Davis Cup: Belgium Sink Germany to Enter Quarters
Germany crashed to a third straight Davis Cup first-round exit as Steve Darcis clinched a quarter-finals berth for Belgium with victory over teenager Alexander Zverev in Frankfurt on Sunday.
Steve Darcis. (Getty Images)
Berlin: Germany crashed to a third straight Davis Cup first-round exit as Steve Darcis clinched a quarter-finals berth for Belgium with victory over teenager Alexander Zverev in Frankfurt on Sunday.
Darcis needed just over three hours to secure a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (10/8) win over the 19-year-old Zverev to give Belgium an unassailable 3-1 lead before the final singles rubber.
Germany face a fight to remain in the elite World Group after being consigned to a relegation play-off while Belgium will play either champions Argentina or Italy in the quarter-finals in April.
The hosts started as favourites to win the tie after Belgian number one David Goffin dropped out to recover from his run to the quarter-finals of last month's Australian Open.
Germany, who last won the title in 1993, had lost to the Czech Republic in last year's opening round in Hanover and France in 2015.
The hosts were under pressure after going 2-1 down to Belgium in Saturday's doubles rubber when Alexander Zverev and elder brother Mischa, 29, lost to Ruben Bemelmans and Joris De Loore.
On Friday, the younger Zverev sibling hauled Germany level at 1-1 by the end of the first day with a straight-sets win over De Greef after Kohlschreiber lost to Darcis over five sets.
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