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Germany, Italy Move Ahead; Kazakhstan Through To Davis Cup Quarter-Finals

Venue: Pat Rafter Arena, Brisbane, AUS (hard- outdoor)

After a change of nomination, Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff teamed up with Tim Puetz to move their nation one win away from a place in the quarter-finals after beating Australia’s Matthew Ebden and John Peers 6-4, 6-7(7), 6-2, 6-7(7), 6-4.

Struff, who lost in three sets to Nick Kyrgios on Friday, replaced Peter Gojowczyk in the third rubber and it proved to be a masterstroke from captain Michael Kohlmann as the visitors won in a dramatic five-set encounter.

Puetz and Struff hit 55 winners and made just 12 unforced errors in the rubber, which lasted nearly three and a half hours, to give Alexander Zverev a chance to book Germany’s spot in the last eight when he meets Kyrgios in the tie's fourth rubber.

Kyrgios, who must win to keep Australia’s hopes alive, leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Zverev 3-1 after getting the better of the No. 5 in three of their four matches on the ATP World Tour in 2017. The Australian, with the pressure of keeping the tie alive in Brisbane on Sunday, appeared confident as he prepared to take on a familiar rival.

Germany's Tim Puetz and Jan-Lennard Struff beat Australia's Matt Ebden and John Peers to move one point away from the Davis Cup World Group quarter-finals.
“We played juniors together, we grew up together,” Kyrgios told DavisCup.com. “We're good mates so ranking and stuff goes out the window with us. I don't mind playing him. We both know what we bring. I had some luck against him last year and that's all it is. I know how to play against him, he knows how to play against me.”

Both captains were clear in their view that the tie was still wide open ahead of the reverse singles rubbers, with Australia fully capable of pulling off a comeback win. “It's not over,” said Kohlmann. “In 2012, when we played Australia in Hamburg, Australia was up 2-1 after the second day and we won it.”

“Strategy is easy; we've got to win both matches tomorrow,” said Hewitt. “We're a long way from beaten, that's for sure. Tomorrow is going to be a big day and the boys will be up for it. We're going to look forward to this challenge.”

Venue: Club de Tenis Puente Romano, Marbella, ESP (clay - outdoor)

Spain edged closer to back-to-back Davis Cup World Group quarter-finals after Pablo Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez beat Dominic Inglot and Jamie Murray 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(4), in Marbella, to take a 2-1 lead in the tie.

The Spanish duo won 49 per cent of points on their second serve return, breaking their opponents twice in the two-hour, 30-minute match.

Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas has a chance to clinch the tie in the fourth rubber on Sunday when he meets Cameron Norrie, who won his first Davis Cup match against Roberto Bautista Agut on Friday.

Venue: Morioka Takaya Arena, Morioka, JPN (hard - indoor)

After a five-set win on Friday, Fabio Fognini returned for the doubles rubber with Simone Bolelli and the duo scored a four-set win over Ben Mclachlan and Yasutaka Uchiyama 7-5, 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 7-5.

Italian captain Corrado Barrazzutti’s decision to use his top singles player in the doubles proved successful with Italy now just a win away from a fifth appearance in the Davis Cup quarter-finals in the past six years.

Fognini will need to recover quickly as he plays the first reverse singles match on Sunday against a rested World No. 41 Yuichi Sugita.

Venue: National Tennis Centre, Astana, KAZ (hard – indoor)

Kazakhstan became the first nation to reach the Davis Cup World Group quarter-finals after holding off a valiant comeback by Switzerland in the doubles rubber.

Timur Khabibulin and Aleksandr Nedovyesov had led Marc-Andrea Huesler and Luca Margaroli by two sets at Astana's National Tennis Centre on Saturday before the Swiss duo marched back to force a deciding set. But Khabibulin and Nedovyesov re-established control to win 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(5), 6-3 and clinch a 10th victory for Kazakhstan in its past 11 home ties.

Switzerland, the 2014 champion, will now need to win a World Group play-off tie for the fourth consecutive year to remain in the top tier of the team competition.


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