Australia reaches Davis Cup closing for first time in 19 years

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Our Aussie tennis stars have reached their first Davis Cup closing since 2003 with an enormous 2-1 upset victory over final yr’s runners-up Croatia 2-1.

Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson surprised 2021 Wimbledon champions Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic 6-7 (3/7), 7-5, 6-4 within the decisive doubles at hand Australia a closing conflict in opposition to both Canada or Italy on Sunday.

The victory was reward for the choice by Australia skipper Lleyton Hewitt — who performed within the 2003 title-winning workforce — to pair Thompson with Purcell.

Matthew Ebden, who had partnered Purcell to this yr’s Wimbledon title, had been scheduled to characteristic within the deciding rubber earlier than the late change.

After Mektic and Pavic claimed the 53-minute opening set within the tie-break to nudge Croatia nearer to a fourth Davis Cup closing in six years, the Australian pair hit again.

They broke within the eleventh recreation of the second set to degree earlier than breaking once more within the seventh recreation of the decider on their strategy to victory after two hours and 14 minutes.

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Earlier, Alex de Minaur beat former US Open champion Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-2 to tug 28-time champions Australia degree after Borna Coric had given Croatia the lead within the semi-final with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Cilic, ranked 17 on this planet, was undone by 23 unforced errors as De Minaur, the world quantity 24, avenged a loss to the Croatian when the 2 international locations met in final yr’s match.

“Marin’s a hell of a competitor, a veteran participant of our sport that has completed wonderful issues. I knew what to anticipate, so I knew it was by no means going to be straightforward,” mentioned De Minaur.

“I knew I needed to deliver all of the depth I might, be as stable as I might, and attempt to be stable however aggressive on the similar time.”

World quantity 26 Coric triumphed over Ninety fifth-ranked Kokkinakis in 92 minutes on the again of six aces and 18 winners because the two-time champions set their sights on a return to the ultimate having misplaced to Russia within the 2021 title match.

“This implies rather a lot to me,” mentioned Coric, who has resurrected his profession in 2022 having not performed for 12 months till March this yr after present process proper shoulder surgical procedure.

“I used to be watching the fellows enjoying Davis Cup after I was injured and doing my rehab. To play for Croatia is an incredible feeling for me.” Canada and Italy meet on Saturday within the second semi-final.

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