Ymer brothers lead Sweden past Argentina in Davis Cup final

MADRID (AP) — The Ymer brothers continue to qualify for Sweden in the Davis Cup final.

A year after leading the Swedes to a surprising run to the quarter-finals, Elias Ymer and Mikael Ymer got off to a good start and led their nation to victory over Argentina in the opening group stage matches tuesday.

Elias Ymer beat Sebastián Báez 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(4), while his younger brother Mikael Ymer then comfortably beat number 17 Diego Schwartzman 6-2, 6-2 in Group A matches in Bologna. The Argentinians scored their only point with Maximo Gonzalez and Horacio Zeballos beating Andre Goransson and Elias Ymer 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in doubles.

“I’m very happy because we weren’t favorites in this group with teams like Argentina, Croatia and Italy,” said Elias Ymer. “This victory is worth double.”

The Ymer brothers, Sweden’s highest-ranked players, helped Sweden succeed last year when they were one of the lowest-ranked nations in the competition.

The Swedes were not yet the favorites for the opening match against 2016 Davis Cup champions Argentina. Mikael Ymer, 24, is world number 98, while Elias Ymer, 26, is ranked 119th .

Three other venues – Valencia in Spain, Hamburg in Germany and Glasgow in Scotland – are hosting group stage matches ahead of the single-site quarter-finals to be played in the southern city of Malaga in November.

In Group C in Hamburg, Alex de Minaur beat David Goffin 6-2, 6-2 to lead Australia to victory over Belgium. Minaur’s win followed Jason Kubler’s 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 triumph over Zizou Bergs.

De Minaur, 22nd, had already beaten Goffin the last time the nations met in the Davis Cup final three years ago in Madrid. Goffin had won 26 of his 30 Davis Cup singles matches in this year’s edition of the competition.

Kubler, ranked No. 97, picked up victory on his Davis Cup debut for the team managed by Lleyton Hewitt. Kubler, 29, is in the top 100 for the first time since 2018.

Australia went 3-0 after Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell beat Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen 6-1, 6-3 in the final doubles match.

Germany and France are the other teams in Group C.

In Group B in Valencia, Canada took the lead against Davis Cup final newcomer South Korea after Vasek Pospisil rallied to defeat Hong Seong-Chan 4-6, 6-1 , 7-6 (5), but Soonwoo Kwon tied the game with a 7-6 (5), 6-3 victory over Félix Auger-Aliassime. In the deciding doubles, Auger-Aliassime and Pospisil defeated Song Min-Kyu and Jisung Nam 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 to give Canada the point.

In Group D in Glasgow, the Netherlands beat Kazakhstan 2-0 after Tallon Griekspoor beat Mikhail Kukushkin 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 and Botic van de Zandschulp beat Alexander Bublik 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.

The top two teams from each of the four groups will qualify for the quarter-finals.

New world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz arrived in Valencia on Tuesday two days after winning the US Open. Spain will make their debut on Wednesday against Serbia, who will not count on Novak Djokovic.

The United States will be without Frances Tiafoe, who lost to Alcaraz in the US Open semifinals. The Americans will be led by Taylor Fritz in Group D, which also features a Great Britain team led by Andy Murray.

Top-seeded Croatia are in Group A with an Italian side playing at home and captained by Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner, who lost to Alcaraz in the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows in a five-set thriller.

Russia will not be able to defend their title from last year after being banned from international team competitions due to the nation’s invasion of Ukraine.

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