From 14th to 23rd September, Russian tennis
fans witnessed two significant events in the tennis
calendar – the Davis Cup match between national
teams of Russia and Belarus, which took place
in Moscow, and, just afterwards - SPB Open
tournament, which was held in St. Petersburg.
text by Vadim Koltsov (Eurosport commentator)
Despite the low international rating, the Belarusians had a good team headed by the semifinalist of the Wimbledon (2000) – Vladimir Volchkov. In addition, one of the important links of the Belarusian team was experienced doubles player - Max Mirniy.
After Karen Khachanov’s victory over Yegor Gerasimov (7/6 6/3), the Russian team captured the lead in the tie, but soon, thanks to the efforts of Ilya Ivashka over Daniil Medvedev (7/6 6/4), the Belarusians first leveled the score. And, after Mirniy and Vasilevskiy prevailed over Khachanov and Rublev (7/5 6/3), Belarus broke forward with a score of 2-1.
But the Russian team did not intend to give up. At first, Khachanov confidently beat Ilya Ivashka, who hadn’t almost had chances, 6/2 6/4.
After the match, Karen said how important it was to «cheer up» the audience to get additional emotional support from the stadium.
The intensity of the passion in the decisive match between Medvedev & Gerasimov was outrageous! In the toughest first set Daniil prevailed with a score 7/6, but Gerasimov quickly came back and equalized the score, winning the second set 6/3.Everything was decided in the third set, where, thanks to the selfless support of the spectators, Medvedev was better with a score 6/3 and got a decisive point for the Russian team.
Already in February 2019 the Russian team will compete to qualify for the updated Davis Cup final stage, which is now to resemble the FIFA World Cup, only this time among national tennis teams.
According to the reform of the Davis Cup - the championship will be held in Madrid for two years (2019-2020), and now Russian fans will less often see their tennis players on their homeland, because all the play-off stage will be played in one city. (More details at daviscup.com/en/news/290055.aspx )
More photos from the Davis Cup below: