Lleyton Hewitt is among the critics of the changes to the Davis Cup format.
Lleyton Hewitt is among the critics of the changes to the Davis Cup format.

Channel 7’s epic Davis Cup snub

CHANNEL 7 sensationally snubbed the start of the fifth set of Saturday's doubles match between Australia and Germany in their Davis Cup first round tie.

Aussie tennis great Sam Groth vented his disappointment of the scheduling snub which saw the opening games of the blockbuster doubles clash between Aussies Matt Ebden and John Peers against Germans Jan-Lennard Struff and Tim Puetz go unbroadcast.

As the rollercoaster contest headed to a fifth set, sending the game past the 5pm (AEDT) mark, the contest was taken off Channel 7's primary channel and relegated to the 7Two channel - after an episode of Selling Houses Australia wrapped up.

It left a window of around 10 minutes where the fifth set couldn't be watched on any of Seven's three channels.

The tennis was dropped from the primary Seven channel at 5pm (AEDT) for the 5pm News.

When the tennis returned to 7Two, viewers were treated to a tense fifth set where the German pair eventually triumphed 6-4 6-7 6-2 6-7 6-4 in three hours and 20 minutes.

The result hands Germany a 2-1 lead in the tie heading into the third day of play at the Queensland Tennis Centre.

It leaves Aussie captain Lleyton Hewitt relying on Nick Kyrgios and Alex De Minaur to win their reverse singles fixtures to see Australia progress.

Channel 7's unfortunate scheduling mix-up didn't make the loss any easier to bare for Aussie tennis fans.

Many viewers were also disappointed about the match moving to Seven's second channel - which is not available through Foxtel.

Seven responded to Groth's complaint by informing viewers the action was still available on the 7Plus app - but not on the 7Tennis app.














Australian team captain Lleyton Hewitt previously hinted he might have played in Saturday's doubles but resisted the temptation, pairing Ebden with world No. 4 doubles specialist Peers.

The pair showed former world No. 1 Hewitt's trademark fight, clawing their way back from two sets to one down to force the Germans to scramble. But it was 30-year-old journeyman Puetz - in just his second Cup tie - who stood tall, thrashing forehand winner after forehand winner as Germany prevailed in a rubber lasting almost four hours.

Puetz's heroics helped Germany to notch 22 forehand winners to Australia's seven in the match.

Puetz - a lowly No.144 in the doubles rankings - made his Cup debut last year when he combined with Struff to deliver a key five-set doubles win against Portugal to help Germany seal victory.

- with AAP