Thiem Extends Davis Cup Singles Winning Streak To Nine
Dominic Thiem gave Austria a point on Friday in Davis Cup Group I action, helping his country to a split of the opening day’s rubbers in Espoo, Finland.
Thiem, who is trying to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the fourth consecutive year, beat World No. 551 Patrik Niklas-Salminen 6-3, 6-4 after a tough one-hour, 36-minute battle. The 14-time ATP Tour titlist, who has now won nine straight Davis Cup singles matches, broke serve on two of his nine opportunities, and he saved the three chances his Finnish opponent earned.
Emil Ruusuvuori evened the tie for the home country, defeating Sebastian Ofner by an identical 6-3, 6-4 scoreline. The third rubber, to be held on Saturday, will be star-studded as Oliver Marach and Jurgen Melzer are scheduled to take on two-time Nitto ATP Finals doubles champion Henri Kontinen (w/Peers) and Harri Heliovaara.
In other action, Belarus and Portugal split two rubbers heading into Saturday’s play. Joao Sousa gave Portugal a point by rallying past Ilya Ivashka 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 before Egor Gerasimov evened the tie with a 6-2, 6-3 victory against Joao Domingues.
Davis Cup Group I and Group II ties are promotion and relegation ties for 2020. Group I victors this week will filter into 2020 Davis Cup qualifiers in February. They do not affect the 2019 Davis Cup Finals, which already features 16 teams.