Singles wins from Alex de Minaur and Thanasi Kokkinakis earned Australia victory in a Davis Cup Finals Group Stage tie against Switzerland on Saturday in Manchester. But it was not until the doubles duo of Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell completed a 3-0 Aussie sweep that the country confirmed its place in the Davis Cup Final 8.
Kokkinakis fired 16 aces but still faced six break points against Stricker. He was able to fight off five of those chances, while converting on three of his five break opportunities to secure a straight-sets win. De Minaur limited Huesler to just five winners off the ground and was a constant threat on return, creating 11 break points and cashing in on three of them.
Ebden and Purcell sparked further celebrations with a 6-2, 6-4 win against Huesler and Stricker in the tie’s final rubber. That result guaranteed Australia a top-two finish in Group B and a place in the knockout rounds in Malaga this November.
Group B hosts Great Britain (2-0) will meet France (1-1) on Sunday in what will be a winner-takes-all tie, with the triumphing country joining Australian in the Davis Cup Final 8.
Lehecka, Mensik Maintain Czech Republic’s Perfect Record
With both the Czech Republic and Serbia already qualified for the Davis Cup Final 8, the Saturday tie between the two countries determined which would advance as winners of Group C. Both were 2-0 in Valencia entering the tie.
Lehecka led 4-1 in the second set and missed out on three match points on return at 5-4 before clinching his seventh straight Davis Cup singles win.
“It’s a nice number,” he said of his seven-match streak. “My first Davis Cup matches were not easy. I played as an outsider all the time, I was losing a lot. Now when I can see this stat, it’s just pleasing me… I will try to keep this streak going as far as I can.”