Australia is on the cusp of a place in the September’s World Group play-offs after Lleyton Hewitt and Matthew Ebden battled through Saturday’s doubles rubber to give the visitors a 2-1 lead against Uzbekistan going into the final day in Namangan.
Playing together for the first time in Davis Cup, the Australian pair fought off stern resistance from Farrukh Dustov and Denis Istomin to secure a 75 67(4) 64 36 63 triumph in three hours and 33 minutes.
The result maintains Ebden’s undefeated record in Davis Cup, with the 25-year-old Perth resident now 5-0 in the competition after winning four singles ties and his doubles debut alongside Hewitt.
Bernard Tomic will bid to secure the visitors passage through to the play-offs when he takes on Denis Istomin in the fourth rubber on Sunday. The 20-year-old, who won his opening rubber over Dustov in straight sets, will look to extend his Davis Cup singles record to 10-2 and record his third straight win over Istomin, having won both of their previous meetings in Monaco and Brisbane last year without dropping a set. Just three spots separate the two in the rankings though and Marinko Matosevic will hope to make amends for his defeat to Istomin in the second rubber should he be called upon to take on Dustov in a decisive fifth.
Korea Republic extended its Asia/Oceania second round tie to a third day after Yong-Kyu Lim and Ji Sung Nam combined to defeat Hiroki Moriya and Yasutaka Uchiyama 75 61 64. Tastuma Ito and Go Soeda looked to have put the tie beyond reach of the visitors at Tokyo’s Ariake Coliseum with singles wins on the opening day, but the Korean pair kept alive their hopes of a place in the World Group play-offs for the first time since 2008.
In the first round play-off, China P.R avoided a relegation play-off after completing a 3-0 victory on the second day of play against Chinese Taipei. The losers face Indonesia, who lost 3-0 to India after Leander Paes and Sanam Singh won Saturday's doubles rubber in straight sets, in September in a bid to remain in Asia/Oceania Group I.
To view the full results from Saturday's Asia/Oceania ties, click the relevant tie below:
Uzbekistan 1-2 Australia
Japan 2-1 Korea Rep
China PR 3-0 Chinese Taipei
India 3-0 Indonesia