Mexico is just one point away from reaching the final round of Americas Group II in September, the weekend that determines which nations progress to Group I in their respective regions.
Cesar Ramirez and Miguel Gallardo-Valles both produced easy wins over Barbadians Darian King and Haydn Lewis respectively. Ramirez, the youngest and lowest ranked member of the team at No. 541 was picked by captain Jorge Lozano to play a full schedule this weekend, and his 62 63 61 win over King in the opening rubber was the perfect physical preservation ahead of Saturday’s doubles rubber partnering Santiago Gonzalez, ranked No. 29 in doubles.
Gallardo-Valles lost just six games to put Mexico into the 2-0 lead at home, leaving Barbados, playing their first Group II tie in 26 years in a worrying position. King and Lewis will pair up for the fifth time in Davis Cup and do have every chance – they have only lost one doubles rubber previously in Davis Cup, and won their last two tournaments together on the Futures circuit in Mexico and Canada last year.
In the other Group II second round tie between Venezuela and Dominican Republic in Valencia, the home team’s David Souto produced an opening win for Venezuela after defeating Roberto Cid 62 36 62 62 and Dominican Republic’s Victor Estrella took the first set of the second rubber 64, before rain postponed the match.
In the Group II play-offs, between the losers of Februay’s first round ties, El Salvador are in a comfortable position against Paraguay, leading 2-0 following wins for brothers Rafael and Marcelo Arevalo, who will also team up for the doubles. And it’s one win apiece for Puerto Rico and Bolivia down in Humacao.
Those four nations will be battling to avoid relegation to Group III for 2013.