Thompson, De Minaur send Australia into Davis Cup semi-finals

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[November 23, 2022] (Reuters) -Alex de Minaur secured Australia's semi-final place at the Davis Cup Finals on Tuesday, overcoming Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands 5-7 6-3 6-4 after Jordan Thompson beat Tallon Griekspoor 4-6 7-5 6-3 in Malaga.  

Australia's Jordan Thompson in action during his match in the quarter final against Netherlands' Tallon Griekspoor REUTERS/Jon Nazca

The 28-times champions will face either six-times winners Spain or Croatia for a place in Sunday's final.

The 35th-ranked Van de Zandschulp broke at the third attempt to close out the first set but could not hold onto the momentum as De Minaur converted on break point chances in the first and the final games of a near-flawless second set.

The pair brought the crowd to their feet in a tense decider in which the 24th-ranked De Minaur saved his opponent's break point chance in the third game with a sublime performance at the net.

Van de Zandschulp set up another break point when he sent De Minaur diving to the ground with a fierce backhand down the line in a marathon ninth game but squandered the opportunity with a clumsy shot out of bounds.

A double fault helped De Minaur break in the final game and he pointed to his compatriots on the sideline in triumph.

Thompson and Griekspoor traded early breaks before world number 96 Griekspoor gained a foothold to go 4-2 up and the 26-year-old held firm on serve to take the first set when Thompson sent a backhand wide.

Thompson, ranked 84, was more aggressive in a tighter second set and went 6-5 up with a service hold before breaking a tiring Griekspoor in the next game to drag himself into the contest.

Backed by his Australia team mates and the crowd at the Palacio de deportes Martin Carpena, the 28-year-old Thompson turned up the heat to establish a comfortable lead and held off a late comeback attempt by his opponent.

In other quarter-finals, Italy take on the United States and Germany face Canada.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru and Amy Tennery, editing by Ed Osmond)

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