Davis Cup: Groth levels tie at 2-2
A magnificent performance from Sam Groth in the first of the reverse singles matches has pushed the Australia v Kazakhstan into a live fifth rubber in Darwin.
Australia will play off for a Davis Cup semifinal berth in a live fifth rubber after Sam Groth levelled the tie against Kazakhstan at 2-2 on Sunday.
Playing in his first live singles rubber for Australia, Groth played superb attacking tennis to beat Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3 7-6(6) 4-6 7-6(6).
In the first match of the reverse singles, Groth replaced Nick Kyrgios, who had lost his match on Friday.
And he proved a worthy inclusion, using his powerful serve and traditional net-rushing tactics on grass to overwhelm the Kazakh.
Kukushkin was no pushover; the visitor played intelligent, error-free tennis for much of the match, and held a set point in the fourth set tiebreak to send the match into a decisive fifth set.
But shrugging off the fact that he had led two sets to love, Groth served his way out of trouble and then played a forcing point on his first match point, drawing an error from Kukushkin and celebrating wildly.
“We’ve still got one more to go,” an emotional Groth told host broadcaster the Seven Network.
“This is the most amazing feeling I’ve ever had in tennis. It’s unbelievable.”
Groth served 29 aces, many of them in clutch situations.
“My serve is something I rely on. It’s my biggest strength,” he said.
“It came through under pressure, especially in that fourth-set tiebreak.”
Lleyton Hewitt will face Aleksandr Nedovyesov in the live fifth rubber.
Australia has not recovered to win a Davis Cup tie from 0-2 down since 1939.