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Hewitt's cunning launches Australia into finalist 19 years later


The ocean captain, symbol of his team's last title, in 2003, surprises Croatia (2-1) with an unprecedented duo that knocks the Balkans down in their specialty

Champion on two occasions (1999 and 2003) and a great lover of competition, actually the art of competing in any of its variables, Lleyton Hewitt signed a master move this Friday that allowed Australia to return 19 years later to the Cup final Davis.

Aware of Croatia's superiority on paper, the coach chose to stir up the hornet's nest and the play turned out well, taking into account that no one (or only him) counted on Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson as the heroes of the tie.

Unpublished as a couple, they certified the Australian triumph (2-1 on aggregate) against the couple of current couples, Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic.

The Balkans, dominators of the specialty, were stunned and the


They await a rival on Sunday: it will be Italy or Canada, cited in the semifinals (from 1:00 p.m., Movistar).

From the outset, Hewitt already tried a first distraction maneuver by betting on Thanasi Kokkinakis for the opening, instead of doing it on Thompson, who had turned two days earlier in the opening game against the Netherlands.

He trusted the coach in a flash of genius from his player against Borna Coric, a granite stumbling block, but the Croatian remained firm and tipped in his favor (6-4 and 6-3, in 1h 34m).

That is to say, the script followed the logic before the first two swords collided, Marin Cilic and Alex de Miñaur, the first gelatinous and the second determined.

As had already happened two days ago in the duel against Pablo Carreño, the Croatian entered the court cold and this time he froze, too fragile against an opponent who had plenty of energy and legs;

forced to add, the Australian easily opted (double 6-2,

More information

The endless US Tunnel at Davis

Despite the fact that last Sunday they gave up in the final of the Masters Cup, in Turin, Pavic and Mektic burst

in a priori

as an absolute guarantee to seal access to the final.

They are the safety net of Croatia, champion four years ago and finalist in the last edition.

However, Hewitt's bet on Purcell (slightly touched on the ankle) and Thompson broke all the schemes –in theory, he was going to form Matthew Ebden instead of the latter– and completely destabilized the Balkan couple;

they resisted the rhythm and although they lost in the tiebreaker of the first set, they counterattacked in the second and knew how to fasten the third to consolidate a historic comeback that brings their team back to the fore after a very long dry season.

Australia to the Davis Cup final!


🤜🤛 Purcell and Thompson defeated the Croatians Mektic and Pavic 6-7(3), 7-5 and 6-4 and gave their country 2-1.

#DavisCup #byRakuten I @TennisAustralia

– Davis Cup (@CopaDavis) November 25, 2022

You have to go back to 2003 to find the last final played by Australia, decided then in Melbourne Park against Spain, on grass (3-1);

remember, that episode of the trumpeter interpreting the republican anthem of Riego and those faces of not understanding anything.

At that crossing, Hewitt achieved precisely the first point by beating Juan Carlos Ferrero, Carlos Alcaraz's current coach, in five sets.

From then on, one frustrated attempt after another and a profound disappointment for a country in which tennis is little less than a sacred sport – always behind cricket, of course – and which is only behind the United States in the list of winners, 32 trophies for the North Americans compared to 28 for the Australians.

He now aspires to 29th and after what he has seen against Croatia, he will do so with his spirits up.

“We have won this competition many times, but we haven't done it for a long time.

I know what it meant to me and I'm delighted that now these guys have the opportunity to achieve it;

Of course, I am disappointed because they cannot play at the Rod Laver Arena, in front of 15,000 people, like then," recalled Hewitt, 41, who has retired since 2016. In any case, the fans gathered this Friday at the Martín Carpena -8,258 spectators, again on the verge of plenary session– clearly opted for the Australians, given that Croatia had just eliminated Spain in the quarterfinals and started as favourites.

Those of Vedran Martic had everything to win, but the bell was consummated and this Davis, who is heading the decisive straight, gave a turn that revitalizes a history that is in great need of happiness.


Croatia, 1 - Australia, 2.

Borna Coric, 6-4 and 6-3 to Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Alex de Minaur, double 6-2 to Marin Cilic.

Thompson / Purcell, 6-7 (3), 7-5 and 6-4 to Pavic / Mektic.

Saturday 26 (Movistar).

From 1:00 p.m.: Italy-Canada.

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Source: elparis

All sports articles on 2022-11-26

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