W ow! We just saw Fabian Marozsan & Mate Valkusz upset Australia’s John Peers and Luke Saville in this solitary doubles match-up, as Hungary now leads 2-1 in the 2022 Davis Cup Qualifiers with two singles games left at Ken Rosewall Arena.
It was a tight game though when both countries were side by side for the opening set lead, but it’s Hungary who got ahead and held back Australia going into the second set before they kept the momentum, found the homestretch & wrapped it up in straight sets (4-6, 4-6).
Commiserations for Peers and Saville when they fought back a few games in a bid to stay in contention. However, a poor start saw them fall behind where they just couldn’t find a way past Hungary, while leaving out to hold back Marozsan/Valkusz until the last minute in both sets.
And hats off to Marozsan and Valkusz for their persistence against these two experienced opponents. They simply focused on one thing at a time that reflected Hungary’s 1st set lead earlier on v Peers/Saville. It gave them some time and patience to hold the Aussies off defensively, as it puts them on a confidence booster going into the second set where Marozsan/Valkusz wrapped up this game with the win.
Next up is Alex De Minaur v Marton Fucsovics in this 4th of 5th match-up between Australia v Hungary. De Minaur desperately needs a win if Australia was to level 2-2 going into the fifth and final singles match today (Thanasi Kokkinakis v Zsombor Piros) in the 2022 Davis Cup Qualifiers.
Hungary has just fought back v Australia 1-1 in the 2022 Davis Cup Qualifiers after Day 1 tonight at Ken Rosewall Arena. Good start from Marton Fucsovics and Thanasi Kokkinakis, where both players fought very hard during a very competitive first set that went down the wire via the tiebreak. Fucsovics won that tiebreak and led 1-0 going into the second set, but Kokkinakis fought back comfortably at 1-1 apiece, with this match-up not over yet towards the third and final set decider. In the end, Fucsovics managed to find his way past Kokkinakis and held him off with the win for his country, Hungary.
Final Score: 6-7 via 4-6 tiebreaker, 6-1, 3-6.
Unlucky for Kokkinakis, who did well to catch up Fucsovics & not give him a free run. He fired the pressure well back to his opponent, especially in the 2nd set that reflected his fightback, as it gave him another chance to redeem himself ahead of the final set spell. But it’s not just his night tonight when Kokkinakis struggled to overtake & hold off Fucsovics, where Fucsovics exposed him in the opening set tiebreak & 3rd set decider, and that sums up his loss in this match-up.
Meanwhile, brilliant play by Fucsovics with the win in this second singles tie v Kokkinakis for Hungary. He did well to move past his opponent earlier on and took his time while leading, where Fucsovics overcame Kokkinakis during the 1st set tiebreak. Now he may have missed the chance to close out in straight sets when he was tied 1-1 after the second set, but Fucsovics knew one thing Kokkinakis wasn’t good at where the Hungarian eventually beat him to the punch, which is taking over and holding off the lead.
Two matches gone, three to go tomorrow with one doubles tie plus two more singles games up for grabs in the best of five in the 2022 Davis Cup Qualifiers, between Australia v Hungary at Ken Rosewall Arena.
Tomorrow’s schedule from 1 pm
Doubles: John Peers & Luke Saville for Australia v Marton Fucsovics & Fabian Marozsan.
Two Singles matches: Alex De Minaur (Australia) v Marton Fucsovics (Hungary), Thanasi Kokkinakis (Australia) v Zsombor Piros (Hungary).
Australia may not have advanced to the semis in this year’s ATP Cup after their 3-0 loss v reigning champions Russia on Tuesday, but at least they ended on a high 2-1 v France last night at Ken Rosewall Arena which was enough to settle 2nd in Group B.
Now the first singles tie between Arthur Rinderknach and James Duckworth was so competitive having fought back game after game & point by point, in the end Duckworth just couldn’t pull it off even though he was close towards winning a set that gave Rinderknach the early lead for France 1-0 in straight sets.
Final Score: 6-4, 7-6 via 8-6 tiebreaker to Rinderknach.
However, Australia fought back when Alex De Minaur went from the first set down to a 2nd set comeback after the break via a great battle that went all the way into a tiebreaker & smashed it easily towards the 3rd set decider, and De Minaur kept that renewed momentum to his word with the win against Ugo Humbert as he leveled 1-1 for Australia with the solitary doubles tie to wrap it up.
Final Score: 6-3 to Humbert, 6-7 via 2-7 & 1-6 to De Minaur.
