Paul, McDonald give U.S. 2-0 lead over Uzbekistan in Davis Cup Carlos Alcaraz wins 1st match of the year at Argentina Open Dominic Thiem wins 1st match of 2023 at Argentina Open

LONDON. Australian Open semi-finalists Tommy Paul and Mackenzie McDonald, who beat Rafael Nadal at Melbourne Park, gave the US a 2-0 lead over host Uzbekistan in Davis Cup qualifying.

Paul beat Humoyun Sultanov 6-1, 7-6 (6) after McDonald’s made its Davis Cup debut and defeated Sergey Fomin 6-4, 6-1 on an indoor hard court in Tashkent.

The best-of-five streak ends with one doubles match followed by two singles matches. The Americans could qualify for the group stage of the Davis Cup final if Rajiv Ram and Austin Kraycek beat Fomin and Sanjar Faiziev in doubles.

“It would be nice to have a sweep,” Paul said. “Take out the brooms.”

Paul entered the top 20 of the ATP rankings for the first time this week, reaching his first Grand Slam semi-final in Australia, where he lost to eventual champion Novak Djokovic. McDonald knocked out 22-time Grand Slam champion Nadal in the second round of the year’s first Grand Slam.

David Nainkin is interim captain of Team USA, replacing Mardy Fish.

There will be 12 qualifiers this weekend, with the winners of each advancing to the group stage of the Davis Cup Final in September alongside reigning Canadian champions, 2022 runners-up Australia and wild card holders Italy and Spain.

Eight teams will then take part in the final matches of the Davis Cup final, which will be held November 21-26 in Malaga, Spain.

BUENOS AIRES. Runner-up Carlos Alcaraz won his first match of the year by beating Laszlo Jere 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 at the Argentine Open.

The 19-year-old US Open champion missed the Australian Open with a leg injury and lost the top spot to Novak Djokovic, who won the title in Melbourne.

Alcaraz will face Dusan Lajovic in the quarterfinals of the clay court tournament. Lajovic beat Camilo Hugo Carabelli 6-3, 6-1.

Local favorite Diego Schwartzman and 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem will battle it out for a place in the quarter-finals.

BUENOS AIRES — Dominic Thiem has achieved his main goal at the Argentine Open by taking his first win of the year after suffering a stomach injury and struggling with his form.

Tim, the 2020 US Open champion, whose career-best finish is 3rd, entered the tournament with the number 99 and said he feared losing his safe place in the top ATP tournaments if he continued to fall in the rankings.

The 29-year-old Austrian beat seventh seed Alex Molchan 7-6 (4), 6-3 in a clay tournament. In the second round, Thiem will face Juan Pablo Varillas.

Tim won in Buenos Aires in 2016 and 2018. Most recently, he was eliminated in the first round of the Australian Open by Andrey Rublev.

This year’s reigning champion Kasper Ruud will miss the tournament. The main attraction is runner-up Carlos Alcaraz, who will face Laszlo Jere in the second round.


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