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Davis Cup: Hewitt, Groth keep Australia's hopes alive

July 18, 2015 12:56 IST
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Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Groth

Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Groth bump chests as they celebrate winning a game in the doubles of Davis Cup World Group quarterfinal against Kazakhstan. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Retiring former Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Groth combined to defeat Kazakhstan in their Davis Cup doubles tie on Saturday and keep Australia's semi-final hopes alive after their young guns flopped in the opening singles.

Australia were 2-0 down after hot-headed tyro Nick Kyrgios and 19-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis wilted on the grass-courts in tropical Darwin on Friday.

But 34-year-old Hewitt and 68th-ranked Groth ensured the quarter-final would head into a third day by grinding out a tense 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-2 win over Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov.

For Hewitt, who has announced he will quit tennis after the next Australian Open in January, it was especially pleasing.

"It's up there," Hewitt said when asked what the win meant.

"I haven't played too many doubles matches at 2-0 down when the pressure's on.

"Sam and I combined really well today. This is Grothy's first win in a live rubber, so it's fantastic to be out here to enjoy it with him."

The gutsy win from Davis Cup stalwart Hewitt and the much-improved Groth cheered local fans after a tumultuous week dominated by the controversial Bernard Tomic.

Tomic, who was kicked out of the team for an extraordinary outburst against Australian tennis officials in Wimbledon, was charged with trespassing and resisting arrest on Thursday following complaints over a noisy penthouse party at his Miami Beach hotel.

Kyrgios will meet Mikhail Kukushkin and Kokkinakis will play Nedovyesov in the reverse singles on Sunday for a spot in a semi-final against either Britain or France.

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