It’s unlikely anyone from either country will have been ticking off the days since their last clash, but Austria finally has the chance to avenge its Davis Cup by BNP Paribas defeat to Netherlands in their last meeting… 85 years ago.
Facing the Netherlands for just the second time in history in the Davis Cup World Group play-offs on 13-15 September, Austria will look to level their head-to-head against the host nation at the MartiniPlaza in Groningen after the mother of all waits for revenge.
Defeated 3-0 in the quarterfinals back in 1928, Austria suffered the added indignity of being on the wrong end of a bagel set in each of its three rubber defeats. To rub further salt into the wound, the man who inflicted most of the damage, Hendrik Timmer, was on the comeback trail from a broken leg and wasn't solely a tennis player.
The Dutchman, who was said to practice tennis three times a week, filled his spare time as an insurance salesman, tournament-winning golfer, national squash champion and also flirted with badminton, hockey and speed skating on his forays away from the court.
No stranger to performing for his country in tennis’ international team competitions, Timmer, who would become the Netherlands’ most successful Davis Cup player with a 43-22 win loss record that still stands today, played in the 1925 Davis Cup final and won a bronze medal at the tennis event at the 1924 Olympic Games alongside former Roland Garros champion Kornelia Bouman.
In fact, Timmer and Bouman were the last pair to receive the Olympic mixed doubles bronze medal before Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond claimed it at Wimbledon last year when the discipline made its long-awaited return to the Games in 2012.
On form against Austria in their 1928 Davis Cup bout, Timmer recovered from two sets down to defeat Austria’s Franz-Willhelm Matejka 26 57 60 63 64 in the opening rubber, sealing the triumph in the deciding doubles alongside Arthur Diemer-Kool with another bagel, this time in a decisive third set, after Diemer-Kool had also polished off a five-set win over Herman Von Artens with a 60 final set.
Fast forward to the present day and it is Netherlands who might face an uphill task in the World Group play-offs. Austria, has won 8 of its past 9 ties at this stage of the competition, with the likes of world No. 32 Jurgen Melzer, Andreas Haider Maurer and doubles world No. 3 Alexander Peya ready and willing to retain their place in the World Group.
Robin Haase, Igor Sijsling, Thiemo de Bakker and Jean-Julien Rojer should all be on hand for Jan Siemerink's men, but if things don't go to plan for the Dutch captain he might be forgiven for calling on divine intervention to help Netherlands back into the World Group for the first time since 2009.
Where's Hendrik Timmer when you need him?