Davis Cup World Group: Germany 2, Australia 1 after doubles

Germany's Tim Puetz, right, plays a shot past Australia's Matt Ebden, left, in the doubles match between Germany and Australia at the Davis Cup World Group first round in Brisbane, Australia, Saturday, Feb.3, 2018. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)

Tim Puetz and late call-up Jan-Lennard Struff gave Germany a 2-1 lead over Australia in their first-round Davis Cup World Group match, beating Matt Ebden and John Peers 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-4 in doubles on Saturday

BRISBANE, Australia — Tim Puetz and late call-up Jan-Lennard Struff gave Germany a 2-1 lead over Australia in their first-round Davis Cup World Group match, beating Matt Ebden and John Peers 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-4 in doubles on Saturday.

Puetz and Struff broke the Australians' service in the seventh game of the fifth set, then saved two break points of their own in the eighth before Puetz served out the match to love two games later.

Struff replaced Peter Gojowczyk, who was originally scheduled to partner Puetz in Saturday's rubber.

On Friday, Alexander Zverev gave Germany a 1-0 lead with a 7-5, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) win over Alex de Minaur before Nick Kyrgios leveled for Australia with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over Struff.

The reverse singles are scheduled for Sunday, with Kyrgios playing Zverev and di Minaur scheduled to take on Struff, although late changes could be made.

The winning country advances to the quarterfinals from April 6-8 against either Britain or Spain. The loser will contest September's World Cup playoffs.

Australia, looking to end a 15-year Davis Cup title drought, has reached the World Group semifinals twice in the past three years.

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