Knockout finalists decided for Davis Cup
THE eight Davis Cup contenders have made it through to the knockout stage of the tournament which will take place in Malaga in November. We took a look at how the final day unfolded in the group stage.
ITALY (2) defeated SWEDEN (1)
Pool A | Bologna
Matteo Berrettini (ITA) defeated Elias Ymer (SWE) 6-4 6-4
Mikael Ymer (SWE) defeated Jannik Sinner (ITA) 6-4 3-6 6-3
Simone Bolelli / Fabio Fognini (ITA) defeated Andre Goransson / Dragos Nicolae Madaras (SWE) 7-6 6-2
Italy has remained undefeated in Pool A by defeating Sweden 2-1 in the final round robin match. Already having booked their spot in the knockout stage of the Finals, the Italians continued their hot form with another win. It did not come without an upset, as Mikael Ymer stunned Jannik Sinner in three sets to keep Sweden in the contest. Ymer was able to create seven break point chances compared to Sinner’s six, without committing an unforced error for the match.
Earlier in the tie, Matteo Berrettini got his nation off to the perfect start with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Elias Ymer. The Italian talent served 10 aces to five, winning 89 to 71 per cent of his first serve points, whilst breaking twice from five chances. Ymer could not create a break point opportunity himself, with Berrettini hitting just 23 errors in total, while the Swede hit 37 for the match.
Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini ensured the Italians remained undefeated by closing out the tie with a 7-6 6-2 victory in the doubles over Andre Goransson and Dragos Nicolae Madaras. The Swedes served four aces, but only won 57 per cent of their first serve points, while the Italians dropped just six points off the first serve and were only broken once during the match.
SPAIN (3) defeated REPUBLIC OF KOREA (0)
Pool B | Valencia
Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) defeated Seong Chan Hong (KOR) 6-1 6-3
Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) defeated Soonwoo Kwon (KOR) 6-4 7-6
Marcel Granollers / Pedro Martinez (ESP) defeated Jisung Nam / Minkyu Song (KOR) 7-5 3-6 6-1
Spain has cleanswept the Republic of Korea 3-0, to earn top spot in Pool B. It was no surprise that the Spanish did not drop a set in the two singles rubbers, with Roberto Bautista Agut and Carlos Alcaraz both claiming strong wins. Bautista Agut was first up and unsurprisingly took care of the 467th ranked Seong Chan Hong, as the 21st ranked Spaniard only hit 12 errors for the match – compared to Hong’s 33, whilst hitting 19 winners to 11 in he 6-1 6-3 victory.
Carlos Alcaraz had a tougher fight against Soonwoo Kwon, needing a tiebreaker to finally shake off the South Korean. Alcaraz won 6-4 7-6 in an hour and 47 minutes, hitting 20 winners and only 34 errors compared to Kwon’s 22 and 44 respectively. Alcaraz was still broken twice, but managed to break from each of his three chances to seal Spain’s victory ahead of the third match.
Despite sealing the win already, Spain went on with it and took out the doubles match as well, claiming a three-set victory. Martin Granollers and Pedro Martinez ground out a 7-5 3-6 6-1 victory over the lower ranked Jisung Nam and Minku Song. The Spaniards hit four less winners (17-21) but 19 less errors (36-55). The winners broke three times compared to the Korean’s once, but that once earned them a set.
GERMANY (2) defeated AUSTRALIA (1)
Pool C | Hamburg
In Pool C, Germany topped the group by defeating the equally undefeated Australian outfit in the final match. Both teams took care of France and Belgium and had already qualified for the knockout stage, but it was Germany who rose up and took the victory in a 2-1 result. Ironically by losing, Australia has the easier opponent in the quarter finals, taking on Netherlands rather than Canada.
Max Purcell did the double with both singles, and then pairing up with Matthew Ebden in the doubles. Unfortunately he lost both, with Jan-Lennard Struff getting ahold of him in the singles. Struff hit 23 winners to Purcell’s six, while only breaking once compared to four times. In the doubles, the German experienced pairing of Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz proved too strong for the Australians, getting up in a 6-4 6-4 result. The pair hit 33 winners to 24 and did not get broken, while breaking once in each set themselves.
GREAT BRITAIN (2) defeated KAZAKHSTAN (1)
Pool D | Glasgow
Andy Murray (GBR) defeated Dmitry Popko (KAZ) 6-4 6-3
Alexander Bublik (KAZ) defeated Cameron Norrie (GBR) 6-4 6-3
Joe Salisbury / Neal Skupski (GBR) defeated Alexander Bublik / Aleksandr Nedovyesov (KAZ) 7-6 6-7 7-6
Great Britain closed out what was ultimately a disappointing campaign for the home nation, winning 2-1 against Kazakhstan in Glasgow. Andy Murray got his chance in the singles for the first time, defeating Dmitry Popko in straight sets, 6-4 6-3. Murray served nine aces to three and hit 24 winners to 10 in a strong performance. Murray critically broke three times to one in order to get his nation off to a 1-0 lead in the final tie.
Cameron Norrie had his second loss of the round robin stage, going down to Alexander Bublik in an identical scoreline to the first match. Bublik won 6-4 6-3, serving nine aces to three and only producing 21 errors to 30 as he outplayed Norrie in a hard-fought struggle. The Kazakh won 79 per cent of his first serve points, while Norrie only won the 59 per cent and struggled to consistently break Bublik, with just two breaks of serve compared to his opponent’s five.
With Murray playing the singles, it allowed regular doubles pairing Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski to team up for the first time in the tournament, defeating Bublik and Aleksandr Nedovyesov in three tiebreakers. Winning 7-6 6-7 7-6 in two hours and 51 minutes, the Brits and Kazakhs both hit 46 winners, with the home nation hitting four less errors (35-39) in the victory.