Davis Cup: Australia beats Czech Republic 3-0 in World Group
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Sam Groth and John Peers clinched Australia's Davis Cup World Group first-round match against the Czech Republic on Saturday with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 doubles win over Jiri Veseley and Jan Satral.
Australia, securing the tie 3-0 ahead of the reverse singles on Sunday, will play either the United States or Switzerland in the quarterfinals in April - in Switzerland if the Swiss win, in Australia if the Americans advance. The U.S. leads Switzerland 2-0 after Friday's opening singles at Birmingham, Alabama.
Czech captain Jaroslav Navratil said former world No. 8 Radek Stepanek, who has a history of back problems, was not able to play as part of the Czech doubles team on Saturday.
Peers won the Australian Open doubles title last week with Finland's Henri Kontinen, beating Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States in the final.
On Saturday, Groth and Peers had little difficulty against the makeshift Czech pairing, finishing the match in 90 minutes on hard courts at Kooyong.
Nick Kyrgios and Jordan Thompson gave Australia a 2-0 lead with singles victories on Friday. The 22-year-old Thompson made his Davis Cup debut by defeating Czech No. 1 Veseley 6-3, 6-3, 6-4, while Kyrgios beat Satral 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.
''The boys came out and did all the hard preparation and it's nice to know that all the hard work paid off,'' said Australia captain Lleyton Hewitt. ''It's been a fantastic team effort.''