Lithuania, the highest ranked team in Sofia this week, got their Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Europe Zone Group III campaign under way on Thursday with a 3-0 victory over San Marino. There were also wins for Georgia, Armenia, Greece and Norway on the second day of round-robin action at the Bulgarian National Tennis Centre “Carlsberg”.
After a rest day on Wednesday, Lithuania wasted little time in dispatching their Pool A opponents from San Marino. Despite missing their top player, world No. 177 Ricardis Berankis, the team’s remaining three players combined to drop just seven games all day.
Dovydas Sakinis opened proceedings by defeating Diego Zonzini 60 62 before Laurynas Grigelis sealed the tie with a 62 61 triumph against Marco de Rossi. The doubles duo of Sakinis and Lukas Mugevicius then completed the rout.
“Today we played without our best player Ricardas Berankis, but he is fit and we’ll rely on him for the next matches,” said Lithuanian captain Rimvydas Mugevicius (pictured right).
“Our goal of course is to get promotion for Group II, but first of all we must win the second match on our pool versus Andorra on Friday to top the pool.”
Andorra also prevailed over San Marino on Wednesday, so the winner of the tie between Lithuania and Andorra will progress to the promotion play-offs on Saturday. Lithuania are bidding for an immediate return to Group II after suffering relegation in 2011.
Georgia - like Lithuania - opened their account on Thursday with a 3-0 triumph over Albania in Pool B. That result, which came courtesy of singles wins for Aleksandre Metreveli and George Tsivadze before the pair successfully teamed up on the doubles court, has set up a top-of-the-table clash with Bulgaria on Friday.
Macedonia look favourites to advance from Pool C ahead of their meeting with Montenegro on Friday. Macedonia whitewashed Armenia on Wednesday, only for Armenia to bounce back on Thursday to defeat Macedonia’s next opponents, Montenegro.
In Pool D, the only group with four nations, Greece and Norway maintained their 100 per cent records on Thursday with wins against Iceland and Malta respectively, both by 3-0 scorelines. In fact, neither team has dropped a set so something must give when they go head-to-head on Friday.
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