Australia are into the last eight of the Davis Cup World Group for the first time in nearly a decade after accounting for the world’s top ranked nation, Czech Republic overnight.
Bernard Tomic was the hero for the Aussies, clinching his reverse singles against Lukas Rosol in straight sets to give Wally Masur’s side an unassailable 3-1 lead in Ostrava.
The 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) win over the Czech No.1 means Australia will host Kazakhstan in the quarter-finals after they defeated Italy 3-2 in their match-up.
“This is huge,” said Tomic after he extended his Davis Cup record to 14-2. “I’ve never been in a position like this. It’s an amazing thing.
“I’ve played a lot of Davis Cup matches in the past, but that was when we were out of the World Group.
“This is a whole different feeling and I’m very happy with what we did as a team this week.”
It was the second singles win of the weekend for Tomic, after Thanisi Kokkinakis had got the Aussies off to the perfect start in his Davis Cup debut on matchday 1.
The 18-year-old came from two sets down in his match against Rosol before taking the opening tie in an epic five-setter. Tomic then got the better of Jiri Vesely to put Australia on the verge of a huge upset.
The doubles pairing of Lleyton Hewiit and Sam Groth seemed on the way to making it a clean-sweep when they raced through their first set 6-1 but were overhauled in five sets.
That paved the way for Tomic to step up, with his assured performance knocking out the 2012 and 2013 champions who missed the presence of big guns Tomas Berdych (sitting out) and Radek Stepanek (injured).
The world No.38’s win meant Sam Groth contested the reverse singles dead-rubber, going down to Jan Mertl, to leave Australia with an overall 3-2 victory.
The win was the 28-time champions’ first in the competition’s top tier since 2006, having ended a six-year hiatus from the World Group last year.
Australia will host their quarter-final clash in July and will be full of confidence with injured star Nick Kyrgios set to return to the fold.
If Australia beat Kazakhstan they will face either Great Britain in England or France at home in the semi-finals.