Australia out of Davis Cup despite Alex de Minaur victory

Australia’s hopes of making the knockout stages of the Davis Cup final are doomed despite a brave Alex de Minaur-inspired 2-1 win over Hungary in Turin.

Lleyton Hewitt’s team came back after a shocking defeat for John Millman to achieve the victory on Saturday, which was their minimum requirement after their disastrous 3-0 loss to Croatia in their preliminary Group D match on Thursday.

But with the Croatians set to end the group victory on Sunday by beating Hungary, the Australians’ record of two wins rubber and four lost will not be enough to give them a place in the quarter-finals, even as one of the top two group second best.

Hewitt accepted that they would fly home, but felt he was “extremely proud” of their fighting spirit.

“I guess we had a few days to think about it and all our focus was on today and what we could control in our destiny,” he said.

Six Australian tennis players stand with their arms around each other as they sing the Australian anthem at the Davis Cup
Davis Cup legend Lleyton Hewitt (left) was captain of the Australian team at this year’s tournament.(Getty: Stefano Guidi)

“We did it by winning, but it probably won’t be enough to get us through.”

The qualifier always looked unlikely, but no one apparently told the never-say-die de Minaur when he achieved a marathon victory, which Hewitt described as a “great effort”.

Australia’s brave number one dug deep over three exhausting hours to win 7-5 2-6 7-6 (7-2) against its magnificent Hungarian counterpart Marton Fucsovics.

His victory allowed the experienced John Peers and debutant Alex Bolt to seal a draw in the decisive double as they proved just a little too strong for the returning Piros and Fabian Marozsan, winning 6-3 6-7 (11-13 ) 6 -3 in just over two hours.

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Millman’s capitulation to longtime outsider Zsombor Piros’ 4-6 6-4 6-3 meant Australia’s hopes of a last-eight place already seemed to have been shot down as de Minaur went on the pitch.

But the 22-year-old Sydneysider looked Hewitt-like in his hasty determination to make sure they did not leave Turin empty-handed, fulfilling his promise to “leave everything out there” on the Pala Alpitour circuit.

“You leave it all out there for your country, no matter what, and at the end of your fight, you should be proud of your efforts,” de Minaur said after winning his first victory of the week on the third attempt. . “It was a brutal fight.”

Earlier, just as Croatia’s number 276 in the world, Borna Gojo, had beaten Alexei Popyrin on Thursday, a little-known Hungarian Piros, ranked 282 globally, raised his game in a way that seemed beyond a flat-looking Millman.

The 32-year-old Queenslander had been selected to replace Popyrin but could never find his step when Piros, 10 years younger than his, achieved the biggest win of his career to date.

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