The United States needs to win just one more match to book its place in the 2024 Davis Cup final after Sebastian Korda and Christopher Eubanks recorded wins on the opening day of the series against Ukraine.
The fact that Bob Bryan’s team finished the first day 2-0 is not as surprising given the difference in the Pepperstone ATP rankings between the two teams, as is the fact that Oresh Tereshchuk’s team defeated their American opponents. Asked to work equally hard for.
“The goal was to get two points and we did that,” said U.S. captain Bob Bryan. “Sebi fought hard and did a great job of recovering after that tough break in the second. And Chris handled the pressure well, so I’m happy for those guys.”
Korda, who needed three sets to overcome the player ranked 309 places below him, was clearly frustrated with the level of his play at times against Oleksiy Krutykh.
“I have to stop failing,” the 23-year-old American said after the 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-4 win. “I made a lot of mistakes in the second set. I was playing very well in the first (and third too). “I am very honored to be a part of this team and I am hopeful that we can move forward.”
For his teammate Eubanks, playing for his country in the Davis Cup was a dream come true. World No. 9 Taylor Fritz was forced to withdraw hours before the start of play with a right hip injury, allowing Eubanks to make her debut.
“I was very nervous all day from the moment I found out I was going to play,” Eubanks admitted after defeating Viacheslav Belinsky 6–3, 6–2. “Representing your country means more to you than playing. I had a lot of people I didn’t want to let down. The nerves were quite strong in the beginning, but once I got on the court I calmed down and played quite well.
With a 2-0 lead heading into the second day of matches in Vilnius, the United States will fancy their chances of securing one of the 16 spots in the group stage of this year’s Davis Cup finals.
The Americans have yet to lose either of their last two Davis Cup qualifiers and with a strong doubles pairing of Austin Krajicek and Rajeev Ram in Friday’s opening match, it doesn’t look like they are going to go any further.