Lithuania and Bulgaria clinched promotion on Saturday at the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Europe Zone Group III event at the Bulgarian National Tennis Centre “Carlsberg” in Sofia.
Having advanced through the round-robin stages earlier in the week, Lithuania and Bulgaria recorded wins against Greece and Macedonia respectively in the promotion play-offs to seal their place in Group II for 2013.
Lithuania were forced to come from behind for their 2-1 victory over Greece after Theodoros Angelinos gave the Greeks an early lead by winning a marathon match against Laurynas Grigelis 75 67(8) 64 in 3 hours 23 minutes.
Ricardis Berankis, the world No. 177, redressed the balance for Lithuania with a 76(4) 63 win over Paris Gemouchidis, and then the Lithuanian No. 1 teamed up with Grigelis to defeat Gemouchidis and Markos Kalovelonis 62 75 in the decisive doubles rubber.
Bulgaria had an easier ride in beating Macedonia 3-0, although there were a few nervous moments in the opening rubber. Macedonia’s Shendrit Deari took the first set of his match against Dimitar Kuzmanov, only for the Bulgarian to fight back and eventually prevail 16 62 75.
That result paved the way for Grigor Dimitrov, the world No. 94, to secure the tie for the host nation, and the Bulgarian No. 1 achieved it in style by hammering Tomislav Jotovski 60 60 in just 45 minutes. Todor Enev and Petar Trendafilov then put the icing on the cake with a straight sets doubles victory.
The remaining nations in Sofia faced off to decide the final positions in the Group.
1= Lithuania, Bulgaria (both promoted)
3= Greece, Macedonia
5= Norway, Georgia
7= Andorra, Armenia
9= Malta, Montenegro
11= San Marino, Albania
Click here to view more information about the event, including full results.