Melzer lifts Austria past Russia, into Davis Cup QFs|
Wiener Neustadt, Austria (Sports Network) - Jurgen Melzer was the hero on
Sunday, as he straight-setted Alex Bogomolov Jr. to propel Austria past
Russian and into its first Davis Cup quarterfinal since 1995.
The Austrians led best-of-five opening-round affair 2-1 heading into Sunday
when Melzer flattened Bogomolov 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 in 1 hour, 43 minutes in the
first reverse singles rubber to give the hosts an insurmountable 3-1 advantage
at Wiener Neustadt's Arena Nova. Melzer piled up seven service breaks on Day
3, compared to only two for the Russian loser.
"I think it was one-way traffic," said Melzer, "which surprised me a little
bit because I think he's a great player, but I just dominated him after the
first three points when he hit three winners. It was close to the performances
I had when I was top 10 and I'm really happy for the team that we made it."
Russia stayed alive on Saturday, pulling within 2-1 with a grueling five-set
doubles victory by Nikolay Davydenko and Mikhail Youzhny against a quality
Austrian duo of Alexander Peya and Oliver Marach.
In Friday's opening singles, Melzer beat Igor Kunitsyn in five sets and
little-known Andreas Haider-Maurer really surprised Bogomolov in four.
Bogomolov had played as an American on tour before switching his allegiance to
his native Russia this year. Last year's most-improved ATP player was making
his Davis Cup debut this week, and it turned out to be a forgettable one for
the Florida resident.
Sunday's dead rubber saw Kunitsyn clip Haider-Maurer 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), as
Austria, captained by Clemens Trimmel, settled for a 3-2 victory.
Austria is now 1-2 all-time against two-time champion Russia in Davis Cup
play. Both Russian wins came when they were part of the former Soviet Union,
in 1981 and 1984.
The Austrians, who have never captured the Davis Cup, will go on the road to
meet reigning champion Spain in the quarterfinals in April.
02/12 13:54:10 ET