Ebden/Purcell Clinch Crucial Davis Cup Win For Australia
Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell breathed fresh life into Australia’s Davis Cup Finals Group Stage hopes on Thursday in Manchester, where the pair notched a deciding doubles victory to give their country a vital win against France.
Having lost their Group B opener 1-2 to host Great Britain, Australia was plunged into further trouble when Adrian Mannarino edged Purcell 7-6(4), 6-4 in the opening singles rubber of the tie. Alex de Minaur soon restored parity in the 17th Davis Cup tie between the two nations, however, moving past Ugo Humbert 7-6(2), 6-3.
That opened the door for Ebden and Purcell to clinch Australia’s first victory of the group and the pair did not let the opportunity slip. They defeated experienced doubles stars Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-5, 6-3 to complete a hard-earned comeback win in the tie.
“We were just inspired by our team,” said Ebden. “Yesterday was a tough day. Everyone fought hard. We came up short, but we got a point. Today we were down, up against it, backs against the wall. We went in the locker room and [Tony Roche] said, ‘That’s where we love to be, that’s where we want to fight from’.
“Alex de Minaur came out and did amazing first and we were just privileged to have the opportunity to come out and fight.”
Australia next faces Switzerland in its final group match as it chases a fifth appearance in the Davis Cup quarter-finals since 2015.
Czech Charge Continues In Valencia
The Czech Republic made it six rubbers played, six rubbers won in Group C as Tomas Machac and Jiri Lehecka completed singles victories on Thursday against South Korea.
The Czechs began their week by stunning host nation Spain 3-0 and they maintained that momentum to move to the brink of the Final 8. Machac had to overcome some difficult moments against Seongchan Hong but ultimately prevailed 7-6(8), 4-6, 6-2 before the World No. 30 Lehecka showed his class to ease past two-time ATP Tour titlist Soonwoo Kwon 6-1, 7-5.
#NextGenATP star Jakub Mensik and Adam Pavlasek then continued the Czech’s perfect start to the week in Spain by beating JiSung Nam and MinKyu Song 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 in the doubles rubber to wrap a 3-0 victory.