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15 September 2012

Day 2: Zone Group I wrap-up


MATCH REPORT

Photo: Takeo TanumaVishnu Vardhan (IND)

There are four Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Zone Group I ties taking place this weekend with the teams fighting to avoid relegation for the 2013 season. See below for updates from each tie.


India 3-0 New Zealand    

- Zone: Asia/Oceania
- Venue: CLTA Tennis Stadium
- Location: Chandigarh, India
- Surface: Outdoor hard

India enjoyed a fruitful second day in Chandigarh, picking up the two points required against New Zeland to secure their place in Asia/Oceania Zone Group I next year.

After a rain-interrupted first day the hosts led 1-0 going into the second day's play and the singles rubber between Vishnu Vardhan needed to be completed before the scheduled doubles could even start.

As it transpired it was all about Vardhan. He converted his overnight two-sets-to-one lead to defeat Jose Statham 62 67(5) 64 62 in the singles before combining with Divij Sharan to battle past Daniel King-Turner and Michael Venus 76(3) 46 63 67(4) 63.

The five-set victory in the doubles ensured India will keep their place in Group I, while New Zealand will have to play-off against Chinese Taipei in October to see who is relgated to Asia/Oceania Zone Group II next year.


Slovak Republic 2-1 Portugal    

- Zone: Europe/Africa
- Venue: Aegon Arena
- Location: Bratislava, Slovak Republic
- Surface: Indoor hard

Slovak Republic need just one more point to maintain their Group I status for the eighth straight year, having come through Saturday's crucial doubles match to put themselves 2-1 ahead in Bratislava.

After the opening singles rubbers were split on Friday, the home team called on their doubles specialists Filip Polasek and Michal Mertinak to get the job done versus Joao Sousa and Gastao Elias, and the Slovak pair duly obliged.

Polasek and Mertinak, with doubles rankings of No. 22 and No. 51 respectively, raced out of the blocks to take the first set against Sousa and Elias, who both played singles on Friday, only for the Portuguese duo to peg them back in the second set.

That was as far as the comeback would go, however, and the Slovak partnership regained control after edging the third set on a tiebreak, eventually winning 75 46 76(5) 63 in 3 hours 15 minutes.

The reverse singles rubbers on Sunday begin with the battle of the No. 1s, Martin Klizan taking on Sousa. If the Portuguese player can cause an upset and send the tie into a decider, then the scheduled match-up will see Lukas Lacko meet Elias.


Romania 2-1 Finland    

- Zone: Europe/Africa
- Venue: Sala Sporturilor "Horia Demian" Cluj
- Location: Cluj-Napoca, Romania
- Surface: Indoor hard

Romania took a 2-1 lead over Finland on Saturday when doubles specialists Horia Tecau and Florin Mergea recorded a straight sets victory over Jarkko Nieminen and Harri Heliovaara.

Nieminen and Heliovaara threatened to make a match of it in the second set, but once the tiebreak had gone the way of the Romanians the result was never in doubt. Tecau and Mergea prevailed 64 76(4) 61 in 2 hours 17 minutes.

The Finnish players had both played singles on Friday, Nieminen defeating Victor Crivoi and Heliovaara falling to Marius Copil, and the pair are scheduled to be back in action on Sunday for the crucial reverse rubbers.

No. 215 Copil and No. 39 Nieminen are first up in a match the Finn is expected to win, and if the experienced left-hander does prevail then the tie will be decided in a fifth rubber between Crivoi and Heliovaara, although the captains may elect to make substitutions.


Peru 1-2 Ecuador  

- Zone: Americas
- Venue: Club Lawn Tennis de la Exposicion
- Location: Lima, Peru
- Surface: Outdoor clay

Peru's Group I status is hanging by a thread after they managed to take the doubles rubber on Saturday to reduce their arrears against Ecuador. The hosts now trail 2-1 heading into the final day's play.

With Peru 2-0 down aftey day one, the responsibility fell on the shoulders of Duilio Beretta and Sergio Galdos to prolong the tie, and the home pair were up to the task as they defeated Julio Cesar Campozano and Roberto Quiroz 63 62 64 in 1 hour 49 minutes.

Attentions now turn to Sunday's reverse singles rubbers, starting with the battle of the No. 1s between Beretta and Campozano. If the tie goes the distance, the scheduled fifth match pits Mauricio Echazu against Emilio Gomez.

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      Follow the action from the four Zone Group I ties taking place this weekend with teams fighting to avoid relegation for the 2013 season

Related ties

PER Flag Peru v Ecuador ECU Flag 14-16 Sep 2012 View details

IND Flag India v New Zealand NZL Flag 14-16 Sep 2012 View details

ROU Flag Romania v Finland FIN Flag 14-16 Sep 2012 View details

SVK Flag Slovakia v Portugal POR Flag 14-16 Sep 2012 View details

 
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