Davis Cup finals 2019: Holders Croatia beaten by Russia

Denis Shapovalov
Denis Shapovalov saved three set points before taking the first set in a tie-break
2019 Davis Cup Finals
Venue: Caja Magica, Madrid Dates: 18-24 November
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra from Wednesday, 20 November; Live text coverage on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.

Croatia began the defence of their Davis Cup title with a 3-0 defeat by Group B rivals Russia as the new-look tournament got under way in Madrid.

Borna Gojo was beaten 6-3 6-3 by Andrey Rublev and Borna Coric went down 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4 to Karen Khachanov before the Russian pair combined to win the final doubles match.

Russia face Spain on Tuesday.

In Group F, Canada's Vasek Pospisil and Denis Shapovalov both won as they secured a 2-1 win over Italy.

World number 150 Pospisil beat world number 12 Fabio Fognini 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 and Shapovalov battled past Matteo Berrettini, fresh from his ATP Finals debut, 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-5). The Italian pair then defeated the Canadian duo in the final doubles contest.

And in Group D, Steve Darcis and David Goffin both won their singles matches as Belgium recorded a 2-1 win over Colombia.

The new format

Eighteen nations are split into six groups of three, with the group winners and two best-placed runners-up progressing to the quarter-finals.

The two semi-finals will be played on Saturday, 23 November with the two winners going through to the final on Sunday, 24 November.

The six groups
Group A: France, Serbia, JapanGroup B: Croatia, Spain, Russia
Group C: Argentina, Germany, ChileGroup D: Belgium, Australia, Colombia
Group E: Great Britain, Kazakhstan, NetherlandsGroup F: United States, Italy, Canada
Which of the world's top 20 are playing?
Rafael Nadal (Spain) [1]Fabio Fognini (Italy) [12]
Novak Djokovic (Serbia) [2]Diego Schwartzman (Argentina) [14]
Matteo Berrettini (Italy) [8]Denis Shapovalov (Canada) [15]
Roberto Bautista Agut (Spain) [9]Karen Khachanov (Russia) [17]
Gael Monfils (France) [10]Alex de Minaur (Australia) [18]
David Goffin (Belgium) [11]

Schedule - who plays when?

Group stage: Monday, 18 November - Thursday, 21 November

Quarter-finals: Thursday, 21 November - Friday, 22 November

Semi-finals: Saturday, 23 November

Final: Sunday, 24 November

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