Davis Cup: De Minaur & Fucsovics Leave Things All-Square In Sydney
Alex de Minaur got Australia off to a flying start before Hungarian No. 1 Marton Fucsovics struck back in Sydney to leave things intriguingly balanced on day one of the Davis Cup Qualifiers on Friday.
De Minaur, who claimed his first ATP Tour title in Sydney in 2019, put Lleyton Hewitt’s team in front on Ken Rosewall Arena with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over World No. 240 Zsombor Piros, but 2018 Geneva champion Fucsovics levelled the tie by edging Thanasi Kokkinakis 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-3 to leave it all to play for in Saturday’s doubles and reverse singles rubbers.
Spain in control in Marbella
Top 20 stars Roberto Bautista Agut and Carlos Alcaraz continued their red-hot form to take 2019 champions Spain to the brink of qualification with straight-sets wins against Romania on the clay in Marbella.
Doha champion Bautista Agut defeated Gabi Adrian Boitan 6-3, 6-1 before Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champion Alcaraz overcame Marius Copil 6-4, 6-3, the 18-year-old’s first match since clinching a first ATP 500 title in Rio de Janeiro to break into the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings for the first time.
Kwon keeps South Korea in the hunt
World No. 65 Soonwoo Kwon earned a vital win for South Korea as he beat Jurij Rodionov 7-5, 6-4 to level proceedings with Austria.
The pressure was on South Korean No. 1 Kwon following Dennis Novak’s comfortable 6-1, 6-4 win over JiSung Nam, but the 2021 Nur-Sultan champion was too strong for World No. 194 Rodionov on the indoor hard courts at the Seoul Olympic Park.
French force leaves Ecuador reeling
Adrian Mannarino and Arthur Rinderknech put 10-time Davis Cup champions France into a commanding position in their tie with Ecuador.
Adelaide International 2 finalist Rinderknech opened with a 6-2, 7-5 win over World No. 144 Emilio Gomez at the Palais des Sports in Pau. Roberto Quiroz then fought hard to try and get his nation back on level terms against Mannarino but fell away in the final set as the World No. 58 secured a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 victory. Five-time Grand Slam champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut now have the chance to seal France’s finals spot with victory in the doubles rubber on day two.
This is what it's all about 🙌#DavisCup #byRakuten pic.twitter.com/fbUXDdnaCc— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) March 5, 2022
Netherlands dominating Canada
Another European team that will sleep comfortably after day one is the Netherlands, which established a 2-0 lead over 2019 runners-up Canada in The Hague.
Botic van de Zandschulp came through a tight clash with World No. 332 Alexis Garlarneau, the Dutchman requiring all his top-level experience to secure a 7-5, 7-6(9) win in the opening rubber. Things were more straightforward for Tallon Griekspoor, who broke Steven Diez three times on his way to a 6-4, 6-4 victory on the indoor clay.
Schwartzman recovers to give Argentina perfect start
Diego Schwartzman recovered a precarious position to seal a second point for Argentina in its clash with the Czech Republic on the clay of Buenos Aires.
The World No. 14 trailed Tomas Machac by a set and 2-0 and was 30/40 down on his own serve before rallying to secure a 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over 21-year-old Machac, who almost produced another Davis Cup shock to go with his straight-sets win over Great Britain’s Daniel Evans at the 2021 finals.
Schwartzman’s win puts the Argentines on the brink of qualification after his teammate, #NextGenATP star and Santiago finalist Sebastian Baez, enjoyed a 7-6(4), 6-3 win over another promising Czech youngster, Rotterdam semi-finalist Jiri Lehecka.
Ruud shines but honours even in Oslo
Casper Ruud and Alexander Bublik recorded speedy wins to leave the tie between Norway and Kazakhstan finely poised on the hard courts at the Oslo Tennis Arena.
In his first match since securing the title in Buenos Aires in early February, World No. 8 Ruud required just 73 minutes to register a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Mikhail Kukushkin.
Kazakhstan reached its sixth Davis Cup quarter-final in 2021, narrowly losing out to Serbia in a tense deciding doubles rubber. Montpellier champion Alexander Bublik ensured another deep run remains in view in 2022 as he levelled the tie with an even more emphatic victory than Ruud’s, defeating Viktor Durasovic 6-3, 6-2 in just under an hour.
