Croatia, 2021 Davis Cup Finals runners-up, were beaten in their first match against Italy ©Getty Images

Last year’s runners-up Croatia were defeated in their opening match of the Davis Cup Finals group stage against Italy.

There will definitely be a new name on the trophy for the men's team tennis tournament this year with holders the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF) unable to compete, after being banned by the International Tennis Federation, due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Croatia were beaten in last year’s final against the RTF in Spain and started their quest to go one better with a match against Group A hosts Italy at the Unipol Arena in Bologna.

Lorenzo Musetti won the opening singles rubber against Borna Gojo 6-4, 6-2, before last year’s Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini secured victory in the tie as he came from a set down to defeat Borna Coric 6-7, 6-2, 6-1.

There was then a surprise in the doubles rubber as Croatian pair Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, the Tokyo 2020 gold medallists, and part of the 2018 Davis Cup winning team were beaten 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 by Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini, sealing a 3-0 win for Italy.

In the day's Group D tie, played at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, the United States defeated Great Britain in a dramatic tie that saw all three rubbers go to three sets.

Tommy Paul gave the US the lead by beating Dan Evans 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, before Britain levelled when Cameron Norrie came from a set down to beat Taylor Fritz 2-6, 7-6, 7-5.

That took the match to a decisive doubles rubber, with the US pair of Rajeev Ram and Jack Sock coming from a set down to beat Britain's Sir Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 in another lengthy contest, that took two hours and 50 minutes and finished at 1am local time.

Jack Sock, left, and Rajeev Ram gave the US a dramatic victory over Britain in the Davis Cup, in a tie that finished at 1am local time ©Getty Images
Jack Sock, left, and Rajeev Ram gave the US a dramatic victory over Britain in the Davis Cup, in a tie that finished at 1am local time ©Getty Images

In today’s Group C tie, held at Am Rothenbaum in Hamburg, Germany, the group hosts edged past France in a match that went to a third set tie-break in the decisive doubles rubber.

Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz secured victory in the tie for Germany, defeating French pair Nicolas Mahut and Arthur Rinderknech 6-2, 3-6, 7-6.

Earlier in the singles rubbers Germany took a 1-0 lead as Jan-Lennard Struff beat Benjamin Bonzi 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, before Adrian Mannarino levelled the tie for France by beating Oscar Otte 6-4, 6-3.

Group B hosts Spain got off to a winning start at the Pabellon Fuente de San Luis in Valencia as they defeated Serbia.

The opening singles match saw Albert Ramos-Vinolas overcome Laslo Djere, with Ramos-Vinolas coming from a set down to win 2-6, 7-6, 7-5,

Roberto Bautista-Agut sealed the win for Spain in the tie with a victory over Miomir Kecmanovic in two tie-break sets 7-6, 7-6.

In the doubles rubber Spain completed the whitewash win with Marcel Granollers-Pujol and Pedro Martinez Portero defeating Nikola Cacic and Dusan Lajovic 6-7, 6-2, 6-2.