Australia to host USA in Davis Cup QFs
Australia will host the USA in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Davis Cup after both teams secured wins in the opening round.
Australia will host the United States in a Davis Cup quarter-final in April after both countries surged to unbeatable leads in their first-round ties.
Lleyton Hewitt’s team dropped their first rubber of the weekend on Sunday when substitute Sam Groth lost to world No.54 Jiri Vesely 3-6 7-5 6-3 in an hour and 47 minutes.
With little on the line at Kooyong, Groth was injected into the reverse singles in the place of Aussie No.1 Nick Kyrgios.
The Victorian could have wrapped up a routine win when serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set, only to double fault twice to allow the Czech back into the match.
Vesely played the best tennis of his weekend to take the second and third sets from Groth, who will now head to Launceston to play in a Challenger tournament.
On Friday, debutant Jordan Thompson beat Vesely and world No.15 Kyrgios easily accounted for Jan Satral.
When Groth paired with John Peers for Saturday’s doubles rubber, Australia had won nine straight sets and were back in the quarter-finals for just the second time in 11 years.
In Alabama on Sunday morning (AEDT), the Americans were less convincing in booking their place in the last eight.
Against an under-strength Swiss team, Steve Johnson and Jack Sock needed two tiebreaks to beat lowly ranked pair of Adrien Bossel and Henri Laaksonen.
Hewitt and Tennis Australia is yet to pick a venue for the April meeting.
The tie is a rematch of last year’s first-round meeting – won by the US 3-1 at Kooyong – and Hewitt is wary of Jim Courier’s side.
“It’s a tough ask,” Hewitt said. “We lost to them in a pretty tight battle a year ago they’re a tough team.
“They’re going to be really strong. They’ve got four really good singles players and they can mix and match the doubles pairing pretty well.”
Australia has hosting rights against their rivals after an agreement was made in 1999 to switch a tie to Boston as part of the Cup’s centenary celebrations.
That tie was Hewitt’s first for Australia as a player.