Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski overcame Tomas Machac and Jiri Vesely 6-4, 6-2 Sunday at the Davis Cup Finals in Group C to book Great Britain’s spot in the quarter-finals.
The pair did not face a break point and fired 36 winners to complete Great Britain’s 2-1 comeback victory against the Czech Republic after 74 minutes.
“Today was tough,” Great Britain captain Leon Smith said. “You look at the rankings and people think it is straightforward but it is never like that in the Davis Cup. I’m thrilled for these guys [Salisbury and Skupski]. To come out and play as well as they did speaks volumes. We asked for passion, determination and the quality comes after that. I’m really proud of them.”
In the first match of the tie in Innsbruck, Austria, Machac won 80 per cent (24/30) of his first-serve points to upset World No. 25 Daniel Evans 6-2, 7-5 in one hour and 35 minutes to give the Czech Republic the lead.
However, Cameron Norrie then levelled the tie, downing Jiri Lehecka 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 in one hour and 43 minutes. Norrie broke five times and hit 23 winners in his victory. Great Britain tops Group C, after also defeating France 2-1 on Saturday.
In the second tie of the day in Austria, Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz defeated Philipp Oswald and Oliver Marach 6-3, 6-4 to clinch Germany’s spot in the quarter-finals in Group F.
The pair won 82 per cent (28/34) of his first-serve points and did not face a break point to overcome the Austrians in 85 minutes and seal a 2-1 victory for Germany against Austria.
Earlier Jurij Rodionov overcame Dominik Koepfer 6-1, 7-5 in 87 minutes to give Austria an early advantage. The World No. 139 fired six aces and saved four of the five break points he faced.
Jan-Lennard Struff then levelled the tie for Germany, downing Dennis Novak 7-5, 6-4 in 74 minutes. The World No. 51 hit eight aces and 16 winners in his one-hour 14-minute triumph.
“I am very happy,” Struff said. “It is tough as expected against Austria. Dennis is a good friend of mine, but I am very happy with my performance today. I played aggressively and I tried to put a lot of pressure on Dennis from the beginning.”
Germany will play Great Britain in the last eight for the second-straight edition.
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