Germany scrapes into final after Aussie nail-biter

GERMANY survived the best United Cup match of the tournament, and possibly in its history, making it through to the 2024 final by just two points in a super tiebreak doubles match. The overall 2-1 result easily could have been 3-0 Australia’s way, in an incredible tense night of action at Ken Rosewall Arena.

In what was nothing short of spectacular, Alexander Zverev and Laura Siegemund went until 2:15am local time before they finally closed out Australian doubles pair Matthew Ebden and Storm Hunter in a three-set thriller, 7-6 6-7 15-13 to book their place in the final.

“Special thanks to Laura, I think she was the MVP today. Actually Angie was the MVP today because she saved my a**, so that was very nice,” Zverev said post-match.

“After the singles match it was obviously disappointing, but I thought the level of the match was extremely high. So yes you’re disappointed, but we were still in the tie and we still had a chance to win it and I’m happy that we did that today.”

Earlier in the evening, Angelique Kerber won a tense clash against Ajla Tomljanovic, the German’s first win since Wimbledon, 2022, after an 18-month maternity layoff to get back to the top level. That also went down to the wire, with Tomljanovic having two match points in the deciding tiebreak having hit some amazing winners.

Unfortunately for the home court favourite, Tomljanovic hit a couple of errors in the last few points as Kerber won the last three points of the match to claim a memorable 4-6 6-2 7-6 victory in two hours and 34 minutes.

“Ajla played an amazing match,” Kerber said post-match. “I think we both played at a really high level. It’s so great to see her back after injury last year.

“For me, it’s the first singles win after coming back and it’s really a great feeling.”

Despite Australia going 1-0 down, the red-hot Alex de Minaur stepped up to the challenge, beating a third straight top 10 player in sensational circumstances. Despite dropping the first set, de Minaur rallied for two hours and 40 minutes to defeat Zverev 5-7 6-3 6-4 and force the deciding doubles.

“I love being back home. Thank you guys!” de Minaur said. “I’ve said it before, but every time I step out on court here it feels special. This is my favourite court in the whole world and every time I step out here I get goosebumps. I love being here and I’m very grateful for all the support.”

Hubert Hurkacz and Iga Swiatek celebrate after qualifying fo the United Cup final. Picture credit: Getty Images


In the earlier United Cup match, Poland quickly dispatched of France in a 2-0 tie before resting top 10 stars Iga Swiatek and Hubert Hurkacz. World number one Swiatek came back from a set down to defeat France’s Caroline Garcia comprehensively, 4-6 6-1 6-1.

“I’m happy that I came back and I didn’t make so many mistakes as in the first set. For sure, Caro was putting pressure as usual, so I’m happy that we’re through to the final,” Swiatek said post-match.

“Hubi played a great match today. He had everything under control, and it was nice watching that. For sure it [made it] a little bit easier for me.”

In the earlier match, Hurkacz proved too strong against French ATP singles player Adrian Mannarino to win in straight sets, 6-3 7-5 and set his side up early in the tie. The tricky left-handed Frenchman does not have the power of Hurkacz, but has a wide variety of slice shot and court placement that made the Pole top ranked male have to work his way through the match.

“I think definitely today was a real battle. Adrian was playing really, really tricky shots and it’s really difficult to play against,” Hurkacz said. “So I was just battling for every single point and I think mentally I was able to stay in the present, stay positive before each point and I think I was also really resilient today.”

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