United Cup: Czech Republic and Brazil claim comeback wins

United Cup Credit: Alamy
United Cup Credit: Alamy

The Czech Republic and Brazil bounced back from opening tie defeats to win their second and retain some hope of progress in the United Cup on Sunday.

Former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova came through once again for the Czech Republic, downing Laura Siegemund 6-4, 6-2 for her second singles win at the United Cup.

Her victory ensured that the Czechs took an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the tie.

Kvitova individually will take a great deal of confidence from her United Cup efforts which include her victory over American No 1 and World No 3 Jessica Pegula.

Oscar Otte earned Germany its first match win at the event when he downed Dalibor Svrcina 7-6(1), 6-2 in the No. 2 men’s singles match.

Svrcina had replaced Czech’s No 2 Tomas Machac who injured his ankle in his opening match against USA’s Frances Tiafoe

With a career-high ranking of No. 36 in June, Otte, is currently at No. 76 in the ATP Rankings and had to dig deep to get his win.

Marie Bouzkova and Jiri Lehecka were defeated by Siegemund and Alexander Zverev in the final match of the tie, 6-4, 7-6, bringing Germany’s lead to 3-2. (1). In the final match of Group C on Monday, Germany (1-0) will prepare to take on Team USA (1-0).

Earlier Casper Ruud had kept Norway’s hopes alive when he defeated Brazilian Thiago Monteiro 6-3, 6-2 to narrow the deficit to 1-2 in the tie.

“It was a must-win, so I was maybe feeling the pressure a little bit, but I was able to come out with a good start and starting the new year in tennis down in Australia feels great. It’s always exciting to be here. My first time in Brisbane, so it’s been a great few days so far. I’m really enjoying the city and thanks to everyone who came out first day of the year to watch some tennis.”

Ruud is delighted to get some time on court ahead of the Australian Open having missed the first Grand Slam of the year in 2022.

“I always feel very motivated coming down here playing in Australia. Last year was a bit unfortunate. I was not able to play in the Australian Open. I rolled my ankle the day before my first round, so I’m very eager to hopefully have a good start of the season down here and this is a perfect way for me to start another year on Tour.”

His efforts proved futile though as Laura Pigossi defeated Ulrikke Eikeri 6-3 6-4 to clinch a win for Brazil.

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