Davis Cup | Slovakia take out Serbia

The 2024 edition of the Davis Cup is getting under way with the various Qualifier matches taking place around the world and a few surprises are already coming through.

Slovakia has qualified for the Davis Cup Finals knock-out stage in Malaga next September, after overcoming Serbia last year’s semi-finalists, who were playing without the services of world No.1 Novak Djokovic and hosting the event at the Sport Hall Ibar in Kraljevo, Serbia.

It is the first time that Slovakia has qualified, and they can thank Luka Klein and Igor Zelenay who clinched the decisive point against Serbia’a Nikola Cacic and Miomir Kecmanovic 7-6(4) 6-3 in the doubles rubber to give the visitors an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-rubber tie.

Klein and Zelenay came back from a break down to win the tie-break of the first set before winning the second set 6-3 after 1 hour and 38 minutes to secure their place after four previous unsuccessful attempts.

In the first singles match Klein defeated Kecmanovic 7-6(2) 6-2 on Friday.

Then Alex Molcan followed to beat Dusan Lajovic 4-6 6-2 6-0 after 1 hour and 35 minutes in the second singles match to give Slovakia a 2-0 lead. Molcan dropped just one point on his first serve in the third set.

In other ties three-time champions Germany won both of Saturday’s match to beat Hungary 3-1. German doubles specialists Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz beat Fabian Maroszan and Mate Valkusz 6-3 7-6(3). Jan Lennard Struff beat Valkusz 6-3 6-2 to secure their place in Malaga.

Americans Austin Krajicek and Rajeev Ram beat Ukrainian’s Ilya Beloborodko and Oleksi Krutykh 6-3 4-6 6-3 in the doubles match to earn the USA the decisive point for the serial champions in their tie at the SEB Arena in Vilnius.

“I am proud of the guys. I love spending time with them. Great bunch of kids. They played great this week. The Ukrainians put up some resistance at times. They fought hard until the last ball, but our guys were solid, and they really brought it. I thought that we played great tennis. Hopefully we can build on that this year and play well in the Group Stage, which was our hiccup last year. We got a great group of guys to choose from. We have guys that are excited to play Davis Cup and that’s the most important thing,” US captain Bob Bryan said after securing their place.

Other countries who have qualified so far are Canada, The Netherlands, Finland and Brazil.



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