ATP Tour

Hewitt-Groth keep Aussies alive

2015-07-18 07:46
Lleyton Hewitt (AFP)

Darwin - Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Groth kept Australia alive in their Davis Cup World Group quarter-final against Kazakhstan with a fighting doubles victory in Darwin on Saturday.

Cup warhorse Hewitt and Groth wrestled with the Kazakh pair of Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov before prevailing 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 in 2hr 25min.

The Australian pair were under pressure to win the pivotal doubles rubber after Kazakhstan won both Friday's opening singles to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five match tie on grass.

Hewitt is Australia's most successful player in the Davis Cup and took his total win-loss record to 57-19 in his 40th tie over 17 years.

"It's up there," Hewitt said when asked what the doubles victory meant to him.

"I haven't played too many doubles matches at 2-0 down when the pressure's on.

"Sam and I combined really well today. This is Grothy's first win in a live rubber, so it's fantastic to be out here to enjoy it with him."

Groth's powerful serve was crucial, but Hewitt's sharp returns proved to be the ultimate difference.

The Aussie pair broke serve five times and powered to victory after winning a titanic 71-minute second set in a tiebreaker.

"We didn't want it to be all over today," Groth said.

"Thankfully, Lleyton put me on his back and carried me there."

Captain Wally Masur now faces a dilemma whether to play Hewitt and/or big-serving Groth in Sunday's reverse singles ahead of youngsters Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis if 28-time winners Australia are to win through to the semi-finals of the teams event.

The winner of the tie will face either France or Great Britain in September's semi-finals.


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