Australia beats Czech Republic 4-1 in World Group tie
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australia split Sunday’s concluding reverse singles matches with the Czech Republic to complete a comfortable 4-1 win in their Davis Cup first round tie that set up a compelling quarter-final meeting with the United States.
Australian debutant Jordan Thompson beat Jan Satral 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 before Jiri Vesely gained a consolation win for the visitors when he defeated Sam Groth 3-6 7-5 6-3 at the Kooyong tennis club in suburban Melbourne.
Australia had already clinched the tie after winning Friday’s opening singles and Saturday’s doubles, allowing captain Lleyton Hewitt to let Groth to replace Nick Kyrgios for the reverse singles. Groth served for the match in the second set but twice double faulted, allowing Vesely to fight back and win the match and avoid a 5-0 cleansweep.
Australia will host the US in April after the American pair of Jack Sock and Steve Johnson won their doubles match on Saturday to seize an unassailable 3-0 lead in their tie with Switzerland in Birmingham, Alabama.
Australia lost at home on grass to the US last year and Hewitt is expecting another tough encounter.
“They’re going to be really strong,” Hewitt said. “They’ve got four really good singles players and they can mix and match the doubles pairing pretty well.”