BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: Argentina wasted little time in securing a place in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group quarterfinals, by winning the third rubber and reaching a decisive 3-0 lead over Romania. In Saturday’s doubles match, Juan Ignacio Chela and Eduardo Schwank defeated Victor Hanescu and Horia Tecau 62 76(8) 61.
Argentina, having stretched its impressive World Group first round record to ten straight wins, will once again have home advantage in the next round against the winner of Czech Republic and Kazakhstan. In Ostrava, the Czechs lead 2-1 after the second day’s action. Romania, on the other hand, will be attempting to avoid relegation in the World Group play-offs.
Chela in control
Chela led the Argentine couple with a great display of tennis, ruling the game with confidence, intelligence and experience. The 31 year-old player never lost his serve today.
Although this match was the first for Chela and Schwank as a doubles team in Davis Cup, they had already reached the Wimbledon semifinals last year. But it wasn’t supposed to be easy as their opponents had recently captured the doubles title in Acapulco.
Argentina took the lead early in the match. After 2-2, Chela and Schwank broke twice to get the first set. The opportunities for the Romanians came in the second set, when they twice had a break advantage, both on Schwank’s service game. But Argentina recovered immediately with breaks over Tecau, and then captured the set in the tiebreak to boost confidence. It was a knock-out punch for Romania.
First doubles appearance for Chela
In his comeback to the Argentine team after a two-year absence, during which he suffered a couple of hard injuries, Chela showed himself in good shape to lead the doubles team to victory over Romania.
“First of all, I’m really happy for us, because we could give Argentina the victory, and I’m also happy to be part of the team,” said Chela. “I felt very good on court. Eduardo (Schwank) is a very good player, who has a strong serve. And I think I played a very good tennis.”
“In fact, it’s a bit strange that although I’m 31 years old it’s my first time playing doubles for Argentina”, he said with a smile.
“Definitely, I feel very good about having won the series 3-0, which gives us less pressure,” said Argentine captain Tito Vazquez. “We haven’t played here for two years, so therefore we’re very happy, especially because every single player gave a point for Argentina and that’s actually what you dream.”
Vazquez admitted that the result surprised him. “We expected to win, we knew we had chances to win the five matches, but also we could lose them all, too. So, to be 3-0 on the second day is just perfect. We cannot wish any better than that,” he added.
“It didn’t go the way we wanted, we had our expectations, but tennis is like this. We played against Argentina, a strong team at home, with the crowd behind them. It wasn’t a good day today. There is not much to say”, said a disappointed Andrei Pavel, Romania’s captain.
Pavel doesn’t think the crowd affected them so much: “Nothing special. We have to credit the Argentine team for the victory, they played a really good tennis. And I’m proud of my own team. My boys gave their best,” he added.
Juan Ignacio Chela (ARG) - 05/03/2011
Captain Tito Vazquez (ARG) - 05/03/2011
Captain Andrei Pavel (ROU) - 05/03/2011