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Russian Tennis Federation edge out Spain to reach last eight; Serbia through

Feliciano Lopez beat Andrey Rublev to give Spain hope but the Russians were too strong as they moved into the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup

Rublev Karatsev Davis Cup 2021 Tennis – Davis Cup Finals – Group A – Spain v Russian Tennis Federation – Madrid Arena, Madrid, Spain – November 28, 2021 Russian Tennis Federation’s Aslan Karatsev and Andrey Rublev celebrates winning their double match against Spain’s Marcel Granollers and Feliciano Lopez || 214072_0052

Russia came from behind to beat Spain 2-1 in a dramatic tie on Sunday to claim their place in the last eight of the Davis Cup Finals, a win that also sent Serbia through as one of the two best runners-up.

A brilliant win by 40-year-old Feliciano Lopez over world No 5 Andrey Rublev put Spain ahead but world No 2 and US Open champion Daniil Medvedev levelled the tie with victory over Pablo Carreno Busta before Rublev teamed with Aslan Karatsev to beat Lopez and Marcel Granollers in three sets.

Brilliant Lopez stuns Rublev at 40

Feliciano Lopez has been defying age for a few years now but the left-hander produced one of his best, most surprising wins when he stunned world No 5 Rublev to give Spain a precious lead.

It looked as if Rublev would ease to victory when he won the opening set but the 40-year-old Lopez, roared on by a vociferous Madrid crowd, levelled the match and then snatched the decider to earn a famous 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory.

“For me it was already amazing to be here representing my country at 40 years old,” Lopez said. “I didn’t expect to be the one playing singles. Honestly today, playing against Andrey, No 5 in the world at this stage of my career in my hometown, this is over any expectations honestly.”

Medvedev pulls Russian Tennis Federation level

It’s been a long season for Daniil Medvedev but the world No 2 continues to give his all, especially when he’s playing for his country.

Medvedev was tested hard by Pablo Carreno Busta, who led 3-0 in the second set and hit back to force a tiebreak, but Medvedev took it 7-3 to take the match into a deciding doubles.

Russians wear down Lopez and Granollers

It came down to the doubles, a clash between the experience of Spain in Lopez and Marcel Granollers and the firepower of the Russian Tennis Federation, via Rublev and Aslan Karatsev.

Experience won out in the opening set as two great returns by Lopez secured the break for 5-4 and the Spaniards served out to move ahead.

But Rublev and Karatsev, who won the title together in Doha earlier in the year, hit back well, taking the second set with two breaks to force it into a decider and then one break was enough to secure a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 win, sending Spain out and Serbia through.

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