Australia have secured their place in the 2017 Davis Cup World Group with an emphatic playoff win over Slovakia in Sydney.
Sam Groth and John Peers beat Andrej Martin and Igor Zelenay 6-4 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-2) in Saturday’s doubles rubber to give Australia an unassailable 3-0 lead in the best-of-five-match tie at Olympic Park.
Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic both swept to straight-sets singles wins on Friday as Australia retained their place in the 16-team World Group for the loss of just one set.
Teaming up for the first time in the competition, Groth and Peers overcame the disappointment of squandering a third-set match point to seal the tie after two hours and 21 minutes.
The Australians were untouchable on serve, dropping only 18 points in 21 service games while not facing a single break point all match.
They broke the Slovaks three times to enjoy total control until the visitors saved their match point at 5-6 and then stole the third-set tiebreaker to have the Australian camp on edge.
But toey captain Lleyton Hewitt needn’t have worried as 28-year-old Peers held his nerve to collect his first Davis Cup point for Australia.
It was a sweet win for Groth, too, following his shattering doubles loss with Hewitt in Australia’s semi-final defeat last year at the hands of Great Britain in Glasgow.
Australia’s unbeatable lead renders Sunday’s reverse singles rubbers dead and they will be reduced to best-of-three tiebreak sets.
Hoping to win the Davis Cup for the first time since 2003, Australia will learn who they face in the first round next year following Tuesday’s draw in London.