NOS Sports•today, 4:06 PM•Amended today, 8:51 PM
After a great comeback against Switzerland in Martiniplaza in Groningen, the Dutch tennis players have qualified for the group stage of the Davis Cup Finals. Botic van de Zandschulp won the fifth and decisive match 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3 against Marc-Andrea Hüsler. The Netherlands won the game 3-2.
Earlier today, Tallon Greek Spoor had kept the Netherlands in the race by beating Leandro Riedi in straight sets: 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3). With that he made the score 2-2.
Van de Zandschulp, who was surprised on the opening day by Riedi, the number 175 in the world, was unable to get a grip on the game of Hüsler, the number `199. The Swiss not only served great, he also showed much more courage in the rallies.
Van de Zandschulp (ATP-63), serving for the second set, lost a break lead, but won the tiebreak. He took the necessary courage from that win and it translated into a strong third set.
Greek Spoor keeps the Netherlands in the race
Greekpoor, number 23 in the world, mainly had to rely on his own service against Riedi. The first serve was always a plague for the Swiss opponent. On the other hand, Riedi could also count on his serve more than regularly.
As a result, the match was evenly matched for a long time. The tiebreaks were a prey for the Dutchman, who, like the entire Dutch team, could count on considerable support from the public.
Greekspor’s victory was a necessary one. He personally gave the Netherlands a 1-0 lead yesterday by beating Hüsler, but Van de Zandschulp then lost to Riedi.
With the score at 1-1, the doubles game then followed, in which Switzerland took the lead again. Jean-Julien Rojer and Wesley Koolhof lost 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2) to Hüsler and Riedi.
And that was surprising, because with Koolhof and Rojer, the Dutch team played with a very experienced team. For example, Koolhof won the men’s doubles tournament at Wimbledon and Rojer has three Grand Slam titles to his name. But the last time the two played a doubles match together was at the end of 2021.
Rojer and Koolhof lose in Davis Cup: ‘Frustrating, we are the better doubles players’
In Groningen it was the world numbers 257 and 385 in doubles who dominated from the start on behalf of the Swiss, which was also the case in both tiebreaks.
Koolhof called the defeat frustrating. “We are the better doubles players. But we had difficulty with their service.”
“We weren’t in our best shape either,” Rojer said. “And we don’t play together anymore. We train all week, but a match is different. It just went a bit slower today.”
How different the mood in Groningen was two parties later. Thanks to the great victories of Indische Spoor and Van de Zandschulp, the Netherlands still qualified for the Davis Cup Finals.