Mon, Feb 05, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Germany makes quarter-finals with Zverev win

AP, BRISBANE, Australia

Yuichi Sugita returns to Fabio Fognini yesterday in their Davis Cup World Group first-round men’s singles match in Morioka, Japan.

Photo: AFP

Alexander Zverev yesterday powered Germany through to the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup World Group, beating Australia’s Nick Kyrgios 6-2, 7-6 (7/3), 6-2 in the first reverse singles.

Germany went into yesterday leading 2-1 after a doubles win on Saturday. The final singles match between Australia’s Alex de Minaur and Jan-Lennard Struff was not played, giving Germany a 3-1 win.

“It’s an amazing feeling, hopefully this is just the beginning for us,” the fifth-ranked Zverev said.

German captain Michael Kolhmann agreed.

“Against a really strong Australian team it makes us really confident,” he said. “We showed we have a lot of good players, a lot of strong players. We showed that we are able to go further than this.”

Germany is to play either Britain or Spain in the quarter-finals from April 6 to April 8.

World No. 14 Kyrgios looked frustrated from the start of the match on hard courts at Pat Rafter Arena and required a second-set medical timeout to receive treatment on his right arm.

Kyrgios was clearly restricted ahead of the second-set tiebreak, earning a point penalty to trail 4-0 after slamming his racket into the ground following another unforced error — he made 34 in the match.

“My biggest weapon [serve] was not really there and that affects the rest of my game,” he said.

Australia captain Lleyton Hewitt said the scoreline was not indicative of the closeness of the tie.

“It’s obviously frustrating. Two of those five-set losses could have gone either way, [but] that’s Davis Cup tennis,” Hewitt said. “You have two quality teams going at it. Sometimes that’s how it falls.”

Meanwhile in Morioka, Japan, Fabio Fognini yesterday powered Italy through to the World Group quarter-finals, beating Japan’s Yuichi Sugita 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7/6), 7-5 in the first reverse singles.

Italy went into yesterday leading 2-1 after a doubles win on Saturday and Fognini’s five-set victory in his opening singles match on Friday.

Fognini trailed 4-1 in the final set as Sugita sought to take the tie to a fifth match, but the Italian rallied to secure the win.

At 40-15 in the final game, Sugita saved the first match point before hitting long on the second.

Italy advanced to their fifth quarter-finals in the past six years, while Japan will have to win in the playoffs in September to return to the World Group next season.

As of press time last night, Taiwan was losing 1-3 to Lebanon in the Asia/Oceana Group II first round.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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