Davis Cup: Australia defeats Czech Republic with doubles win

John Peers and Sam Groth took Australia to an unassailable 3-0 lead in the Davis Cup World Group tie against Czech Republic on Saturday with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win in Melbourne.


Australia's John Peer (right) serves during the doubles tie against Jiri Vesely and Jan Satral on Saturday.   -  AFP

Doubles pair John Peers and Sam Groth gave Australia an unassailable 3-0 lead over the Czech Republic in the Davis Cup World Group with a crushing straight sets victory in Melbourne on Saturday. Peers and Groth raced through the scratch Czech pairing of Jiri Vesely and Jan Satral, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in 90 minutes to deliver the tie to the Australians.

The Czechs had to win the pivotal doubles rubber to stay in the best-of-five match tie after losing both of Friday's opening singles matches. But they were further disadvantaged when doubles specialist Radek Stepanek was forced to withdraw from the doubles with injury on top of the unavailability of World No. 10 Tomas Berdych for the tie.

World No. 15 Nick Kyrgios conceded just seven games in reeling off a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 win over the 157th-ranked Satral, while rookie Jordan Thompson upset Czech No. 1 Vesely 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in Friday's singles. Australia, captained by Lleyton Hewitt, will now face either the United States or Switzerland in the quarterfinals of the teams competition on April 7-9 and will have home advantage should the Americans progress.

Tough test to follow

"I'm very happy. We wanted to make a run this year. We know it'll get tougher but we've got a really good team," Hewitt said. "They (Peers and Groth) prepared well, they did all the hard work getting to gel because they don't play together that often. It would be a tough ask against the USA. They're a tough team with four good players but it's not long between ties which is good."

Doubles specialist Peers is fresh off a Grand Slam title win at last week's Australian Open, while Groth reached the quarterfinals of the men's doubles in Melbourne. "It's never easy to back up after what happened at the Australian Open. Everyone did an amazing job to come together and that made it easier," Peers said. Groth added: "I thought we played well together. We've had a lot of time on court and it came together."

Australia now leads the Czech Republic 8-1 in the Davis Cup competition. Australia, 28-time winner, has not won the Davis Cup since 2003 and only returned to the competition's top tier in 2014 after a six-year absence.

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