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Dominant Dutch See Off Slovakia To Advance In Davis Cup
Netherlands are through to the Davis Cup Finals for the third time after beating Slovakia 3-0 in Groningen.
The foundations for the victory were laid on Saturday when Tallon Griekspoor and Tim van Rijthoven both stepped up to deliver singles points and put the Netherlands 2-0 ahead.
Those wins left the Dutch team in an incredibly strong position, not least because they could rely on the doubles duo of World No. 1 Wesley Koolhof and No. 19 Matwe Middelkoop to lead them out on Sunday, and they didn’t disappoint, beating Alex Molcan and Lukas Klein 6-3 6-3 to clinch the tie.
Middelkoop and Koolhof - with a combined age of 72 - have now won four of their six Davis Cup doubles matches together, and they were a class apart throughout the one-hour, eight-minute clash.
The pair struck the first blow by breaking in the third game of the match as Koolhof timed his move across the net to perfection and put away a simple volley. The Slovakians looked to respond immediately but Koolhof and Middelkoop saved three break points in the very next game to maintain their advantage.
They soon had the first set having broken both of their opponents’ serves and stayed solid behind their own deliveries.
Slovakia have never come from 0-2 down to win a Davis Cup tie and when Middelkoop fired a backhand down the line winner to go up an early break in the second set, an already mammoth task now looked impossible for the visitors.
The party had already started in the stands of the MartiniPlaza. The fans, dressed predominantly in all orange, were singing and dancing at the change of ends and making their presence felt. All that was left was for Koolhof and Middelkoop to finish the job, which they did emphatically.
“We have the older generation like me, the middle like Wesley, and the young generation. Plus Paul is such an experienced coach. He was a top doubles player and a top singles player and he passes that through the team,” Middelkoop said.”
They will now wait with intrigue to find out which teams they will face in the Group Stages, to be played after the US Open.
Slovakia will now compete in World Group I in September.
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