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Tennis: German doubles pair break Greek hearts at ATP Cup

Tennis: German doubles pair break Greek hearts at ATP Cup

John Millman of Australia hits a return against Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada during their men's singles match of the ATP Cup tennis tournament. (Patrick HAMILTON/AFP)

BRISBANE, Australia: Germany's French Open champions Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies won a thrilling doubles clash to give Germany a 2-1 win over Greece in their ATP Cup round two tie in Brisbane on Sunday (Jan 5).

Krawietz and Mies came back from 5-0 down in the match tiebreak to edge Stefanos Tsitsipas and Michail Pervolarakis 3-6, 6-3, 17-15 and send Greece crashing out of the ATP Cup contention with two losses.

The German win also means Australia, who beat Canada 3-0, will progress to the quarter-finals in Sydney later this week.

Earlier, Tsitsipas whipped an error-strewn Alexander Zverev to win the battle of the big guns, the German's second successive loss.

The lacklustre German world number seven sent down 10 double faults and made just 45 percent of his first serves in some worrying signs ahead of the opening Grand Slam of the year.

He lost to Australia's Alex de Minaur in his opening match on Friday, throwing away a one set lead.

"I worked very hard for this win, I found solutions, found my rhythm and my pace and knew what I was doing on court," said impressive 21-year-old Tsitsipas after his 6-1, 6-4 walloping in Brisbane.

"I was serving pretty okay and played clever again. I managed to stay calm and positive in my head."

In the opening rubber, Jan-Lennard Struff downed world number 487 Pervolarakis 6-4, 6-1.

In the opening tie Sunday, John Millman stunned Felix Auger-Aliassime in straight sets to help guide Australia to victory over Canada.

Millman was called upon to play singles only hours before the opening rubber of the tie when the mercurial Nick Kyrgios withdrew with back soreness, but he had no trouble accounting for the higher-ranked Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-2.

The Australians sealed the tie when a tenacious de Minaur came from a set down to beat Canadian number one Denis Shapovalov 6-7 (6/8), 6-4, 6-2 in three hours.

John Peers and Chris Guccione made it a clean sweep for the home side when they beat Auger-Aliassime and Adil Shamasdin with a match tiebreaker 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 10-8.

Millman said he wasn't perturbed about getting the late call-up and said he relished playing on his home court in hot and humid conditions that favoured him rather than his Canadian opponent.

"Those humid conditions, what they do is the humidity actually creates heavier conditions," Millman said.

"You feel like you can really cover the ball and really give it a good swing on that ball, and that humidity, that heavy air is going to bring it down.

"They're the conditions I really like to play in and it's no surprise that it's what I grew up in. It's like playing a Spaniard over in Spain, you don't want to do it."

Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt said Kyrgios had woken up in a bit of discomfort after his win over Struff in the first tie against Germany and was rested as a precaution.

Results of the inaugural ATP Cup team event:

 

In Sydney

Bulgaria 2 Moldova 1

Britain 2 Belgium 1

 

In Brisbane

Australia 3 Canada 0

Germany 2 Greece 1

 

In Perth

Italy 2 Norway 1

Russia 2 United States 1

Source: AFP/de

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