NAPLES, ITALY: Andreas Seppi saw off Chilean No. 1 Paul Capdeville 63 61 63 to secure a crucial third point for the Italians and ensure their spot in the World Group for 2013. Italy will be in the World Group for a second straight year after returning to the elite 16 nations in 2012 following an 11-year absence.
After a defeat in the doubles yesterday, Seppi came back and trounced Capdeville in Sunday’s reverse singles rubber, winning the World Group play-off tie 3-1 for Italy.
While statistically Seppi was favored to win over No. 161 Capdeville, the top player for Chile put the Italian players to the test over the three days of the tie, leading Chile to a win in Saturday’s doubles rubber and coming close to defeating No. 54 Fabio Fognini in a singles rubber Saturday that was carried over from the previous day.
Seppi had paired with Daniele Bracciali yesterday with the Italians up 2-0, hoping prevent the tie extending into the final day. But an inspired performance by Capdeville and partner Jorge Aguilar kept Chilean hopes alive.
Seppi, however, had other ideas. He stayed light on his feet Sunday and routinely placed balls just beyond Capdeville’s reach. He tallied up 15 aces throughout the rubber.
“I think the best match I played for sure today,” Seppi said afterwards. “It was a very solid match. I think it was good for me to not think too much about the doubles yesterday, where we didn’t play so well. I am very happy I could play at this level today in the singles.”
Capdeville said that he played his best on Sunday, but was tired after being on the court for three hours 36 minutes Friday and then an additional three hours on Saturday. In the end, he just couldn’t keep up with Seppi, he said.
“The second set, he played unbelievable,” Capdeville said. “The third set, I tried to get in, I tried to change a couple of things. But him, he’s so, so tough. He plays so fast.”
“I feel really, really sad,” Capdeville added. “I think this is the important point [that] I lost. But I keep going.”
Seppi also defeated No. 289 Guillermo Hormazabal of Chile on Friday in singles to win Italy’s first point of the tie.
Seppi said he is very pleased that Italy has secured its spot in the World Group, which the Italians ascended to last year after defeating Chile 4-1 at the World Group play-off tie in Santiago.
“For sure that was our goal before this tie to win this match to stay in the World Group — for us that was very important,” Seppi said. “Now we have to wait for the draw for next year. But we are very confident, we think we have a good team. When we are 100 per cent, we for sure are a tough team to beat.”
Simone Bolleli won the dead fifth rubber, defeating 16-year-old Christian Garin 64 63, to leave the final score 4-1.
Paul Capdeville (CHI) - 16/09/2012
Andreas Seppi (ITA) - 16/09/2012