Davis Cup Finals 2019: Argentina overpowers Chile, France dumps Japan

Argentina and France began their Davis Cup Finals 2019 campaigns in style as they secured wins over Chile and Japan, respectively, on Tuesday.

Argentina's Diego Schwartzman celebrates after beating Chile's Cristian Garin during their Davis Cup Finals 2019 match on Tuesday.   -  AP Photo

Argentina cruised to a 3-0 win over Chile in its opening group stage tie of the Davis Cup Finals 2019 in Madrid on Tuesday, courtesy spotless performances in its singles matches.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has faced criticism for meddling with the partisan atmosphere generated by the “home and away” format and replacing it with a soccer World Cup-style format featuring 18 nations, in one city, battling over seven days to be crowned champions.

But the Argentina supporters, in their blue and white stripes, packed the Centre Court and cheered almost every point as Guido Pella eased past Chilean Nicolas Jarry 6-4, 6-3 in the opening match. Diego Schwartzman produced a ruthless display to beat Cristian Garin 6-2, 6-2, and the doubles team of Maximo Gonzalez and Leonardo Mayer ensured Argentina, the 2016 champion, began its campaign with a convincing victory in Group C.

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“It's the end of the season but I think I played one of the best matches for sure of the year, maybe in my career,” said Schwartzman. “I think Guido helped me a lot to be more confident in this match and I played unreal tennis.”

France, bidding to win its 11th Davis Cup title, got off to a winning start as the experienced Jo-Wilfried Tsonga raced to a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Japan's Yasutaka Uchiyama. Japan, which is without the injured Kei Nishikori, roared back into the encounter with a surprise victory as Yoshihito Nishioka overcame Gael Monfils 7-5, 6-2.

France completed the win as the doubles team of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut beat Ben McLachlan and Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-7 (1), 6-4, 7-5 to clinch the tie.

Kazakhstan's Davis Cup veteran Mikhail Kukushkin produced a clinical display to beat Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp 6-2, 6-2. But Robin Haase dragged the Dutch team back into the contest with a clutch display in the final set tiebreak to beat Alexander Bublik 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (5).

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