United States fall to Finland in shock Davis Cup early exit
The United States were knocked out of the Davis Cup group stages by unfancied Finland, who reached the quarter-finals of the tournament for the first time.
Finnish number one Emil Ruusuvuori won the deciding match against world number 13th ranked Tommy Paul 7-6(5) 6-4 to help his country into their maiden Davis Cup quarter-finals.
Finland and the USA were in Group D alongside the Netherlands and hosts Croatia, with the group being held in the city of Split.
Both nations [Finland and USA] had defeated the hosts but succumbed to the Netherlands who then secured their qualification to the knockout stages in Malaga, Spain.
"You can hear it from the (fans)," said world number 57 Ruusuvouri following his win.
"It means a lot for the whole country, for tennis in Finland. It's a huge thing. We’re going to Malaga!
"I skipped the US Open as I was sick and didn't come here in really good shape. I struggled today physically and it was a bit tough in the beginning, but you just have to keep fighting. I was able to find a way in two long sets." said Ruusuvuori.
Finland joins Australia, The Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Serbia and defending champions Canada in the Davis Cup quarter-final line-up, with Great Britain, France, Italy and Chile battling to secure the final two knockout spots.
The United States has now gone 16 years without a Davis Cup title since their last victory in 2007 under the captaincy of Patrick McEnroe.