Photo: Mathilde DsuolBusra Un (TUR)
Hungary’s men’s team and France and Turkey’s women’s teams clinched deciding doubles rubbers on Saturday’s opening day of round-robin pool ties at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup European Qualification in Antalya, Turkey.
As the last of this year’s four regional qualification events for the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis team event got underway, Laszlo Farkas came from a set down to win the second singles contest of Hungary’s pool 2 tie against third seed Israel, the runner-up to Greece in the 2013 qualification event in Antalya.
Farkas’s 36 60 75 win over Amir Levi kept Hungary in the tie after Israel’s Adam Berdichevsky had taken the opening singles rubber and Farkas went on to partner Sandor Navratyil to a 76(5) 64 win over Berichevsy and Levi to give Hungary a 2-1 victory.
The other two men’s ties on the first day of competition produced 3-0 victories for Switzerland and Russia.
Second seed Switzerland, runner-up in 2012, got off to a winning start in pool 1 after Raphael Gremion, Daniel Pellegrina and Herbert Keller all secured straight sets wins for a 3-0 victory over host nation Turkey. Meanwhile, Russia’s Artur Saitgareeev, Yuriy Golovin and Ivan Anreev beat Portugal 3-0 in pool 3. After Russia secured both singles rubbers, Saitgareev and Anree wrapped up the victory with a 57 62 (10-3) win over Carlos Leitao and Joao Sanona.
Top seed Spain and Ireland are the only two teams in pool 4 and will meet later in the qualification event.
France and Turkey win deciding doubles in women’s pools
Julide Yildiz and Busra Un provided the highlight of the day for the home fans in Antalya after winning the deciding doubles rubber of Turkey’s pool 1 tie against Poland.
Former world No. 6 Agnieszka Wysocka had given Poland an early lead after beating Yildiz 64 64, but Un maintained Turkey’s challenge with a 62 06 60 win over Lucyna Mietrkiewicz. As the four singles players went head-to-head again in the crucial doubles match, Yildiz and Un prevailed 76(5) 64.
In the other pool 1 tie Russia’s Viktoriia Lvova and Ludmila Bubnova both clinched three sets wins in their singles rubbers against Italy’s Stefania Galletti and Marianna Lauro, with Bubnova defeating the higher ranked Lauro 64 36 63 to give second seed Russia an unassailable advantage. Russia, the runner-up to Spain in the qualification event in 2013, went on to complete a 3-0 victory over Italy after Lvova and Bubnova beat their respective singles opponents 64 63 in the doubles.
Top seed France, winner of the 2012 European qualification in Antalya, gained an early win this year, but not before being taken to a deciding doubles contest by Switzerland.
Karin Suter, who has previously helped steer Switzerland to two women’s finals in the World Team Cup, gave her country the lead after the former world No. 6 outlasted Emilie Chene of France 76(4) 67(4) 62. Charlotte Famin forced the doubles rubber with a 61 63 singles win over Simona Rusnak and joined forces with Chene to complete France’s comeback for a 2-1 victory as the duo defeated Suter and Rusnak 61 76(6).
Belgium also gained an early 3-0 victory in pool 2 of the women’s event as Pathy Morier, Sofie Cox and Els Verhoeven secured straight sets wins in both singles rubbers and the doubles rubber of their tie against Sweden.