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02 February 2013

Europe/Africa Zone Group II: Saturday


Photo: Nikolay DontchevGrigor Dimitrov (BUL)

Finland leads Bulgaria 2-1

- Venue: Tennis Hall "Sofia''
- Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
- Surface: Indoor Hard

Finland clinched an absorbing five-set doubles rubber to head into Sunday's reverse singles rubbers with a 2-1 lead over Bulgaria. Harri Heliovaara and Henri Kontinen battled for 3 hours and 20 minutes before finally edging out Grigor Dimitrov and Dimitar Kuzmanov 75 61 46 26 64.

“We lost the match but the fight continues," said Dimitrov. "Our opponents won most of the important points in the match and that proved to be crucial."

Bulgaria's No.1 plans to come out swinging in Sunday's reverse singles, just like he did in the opening rubber. The world No. 40 defeated Juho Paukku for the loss of just two games on Friday, before Micke Kontinen, Dimitrov's opponent on Sunday, levelled proceedings with a 76(4) 63 64 victory over Alexander Lazov.

The winner will play either Ireland or Estonia in the second round and take a step closer to earning promotion to Europe/Africa Zone Group I in 2014.

Ireland leads Estonia 2-1

- Venue: David Lloyd Riverview
- Location: Dublin, Ireland
- Surface: Indoor Hard

Ireland head into day three in a strong position against Estonia after James McGee and Sam Barry teamed to defeat Estonia's Vladimir Ivanov and Marek Marksoo in a thrilling five sets.

The hosts prevailed 64 63 36 36 97 to take a 2-1 lead into Sunday's reverse singles, with McGee hoping to build on his 60 61 63 opening rubber win over Jaan Kononov when he takes on Barry's conqueror Vladimir Ivanov. Victory in either of the two singles rubbers on Sunday would guarantee Ireland a Europe/Africa Zone Group II clash against either Finland or Bulgaria on April 5-7.

Latvia defeated Tunisia 3-0

- Venue: Cité Nationale Sportive
- Location: El Menzah, Tunisia
- Surface: Outdoor Hard

Ernests Gulbis and Andis Juska masterminded a 3-0 triumph for Latvia over Tunisia after combining to defeat Mohamed Haythem Abid and Slim Hamza in Saturday's doubles.

The duo won 76(6) 26 63 64 to put Latvia through to the second round of Europe/Africa Zone Group II and earn them a tie against either Belarus or Monaco. Both had scored comfortable wins in their singles rubbers on Friday, with Juska defeating Abid 76(7) 63 60 and Gulbis dropping just three games in a 61 62 60 triumph over Hamza.

Defeat sends Tunisia in to the relegation Play-offs on April 5-7, facing a tie against Belarus unless they can turn around a 2-1 deficit against Monaco.

Monaco leads Belarus 2-1

- Venue: Monte Carlo Country Club
- Location: Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, Monaco
- Surface: Outdoor Clay

Benjamin Balleret and Guillaume Couillard put Monaco in touching distance of a second round Europe/Africa Zone Group II tie against Latvia after defeating former doubles world No. 1 Max Mirnyi and Andrei Vasilevski in Saturday's doubles rubber.

The Monaco pair won 76(3) 46 46 67(5) 62 in a lengthy four-hour-15-minute encounter to give the hosts a 2-1 lead going into Sunday's reverse singles at the Monte Carlo Country Club. Balleret had given Monaco a 1-0 lead on Friday with a 67(6) 61 63 63 victory over Dzmitry Zhyrmont before Uladzimir Ignatik levelled proceedings with a 64 64 60 win over Jean-Rene Lisnard.

Moldova leads Hungary 2-1

- Venue: Manejul de Atletica Usoara
- Location: Chisinau, Moldova
- Surface: Indoor Hard

Visitors Hungary kept their hopes of avoiding a relegation Play-off against Luxembourg alive after Marton Fucsovics and Levente Godry teamed to defeat Radu Albot and Andrei Ciumac 63 62 62 in Saturday's doubles.

Hungary had lost both of their singles rubbers on Friday, with Moldova's Maxim Dubarenco defeating Fucsovics 36 63 64 64 before Albot defeated Viktor Filipenko 61 63 63, only for the visitors to find a way to extend the tie to a third day in the doubles. The winners face a 2nd round Europe/Africa Zone Group II tie against Boznia-Herzegovina on April 5-7.

Bosnia-Herzegovina defeated Luxembourg 3-0

- Venue: Mojmilo Sports Hall
- Location: Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
- Surface: Indoor Hard

Bosnia-Herzegovina breezed to a 3-0 victory over Luxembourg to reach the second round of Europe/Africa World Group II and condemn the visitors to a relegation Play-off scrap against either Moldova or Hungary on April 5-7.

Tomislav Brkic and Damir Dzumhur clinched the decisive third rubber for the hosts, breezing past Laurent Bram and Mike Scheidweiler 61 63 63 to seal the victory. Bosnia-Herzegovina didn't drop a single set en route, with Dzumhur defeating Scheidweiler 64 64 60 in the opening rubber on Friday before Aldin Setkic got the better of Ugo Nastasi 64 60 63.

Lithuania 2-1 Cyprus

- Venue: Siauliu Arena
- Location: Siauliai, Lithuania
- Surface: Indoor Hard

Cyprus' Petros Chrysochos and Rares Cuzdriorean battled through five sets lasting three hours and 16 minutes to notch up the visitors first rubber of the weekend and keep their hopes alive in Lithuania.  

After managing just five games against Ricardas Berankis in the opening rubber, Chrysochos made amends alongside Cuzdriorean by defeating the Lithuanian No. 1 and his partner Lukas Mugevicius 75 36 36 64 64. The visitors are looking to avoid slipping into the Europe/Africa Zone Group II relegation zone, where they would play Benin on April 5-7.

Portugal leads Benin 3-0

- Venue: Club Internacional de Football
- Location: Lisbon, Portugal
- Surface: Indoor Clay

The two Sousa's, Joao and Pedro, sent Portugal through to a second round Europe/Africa Zone Group II tie against either Lithuania or Cyprus after completing a convincing win against Benin in Lisbon. The Portugese pair thumped Loic Didavi and Alexis Klegou 62 61 61 in an hour and 33 minutes to send Benin back into the relegation Play-offs.

Joao Sousa had given the hosts a quick start with a 61 63 60 victory over Didavi on Friday but Pedro Sousa faced more of a battle against Klegou, dropping the first set before eventually running out a 46 61 64 62 winner in two hours and 21 minutes.

Related content

Related ties

BUL Flag Bulgaria v Finland FIN Flag 1 Feb 2013 - 3 Feb 2013 View details

IRL Flag Ireland v Estonia EST Flag 1 Feb 2013 - 3 Feb 2013 View details

TUN Flag Tunisia v Latvia LAT Flag 1 Feb 2013 - 3 Feb 2013 View details

MON Flag Monaco v Belarus BLR Flag 1 Feb 2013 - 3 Feb 2013 View details

MDA Flag Moldova v Hungary HUN Flag 1 Feb 2013 - 3 Feb 2013 View details

BIH Flag Bosnia/Herzegovina v Luxembourg LUX Flag 1 Feb 2013 - 3 Feb 2013 View details

LTU Flag Lithuania v Cyprus CYP Flag 1 Feb 2013 - 3 Feb 2013 View details

POR Flag Portugal v Benin BEN Flag 1 Feb 2013 - 3 Feb 2013 View details




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