How good is it to wrap up 2-1 in the end through the best of three ties v France, although Edouard Roger-Vassellin & Fabrice Martin leveled Luke Saville & John Peers’s early headstart after the break but Peers & Saville never gave up until the very end for Australia where they bounced back during a competitive 3rd set decider & managed to pull off for the win.
Final Score: 2-6 to Saville & Peers, 7-5 to Roger-Vassellin & Martin, 9-11 to Saville & Peers.
Australia would love to take down Russia also at least 2-1 three days ago & have an extended shot in the semis, but they had a great few days throughout the group stages v Italy & France thanks to Alex De Minaur and their fantastic doubles pair of Luke Peers & John Saville.
They hope to go one better in next year’s ATP Cup for 2023 & become champion while using that kind of success at the same time towards improving their next Davis Cup campaign.
What a comeback for Australia last night at Ken Rosewall Arena in the ATP Cup that began with James Duckworth’s withdrawal from a hip issue where they threw Max Purcell at the deep end, he at least fired off with a point & fought back some points after the break but just couldn’t handle Jannik Sinner who wrapped it up easily in the 1st singles tie especially when competing against a 10th ranked player from Italy.
Score: 6-1, 6-3 to Sinner.
Purcell may be disappointed tonight with a huge loss v Sinner but he has the home crowd’s backing every time he won a couple of points and go a long way, let’s hope he stays that way if he gets to play again in the next few days with Russia to come on Wednesday.
Then we look at Matteo Berrettini v Alex De Minaur in the 2nd singles tie with De Minaur up and running ahead in the 1st set, although that next battle may be tougher after the break but he never gave up having held Berrettini almost a game away from match point to a magnificent comeback via tiebreaker in straight sets.
Score: 3-6 & 6-7 with 4-7 tiebreaker to De Minaur.
And we finished last night in the lone doubles game as John Peers & Luke Saville are on a roll where they led comfortably at the start & got the job done off Italy’s Matteo Berrettini & Simone Bolelli after a wild 2nd set battle that went down the wire.
Score: 3-6 & 5-7 to Peers & Saville.
Not only Australia go 2-1 up against Italy in the best of three ties but they topped Group B, can they fend off Russia on Wednesday & make their way to the semis through France after that on Friday? Time will tell as this will hopefully be their year to shine in 2022 ATP Cup.
Team Australia hoped to compensate the earlier lost in the 1st singles game. After John Millman was defeated by Pablo Carreno Busta 2-6, 4-6. They hoped to use their main man Alex De Minaur.
When he goes up against Roberto Bautista Agut. Rather than Rafa Nadal who was ruled out last night over a lower back spasm. Alex fired off well with the first set lead 6-4. Despite a close battle to hang in there towards the end of Stage 1.
But he lost that build up base somewhere in the second portion. As Bautista Agut tied the 2nd set 4-6 for Spain. Where his opponent has earned a reprieve going into the 3rd set. Alex tried everything possible to hold Bautista Agut back. And put himself still in the running to get 7-5. Or lead themselves through a tiebreaker.
It is just too little, too late for De Minaur to give Australia a lifeline they deserve. Even without the star power of Nadal. Although he acted well behind the mouthpiece to give Spain the 2-0 lead. As Bautista Agut def. De Minaur in last 2 sets 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Spain may have earned the overall match win v Australia. But that does not mean they do not want to end up with a loss in the doubles. And end up with a 3-0 whitewash. Pablo Carreno Busta/Marcel Granollers v John Peers/Luke Saville. With a rest day today before versing Greece tomorrow.
Peers and Saville earned the upper hand to fire off this match for Australia. So not bad with the nice & steady approach going on here. They were unable to find the middle ground having lost the lead 3-4. Before Carreno Busta & Granollers safeguarded the 1st set for Spain 6-4.
Australia has shown some good areas to leave Spain behind initially. Where they lost the lead again 2-3. But did not give up after they tied 4-4 & 5-5 with Spain. In the hope of going into a 3red set for the consolation win. Peers & Saville in the end looked tired with these executions. As Spain cleans the mop here 6-4, 7-5.
Spain on the other hand are leading Group B. They may not had help from Rafa to prepare on the court by himself. But in terms of leadership he is right ahead of Lleyton Hewitt. Rafa is now hoping to get that back spasm away in time tomorrow. Not just warming up for the grand slam next week. He would like to send his country for the semis too.