Davis Cup: Hewitt-Groth keep Aussies alive with doubles win
Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Groth kept Australia alive in their Davis Cup World Group quarter-final against Kazakhstan with a fighting doubles victory in Darwin on Saturday.
Cup warhorse Hewitt and Groth wrestled with the Kazakh pair of Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov before prevailing 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 in 2hr 25min.
The Australian pair were under pressure to win the pivotal doubles rubber after Kazakhstan won both Friday`s opening singles to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five match tie on grass.
Hewitt is Australia`s most successful player in the Davis Cup and took his total win-loss record to 57-19 in his 40th tie over 17 years.
"It`s up there," Hewitt said when asked what the doubles victory meant to him.
"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."
Groth`s powerful serve was crucial, but Hewitt`s sharp returns proved to be the ultimate difference.
The Aussie pair broke serve five times and powered to victory after winning a titanic 71-minute second set in a tiebreaker.
"We didn`t want it to be all over today," Groth said.
"Thankfully, Lleyton put me on his back and carried me there."
Captain Wally Masur now faces a dilemma whether to play Hewitt and/or big-serving Groth in Sunday`s reverse singles ahead of youngsters Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis if 28-time winners Australia are to win through to the semi-finals of the teams event.
The winner of the tie will face either France or Great Britain in September`s semifinals.