Elias and Mikael Ymer both won in straight sets to give Sweden an impressive victory against 2019 finalists Canada

It was a day to remember for the Ymer family as brothers Elias and Mikael both won their singles matches to give Sweden victory over Canada in Madrid. 

Elias beat Steven Diez 64 62 in the first singles match before Mikael overcame Vasek Pospisil 64, 64. The day then got even better for Sweden when Robert Lindstedt and Andre Goransson combined for a 76, 64 doubles victory over Pospisil and Brayden Schnur.

It leaves Sweden in a strong position in Group B and knowing that victory over Kazakhstan on Saturday will send them through to the quarter-finals for the first time since 2011. 

Canada, finalists in 2019, had been weakened by the withdrawals of Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov and captain Frank Dancevic made it clear they were relying heavily on Pospisil to reproduce his heroics from two years ago when he won all three of his Group Stage matches. 

It was clear from the start against Mikael Ymer, however, that Pospisil had his work cut out. 

While the Canadian came through a marathon opening game that included six deuces, there was no let-up from Ymer and his pressure eventually told as he broke for a 3-1 lead. 

By this point the pattern of the match had developed. Pospisil was looking to be aggressive, to earn free points behind his first serve, and to rush to the net as much as possible. Ymer, meanwhile, was happy to stand far behind the baseline, play patiently, and then inject stunning pace into the ball. It was an approach that helped Ymer to keep his unforced errors to a minimum while Pospisil was more erratic. 

After Ymer served out the opening set with confidence, Pospisil raised his level considerably at the start of the second set, with some sharp volleys and movement at the net helping him to stabilise.

What followed was a series of closely contested games, with chances for both players, before Ymer eventually got the pivotal break in the seventh game. From there, the Swede eased to his 10th win in his last 12 Davis Cup matches.

Photo: Davis Cup Finals

Mikael Ymer (SWE)

Mikael had stepped onto court after watching his brother win his first Davis Cup match since 2018. 

“I was thinking about it [my Davis Cup record] right after the match”, Elias admitted shortly after the victory. “I told them in the locker room, Guys, I just got a win. I was a bit nervous before with the match, too, because I've had tough losses in the Davis Cup.”

Indeed, the match began with Ymer dropping his opening two service games, but the turning point came with Diez leading 4-1 in the first set. 

A brilliant forehand pass sparked Ymer into life and from there he appeared to gain confidence, tightening up his game and ultimately winning five games in a row to clinch the opener.

Diez, who came into the match on a nine match losing streak and who was playing his first Davis Cup match since 2010, eventually managed to end Ymer’s run of games, but he had no answer to the Swede’s all-court superiority.

Elias sealed victory with his 19th forehand winner of the contest. 

“Today my forehand was blasting”, he said afterwards. “I was hitting winners from everywhere. I mean, when my forehand is on, I'm very difficult to play, I would say.”

Some of Ymer’s winners brought to mind those of his captain, Robin Soderling, and the 25-year-old certainly has a close connection with the two-time Roland-Garros finalist. 

“I’ve worked with Robin before in 2018. I feel like when I'm talking to him, he understands me very well. We have a bit the same like game style. Whenever I feel something, he's kind of there supporting me. I think it's more mentally, I would say, than game-wise. I have a big trust in him. Whatever he says, I feel like it goes in.” 

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