Guangzhou, China, P.R. – While the University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team had the weekend off from competition, sophomore Sebastian Dominko represented his home country of Slovenia in the People’s Republic of China, competing at the Davis Cup against the host country. He topped the #50 ranked player in the world in singles as well as doubles to pick up his first two wins in Davis Cup action and his first-ever win over a top-50 ranked singles player.
Davis Cup is a professional format in which players compete in “ties” in a country versus country competition. Slovenia lined up against China in a best of five match over the weekend and Dominko was playing as the top player for his country. The tie took place in Guangzhou, China and afforded Dominko his first-ever trip to the East Asian country.
The opening day saw Dominko fall in three very close sets to the former #3 ranked junior in the world by a score of 7-5, 6-7(3), 6-3 score. But responding immediately the next day, he partnered with his countrymen to defeat the Chinese doubles team in straight sets 6-3, 6-4. The Chinese duo are ranked #112 and #355 in the world and the former just made the semifinals at the Australian Open not two weeks prior.
After his doubles win, Dominko returned to the court later that same day and put on a clinical performance where he defeated the #50 ranked ATP player. He would secure the win 6-3, 6-4 in a match in which he would never be broken and only face two break points on his own serve.
Hear Dominko’s reflection on his weekend below:
“Playing in the stadium with your country written on your back is probably the best feeling an athlete can ever have. You don’t play for yourself but you play for something so much bigger. I will forever remember those matches and specially my first two Davis Cup wins which came when I least expected them. Being on the other side of the net of a player who is 50 in the world and being able to compete with him just brings different type of adrenaline rush. I’m still collecting thoughts about that match and it is for sure gonna be something that will fuel me in the future.”
Callaghan Family Head Men’s Tennis Coach Ryan Sachire had this to say about Dominko’s performance:
“What an incredible experience for Sebastian. To travel to China and represent his country in Davis Cup … and then to have the day that he had on Saturday … is something that he will remember for the rest of his life. Seb…