Dutch miracle as Botic blows away Norrie

NETHERLANDS have caused unbelievable scenes in Glasgow as the Dutch nation secured its place in the Davis Cup Finals. Netherlands knocked out Great Britain in Pool D, guaranteeing its spot in the final eight in November alongside the United States with both nations having two wins. In other results, Germany joined Australia in Pool C for the final eight, while Italy qualified in Pool A, and Canada put itself in a good position to qualify from Pool B.

ITALY (2) defeated ARGENTINA (1)

Pool A | Bologna

Matteo Berrettini (ITA) defeated Sebastian Baez (ARG) 6-2 6-3
Jannik Sinner (ITA) defeated Francisco Cerundolo (ARG) 7-5 1-6 6-3
Maximo Gonzalez / Horacio Zeballos (ARG) defeated Simone Bolelli / Fabio Fognini (ITA) 7-5 2-6 6-3

Italy has secured its place in the Davis Cup Finals by defeating Argentina, knocking out the South Americans in the process. Italy started off the day with a relatively easy win, as Matteo Berrettini cruised to a 6-2 6-3 triumph over Sebastian Baez, 6-2 6-3. Berrettini needed just 71 minutes to salute in the victory, hitting nine winners to eight, but only 30 errors to 37. Baez was consistent on serve (57 and 53 per cent of first and second serve points won), but Berrettini was superior (76 and 56 per cent respectively).

Jannik Sinner then closed out the tie, albeit not without a challenge from Francisco Cerundolo. The Argentinians opted not to use top ranked player Diego Schwartzman for the clash, with Cerundolo producing a magical second set to win it 6-1. It ultimately did not matter in the end though as Sinner won 7-5 1-6 7-3 to secure his nation’s place in the final four in two hours and 36 minutes. Sinner hit 13 winners to 12 but also 20 unforced errors to 18, as both players broke twice in an even contest.

In the doubles, Argentina got a consolation win, with Maximo Gonzalez and Horacio Zeballos getting up over Italian pairing Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini. The Argentinians won 7-5 2-6 6-3 to ensure they got at least one match in the tie, but will need to belt Croatia in the final match in order to have a chance of reaching the knockout stages of the tournament, having lost to Sweden on the opening day.

CANADA (2) defeated SPAIN (1)

Pool B | Valencia

Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) defeated Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 3-6 6-3 6-3
Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) defeated Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) 6-7 6-4 6-2
Felix Auger Aliassime / Vasek Pospisil (CAN) defeated Marcel Granollers / Pedro Martinez (ESP) 4-6 6-4 7-5

Canada spoiled the party against Spain to set itself up in prime position for a place in the knockout stages of the event. The Canadians won in another thriller 2-1 to move to the top of Pool C, but must still beat Serbia to ensure guaranteed qualification. It was the Spanish who got up early, as Roberto Bautista Agut took care of Vasek Pospisil in three sets, coming from behind to win 3-6 6-3 6-3. It was a battle of two styles, with Pospisil hitting 24 winners – including 11 aces – to nine, but also having 20 unforced errors to five. Bautista Agut’s consistency saw them claim the win in three sets.

After a shock loss in the opening tie of the tournament to Soonwoo Kwon, Felix Auger-Aliassime bounced back to take down US Open winner Carlos Alcaraz in three sets. The world number 13 won 6-7 6-4 6-2 to outwork Alcaraz in the end, serving a whopping 16 aces to three and winning 81 per cent of his first serve points. Auger-Aliassime produced 23 total winners to 18, and hit three less unforced errors (17-20) in another come-from-behind victory.

Continuing the theme of three-set come-from-behind results, Auger-Aliassime and Pospisil did it again, coming from a set down to win, 4-6 6-4 7-5. They defeated Spanish duo Marcel Granollers and Pedro Martinez, with 15 aces and 25 winners to five and 22 respectively. The two doubles teams went toe-for-toe for the most part in a match that lasted two hours and five minutes. If Spain can defeat Republic of Korea as expected, it can still top the group, and most importantly qualify.

GERMANY (2) defeated BELGIUM (1)

Pool C | Hamburg

Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) defeated Zizou Bergs (BEL) 6-4 7-6
David Goffin (BEL) defeated Oscar Otte (GER) 3-6 7-6 6-3
Kevin Krawietz / Tim Puetz (GER) defeated Sander Gille / Joran Vliegen (BEL) 4-6 6-2 7-6

World number fives Germany has booked its place in the Davis Cup Finals knockout stage with a tight 2-1 win over Belgium, knocking out their opponents from the race. It all started with big server Jan-Lennard Struff playing a surprisingly subdued game – just two aces to his name – but still getting it done 6-4 7-6 against Belgian Zizou Bergs. Struff hit 17 winners and 17 unforced errors to Bergs’ 31 and 13, but somehow Struff found a way, breaking three times to two and grinding out a victory, forcing Bergs into 57 errors compared to his own tally of 29.

Belgian David Goffin won in three sets over Oscar Otte to level the tie, coming from a set down to post a hard-fought win in two hours and eight minutes. The former Top 10 player won 81 per cent of his first serve points compared to Otte’s 70 per cent. Though the German hit four more winners (22-18), he hit 42 errors compared to Goffin’s 40, as the Belgian broke three times to two, including in the critical third set.

Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz used their superior doubles ability to outwit strong Belgian pairing Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen in three sets. Krawietz and Puetz won 4-6 6-2 7-6, coming back from a surprise first set loss to post a win, with the tiebreaker going 7-5 before the Germans could salute and join Australia as the Pool C qualifiers. The Germans take on the Aussies to determine which nation tops the Pool, in the final match.


Pool D | Glasgow

Daniel Evans (GBR) defeated Tallon Griekspoor (NED) 6-4 6-4
Botic Van de Zandschulp (NED) defeated Cameron Norrie (GBR) 6-4 6-2
Wesley Koolhof / Matwe Middelkoop (NED) defeated Andy Murray / Joe Salisbury (GBR) 7-6 6-7 6-3

Netherlands has sensationally dumped Great Britain out of the Davis Cup Finals, recording a second straight victory to ensure safe passage themselves through to the knockout stage. The world number 20 – second lowest at the tournament – has made the final eight after a 2-1 result against the home nation in Glasgow. It did not always look like that, with Dan Evans starting the Brits off on the best possible note, winning 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 40 minutes. Both players his 24 winners but Evans only hit a ridiculous one unforced error – against Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor‘s three – and broke twice without being broken to win the opening match.

In an entertaining second match, world number 35 Botic Van de Zandschulp caused a huge boilover against world number eight Cameron Norrie to sensationally give the Dutch a chance at closing out the tie. Van de Zandschulp won rather easily in the end, securing a 6-4 6-2 victory. The Dutchman served 13 aces to out-power Norrie and ensure his nation got back on track.

The doubles decider was an epic contest, with specialist pairing Wesley Koolhof and Matwe Middelkoop, ranked fourth and 24th in the format respectively, went up against world number one Joe Salisbury and surprisingly Andy Murray instead of Salisbury’s usual partner, Neal Skupski (world number three). That backfired with the Dutchmen winning 7-6 6-7 6-3. The Dutch hit 55 winners to 35, and only two more unforced errors (8-6), while breaking two times to one in the win.

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