(Photo credit: Cara Owsley/The Enquirer/USA TODAY NETWORK)
After Otto Virtanen beat Mackenzie McDonald in a three-set thriller, Emil Ruusuvuori swept Tommy Paul and Finland eliminated the United States from the Davis Cup with a 3-0 win in the group stage on Saturday in Split, Croatia.
The win moved the Fins to 2-1 and top of the Group D table. The U.S. fell to 1-2 and, with the Netherlands sitting at 2-0 with one game remaining, can’t finish better than third in the group. Only the top two teams from each group advance to the Final 8.
Also on Saturday, Australia beat Switzerland 3-0 in Manchester, England; Canada beat Chile 2-1 in Bologna, Italy; and the Czech Republic swept Serbia 3-0 in Valencia, Spain. Canada (Group A), Australia (Group B) and the Czech Republic (Group C) all advanced to the Final 8 — the final knockout rounds that take place in Malaga, Spain, at the end of November.
With the victory already in hand, Finland completed the sweep of the Americans as Harri Heliovaara and Patrick Kaukovalta beat Rajeev Ram and Austin Krajicek 6-7 (6), 7-6 (5), 10-8.
In Manchester, Alex de Minaur topped Marc-Andrea Huesler 6-4, 6-3; Thanasi Kokkinakis beat Dominic Stricker 6-3, 7-5; and Matthew Ebden partnered with Max Purcell to beat Huesler and Stricker 6-2, 6-4 to win the doubles point. Australia are 2-1 with Great Britain (2-0) to face France (1-1) in the final Group B match on Sunday.
Canada, the defending champions, finished Group A with their win over Chile. Alexis Galarnaau beat Alejandro Tabilo 6-3, 7-6 (5) to give Canada a point, but Nicolas Jarry topped Gabriel Diallo 6-4, 6-4 to level the match. Galarneau teamed with Vasek Pospisil to beat Tabilo and Tomas Barrios Vera 6-3, 7-6 (7) to give Canada the match and complete a 3-0 run in group play. Chile has 1-2 in the group.
With Serbia clinching a place in the Final 8 on Friday, star Novak Djokovic was given a day off in singles on Saturday. The Czech Republic capitalized with Jakub Mensik and Jiri Lehecka sweeping — Mensik beat Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-2 and Lehecka topped Laslo Djere 7-6 (7), 7-5. Djokovic played doubles, along with Nikola Cacic. But Adam Pavlasek and Tomas Machac won the final score 5-7, 7-6 (7), 3-10.
The group stage ends on Sunday with four matches:
–Italy vs. Sweden (Group A)
–Great Britain vs. France (Group B)
–Spain vs. South Korea (Group C)
–Croatia vs Netherlands (Group D)
Group stage standings (overall record, individual match record):
1. Canada, 3-0, 8-1
2. Italy, 1-1, 3-3
3. Chile, 1-2, 4-5
4. Sweden, 0-2, 0-6
1. Australia, 2-1, 6-3
1. Great Britain, 2-0, 4-2
3. France, 1-1, 4-2
4. Switzerland, 0-3, 1-8
1. Czech Republic, 3-0, 9-0
2. Serbia, 2-1, 6-3
T3. Spain, 0-2, 0-6
T3. South Korea, 0-2, 0-6
1. Finland, 2-1, 6-3
2. Netherlands, 2-0, 4-2
3. United States, 1-2, 3-6
4. Croatia, 0-2, 2-4
–Field Level Media