At 1-0 in matches and 6-4 5-3 to Lehecka in the second rubber for Czechia. You did not think you would write Australia Fights to Win at the Davis Cup Finals.
Australia Fights to Win at the Davis Cup Finals
It looked pretty grim for Australia for a long time. Tomas Machac started proceedings in brilliant style, playing great tennis to defeat Jordan Thompson 6-4 7-5.
And Jiri Lehecka can play some fantastic tennis, we know that. And he did for most of his match against Alex De Minaur. But at 6-4 5-4, when serving for the match, Lehecka, understandably, got a bit tight. If you are a tennis player you know how it feels when the breathing is forced and your arm is heavy. Nerves are overrunning your whole body. And that seems to be what happened.
We also know that De Minaur is a world-class fighter. And with the passionate Lleyton Hewitt in his box, he would give it everything he had.
He managed to take the second set in a tie-break (7-2), and the third set was a real battle. But it’s not easy to shake off such a missed opportunity and in the end De Minaur was the stronger player. 4-6 7-6 7-5 was the final score in the Aussies favor and meant doubles would decide.
“The only time I felt a little bit of an opportunity, when he lowered the level a bit, was the first point serving for it. I got a little sniff. I was able to play a solid game there, and after that, I felt like the whole momentum kind of changed.”
“I think my reputation is quite strong when it comes to these types of situations. It kind of precedes me. Maybe I won because of that today.”
“I think it would have been quite easy for me to roll over under the circumstances, but that’s just not the type of player I am. I have had plenty of these types of matches in my career. It’s part of my identity. I’m not going to give up. I’m going to fight until the end.”Alex De Minaur
The Doubles Decider
I don’t know if they talked about this before the match, but Australia is so much stronger as a doubles team, that Czechia needed to win this one in the singles.
Matthew Edben and Max Purcell are a world-class team, while the same cannot really be said for Adam Pavlasek and Jiri Lehecka (who must have been so tired emotionally and physically after his first match). That Australia got this one 6-4 7-5 cannot be a surprise to anyone.
It was a great effort by the doubles team, but De Minaur saved the match for Australia.
“I prided myself on a never-say-die attitude and he’s certainly in the same category”, said an exhausted but proud captain Lleyton Hewitt afterwards. “For him to go out there and put the boys on his back again, we’re so proud of him. He had to dig really deep and yet again he saved us.”Lleyton Hewitt
Another exciting quarter-final match at the Davis Cup Finals showed that this format might actually work in the long run, although it doesn’t seem popular among players and pundits.
Although we completely flubbed the first prediction between Finland and Canada, we got his one right (check out our other predictions as well), with 2-1 to Australia.
Today is a two-match day: Netherlands vs Italy and Great Britain vs Serbia. What are your predictions?