Alexander Erler/Lucas Miedler initially shortened the score to 1:2 against Nuno Borges/Francisco Cabral in front of 1,600 fans in the Multiversum in Schwechat with a 7:6(0),7:6(5). After that, Sebastian Ofner, who suffered a back injury, had to pass. Dennis Novak lost the match against Borges 3:6,2:6.
This sealed the unassailable 1:3 deficit. After Dominic Thiem was unavailable due to gastritis, the currently best player was also not available on the final day. Ofner also narrowly lost his game on Friday after a match point was not used. At the finish he felt a pang in his back and after playing in on Sunday the Styrian knew that he couldn’t play. But he will not be out and will play at the Challenger in St. Tropez next week, he confirmed.
Erler/Miedler had shortened
Previously, as recently in Rijeka, Erler/Miedler had at least maintained Austria’s chances with a double victory when they were 0-2 behind. “It was a close game from the start. We stayed cool and continued to play every point with the fans behind us,” Miedler said. “At 4:5, 40:0 in the first set we actually felt safe and suddenly they had set point,” recalled Erler. In this game, the Tyrolean ran so far out of the court on a ball that he collided with Melzer, who was sitting on the bench. However, the duo fended off the set point and then played a flawless tiebreak.
Round two also went into the “Jeu decisif” without a break, which Erler/Miedler secured. Austria now has to do so on February 2nd/3rd. or February 3/4, 2024 against relegation from World Group I and missed the qualifying round. The draw for the next international match will take place on Wednesday (3 p.m. CEST) in London.
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