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AUSSIES KEEP DAVIS CUP DREAM ALIVE



Rubber #1 – Max Purcell (AUS) vs Adriano Mannarino (FRA)


Australian team captain Lleyton Hewitt opted for a change in the opening singles rubber with Max Purcell replacing Thanasi Kokkinakis who fell just short against Jack Draper on Wednesday.


Purcell – who has risen over from 220 to 43 in the ATP rankings amid a breakout year – was contesting his second Davis Cup Finals singles match after a maiden appearance in 2022.


The climax to a tight opening set saw the 25-year-old jump to a 4-2 lead in the tiebreak, but like Kokkinakis yesterday, dropped five consecutive points to concede the set.


Broken twice in the second, the Aussie was unable to generate enough break point chances of his own, ultimately going down in straight sets.


France 1-0 Australia - Mannarino def Purcell 7-6(4), 6-4.


Rubber #2 – Alex de Minaur (AUS) vs Ugo Humbert (FRA)


Less than 24 hours after a tough defeat to Dan Evans, De Minaur understood the importance of victory against Humbert and delivered a crucial win for Australia.


Keen to overturn his first set misfortunes from Wednesday, the 24-year-old was engaged and aggressive early – ultimately reeling off seven of the last eight points to take the set in a tiebreak.


Finding his best form of the week, the Aussie hit just eight unforced errors to Humbert’s fourteen in the second and carried the momentum of an early break to victory.


Moving to a 12-2 win/loss in his past fourteen Davis Cup singles rubbers, ‘Demon’ set up a do-or-die doubles for Australia, against a quality French pairing.


France 1-1 Australia - De Minaur def Humbert 7-6(2), 6-3


Rubber #3 - Matt Ebden/Max Purcell (AUS) vs Nicolas Mahut/Roger Vasellin (FRA)


After claiming an important rubber on Wednesday to earn a much-needed match win for Australia, Matt Ebden and Max Purcell again performed brilliantly under pressure.


The 2022 Wimbledon champions won 81% of points behind their first serves and conceded just one break point opportunity for the match en route to a straight sets victory.


Australia 2-1 France – Ebden/Purcell def Mahut/Vasselin 7-5, 6-3


Australia will have a day to rest and recover ahead of another crucial clash with Switzerland on Saturday.


A 3-0 win in that tie would see the Aussies progress on to the final stage in Malaga, while a 2-1 victory would require other results to go in Australia’s favour.

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