The Austrian tennis team missed promotion to the ATP Cup quarter-finals. Instead of the victory over Poland, which was absolutely necessary for the ascent, the red, white and red troops in Sydney were 0-2 behind the singles on Wednesday, defeat was sealed before the doubles. Dennis Novak was less than Kacper Zuk, after which Dominic Thiem also lost in straight sets to Hubert Hurkacz.
Thiem had the 6: 3.4: 6.6: 7 (5) against the world ranking 37. started off brilliantly. With powerful play and extremely good and efficient returns, he defused his opponent's service in the first set. After a break at 3: 2, he finally had a second break. A low Austrian "tweener" on a 4-2 lead is particularly worth seeing and inspiring.
In the second round, that key continued for the moment, but two double faults abruptly slowed Thiem down and gave Hurkacz the break to take the lead by 4: 3. Then the 1.96m man served. Even though the Poles were eliminated before this match, Hurkacz was concerned about a number of points in the world rankings. Hurkacz won each of his three singles at this event. There are additional bonus points for succeeding against a Thiems caliber.
Dominic Thiem with a record 1: 2
Thiem, on the other hand, represented this new event with a record 1: 2 due to the second defeat in the second game against Hurkacz (previously defeated in Miami 2019). The chance of victory was there in the third set Wednesday, after missing opportunities for a break, she entered the tie-break. Few things decided, ultimately the well-known emotional coaching of Thomas Muster of the Austrian bank no longer helped decisively.
The Styrian had a lot more to do with Novak anyway. The 26-year-old had entered the match as a favorite against his only 20-year-old opponent, unlike his two previous games. Zuk had a world ranking list of 448. Already on Monday against Marin Cilic in his very first match at the ATP level, despite a defeat, offered a good performance. Against Novak, the youngster who came as a replacement has now celebrated his greatest success.
"It was the worm inside from the start," summed up the Lower Austrian. He felt overwhelmed by the role of favorites. "It was a tough game for me. I tried to hide. But I was not entirely successful. Everyone said we needed a 3-0 win . But I have to face this situation. I had enough chances to win too. The mistake was at the start of the game, I can't let it in. "
Medvedev can pass Thiem
Defeats such as dropping out of competition could still have technical classification consequences for Thiem and Novak. Thiem is only 30 points ahead of Daniil Medvedev in the world rankings after winning his last three games. In the quarterfinals, the Russian has the chance to overtake Thiem. He would lose his top 4 at the Australian Open, which could bring him one of the top three before the semifinals.
Novak, however, again sees its first entry into the Top 100, which was supposed to be the first time, in danger. After his success against Argentinian Guido Pella in Monday's 91st virtual rankings, he was only found in 98th place after Zuk's match. A number of players from his region have scored in the ATP Cup and Challenge, and some may continue to do so this week. If three others pass Novak, it remains outside the top 100.