Thanasi Kokkinakis earned Australia the victory with a 6-3, 7-5 win against Dominic Stricker in the 2023 Davis Cup Finals Group Stage on Saturday September 16 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
For the first win of the day, Kokkinakis triumphed with the singles win to lead the way for Australia, with Alex de Minaur not far behind.
Kokkinakis started the momentum with a solid 6-3, 7-5 victory against Dominic Stricker, while De Minaur sealed the deal with a commanding 6-4, 6-3 win against Marc-Andrea Huesler, reported ATP Tour.
Despite facing some challenges, Kokkinakis managed to fend off break points and capitalised on his own opportunities, displaying his resilience.
“We gave ourselves a great opportunity last year and the boys got a taste for it. We want to try and push a little bit harder and see if we can climb that mountain, and I feel like I’ve got the boys that are able to do that,” Aussie captain Lleyton Hewitt said in an interview after the match.
This victory justified his controversial selection by Hewitt, who had chosen him over a higher-ranked player, Jordan Thompson.
Kokkinakis admitted that the overwhelming emotion he felt after the win was simply “pure relief,” especially after his earlier loss against Britain.
Australia, who finished runners-up last year, will return to Malaga in November with the aim to lift the title for the first time in 20 years since Hewitt led them to victory as a player.
This remarkable performance by the Australian players, with Kokkinakis victory, has guaranteed the country a top-two finish in Group B and a spot in the knockout rounds in Malaga.
For Greece, Stefanos Tsitsipas lost two matches in one day leading to Greece’s loss in the Davis Cup tie.