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Andrey Rublev places Russia on the brink of Davis Cup triumph


Davis Cup: Andrey Rublev puts Russia in control of Croatia© AFP

Russia came closer on Sunday to win a third Davis Cup after Andrey Rublev beat Croatia’s Borna Gojo 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) to give them a 1-0 lead in the final. Daniil Medvedev, the world number two, could seal the title for Russia in Madrid with a victory over Marin Cilic while the former US Open champion will hope to extend Croatia’s chances in the doubles. The 23-year-old Gojo was instrumental in Croatia reaching the final after winning all three of its previous singles matches, but, at 279th in the world, he would always face off against fifth-seeded Rublev.

The Russian’s precision from the baseline eventually prevailed, but Gojo pushed him all the way, especially in the second set, when the Croatian took a 5-4 lead.

The crucial moment in the first came halfway through when two Gojo back hands in the net gave Rublev some break points before a deep forehand forced the decisive Gojo error.

Rublev served with a bait and then put Gojo under pressure early in the second set, but could not convert into a rest.

After enduring the storm, Gojo held on more comfortably but Rublev came back to 5-5. He took Gojo to survive, but the Croatian pushed down a discount in the middle to survive.

Rublev quickly confirmed the draw and got the first point when Gojo made a double fault.

Gojo won it back when a Rublev forehand popped out of his frame, but he then chose to leave a Rublev pass, which plummeted on the line.

Gojo was in the sight of a decision-maker when Rublev blew a forehand wide and a pin point-wide wide put him ahead 5-4.

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But Rublev dug deep, an excellent pass and an inside-out front-runner who opened two game points. Rublev first switched when a Gojo backhand drifted long.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated stream.)

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