Tennis-Wawrinka seals shock win for Swiss, U.S. sweep Uzbekistan in Davis Cup qualifiers

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - January 18, 2023 Mackenzie Mcdonald of the U.S. reacts during his second round match against Spain's Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Loren Elliott

(Reuters) -Three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka rolled back the clock to secure a thrilling win for Switzerland over Germany in their Davis Cup qualifier on Saturday.

The 37-year-old, part of the Swiss 2014 Davis Cup winning team but who had not played in the event since 2015, beat Daniel Altmaier 6-3 5-7 6-4 to seal a 3-2 win in Trier.

It was Wawrinka's first win of the tie after losing to Alexander Zverev on Friday and the doubles on Saturday.

Switzerland will now grab one of the 12 spots up for grabs for the 2023 Davis Cup Finals group stage in September.

A busy weekend of ties had 24 nations competing with the 12 winners joining 2022 champions Canada, runners-up Australia and wildcards Spain and Italy.

The United States swept Uzbekistan aside with a 4-0 victory while the Ymer brothers, Mikael and Elias, guided Sweden to a 3-1 win over Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Mackenzie McDonald and Tommy Paul had given the Americans a 2-0 lead on Friday before the doubles pairing of Austin Krajicek and Rajeev Ram beat Sergey Fomin and Sanjar Ayziev 6-2 6-4 to give the record 32-time winners an unassailable lead.

Britain also made it through as Cameron Norrie sealed a 3-1 lead against Colombia in Bogota by beating Nicolas Mejia 6-4 6-4.

World number 253 Mejia had given Colombia the lead on Friday by upsetting Dan Evans on the clay.

In Stockholm, Mikael and Elias Ymer each won their singles rubbers in straight sets but Bosnia clawed back a point in the doubles thanks to a win for Mirza Basic and Tomislav Brkic.

Mikael Ymer then saw seven-times champions Sweden through with a 6-1 1-6 6-3 victory over Damir Dzumhur where he fired 22 winners in the third singles match.

"I'm super, super proud (of our team). It's fantastic that me and my brother and the team could get us through to the finals again," Mikael said.

"I think we have proven that we can compete with the best teams in the world and I think we are all ready for it."

France came back from 2-1 down against Hungary to win 3-2 as Adrian Mannarino and Ugo Humbert turned things around in the second batch of singles rubbers, beating Marton Fucsovics and Fabian Marozsan respectively in straight sets.

"I'm very happy that we're in the Finals. Playing in Davis Cup means a lot for me because it's an unbelievable competition and I'm very proud of myself today," said debutant Humbert, who had also won his first singles rubber on Friday.

Serbia also qualified after Nikola Cacic and Filip Krajinovic won their doubles match 6-4 3-6 6-3 against Norway to give their team a 3-0 lead.

Switzerland had looked to be heading for defeat when Wawrinka and Dominic Stricker lost to Tim Puetz and Andreas Mies to give Germany a 2-1 advantage.

But Zverev was stunned by Marc-Andrea Huesler in straight sets to leave the stage for Wawrinka.

"I'm very happy I won the point, and the last one was the most important," Wawrinka, now ranked 135th in the world, said.

"I was happy to come back if they need me to help."

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Christian Radnedge)

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