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Ymer brothers give Sweden winning start at Davis Cup Finals

Nov 25 (Reuters) – Brothers Elias and Mikael Ymer comfortably received their singles rubbers towards Canada to get seven-times champions Sweden off to a winning start within the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid on Thursday.

The match started on Thursday with 18 finalists set to compete in six teams of three throughout three cities — Madrid, Turin and Innsbruck. Eight groups qualify for the knockout rounds and the ultimate happening in Madrid on Dec. 5.

Elias hit 22 winners as he eased previous Steven Diez 6-4 6-2 within the first match earlier than youthful brother Mikael made it 2-0 with a strong 6-4 6-4 victory over Vasek Pospisil.

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Mikael was spectacular on serve, winning 80% factors on his first serve and going through only one break level.

“I tried to stay in the moment and tried to enjoy it. At the end it’s just a game, even if it’s a lot we are playing for,” stated the 23-year-old, who’s ranked 93 on the planet.

“When you play someone like Vasek who’s so good in his offence it doesn’t give me, especially with my toolbox, it doesn’t give me a lot of other options then to try to counter.

“And I feel the serve helped so much at present to not give him too many seems, particularly in my service sport.”

Former U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic and Borna Gojo handed 2018 victors Croatia a 2-0 lead over Australia in Turin.

Gojo fired eight aces to secure a 7-6(5) 7-5 victory over Alexei Popyrin, who is 215 rungs above the Croatian in the ATP rankings.

Cilic edged past Alex de Minaur 6-1 5-7 6-4 in the second rubber.

The Czech Republic’s Tomas Machac caused a huge upset on his Davis Cup debut when the 21-year-old, ranked 143 in the world, beat France veteran Richard Gasquet 7-6(3) 6-2 to give his side a 1-0 lead in Innsbruck.

Gasquet fired more winners at an empty Olympiahalle arena, which has no fans due to Austria’s reintroduction of a COVID-19 lockdown, but the 35-year-old made several unforced errors and allowed Machac to win five games in a row at one point.

Adrian Mannarino brought France level at 1-1 with the Czechs after downing Jiri Vesely 6-7(1) 6-4 6-2.

Defending champions Spain begin their Group A campaign on Friday in Madrid when they take on Ecuador. ATP Cup winners Russia are also in their group, with world number two Daniil Medvedev and world number five Andrey Rublev in the team.

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Reporting by Rohith Nair and Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; further reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, modifying by Pritha Sarkar

Tennis - Davis Cup Finals - Group B - Canada v Sweden - Madrid Arena, Madrid, Spain - November 25, 2021  Sweden's Elias Ymer in action during his match against Canada's Steven Diez REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Tennis - Davis Cup Finals - Group B - Canada v Sweden - Madrid Arena, Madrid, Spain - November 25, 2021 Sweden's Mikael Ymer in action during his match against  Canada's Vasek Pospisil REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Tennis - Davis Cup Finals - Group B - Canada v Sweden - Madrid Arena, Madrid, Spain - November 25, 2021  Sweden's Elias Ymer in action during his match against Canada's Steven Diez REUTERS/Sergio Perez

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