newsCO.com.au–Davis Cup champs Argentina out of top tier

September 17, 2017

Last year’s Davis Cup champions Argentina have been knocked out of the competition’s top tier by Kazakhstan on Sunday.

Mikhail Kukushkin defeated Diego Schwartzman 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-2) in a battle between the teams’ top-ranked players to give Kazakhstan an unassailable 3-1 lead in the best-of-five tie.

Schwartzman, who as the 28th-ranked player is 50 places above Kukushkin, lost his first two service games in each of the first two sets and struggled to recover.

Argentina — who didn’t have their top-ranked player Juan Martin del Potro in Kazakhstan — are the first reigning Davis Cup champions to be relegated since Sweden in 1999.

Argentina were last outside the top-tier World Group in 2001, while Kazakhstan return after relegation last year.

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