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Kokkinakis Completes Comeback, Fires Australia Into Davis Cup Finals

Thanasi Kokkinakis completed the Australian comeback on Saturday in Sydney, overcoming Hungarian Zsombor Piros 6-4, 6-4 to fire the former champion into the Davis Cup Finals.

With the tie resuming at 1-1 on day two of the Davis Cup qualifiers, Hungary moved ahead after Fabian Marozsan and Mate Valkusz downed John Peers and Luke Saville 6-4, 6-4. However, World No. 30 Alex de Minaur levelled the clash with a 7-6(4), 6-4 victory over Marton Fucsovics, setting the stage for Adelaide International 2 titlist Kokkinakis to seal Australia’s 3-2 win.

Bautista Agut Shines For Spain
Roberto Bautista Agut continued his strong start to the season, dispatching Marius Copil 6-2, 6-3 to seal qualification for Spain.

The 2019 champion headed into day two of its qualification tie against Romania with a commanding 2-0 lead thanks to victories from the 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz and Doha champion Bautista Agut. However, Romania kept itself alive when Copil and Horia Tecau downed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Pedro Martinez 7-6(2), 6-4 in the doubles.

But Bautista Agut ended the Romanian comeback, securing a 3-1 victory for Spain as he improved to 14-4 on the year.

Netherlands Cruise Past Canada
Playing on home soil at the Sportcampus Zuiderpark, doubles pair Wesley Koolhof and Matwe Middelkoop ensured the Netherlands advanced into the Davis Cup Finals in emphatic fashion.

With the Netherlands leading Canada 2-0 heading into the final day of qualifying, Koolhof and Middelkoop added the all-important final point in style, defeating Peter Polansky and Brayden Schnur 7-5, 6-3.

Kwon Guides South Korea Through
Soonwoo Kwon stepped up and delivered in Seoul, securing qualification for South Korea with a 7-5, 7-5 triumph over Austrian Dennis Novak.

With the tie poised at 1-1, Jisung Nam and Minkyu Song defeated Alexander Erler and Lucas Miedler 6-4, 6-3, before World No. 65 Kwon moved South Korea into an unassailable 3-1 lead. Talisman Kwon also defeated Jurij Rodionov on Friday.

Herbert/Mahut Finish The Job For France
Experienced duo Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut built on the impressive work undertaken by Arthur Rinderknech and Adrian Mannarino to book France’s spot in the Davis Cup Finals.

Heading into the action at the Palais des Sports on Saturday, France led 2-0. In a dominant performance, Herbert and Mahut dispatched Gonzalo Escobar and Diego Hidalgo 6-1, 7-6(3) to ensure qualification was quickly secured. Hebert and Mahut have won 21 tour-level titles together, including five Grand Slam trophies and two Nitto ATP Finals crowns.

Argentina Advance In Buenos Aires
Argentine will compete at the Davis Cup Finals once again after Maximo Gonzalez and Horacio Zeballos soared past Czech Republic tandem Jiri Lehecka and Tomas Machac 6-4, 6-4.

Sebastian Baez and Diego Schwartzman had given Argentina a 2-0 lead on Friday, before Gonzalez and Zeballos triumphed in 89 minutes to seal the tie 3-0.

Belgium Edge Finland
World No. 163 Zizou Bergs was the hero for Belgium, overcoming Finland’s Otto Virtanen 6-4, 6-0 to complete the turnaround for his nation.

Harri Heliovaara and Emil Ruusuvuori had given Finland a 2-1 lead in the tie with their 6-3, 2-6,7-6(5) victory over Sander Gille and David Goffin. However, Belgium would not be denied, with Goffin cruising past Ruusuvuori 6-4, 6-2 before Bergs won the tie.

Bublik The Hero For Kazakhstan
Alexander Bublik upset World No. 8 Casper Ruud 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 to secure Kazakhstan’s place in the Davis Cup Finals.

The Montpellier champion’s victory over the Norwegian gave Kazakhstan an unassailable 3-1 lead, after Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov defeated Simen Sunde Bratholm and Viktor Durasovic 7-6(10), 6-3.

Ymer Does Double Duty For Sweden
Elias Ymer produced for Sweden when it mattered, downing Yosuke Watanuki 6-3, 6-3 in the decisive rubber to give the former champion a 3-2 victory against Japan.

With the tie level at 1-1 heading into day two, Andre Goransson and Ymer edged Ben McLachlan and Yasutaka Uchiyama 2-6, 7-6(7), 7-5, before Taro Daniel downed Dragos Nicolae Madaras 6-0, 7-5 to drag Japan back into it.

With the stage set, Ymer raised his level, triumphing in 70 minutes to seal Sweden’s spot in the Davis Cup Finals.

Per, the group stage of the 2022 Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals will take place across four cities on 14-18 September. The knock-out stage of the 2022 Davis Cup Finals will take place in one venue on 23-27 November.

The Finals will feature 16 teams. The 12 winners in the Davis Cup by Rakuten Qualifiers on 4-5 March will join Croatia (2021 runner up) and the two wild cards, Great Britain and Serbia.

Russian Tennis Federation had qualified automatically for the 2022 Finals (as 2021 champions), but following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the RTF has been suspended from all international tennis competition until further notice. Their replacement will be announced in due course.

The 16 teams will compete in four round-robin groups of four teams. The top two teams in each group will advance to the quarter-finals.

The Davis Cup champions will be crowned after the completion of the knock-out stage.

Follow the latest scores and results on the Davis Cup website.

Source Tennis – ATP World Tour

EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team
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