Stan’s the man as veteran claims Davis Cup victory for Switzerland

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United States book their place in September’s group stage by seeing off Uzbekistan

Stan Wawrinka took Switzerland to the Davis Cup Finals group stage on Saturday, winning a rollercoaster deciding clash against Germany, just weeks shy of his 38th birthday.

Three-time Grand Slam title winner Wawrinka, who helped the Swiss to the Davis Cup title alongside Roger Federer in 2014, defeated Daniel Altmaier 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 as his country triumphed 3-2 in their qualifying tie.

Former world number three Wawrinka, now down at 135 after a long spell rebuilding his career following two foot surgeries, was playing in the tournament for the first time in eight years having made his debut in 2004.

By contrast Altmaier, 13 years younger, was making his Davis Cup debut in Trier.

Wawrinka, who turns 38 next month, had lost his singles opener on Friday in straight sets to Alexander Zverev.

He was on the losing side again earlier Saturday when he and Dominic Stricker were beaten in the doubles 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 6-4 by Tim Puetz and Andreas Mies.

However, Marc-Andrea Huesler then stunned world number 14 Zverev 6-2, 7-6 (7/3) to bring Switzerland level at 2-2, setting the stage for Wawrinka’s moment in the spotlight.

“I’m happy that I won one point and the last one was the most important,” said Wawrinka.

“We have a great team. They’ve been building this team for the last few years. I was happy to come back if they needed me.”

The United States, who have won the 123-year-old tournament on a record 32 occasions, also booked their place in September’s group stage by seeing off Uzbekistan in Tashkent.

Experienced doubles pair Austin Krajicek and Rajeev Ram cantered to a 6-2, 6-4 win over Sanjar Fayziev and Sergey Fomini in just 52 minutes.

“I was so excited to see Raj and Austin play today,” said US captain David Nainkin whose team were 2-0 up overnight.

Source Samaa