Krajicek & Ram Win Thrilling Doubles, Lead US Past Croatia At Davis Cup
In a scintillating doubles rubber, Krajicek and Ram defeated Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 6-2. The Americans were clutch on return late in the deciding set to give their country its first victory over Croatia (previously 0-5) in Davis Cup action.
Krajicek and Dodig are full-time doubles partners who won Roland Garros together earlier this year. But on Wednesday they were on opposite sides of the net and it was Krajicek's team that emerged victorious to move to 1-0 in Group D play.
Croatian Borna Gojo then levelled the tie, earning the biggest win of his career by Pepperstone ATP Ranking when he overcame World No. 11 Frances Tiafoe 6-4, 7-6(6). Gojo has been in red-hot form recently, advancing to the fourth round at a major for the first time at the US Open.
The United States is chasing its first Davis Cup Finals title since 2007, when it won its 32nd.
Lehecka Leads Czech Republic Past Spain
Jiri Lehecka guided Czech Republic to victory in its opening Group C tie against Spain on Wednesday in the Davis Cup Finals Group Stage.
The 2022 Next Gen ATP Finals runner-up earned a 7-6(5), 7-5 win against Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in Valencia to give his nation an unassailable 2-0 lead. Lehecka struck the ball fearlessly throughout the one-hour, 55-minute clash, firing 25 winners to improve to 2-0 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head series against Davidovich Fokina. His country later completed a 3-0 triumph.
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Earlier, Tomas Machac had moved Czech Republic ahead when he beat Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 35 minutes. The World No. 119 has now won five of the six Davis Cup singles matches he has played.
In the doubles rubber, Jakub Mensik and Adam Pavlasek battled past Davidovich Fokina and Marcel Granollers 5-7, 7-6(6), 6-4. Czech Republic, a three-time champion, is aiming to reach the Final 8 for the first time since 2016.
Sixteen countries will compete across four groups in four cities — Group A in Bologna, Group B in Manchester, Group C in Valencia and Group D in Split — with the top two countries per group to qualify for the knockout stage in two months.