Tennis: Tennis-Kokkinakis wins decisive singles match to seal Australia’s spot in Davis Cup Finals


(Reuters) – Thanasi Kokkinakis held his nerve to beat Hungary’s Zsombor Piros 6-4 6-4 in the deciding qualifying singles rubber on Saturday to assist Australia win the tie and seal a spot in the Davis Cup Finals later this 12 months.

Australia have been stage with Hungary earlier than the ultimate day after world quantity 30 Alex de Minaur’s victory was cancelled out by Marton Fucsovics’ defeat of Kokkinakis on Friday.

Hungary drew first blood on Saturday, after the doubles pair of Mate Valkusz and Fabian Marozsan eased previous Luke Saville and John Peers, however De Minaur put in a stable efficiency to stage the tie at 2-2, holding off Fucsovics for a 7-6(4) 6-4 win.

Kokkinakis entered the deciding match with a loss to his identify in the tie, however was dominant from begin to end as he dispatched Piros in an hour and 24 minutes to earn the 28-times champions their third straight look in the Finals.

“I had full confidence in our guys,” Kokkinakis mentioned in his on-court interview. “De Minaur’s our chief, an unbelievable week from him. He’s put Australia on his again time and time once more, so I had to do my half.”

South Korea bought off to a poor begin in opposition to Austria on Friday, however have been ready to flip issues round courtesy of a few spectacular performances from Kwon Soon-woo.

Nam Ji-sung misplaced his singles rubber in opposition to Dennis Novak on Friday, earlier than Kwon, who in September final 12 months turned the primary South Korean to win on the ATP Tour since Lee Hyung-taik in 2003, managed to stage with a win over Jurij Rodionov.

On Saturday, the doubles pair Song Min-kyu and Nam gained in straight units in opposition to Lucas Miedler and Alexander Erler to give South Korea a 2-1 lead, with Kwon then beating Novak 7-5 7-5 to seal the tie with a match to spare.

The 12 profitable groups from the home-and-away qualifiers on Friday and Saturday will be a part of Croatia, who secured computerized qualification for the 2022 Finals as final 12 months’s finalists, and wild playing cards Serbia and Britain.

Russia’s title defence is unsure after governing physique International Tennis Federation (ITF) suspended the memberships of Russia and Belarus and withdrew their entries from workforce competitions following the invasion of Ukraine.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru)

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