Australia on brink of Davis Cup elimination, Britain beat France 2-1

Australia beat Hungary 2-1 in Turin but are on the brink of Davis Cup elimination after finishing their group campaign with a 2-4 win-loss record.

Eighteen teams are competing in six round-robin groups, played across three cities, for places in the Davis Cup quarter-finals. The group winners and two best runners-up qualify for the quarter-finals.

Alex de Minaur celebrates his win.Credit:AP

Having lost 3-0 to Croatia, Australia went 1-0 down when Zsombor Piros claimed the biggest win of his career by beating John Millman 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Piros is ranked 282nd in the world – 210 places below Millman – but that did not deter the 22-year-old Hungarian, who broke serve 11 times.

Australia, 28-time champions, finally claimed their first victory of the tournament when Alex de Minaur came through a three-hour match to beat Marton Fucsovics 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(2) and level the tie at 1-1.

The doubles pairing of Alex Bolt and John Peers then sealed the tie when they beat the Hungarian duo 6-3, 6-7(11), 6-3. Hungary face Croatia on Sunday.

“It was a war of attrition [for de Minaur],” captain Lleyton Hewitt said. “In doubles our boys were in control, but you never know in doubles. But I think we really deserved it.”

Australia had a nightmare start to their Davis Cup campaign, with former US Open champion Marin Cilic and the unheralded Borna Gojo leading Croatia to a 3-0 win last week.

Djokovic’s Serbia lose to Germany

Not even Novak Djokovic playing back-to-back could help Serbia avoid losing to Germany.

After Djokovic helped Serbia pull even at 1-1 by beating Jan-Lennard Struff, the world’s top-ranked male player immediately joined Nikola Cacic in doubles. But German pair Tim Puetz and Kevin Krawietz showed more mettle in a tight 7-6, 3-6, 7-6 victory to take the decider and the tie victory 2-1.

Novak Djokovic played in back-to-back games for Serbia but it was not enough to win them the tie.Credit:AP

“It’s a great performance to beat the team who have the world No.1,” Germany captain Michael Kohlmann said. “Before the tie, we all thought that we had a good chance. We really believed it and it paid off.”

Serbia could still go through to the quarter-finals, which will include two runners-up to go with the six group winners. But Germany can seal their spot as the Group F winner with a victory over Austria, who Serbia have already beaten.

“We will have to wait until tomorrow and see [if we advance],” Serbia captain Viktor Troicki said. “Filip had a tough one, and in doubles, what can I say after this match? A 7-6 loss in the third [set], and we had a lot of chances. I am still proud of my team. It wasn’t our day in the end. I hope we still have a chance.”

Italy through to final eight

Italy became the first team to book their spot in the final eight after beating Colombia to take two points from Group E.

Lorenzo Sonego beat Nicolas Mejia 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, and Jannik Sinner followed with a 7-5, 6-0 win over Daniel Elahi Galan, in the matches in Turin.

Second-ranked Daniil Medvedev helped Russia beat Ecuador, setting up a clash with Spain to decide who will go through as group winners.

Medvedev eased past Emilio Gómez 6-0, 6-2 after breaking his serve five times to give Russia an insurmountable 2-0 lead.

“I wanted to keep it clean from the first to the last point of the match and I am happy to bring the point to the team,” the US Open champion said.

Fifth-ranked Andrey Rublev started the tie with a more difficult than expected 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 win over Roberto Quiroz. Rublev returned to help Aslan Karatsev prevail 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in doubles over Gonzalo Escobar and Diego Hidalgo.

Kazakhstan beat Sweden 2-1 with their doubles pairing of Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov sealing victory after Swede Elias Ymer and Kazakh Alexander Bublik won their singles rubbers.

Sweden remain top of the group, having beaten Canada 3-0. Kazakhstan face Canada on Sunday.

Reuters, AP

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