Aussies top U.S.
in Davis Cup quarterfinals
Pat Mitsch | April 9, 2017
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – It was a logical substitution, Sam Querrey for Jack Sock to take on Nick Kyrgios. However, despite the tall Californian's fresh legs and a recent victory over his opponent, he could not overcome the talent of the in-form Aussie Sunday at Pat Rafter Arena.
Kyrgios defeated Querrey, 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-4, to clinch victory for Australia in the Davis Cup World Group Quarterfinals. With the win, the Australians earned their way into September’s semifinals against Belgium. The Americans, meanwhile, must wait until 2018 for another chance at their first Davis Cup title since 2007.
The fourth match of the tie was originally scheduled to pit Sock against Kyrgios, the top players for America and Australia. But Sock spent a total of five hours and 35 minutes on court over the previous two days after he played a four-set singles match on Friday and a five-set doubles match on Saturday.
U.S. Captain Jim Courier, with his squad facing a 2-1 deficit, tabbed Querrey to attempt to extend the tie to a deciding fifth match. Querrey had just beaten Kyrgios in March en route to his ATP title in Acapulco.
Kyrgios, however, picked up where he left off on Friday, firing 21 aces and converting four of six break-point chances as compared to two of nine for Querrey.
“Jack was a little bit tired coming off of the singles, and he spent a lot of energy in the doubles, too, and as well as Sam’s been playing, it really was not a difficult decision,” Courier said. ”All along, we thought we would deploy Sam on Sunday in this tie, I’m not sure which match, but as it turned out we needed him today in that fourth match, and he played as well as he could have played in that match. Nick was just too good. He had him down a break twice and couldn’t win those sets, so you just tip your cap to Nick. He was strong all weekend.”
In the dead fifth singles rubber, John Isner defeated Sam Groth, 7-6(5), 6-3, in a lively matchup between big servers.
“You can’t underestimate Davis Cup and how hard it is to go out there and get any wins. To beat a quality U.S. team – this is one of our best wins in a long time as a Davis Cup team,” said Australian Captain Lleyton Hewitt. “Again, we beat their full-strength lineup. They’ve got four quality players, and they’re all Top 30 in the world, and obviously they’ve got a lot of doubles options, as well. But we had a game plan. We stuck to it. We knew there we going to be ups and downs the whole weekend, but we dug deep, we found a way and all the boys pulled together and played some really high-quality tennis.”
The U.S. and Australia remain the two most decorated countries in Davis Cup history, with 32 and 28 titles, respectively. Australia, which has not hoisted the trophy since 2003, will hope to close the gap with a title this year.