Darwin : Veteran tennis player Lleyton Hewitt led Australia to a 3-2 victory over Kazakhstan in the Davis Cup quarter-finals here on Sunday, winning the deciding rubber over Aleksandr Nedovyesov 7-6 (7-2), 6-2, 6-3.
“I love the backs-to-the-wall situation and we had to rally together to get the win,” the 34-year-old Hewitt was quoted as saying by Efe. “You don’t get opportunities like this very often. This is what dreams are made of.”
Kazakhstan were up 2-0 early in the tie, forcing Australia to make adjustments and mount a furious comeback at the grass court at the Marrara Sporting Complex.
“The last three or four years, Davis Cup has been as big as any Grand Slam for me personally. When I make my schedule, everything has worked around the Davis Cup and trying to get the most out of myself,” Hewitt, a former world No.1 now ranked 279th, said.
Hewitt and Sam Groth kept Australia’s Davis Cup hopes alive on Saturday with a straight-set victory over Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev and Nedovyesov in the doubles.
Hewitt and Groth constantly threatened the Kazakh duo’s service games, creating 15 break-point chances and converting five of them in the 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 victory, reports Efe.
Groth kept the momentum going on Sunday, beating Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), evening the tie at 2-2 and giving Hewitt the opportunity to nail down the victory for Australia.
Australia advanced to the World Group semi-finals, where it will play the winner of the quarter-final between Britain and France in September.
Australia, a traditional tennis powerhouse, have captured 28 Davis Cup titles, second only to the United States’ 32 championships.
Kazakhstan, who competed in the Davis Cup’s World Group for the first time in 2011, were looking to advance to their first-ever semi-final berth.