Davis Cup: Netherlands stuns U.S. stars

League: Tennis

Posted on: 14 Sep, 2023 at 10:30 PM

Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Netherlands surprised two of the highest-ranked Americans in men's tennis and upset the United States 2-1 Thursday on the third day of the Davis Cup Finals group stage.

In Group D action in Split, Croatia, Botic van de Zandschulp took down Tommy Paul 7-6 (2), 6-2 before Tallon Griekspoor outlasted Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3) to secure the Dutch win.

Tiafoe and Paul are Nos. 11 and 13 in the ATP world singles rankings. Tiafoe fired 16 aces and saved seven of nine break points in defeat.

The Americans avoided a sweep by winning the doubles match; Austin Krajicek and Rajeev Ram beat Wesley Koolhof and Matwe Middlekoop 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 6-3. But the Netherlands now leads Group D with the only 2-0 record.

The Davis Cup group stages are taking place Tuesday through Sunday in four cities across Europe. The top two teams in each round-robin group will advance to the knockout stage in Malaga, Spain, Nov. 21-26.

Also Thursday, defending champion Canada swept Sweden 3-0 in Group A in Bologna, Italy. Australia rallied past France 2-1 in Group B in Manchester, England. And the Czech Republic swept South Korea 3-0 in Group C in Valencia, Spain.

The Canadians got on the board after a three-set opening match that saw Vasek Pospisil fire 24 aces to beat Sweden's Leo Borg 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-2. Gabriel Diallo then beat Elias Ymer 6-4, 6-3, and in doubles, Pospisil teamed with Alexis Galarneau to defeat Filip Bergevi and Andre Goransson 7-6 (9), 7-6 (3).

Australia's match with France went down to doubles after they split the two singles matches. France's Adrian Mannarino picked up a 7-6 (4), 6-4 win over Max Purcell, and Australia's Alex de Minaur beat Ugo Humbert 7-6 (2), 6-3.

In the deciding match, Purcell and Matthew Ebden handled Frenchmen Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-5, 6-3. Purcell and Ebden had a 10-1 advantage in aces and saved the only break point they faced.

Tomas Machac got the Czech sweep started by beating South Korea's Seongchan Hong 7-6 (8), 4-6, 6-2. Jiri Lehecka eased past Soonwoo Kwon 6-1, 7-5, and in doubles, Jakub Mensik and Adam Pavlasek rallied to beat Jisung Nam and MinKyu Song 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4.

Group stage action continues Friday with four matchups:
--Italy vs. Chile (Group A)
--Great Britain vs. Switzerland (Group B)
--Spain vs. Serbia (Group C)
--Croatia vs. Finland (Group D)

Group stage standings (overall record, individual match record):
Group A
1. Canada, 2-0, 6-0
2. Chile, 1-0, 3-0
3. Italy, 0-1, 0-3
4. Sweden, 0-2, 0-6

Group B
1. France, 1-1, 4-2
2. Australia, 1-1, 3-3
3. Great Britain, 1-0, 2-1
4. Switzerland, 0-1, 0-3

Group C
1. Czech Republic, 2-0, 6-0
2. Serbia, 1-0, 3-0
3. Spain, 0-1, 0-3
4. South Korea, 0-2, 0-6

Group D
1. Netherlands, 2-0, 4-2
2. United States, 1-1, 3-3
T3. Finland, 0-1, 1-2
T3. Croatia, 0-1, 1-2

--Field Level Media