U.S. beats Ukraine to clinch return to Davis Cup finals

Austin Krajicek and Rajeev Ram pulled out a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 doubles victory over Illya Beloborodko and Oleksii Krutykh to complete the United States’ 4-0 win over Ukraine in their Davis Cup qualifier on Friday in Vilnius, Lithuania.

The victory seals the Americans’ return to the Davis Cup finals in 2024. The group stage begins in September.

Krajicek and Ram saved a whopping 18 of 19 break points and had a 35-22 edge in winners over the Ukrainian counterparts.

“It was a very tough match the whole way through. Their team was exceptionally good and competed really hard,” Krajicek said after the match. “They put us in a tough position by playing a great second set. I thought we did a good job raising our energy in the third and in playing well and serving well at big moments in the end.”

It did not affect the outcome, but Taylor Fritz played singles against Ukraine’s Vladyslav Orlov and prevailed 6-3, 6-4.

On Thursday, the Americans staked a 2-0 lead over Ukraine when Sebastian Korda outlasted Krutykh in three sets and Christopher Eubanks stepped in for Fritz — who was scratched due to a hip injury — and defeated Viacheslav Bielinskyi.

Ukraine would have hosted the U.S. under normal circumstances, but due to the ongoing war there the matches were played in Vilnius.

This week’s 12 winners advance to the 2024 Davis Cup Finals, along with reigning champion Italy, runner-up Australia and wild-card entrants Great Britain and Spain.