The opening day of Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Europe Zone Group III, held in Szeged, Hungary, started with a bang as second seeds Estonia were defeated by unseeded Turkey.
The first rubber in the tie saw Estonia’s Mikk Irdoja take on Cem Ilkel from Turkey and it was Ilkel who started the stronger of the two, taking the opening set 63. Irdoja fought back however, levelling the rubber after winning the second set 62 before earning the opening point for Estonia, taking a close third set for a 36 62 64 comeback victory.
The second match was the clash of the No. 1s as Estonian Vladimir Ivanov faced Turkish Marsel Ilhan. Ilsan claimed two tight sets 64 76(3) to level the tie for Turkey and force it into a deciding doubles rubber.
Both singles players were chosen to play doubles for Estonia whereas Ilhan partnered Baris Erguden for Turkey. It was plain sailing for the Turkish pair, who won 63 63 to take the doubles rubber and give themselves an excellent chance of progressing from the group.
The hosts were in action on Day 1 and they took on Armenia in Pool A. Hungary are the top seeds in the event this year and their talent was on full display from the start. Gergely Madarasz got the perfect start for the hosts, defeating Ashot Gevorgyan 60 63.
Hungary’s top player is former world Junior No. 1 Marton Fucsovics, currently ranked No. 237 in the ATP rankings, and he eased through his first match of the week, overpowering Mikayel Avetisyan 60 61. Fucsovics then partnered Levente Godry to win the doubles rubber against Gevorgyan and Sedrak Khachatryan 62 60 and complete a comprehensive 3-0 victory for Hungary.
Macedonia and Malta opened proceedings in Pool B but Macedonia, the third seeds, proved too strong for their opponents. Tomislav Jotovski took on Matthew Asciak in the opening rubber and did not face too many problems, recording a 63 61 victory.
Dimitar Grabul was next up for Macedonia and he eased past Bernard Cassar Torreggiani 62 62 in a little under an hour to seal the tie for Macedonia. Grabul then teamed up with Shendrit Deari in the doubles and they secured a 3-0 whitewash for the seeds by defeating Bradley Callus and Cassar Torreggiani 62 62.
The other tie on Day 1 saw No. 4 seeds Georgia take on Montenegro in Pool C and, once again, it was a straightforward victory for the seeds. George Tsivadze claimed the opening rubber for Georgia when he defeated Igor Saveljic 60 62 in just 46 minutes.
Aleksandre Metreveli then won the tie for Georgia, defeating Lubomir Celebic 63 63 for a 2-0 lead. Montenegro did fight back in the doubles rubber, but they could not claim a victory, with the Saveljic brothers, Igor and Ivan, going down 75 26 64 to Metreveli and Tsivadze.
For all this week’s results and standings, click here.