Australia's Davis Cup Team Clinches Finals Berth with a 3-0 Victory Over Switzerland

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Australia’s Davis Cup Team Clinches Finals Berth with a 3-0 Victory Over Switzerland

Tennis, Tennis News

In a display of sheer dominance, Australia’s Davis Cup team swept Switzerland in a crucial tie, securing their place in the finals. Lleyton Hewitt’s squad knew they needed to defeat Switzerland 3-0 in the final group stage match to guarantee their spot in the eight-team knockout finals. And that’s exactly what they did, with Thanasi Kokkinakis, Alex de Minaur, and the doubles duo of Max Purcell and Matt Ebden delivering scintillating performances.

For the Australian team, this victory marks a return to the finals after finishing as runners-up last year. Now, they have their sights set on capturing the title for the first time in 20 years, with their last victory dating back to when Hewitt himself led the team to glory as a player.

Hewitt’s decision to place his faith in Kokkinakis proved to be a masterstroke. The powerful Adelaide native, who had faced three consecutive Davis Cup singles defeats, opened the tie with a commanding 6-3, 7-5 victory over Dominic Stricker. This was a critical win, as the opening rubber has historically posed challenges for the team.

Following Kokkinakis’s success, Australia’s top-ranked player, Alex de Minaur, continued his impressive Davis Cup record. De Minaur defeated Marc-Andrea Huesler, who had been chosen over the veteran and three-time grand slam winner Stan Wawrinka, with a convincing score of 6-4, 6-3. This victory sealed Australia’s second triumph of the week, following their 2-1 win over France.

In the final rubber, the reunited duo of Ebden and Purcell, affectionately known as ‘M & M,’ displayed their prowess once again. They outclassed Stricker and Huesler with a scoreline of 6-2, 6-4, securing their third straight victory of the week.

Hewitt’s decision to entrust Kokkinakis, despite his lower ranking compared to teammates Purcell and Jordan Thompson, paid off handsomely. Kokkinakis’s victory provided immense relief for the Australian team, especially after his recent battle with nerves, which resulted in a loss to British newcomer Jack Draper earlier in the week. Kokkinakis delivered an exceptional performance, serving 16 aces and hitting 21 winning forehands. He admitted to battling his inner demons towards the end of the match but expressed relief and gratitude for the crucial win.

Hewitt, unwavering in his faith in Kokkinakis, stated, “Not for a second did I doubt he was gonna go out there and do the job for us today. I had full belief that Thanasi was going to get it done.”

Despite a challenging start, where he was broken in the opening game by the world No. 101 Huesler, de Minaur swiftly regained control. He broke back in the sixth game and displayed a level of play that set him apart, securing his ninth Davis Cup singles win in his last 11 rubber matches in just 73 minutes.

Ebden and Purcell, though going their separate ways in their individual careers this season, reunited seamlessly during the Davis Cup. Their performances during the week resembled world-beaters, reminiscent of their Wimbledon victory in 2022. Purcell, in particular, delivered a dazzling display of skill and athleticism against the Swiss team.

With their resounding victory over Switzerland, Australia’s Davis Cup team now has their sights set on the finals in November. The prospect of capturing the title for the first time in two decades looms large, and Captain Lleyton Hewitt believes that the team’s previous experience in the finals will serve as valuable motivation. “We want to try and push a little bit harder and see if we can climb that mountain, and I feel like I’ve got the boys that are able to do that,” he said.

Australia’s Davis Cup journey continues, as they aim to script a triumphant return to Malaga in their quest for Davis Cup glory.

Reference:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/sep/17/lleyton-hewitts-australia-power-into-davis-cup-finals-with-switzerland-sweep

https://au.sports.yahoo.com/lleyton-hewitt-masterstroke-move-aussies-advance-davis-cup-finals-214325228.html

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/lleyton-hewitt-s-brilliant-aussies-power-into-davis-cup-finals-20230917-p5e58s.html

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