Rafael Nadal kept Spain alive in their opening Davis Cup tie against Russia on Tuesday (Nov 19) by capitalising on a raucous home crowd to beat Karen Khachanov in straight sets.
Nadal, who will finish the year as world number one, came through a second-set tie-break to defeat Khachanov 6-3, 7-6 (9/7) and level the Group B match in Madrid ahead of a decisive doubles rubber. Spain fell behind after Roberto Bautista Agut was earlier beaten 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/0) by Andrey Rublev. Russia, who prevailed over Croatia on Monday, will qualify for the quarter-finals with another victory.
A new format this year means the Davis Cup takes place in one venue, across a single week, with organisers — among them Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique — hoping a tighter schedule will revitalise the prestigious trophy.
The three stadiums at the Caja Magica were all far from full for Tuesday’s early matches but Nadal enjoyed a bumper crowd of local fans for his opening contest in the evening. “The atmosphere was amazing,” said Nadal.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *