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Brazil beats host Sweden 3-1 to advance to Davis Cup Finals group stage for first time

Gabriel Diallo of Canada celebrates his win against Hong Seongchan of South Korea after a Davis Cup tennis qualifying match in Montreal, Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024. (Christinne Muschi/The Canadian Press via AP)

HELSINGBORG, Sweden (AP) — Thiago Monteiro led Brazil its first spot in the Davis Cup Finals group stage in September, beating Sweden's Elias Ymer 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 on Saturday for a 3-1 team victory.

“I’m just happy to help the team,” Monteiro said. “Everyone had put a lot of effort in to make this work. It is the job of the whole team.”

Earlier in doubles on the hard court at Helsingborg Arena, Brazil's Felipe Meligeni Alves and Rafael Matos topped Filip Bergevi and Andre Goransson 6-2, 7-5. In the opening singles matches Friday, Monteiro beat Karl Friberg, and Ymer edged Gustavo Heide for Sweden's lone point.

Brazil won its third straight match after topping China and Denmark last year in World Group I.

On Friday, the United States wrapped up a group-stage spot with a sweep over Ukraine in matches played in Lithuania because of the war in Ukraine.

The 12 winners this week will join reigning champion Italy, 2023 runner-up Australia, and wild-card entries Britain and Spain in the Finals group stage in September. Then eight teams will make it to the quarterfinals in Malaga, Spain, in November, when a champion will be determined.

In other matches that ended Saturday, the Netherlands beat visiting Switzerland 3-2; Germany won 3-2 at Hungary; Slovakia topped host Serbia 3-0 to reach the finals for the first time; Canada beat visiting South Korea 3-1; and host Finland swept Portugal 3-0.

On a hard court in Groningen, Botic van de Zandschulp beat Marc-Andrea Huesler 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3 to lift the Netherlands past Switzerland. Earlier, Tallon Griekspoor tied it for the Netherlands, beating Leandro Riedi 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3), after Riedi and Huesler beat Wesley Koolhof and Jean-Julien Rojer 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2) in doubles.

In Kraljevo on clay, Serbia — playing without No. 1 Novak Djokovic — fell when Lucas Klein and Igor Zelenay beat Nikola Cacic and Miomir Kecmanovic 7-6 (4), 6-3. Klein and Zelenay won singles matches Friday.

In Montreal, Gabriel Diallo beat Seongchan Hong 7-5, 6-4, 6-1 to send Canada to the next round. Earlier, Jisung Nam and Minkyu Song kept South Korea alive, topping Vasek Pospisil and Alexis Galarneau 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-3 in doubles.

In Tatabanya, Jan-Lennard Struff beat Mate Valkusz 6-3, 6-2 to give Germany the deciding point. In Turku, Emil Ruusuvuori and Harri Heliovaara sent Finland to the next stage, topping Nuno Borges and Francisco Cabral 6-4, 7-6 (6).

In matches that started Saturday and will end Sunday, the host Czech Rebublic led Israel 2-0; Belgium was tied 1-1 at Croatia; France led 2-0 at Taiwan; Kazakhstan was tied 1-1 at Argentina; Peru was tied 1-1 at Chile.

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AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis