Ukraine and Poland both moved into unassailable 3-0 leads on Saturday to book their place in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Europe/Africa Zone Group II third round.
Ukraine led Cyprus 2-0 overnight in their second round tie in Dnipropetrovsk, following straight-set singles wins for Sergiy Stakhovsky and Sergei Bubka on Friday, and the pattern continued in the doubles rubber with Stakhovsky teaming up with Denys Molchanov to defeat Rares Cuzdriorean and Dean Georgiou 61 62 62.
The result means that Ukraine will now meet either Hungary or Latvia in September with promotion up for grabs, while Cyprus, who were missing top player Marcos Baghdatis this weekend, will take their place in Group II in 2013 for the eighth straight season.
Hungary missed out on the chance to advance on Saturday when their doubles duo of Attila Balazs and Marton Fucsovics lost to Ernests Gulbis and Andis Juska 67(5) 63 64 62. The hosts had been 2-0 ahead after the opening singles rubbers, but Latvia have now dragged themselves back into the tie.
Poland also raced 2-0 up on day one in their home tie against Estonia, but they had no trouble in converting that lead into a victory as doubles specialists Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski, ranked No. 9 in the world, comfortably overcame Mait Kunnap and Jurgen Zopp 76(5) 75 64.
Estonia’s Davis Cup campaign is now over until 2013, while Poland await the winner of the tie between Belarus and Bosnia/Herzegovina in Minsk. Belarus edged 2-1 ahead on Saturday with the experienced Max Mirnyi combining with Alexander Bury to claim a 62 76(2) 76(6) triumph over Tomislav Brkic and Amer Delic.
At the other end of the spectrum in Europe/Africa Zone Group II, Luxembourg sent Madagascar down to Group III in 2013 after moving into a 3-0 lead on away soil. The final nail in the coffin for Madagascar was when their doubles pair Antso Rakotondramanga and Jakob Rasolondrazana lost to Gilles Muller and Mike Scheidweiler 75 63 75 on Saturday.
The remaining three relegation ties will all be decided in the reverse singles rubbers on Sunday: Morocco lead Monaco 2-1 in Casablanca, Ireland lead Egypt 2-1 in Cairo, and Moldova lead Turkey 2-1 in Istanbul.