Slovaks stay in touch despite Sinner win
Italy is hunting a first Davis Cup title since 1976 and its 2022 campaign got off to a tricky start against Slovakia in Bratislava.
World No. 11 Jannik Sinner was made to dig deep to claim victory in the opening rubber by Norbert Gombos. The World No. 110 broke Sinner twice to take the second set but the five-time ATP Tour titlist kept his composure to clinch a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 victory in exactly two hours.
The home side wasn’t to be denied on day one, however. No. 203-ranked Filip Horansky shocked World No. 21 Lorenzo Sonego with a 7-6(2), 6-3 win to level the tie, being played on indoor hard courts in the Slovakian capital.
Ymer earns Sweden crucial point with win over Daniel
Another former champion, Sweden, also finds itself with plenty of work to do on Saturday despite Elias Ymer’s victory over Japanese No. 1 Taro Daniel in Helsingborg.
Pune semi-finalist Ymer came through a 7-5, 6-4 winner as Daniel failed to show the form that earned him a comprehensive win over Andy Murray at January's Australian Open. The win was all the more vital for Sweden after World No. 267 Yosuke Watanuki earlier beat Dragos Nicolae Madaras 6-4, 6-4 to put the away team in the lead.
Ruusuvuori and Goffin notch wins on day one
Emil Ruusuvuori’s excellent progress in 2022 continued as he brought Finland level against Belgium. The World No. 71, who reached a first tour-level final in Pune in January, beat Zizou Bergs 6-3, 7-5 to get his team on the board in the Finnish city of Espoo.
2015 and 2017 runners-up Belgium had already surged into the lead thanks to former World No. 7 David Goffin, who battled past Otto Virtanen 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 in just over two hours.
Monteiro levels for Brazil against Germany
Seeking to return to the World Group for the first time since 2015, Brazil quickly found itself behind after Alexander Zverev's 6-4, 6-2 win over Thiago Seyboth Wild. But on the outdoor clay courts of Rio de Janeiro, World No. 114 Thiago Monteiro stood tall as his nation's top man with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 result over Jan-Lennard Struff.
Brazil twice reached the Davis Cup semi-finals (1992, 2000), their two best showings in the competition.
Germany are three-time champions (1988, '89, '93) in addition to their two runner-up finishes (1970, '85). Ever-presents in the World Group since 2006, Germany advanced beyond the group stage to the quarter-finals of the 2021 Davis Cup Finals before falling to Great Britain.
Korda makes winning Davis Cup debut as U.S. takes command vs. Colombia
In a rematch from the group stage of the 2021 Finals, Team USA is looking to turn the tables on a Colombian outfit playing without injured star singles player Daniel Elahi Galan.
Davis Cup debutant Sebastian Korda led by a set and a break but was made to work for a 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 victory over Nicolas Mejia. World No. 20 Taylor Fritz then put the U.S. in command with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Alejandro Gonzalez, sweeping the final 11 games of the contest on the indoor hard court in Reno.
One for the memory books!— USTA (@usta) March 5, 2022
Relive @SebiKorda's @DavisCup match point from courtside. 📹 pic.twitter.com/3bCC3dchuQ
The U.S. is the most successful nation in Davis Cup history with 32 titles, though their most recent triumph came in 2007.
Per Daviscup.com, the group stage of the 2022 Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals will take place across four cities on 14-18 September. The knock-out stage of the 2022 Davis Cup Finals will take place in one venue on 23-27 November.
The Finals will feature 16 teams. The 12 winners in the Davis Cup by Rakuten Qualifiers on 4-5 March will join Croatia (2021 runner up) and the two wild cards, Great Britain and Serbia.
Russian Tennis Federation had qualified automatically for the 2022 Finals (as 2021 champions), but following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the RTF has been suspended from all international tennis competition until further notice. Their replacement will be announced in due course.
The 16 teams will compete in four round-robin groups of four teams. The top two teams in each group will advance to the quarter-finals.
The Davis Cup champions will be crowned after the completion of the knock-out stage.
Follow the latest scores and results on the Davis Cup website.