Tennis: Australian Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt shakes off loss to Germany

Australia are through to the Davis Cup quarter-finals in Spain in November despite losing their last group clash to unbeaten Germany in Hamburg.

Lleyton Hewitt’s side have already beaten Belgium and France to secure a place in the round of 16 and then left Alex de Minaur and Jason Kubler out of the match against Germany, in addition to the absence of Nick Kyrgios.

Max Purcell and Thanasi Kokkinakis took on the singles charge instead and split their matches to force a deciding doubles match, which German pair Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz won 6-4 6-4 over Purcell and Matt Ebden.

Purcell, who made his Davis Cup debut last week, earlier lost 6-1 7-5 to Jan-Lennard Struff before Kokkinakis hit 12 aces past Oscar Otte in a 7-6 (8-6) victory 6-1 which equalized the tu

It was Kokkinakis’ first action of the event after he was taken down by illness.

Australia eventually finished second to Germany in Group C to join Italy and Croatia (Group A), Spain and Canada (Group B) and the Netherlands and USA (Group D) to qualify for the Round of 16.

The Australians will face the Netherlands in Malaga, Spain on November 23 for the right to advance to the semi-finals.

“The goal was to qualify here and the boys did very well this week,” Hewitt said.

“I’m really proud of all the guys and the whole team. They prepared and did whatever it took to get the result we were looking for and we gave ourselves a chance, that’s what we came to do here.

“It’s good to have reached the quarters.”

Top 50 singles players Botic van de Zandschulp and Tallon Griekspoor lead the Dutch squad, which includes fourth doubles specialist Wesley Koolhof.

“Any game is going to be extremely tough, and they obviously came through their group with flying colors,” Hewitt said.

“So we will have our work cut out for us, but we will prepare as best we can. It will be a huge goal for our guys to play well in mid-November.”

Originally published as Tennis: Australia qualify for Davis Cup quarter-finals despite losing to Germany