The line-up for Saturday’s promotion play-offs has been decided at the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Europe Zone Group III event in Sofia with the round-robin stages drawing to a close on Friday.
Having whitewashed Albania 3-0 on Wednesday, the host nation Bulgaria were back in action as they dispatched Pool B rivals Georgia by the same 3-0 scoreline to book their spot in the play-offs without the loss of a set.
Dimitar Kuzmanov opened proceedings by overcoming Aleksandre Metreveli 63 62 before Grigor Dimitrov - who, at No. 94, is the only Top 100 player in Sofia this week - shrugged off a rain break to defeat George Tsivadze 64 61. Bulgaria’s No. 3 and No. 4 players, Todor Enev and Petar Trendafilov, completed the rout with victory in the doubles rubber.
Bulgaria will meet Pool C winners Macedonia on Saturday with a place in Group II at stake. Macedonia sealed their place in the play-offs with a 2-0 triumph against Montenegro, courtesy of singles wins for Shendrit Deari and Tomislav Jotovski.
“I am very pleased that my players win the match versus Georgia,” said a confident Ognyan Iliev, the Bulgarian captain. “I am sure that Bulgaria will overcome the team of Macedonia too and will return in Group II next year. Congratulations for Dimitrov, Kuzmanov, Enev and Trendafilov for the good results and play.”
Meanwhile, Lithuania claimed a 2-0 victory over Andorra to advance from Pool A. The two teams had both defeated San Marino earlier in the week so their tie against each other was a straight shoot out for the play-offs.
Lukas Mugevicius drew first blood for Andorra by defeating Hector Hormigo 63 63, then Laurynas Grigelis sealed the tie 62 64 against Jean-Baptiste Poux-Gautier. Like the Lithuania-Andorra tie, the doubles wasn’t played due to the wet weather.
Next up for Andorra is Greece, who topped Pool D - the only group with four teams - after battling past Norway in a nail-biting tie that was decided in the doubles. The Greek duo of Theodoros Angelinos and Paris Gemouchidis came from behind to get the better of Stian Boretti and Erling Tveit 36 63 64.
The other tie in Pool D saw Malta beat Iceland 2-1. Andri Jonsson gave Iceland the lead, but it wasn’t enough as Malta’s playing captain Matthew Asciak stepped up to draw his team level before teaming up Mark Gatt to win the decisive doubles rubber.
Click here to view more information about the event, including full results.