BRISBANE, Australia – Germany recaptured on Saturday the lead against Australia 2-1 in the first round of the Davis Cup World Group tie, held in the Australian city of Brisbane.
In the doubles rubber, the German pair of Tim Puetz and Jan-Lennard Struff overcame Australians John Peers and Matt Ebden, 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-4 in three hours and 17 minutes.
“I’m very proud of them,’’ Germany’s captain Michael Kohlmann said after the win. “I think that was a tough task to play against John Peers, No. 4 in the world in doubles, and Matt Ebden – a tough combination.”
Despite firing 16 aces in their competitive debut as a duo, the Australians struggled with the second serve, winning just 43 percent of the second delivery’s points, while the Germans won 60 percent of their own serve.
The European duo was more decisive in the important moments, making the most of five out of 13 break points they created, while conceding their service game once out of eight opportunities, bringing the German team one step closer to the quarterfinals.
In the first day of the tie, held on the Pat Rafter Arena’s hard outdoor court, Alexander Zverev had put Germany in the lead by defeating Alex de Minaur in the first singles rubber.
Hours later, Nick Kyrgios drew level for Australia, prevailing over Struff in straight sets.
However, Australia’s capitan Lleyton Hewitt decided to keep Kyrgios out of Saturday’s doubles rubber, a decision that surprised even Kohlmann.
“I thought Nick is playing for sure. He played one hour 30 minutes yesterday – I don’t know if he was sweating, actually. He was serving huge bombs, and I thought that he is playing for sure,” he added.
The tie is to continue on Sunday as Kyrgios takes on Zverev, with the aim of forcing a decider singles rubber between De Minaur and Struff.