Australia has retained it’s status in the Davis Cup World Group after Lleyton Hewitt and Chris Guccione claimed their doubles rubber at Cottesloe Tennis Club in Perth on Saturday.
The straight sets win against Uzbekistan pairing Denis Istomin and Farrukh Dustov ensures the Aussies gained an unassailable 3-0 lead in the play-off, after Hewitt and Nick Kyrgious both won their singles matches on Friday.
The Aussies proved too strong for their Central Asia opponents, who have struggled to come to grips with the new grass surface in the West, running out 6-3 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 winners.
Guccione proved why is is rated inside the world’s top 50 for doubles, dropping only a handful of points on serve across the match. Meanwhile Hewitt was at his tenacious best at the net in what will likely have been his last appearance in Western Australia.
The result means Pat Rafter’s men will once again be among the elite nations of world tennis when the draw for next year’s team event takes place on Thursday.
It’s the first time since 2006/07 Australia has remained in the top tier in consecutive years as they look to reclaim the title they last won back in 2003.
Rising star Nick Kyrgios got the green and gold off to the perfect start on Friday after he triumphed 6-4 7-5 6-4 over world No.55 Istomin. The 19-year-old rating the result as “one of my most composed wins I’ve had.”
“I actually wasn’t serving great today at all,’’ said Kyrgios. “But I thought I slowed down the speeds and I still was able to dictate play off my first serve and I thought I returned really well today.”
Veteran Hewitt repeated the dose in his match against Dustov, winning 6-4 6-4 6-2 in under two hours much to the delight of a parochial home crowd.
“It was the perfect start for me to go out there and have the pressure on Dustov after being 1-0 down with his better player already lost,” Hewitt said after the match.
“We’ve got to finish it off though now and we’ll be doing everything in our power to do that tomorrow.”
With Australia having now taken an unbeatable lead in the tie Sam Groth will get the opportunity to make his Davis Cup debut in the reverse singles on Sunday.
You’ll be able to catch all the action from Perth in the SSC clubhouse from midday as the Aussies look to claim a clean sweep.