Feliciano beats number 5 Rublev and makes Spain dream

Feliciano beats number 5 Rublev and makes Spain dream

Feliciano López, the magician of the five Davis Cups, allowed Spain to continue dreaming at the Madrid Arena. The toledano, to his 40 years old and ranked 104th in the world, knocked down with pride and class Andrey Rublev, fifth racket in the ATP, 2-6, 6-3 and 6-4 in 1h: 45. A victory of faith that paves the way for Sergi Bruguera’s men to reach the quarterfinals in the Davis Cup finals after the 3-0 to Ecuador in the debut. Next, Pablo Carreño will play against Daniil Medvedev, two from the ATP who he defeated at the Tokyo Games. “This team has many eggs and it is about competing,” the hero summed up excitedly.

There are two options to continue defending the Salad Bowl. Go through as the first of the group (it would be necessary to win at least one other match to decant the tie) or as one of the two best seconds. And for this, the victory of Feliciano can also be golden in case of yielding Carreño to Medvedev and then the doubles.

The gloomy match began. With two breaks in the first quarter of the Russian, 24 years old and participant in the recent Masters while the Spanish played a Challenger tournament (second category) to secure points for the Australian Open. The public, who filled the 9,000 seats of the Arena and had waited two and a half hours frozen outside the venue due to the delay in the resolution of the Kazakhstan-Canada, he chanted the name of Feliciano without much conviction …

Until he dragged them to believe. He connected them. His fine tennis at the net (“One of the best matches of my career, fast and agile”, he later recounted) began to flow. Although the first serves did not go in (50% at the end), with the first ones that went inside it was lethal (40/49) and with the second he managed to sign several aces. Break to 4-2 in the second. Fist to the chest. Rublev brooding on his demons. And set to the esportón.

Feliciano entered the first day for the positive in COVID of Carlos Alcaraz and he won clean, in two sets, the Ecuadorian Roberto Quiroz. Later, he could not dispute the doubles due to a drop in glucose. But before Rublev he entered with her full. He lifted the Russian two break balls at 0-1 and snatched serve in the next game. Had two match balls to the rest that did not materialize. But he was not scared. He loves Davis and Davis loves him. The Russian still had a break ball when he served to win. And he held out to win with an ace. With your DNA. Imperial until victory. Like that Feliciano de Mar del Plata 2008 who raised the team by defeating Juan Martín del Potro. “He had nothing to lose and he was brave.” One more time.

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