31 Jan - 02 Feb 2014, Republic Olympic Training Center for Tennis, Minsk, Hard, Indoor
Belarus proved too strong for an under-strength Irish team, winning the first three rubbers to advance to the second round of this year's competition. After comfortable straight sets wins for Dzmitry Zhyrmont and Egor Gerasimov on Friday had left Ireland on the brink of defeat, the duo of James Cluskey and David O'Hare fought magnificently, pushing the higher-ranked pair of Alexander Bury and Max Mirnyi to a fifth set, including being on the wrong end of two very tight tiebreaks. The experienced Belarussians raised their game in the final set, winning 62, consigning the Irish to a relegation play-off in April.
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