Australia clinch Davis Cup tie with doubles win
MELBOURNE: Australia advanced to a play-off for a return to the World Group after completing a 3-0 victory over Taiwan in their Davis Cup Asia-Oceania zonal tie on Saturday.
The combination of Carsten Ball and Paul Hanley clinched the best-of-five match tie at Melbourne Park with a straight sets win over Yang Tsung-hua and Yi Chu-huan in the doubles rubber.
The Australian pair prevailed in two tiebreak sets before rounding out a 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/2), 6-2 victory.
Australia, 28-time winners of the Davis Cup, won both the opening day singles on Friday to take a commanding grip on the tie.
Bernard Tomic, at 17 Australia's youngest Davis Cup player in 77 years, crushed Yang, 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 and Peter Luczak downed Yi 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.
Australia will now face the winner of the tie between Japan and the Philippines in the second round from May 7-9 for a place in the elite 2011 World Group.
Australia last won the Davis Cup in 2003 when they defeated Spain 3-1 in Melbourne.
Both Australia and Taiwan are without their top-ranked players this weekend.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt is sidelined after recent right hip surgery, while Lu Yen-hsun decided to pass on the tournament.
The reverse singles of the Melbourne tie will be decided on Sunday.