SALINAS, ECUADOR: The Colombian Santiago Giraldo earned the winning point for his country after overcoming Ecuador’s Julio Campozano 63 64 63 in two hours 28 minutes in the fourth rubber of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Americas Zone Group I tie in Salinas.
The visiting player took control from the start of the match, imposing his game even when Campozano raised his standard and the two were equals from the beginning of the second set onwards.
The ease with which he came through tough moments was one of the important factors in earning victory over his opponent, who despite always being behind in the scores fought for every point until the end of the match.
“These important moments are what decides a match,” said Giraldo, who is ranked No. 67 in the world. “I played very well. I was very effective at converting my break points and very assured in saving them.”
He also maintained that his opponent made life very difficult for him and that he had to use all of his nous to win: “He [Campozano] made life uncomfortable for me, he moved me quite a lot, credit to him, but I overcame him with character and by making him more uncomfortable, but that’s tennis.”
The Colombian dreams of reaching the World Group, something they were so close to doing a couple of years ago. “Two years ago we were fighting for promotion to the World Group in a very even tie against the United States,” he said. “I think we have got the team to go up, we have the perfect set-up. We’re one of the best equipped teams in Group I alongside Brazil. Now it’s our turn to play them away and we’ll have to go with everything if we are to take them on.”
For his part, Campozano thought the score didn’t really reflect how close the match was. “It’s incredible that I couldn’t convert one of my many break point opportunities,” he said. “I’m feeling very sad, very low, basically because I think I could have won this match. Obviously he played the big points well, he comes on a good run of playing lots of event this year, so he knows how to play these points. It’s the opposite for me and that cost me the match.”
The stats show that the Ecuadorian had no less than 15 break point chances and he didn’t convert a single one. “Although we lost I am very proud of my performance over the course of the three days here,” said Campozano, who had not played a match since last November.
Cabal wins the fourth point
Juan Sebastian Cabal captured the fourth point for Colombia with a 62 75 win over Diego Hidalgo, leaving the final score at 4-1 in favour of the visiting team. From the outset the Colombian showed his experience – he is 25 years old and No. 244 in the world while his opponent was 18 years old and ranked No. 974.
As a result of their defeat Ecuador must wait for the outcome of the Brazil v Colombia tie before they find out their next opponent. If Colombia defeat Brazil, Ecuador will have an away tie against Brazil in September. If Brazil win, the Ecuadorian team will be fighting for its place in Americas Zone Group I in September or October depending upon the outcome of ties in the top half of the draw.
MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY: Marcel Felder was the hero of the home side when he won the key point against Peru’s Duilio Beretta 26 62 63 61, ensuring Uruguay defeated Peru 3-1 and in so doing moved to the second round of Americas Zone Group I.
The strength of Felder was his ability to come back from a limp start and, lifted by his home crowd, he started to play some good tennis. Moreover the Peruvian seemed to feel the effects of all the tennis he had played over the weekend causing some physical difficulties at the start of the third set.
For the Uruguayan, this was his 49th match representing his country playing for the silver salad bowl, of which he has won 29.
Thanks to this win Uruguay will play Chile in Montevideo in April.