Swedish-Ethiopian Ymer brothers lead Sweden to victory at Davis Cup Finals

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Sweden brushed aside Canada in their Davis Cup Finals opening rubber in Madrid on Thursday while Australia were on the receiving end of a similar scoreline against Croatia.

Brothers Elias and Mikael Ymer set seven-time Davis Cup champion Sweden on their way as they won their singles clashes with Elias defeating world No 264 Steven Diez 6-4, 6-2 before Mikael got the better of Vasek Pospisil with a 6-4, 6-4 victory.

Canada are without the top seeds Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime and they failed to win a match as Andre Goransson and Robert Lindstedt secured a 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 win over Pospisil and Brayden Schnur in the doubles.

“I would say this is probably the most painful loss I have had,” world No 61 Popyrin said.

In Group C, France overcame a slow start to defeat the Czech Republic 2-1.

World No 143 Tomas Machac gave the Czechs a stunning start with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 victory over Richard Gasquet in Innsbruck, but Adrian Mannarino beat Jiri Vesely 6-7 (1-7), 6-4, 6-2 to draw France level.

Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut then defeated Jiri Lehecka and Machac 3-6 6-4 6-3 to give France, who face Great Britain on Saturday, victory.