Thursday, 23 November 2023, 08:12
Australia came from behind against Czech Republic to clinch a dramatic win in a Davis Cup encounter that finished just before midnight at the Jose Maria Martin Carpena stadium on Wednesday.
Rowdy Czech and Aussie fans stayed right until the end after it came down to the doubles tie to decide which team would progress to the semi-finals on day two of the round-robin tournament.
Right from the beginning of play it was clear that it would be a battle of Australia's craft against the power and pace of the Czechs. But the Australians - who reached last year's final - got off to a shaky start when Jordan Thompson lost the first singles tie against Tomas Machac 6-4, 7-5.
It was left up to world number 12 Alex de Minaur to keep his country's chances of lifting the trophy alive. But Jiri Lehecka stood in his way, out-powering his higher-ranked opponent for a large majority of the match. Australia was on the brink of elimination when the 31-ranked Czech served for the match and his team's win at 6-4, 5-3, but pressure seeped in and the Australian sensed his opportunity. De Minaur snatched the second set and the match, winning 4-6, 7-6, 7-5.
Australia looked untroubled in the doubles tie when Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell faced off against Jiri Lehecka and Adam Pavlasek. The Aussie pairing were formidable, showing off the finesse and strategy that won them last year's Wimbledon grand slam, and defeated the Czech duo 6-4, 7-5 to send Australia through to a second consecutive semi-final. Australia will face Finland in the semi-finals.
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