Zverev Beats Kyrgios To Lead Germany Into QFs
AUSTRALIA 1, GERMANY 3
Venue: Pat Rafter Arena, Brisbane, AUS (hard- outdoor)
Zverev was close to untouchable on serve, firing 15 aces, putting 71 per cent of first serves into play and winning 80 per cent of first-serve points. He also fought off all four break points he faced, while breaking Kyrgios four times. Kyrgios had won three of their four career FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings coming to the tie, including when they last met in the China Open semi-finals last year.
A frustrated Kyrgios was given a point penalty in the tie-break for smashing his racquet and was unable to pressure the World No. 5 in the third set. Zverev broke for a second time in the set in the final game of the match to secure the 3-1 victory for the Germans, who won Saturday's pivotal doubles rubber in five sets.
It was a very different victory for Zverev, who on the opening day needed a fifth-set tie-break to beat 18-year-old Davis Cup debutant Alex de Minaur.
"It's awesome, it's an amazing feeling," Zverev said on court after steering Germany to the quarter-finals for the first time in three years. "We're super happy, but hopefully this is just the beginning for us."
Germany will next play the winner of Great Britain and Spain.
SPAIN 3, GREAT BRITAIN 1
Venue: Club de Tenis Puente Romano, Marbella, ESP (clay - outdoor)
Spain will host Germany in the Davis Cup World Group quarter-finals in April after defeating Great Britain 3-1 in Marbella. The five-time champion clinched the tie after Albert Ramos-Vinolas battled past Cameron Norrie 7-6(4), 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-2.
Ramos-Vinolas led 4-0 in the first set and held two set points at 5-2, but was forced to a tie-break that he eventually won. Norrie refused to let the disappointment affect his game, though, battling back to claim the second set and recovering from a 0-3 deficit in the third set to force another tie-break.
From there, the 30-year-old Spaniard’s straight-set victory on Friday proved essential, as he claimed the set and pulled away in the fourth against Norrie, who came from two sets down to defeat Roberto Bautista Agut in the tie’s second rubber. Ramos-Vinolas' three-hour, 43-minute triumph clinched the tie for Spain to set up a meeting with Germany for a place in the semi-finals.
Spain and Germany have met on 16 previous occasions, with Germany leading the series 10-6. But Spain will be confident, having now won an all-time record 26 consecutive World Group ties on home soil dating back to 1999 (l. Brazil).
JAPAN 1, ITALY 3
Venue: Morioka Takaya Arena, Morioka, JPN (hard - indoor)
Italy secured its place in the Davis Cup World Group quarter-finals for the fifth time in six years after Fabio Fognini saved match point and came from 1-4 down in the fifth set to beat Japan’s Yuichi Sugita 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(6), 7-5.
Having already played nine sets of tennis in the first two days of the tie, Fognini returned to the court in Morioka - playing for over four hours - to end the epic tie. The Italian was involved in all three of Italy’s victorious rubbers over the weekend to dash Japan’s hopes of reaching the quarter-finals for the first time since 2014.
Italy will host the winner of the tie between defending champion France and the Netherlands in April’s quarter-finals.
KAZAKHSTAN 4, SWITZERLAND 1
Venue: National Tennis Centre, Astana, KAZ (hard – indoor)
Switzerland and Kazakhstan split two remaining dead rubbers to end the tie 4-1 at the National Tennis Centre in Astana. Both nations made nomination changes for the fourth rubber as Marc-Andrea Huesler defeated Roman Khassanov 6-3, 6-1 before Dmitry Popko restored Kazakhstan’s three-point margin with a 7-6(5), 1-6, 10-6 win over Adrian Bodmer.
Kazakhstan will travel to either Croatia or Canada in April to fight for a place in the Davis Cup World Group semi-finals.