Doubles Dutch allows Norway into final eight

A STUNNING last gasp hurrah from Dutch dup Wesley Koolhof and Demi Schuurs has sensationally allowed Norway a place in the quarter finals after a thrilling finish to Group F. In what was the closest group in Sydney, Croatia had taken the tie with two singles wins – after a shock loss to Norway the day before – but then the doubles came down to the super tiebreak.

Essentially, when all teams have won the same amount of ties (one each), it goes down to matches, then sets and finally games, as tiebreakers. The problem was, all three nations had won the same amount of matches as well, and with sets, a Dutch victory in the super tiebreak would level them as well.

If Croatia won the super tiebreak, it would be through – thanks to the additional match win – while Norway was nervously watching on as the Dutch kept fighting with the players unaware they were not able to qualify. Having dropped a couple of easy games in the second set, it would come back to bite the Netherlands, with the realisation upon winning that they would not move through to the next stage.

In the end, Koolhof and Schuurs did deny Croatians Donna Vekic and Ivan Dodig a spot in the knockout stages – for now – but also fell shot of scraping into second, or even first. Earlier in the day, Croatia did its best to qualify with wins to both Borna Coric and Vekic, defeating Tallon Griekspoor and Arantxa Rus to secure the tie, but now they have to wait on Group B and Group D to see if they can make the knockout stages as the Sydney runner-up.

Essentially Germany is in the box seat to qualify over Croatia, with a higher game win percentage (53.85 to 49.63) which means the Croatians need the Germans to top the group. If France beats Italy, it is game over for Croatia, but if Italy beats France 2-1, then the hope is still alive. In Group B, Croatia just needs Canada to win against Greece, but both group results nee to happen.


Earlier in the day, Chile stunned Greece in a strange result with top ranked ATP talent Stefanos Tsitsipas pulling out due to a back complaint, but then returned for the doubles. Instead, Stefanos Sakellaridis took his place and pushed top 20 talent Nicolas Jarry to the limit, but the Chilean was too good, winning 6-3 3-6 7-5.

Maria Sakkari destroyed Daniela Seguel 6-0 6-1 in the earlier match, and looked good in the mixed doubles with Tsitsipas for the first set before bowing out in a shock loss to Seguel and Tomas Barrios Vera, 6-7 6-3 10-6.

Over in Perth, another down-to-the-wire result occurred with the Serbian doubles team – surprisingly not featuring Novak Djokovic – defeating the Czech Republic to close out the tie and top Group E. Djokovic defeated Jiri Lehecka earlier in the day despite a brilliant second set from the Czech rising star, winning 6-1 6-7 6-1 to balance out Marketa Vondrousova‘s win over Olga Danilovic, 6-1 3-6 6-3.

The doubles decided it all with Czech backup players Miriam Kolodziejova and Petr Nouza getting their chance to shine on court, taking it up to Danilovic and Hamad Medjedovic but going down in a third set super tiebreak, 4-6 7-6 10-8.


The last group matches take place in Sydney today with France and Italy locking horns for Group D, while Canada takes on Greece in Group B. There is plenty riding on both sets of results, with all teams still having a possibility of qualifying. For Italy to do it, the nation would need to absolutely smash France 3-0, while France just needs to win.

Similarly, Canada just needs victory to top its group, while Greece would need to win at least two matches in straight sets to give itself a chance. Both Germany and Croatia will be closer onlookers to proceedings, with qualification out of their hands.

Over in Perth, the knockout stages begin with Poland taking on China in a blockbuster clash. Strong favourites Poland boast world number one Iga Swiatek and top 10 talent Hubert Hurkacz up against surprise packet China, Zhizhen Zhang and Qinwen Zheng for a spot in the final four. Meanwhile on the other side of the draw, Serbia – led by Djokovic – will take on an Australian team that came up clutch a couple of days ago, featuring Alex de Minaur, Ajla Tomljanovic and doubles duo, Matthew Ebden and Storm Hunter.

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