US Open champion and world number two Daniil Medvedev said he had the best week of his career as he went unbeaten in the Davis Cup finals and helped the Russia Tennis Federation claim its first title in 15 years with a 2-0 win over Croatia on Sunday.
“It was an amazing two weeks because it’s never easy to come here at the end of the season. I’m more happy for the team than for myself,” Medvedev said after winning 7-6(7), 6-2 against Croatia’s Marin Cilic. He did not lose a set in the tournament.
Earlier, world number five Andrey Rublev needed just over 1.5 hours to beat Borna Gojo and put Russia in the lead.
“What I love about these kinds of tournaments, when we play as a country, is the bond we create as team,” Rublev told a news conference.
“We do everything together and it creates this will to win for your friends, for the team.”
Medvedev leads Russia to third Davis Cup title
Rublev also won the Olympic gold medal at this year’s Tokyo Games in the mixed doubles with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Russia went unbeaten in the Davis Cup Finals, winning its group opener 3-0 against Ecuador and only struggling to beat one of its rivals, host Spain, who handed it its only loss in the singles when Feliciano Lopez edged Rublev in three sets.
That win created animosity between the Spanish crowd and the Russian team, with the locals rooting against Russia until the final when the fans gave it a standing ovation.
“I didn’t mean to offend with my celebrations, trying to emulate (Portugal’s) Cristiano Ronaldo,” Medvedev said. Probably gave the wrong impression – it was not a good decision.
“But in the final it was amazing because there were a lot of Croatians in the crowd and the rest of the stadium was rooting for me. So the crowd seemed happy with our win and it looks like a good end of the story.”
After beating Spain, Russia eliminated Sweden and Germany decisively on its way to Sunday’s final when it won the Davis Cup for the first time since lifting the 2006 title.
“I was eight years old and was in the arena. Don’t remember anything other than it was against Argentina,” Rublev said with a big smile.
Russia claimed tits third Davis Cup to equal Czech Republic and Germany in joint sixth place on the all-time winners’ list.