Rublev, who were coming off a bad game against Ecuador, took a step forward in a second open but Russian set. The reaction earned them the break and, with a last attack on Granollers, they forced the third set. There he pressed the Madrid Arena, already passing midnight, with both teams winning their aces until a devastating game for the Russians to join the series for the rest.

This is how Spain said goodbye to an edition that, although at home, looked complicated. Medvedev was the one who remembered him by beating Carreño (6-2 and 7-6 (3)). To the Asturian he had to dance with the ugliest, the number two in the world, and although he stood up in the second set, he could not give another tie to Spain as against Ecuador.

The US Open champion had to pull the repertoire to lower the euphoria of a Carreño who squeezed in search of the third set. The Russian that was in charge of cutting the rush that the host brought after Feliciano with a 5-0 entry. The Asturian looked for his moment in the second act and managed to hurt the rest. Thus, the Olympic bronze last summer managed to get 1-3, but Medvedev returned to the charge with four games in a row. The attrition was stronger than the epic to a Carreño who saved two match balls to reach sudden death, where again the world number two showed gallons to hold Russia.

Spain missed the quarterfinal ball that Feliciano won (2-6, 6-3 or 6-4) against Rublev. The Toledo gave everything again to open the series, this time in one of the best games of his life, in Davis, at home, against the number five in the world and in his 40s. Feliciano was slow to connect and his rival started strong and a double break.

With the push from the stands, Feli found stability in his game and confidence to be adding points and heating up the service. The Toledo finished getting up with the break in the sixth game and then saving three break balls to confirm it. In full euphoria, Feliciano came to the top until he had two match balls for the rest and a third with his serve.


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