Davis Cup: Aussies claim finals berth
In the speediest way imaginable, Australia has made it through to the finals in Spain this November. Maybe the shortened format - five sets down to three - is not so bad after all.
Jordan Thompson and John Peers were the men to see Australia through, seeing off Tomislav Brkic and Mirza Basic with increasing ease to deliver the tie 3-0 to the Aussies, game set and match.
With the Bosnians coming into Saturday at 2-0 down, there was a suspicion they might capitulate in the afternoon's opening doubles match at Memorial Drive. Far from it.
Try as they did, Thompson and Peers just could not pull clear of Bosnia/Herzegovina's vastly experienced Brkic and Basic, a pair with an extraordinary 51 Davis Cup ties between them.
Nip and tuck throughout a 48-minute first set, it was only in the 12th games when the Aussies broke away, Brkic losing his serve on the third set point and the set, at 48 minutes a near marathon for this tie.
The atmosphere, as with Friday, was wholesome, though the temporary eastern stand that bore the brunt of a piercing sunshine full in the sun - 36C - was half-full at best and no place to sit at all. The crowds were there but the new $10 million canopy roof cannot come soon enough.
They are a good combo, Thompson and Peers, Thompson's doubles ranking of just 217 an aberration. Peers has the 2017 Australian Open under his belt and guided his partner well all afternoon.
"I don't give the orders here," said Thompson.
"Nothing compares to playing for your Australia," said Peers. "There is no greater honour for us."
The opening set in the bag, the distance only grew, 6-1 in just 22 minutes this time
Captain Lleyton Hewitt chose to thank Aussie doubles great, Tony Roche, who has been helping coach the green and gold team.
"Most of the time he is the guy who gets these guys peaking for the match days," Hewitt said.
Hewitt confirmed that the big hitting teenager Alexei Popyrin, named in the Davis Cup squad for the first time ever after reaching the last 32 in January's Australian Open, would make his debut in the fourth match of the afternoon.
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