Ymer brothers help Sweden stun Canada in Davis Cup final | Sports News

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By TALES AZZONI, AP Sports Writer

MADRID (AP) – Before the matches were played, Elias Ymer was quick to say Sweden could pull off the Davis Cup final despite being one of the lowest-ranked nations in the competition .

He confirmed his words with a nice opening win on Thursday, then cheered on his brother Mikael in the other singles match that saw Sweden take the victory over 2019 runner-up Canada in the group. B.

Top-ranked France and runner-up Croatia also won Day 1, while defending champions Spain found themselves without one of their biggest attractions after 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz , tested positive for the coronavirus and had to be removed from the team. Spain were due to open the game against Ecuador on Friday in Group A.

France needed to join the Czech Republic, 18th, with a doubles victory in three sets after the singles loss of veteran Richard Gasquet.

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Sweden also won the doubles match against Canada after Elias Ymer defeated Steven Diaz 6-4, 6-2 and Mikael Ymer defeated Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-4.

“It’s a miracle. You don’t see it in almost any other country. It’s not in a lot of sports, two brothers,” said Elias Ymer. “Our parents immigrated from Ethiopia. We are both like # 1 and # 2, representing Sweden in the biggest tennis event in the world You don’t see it that often.

Elias Ymer, ranked 171st, recovered after losing 4-1 in the first set to Diaz. Mikael Ymer, ranked 93rd and two years younger than Elias, converted his two break point chances against Pospisil.

Mikael Ymer has said their victories will surely resonate at home.

“Growing up was also one of my father’s big dreams,” he said. “Even if I don’t think about it too much while I’m playing or during the week, for me it’s more about the team and the country. Of course there are times here and there where I sit and I think it’s beautiful, it’s a beautiful story.

In the doubles match, Andre Goransson and Robert Lindstedt beat Pospisil and Brayden Schnur 7-6 (5), 6-4 to give the Swedes all three points.

Sweden are 14th in the Davis Cup standings and make their first appearance in the revamped competition. He’s trying to reach the Davis Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2011.

“I said (we could win this) because I think belief is super important. It’s something that everyone has to work on,” Elias Ymer said. “I said it because, yes, if I don’t believe we can’t win this, why should we even be here? “

Canada, sixth, lost to Spain in the final of the first edition of the event, while Pospisil was one of its key players.

The second edition of the Davis Cup final kicked off with two other matches played simultaneously in Austria and Italy.

In Turin, Borna Gojo and Marin Cilic gave 2018 champions Croatia the victory over 28-time winner Australia in Group D.

Gojo, ranked 276th, beat No.61 Alexei Popyrin 7-6 (5), 7-5 after saving all five break points he faced. No.30 Cilic outlived No.34 Alex de Minaur 6-1, 5-7, 6-4.

The Czech Republic led 1-0 against France when Thomas Machac, 21, beat Gasquet 7-6, 6-2 (3) in Group C in Innsbruck. Gasquet, 35, conceded 11 aces against 143rd ranked Machac in an empty arena due to coronavirus restrictions in Austria.

France equalized the series when Adrian Mannarino rallied to defeat Jiri Vesely 6-7 (1), 6-4, 6-2, then Pierre-Hughes Herbert and Nicolas Mahut also came back from behind to beat Jiri Lehecka and Machac 3-6, 6 -4, 6-3.

Each match on the indoor hard courts is a best-of-three series comprising two singles matches and one doubles match. The six group winners as well as the two second-place teams with the best records based on sets and matches will advance to the quarter-finals.

The 18-team competition was not contested last year due to the pandemic. There will be no supporters allowed in Innsbruck, and the capacity is 60% in Turin and 75% in Madrid, where a good crowd was present for the opener between Sweden and Canada.

The event took place entirely in Madrid for seven days in 2019, being extended to 11 days this time after criticism from players and fans about late-night matches in mostly empty arenas and not enough rest between matches.

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