Russian No.2 Karen Khachanov described his opening Davis Cup Tie against defending champions Croatia as a tough one. Winning all the three matches in the new format, Andrey Rublev defeated Borna Gojo, while Khachanov beat Borna Coric to win the tie.
The two then paired up for their doubles match and prevailed over Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic, securing a 3-0 victory. "When you play, not only for yourself but your country, you need to give extra toughness and extra fight.
It was a tough match, it was a solid match from both of us. First time playing here in Madrid on hard court, opening match, extra pressure, it was important to start well. Had some opportunities and took them, I’m really happy we won this tie," Khachanov said.
The Russians next take on Spain in their second group-stage tie in attempt to make the quarterfinals. The revamped Davis Cup Finals pits 18 national teams split into six groups against each other and is played in Madrid. The tournament is set to complete on November 24.
The reformed Davis Cup now offers $20 million in prize money. Having being played since 1900, the most successful country in the history of the tournament is the United States, lifting the trophy 32 times. Russia has won the prestigious competition twice in 2002 and 2006.