30 Mar 2014

Spain and Hungary into men's semis in Antalya

Match Report

Roberto Chamizo (ESP)

Top seed Spain and Hungary ensured safe passage to the men’s semifinals on the second day of the BNP Paribas World Team Cup European Qualification in Antalya, Turkey, while Croatia and Romania set up crucial final round-robin pool ties and top seeds France and Russia maintained their unbeaten records in the women’s event.

Roberto Chamizo got Spain’s 3-0 win over Ireland underway in pool 4 of the men’s event after defeating Stafford Lynn 60 64 and Daniel Caverzaschi and Alvaro Illobre won the second singles rubber and the deciding doubles rubber without dropping a game against Ivor Jess and Gerry Milligan.

While Spain and Ireland are the only two countries in pool 4, pools 1, 2 and 3 all contain three countries and Croatia set up a deciding tie against second seed Switzerland in pool 1 after earning a 2-1 victory over host nation Turkey.

After Croatia’s Anto Joskic dropped just three games in the first singles rubber, Turan Akalin ensured the tie went to a deciding doubles rubber with a tense 26 76(8) 64 win over Drazen Miksic, but the combination of Joskic and Miksic claimed the doubles 62 76(8).

Romania faces a deciding tie against fourth seed Russia in pool 3 after a 2-1 victory over Portugal in the only one of the four men’s ties and four women’s ties on Sunday’s second day to end in a championship tiebreak in a deciding doubles rubber.

Anton Ciprian held off a tough challenge from Portugal’s Joao Sanona in the first singles to prevail 63 57 63, but Carlos Leitao kept Portuguese ambitions alive after securing the crucial points for a 64 64 win against Mihai Gaita. The doubles rubber proved even closer than the singles rubbers as Sanona and Leitao gave Portugal the lead before Ciprian and Gaita fought back for a 67(5) 62 10-5 victory.

Hungary made it two wins from two ties in pool 2 after a 2-1 win over Lithuania that started with Jan Vysoxkij giving Lithuania the early advantage. However, as he did in Hungary’s opening tie on Saturday, Laszlo Farkas won the second singles rubber comfortably before combining with Sandor Navratyil to win the deciding doubles rubber 63 61.

France and Russia stay unbeaten in women’s pools     

France and Russia made it two wins apiece in the women’s round-robin pools after earning 3-0 wins over Belgium and Turkey respectively, while Italy and Switzerland also registered 3-0 victories heading into Monday’s third day of ties.

Pauline Helouin and Charlotte Famin combined for top seed France as Helouin dropped just four games against Pathy Mortier in the first singles rubber against Belgium in pool 2. Famin won the second singles rubber 60 60 and Helouin and Famin dropped just four games in the doubles rubber.

Viktoriia Lvova, Ludmila Bubnova and Paulina Shakirova all played a part in Russia’s pool 1 victory over host nation Turkey, with 15-year-old world No. 2 ranked junior Lvova earning an opening 60 61 win over Julide Yildiz. Bubnova the most experienced of the Russian trio, put the tie beyond Turkey’s reach after dropping just three games to Busra Un and Lvova and 19-year-old Shakirova, a former world No. 1 ranked junior, claimed the doubles 60 63.  

After going to three sets in both Italy’s singles rubbers against Russia on the opening day of competition, Stefan Galletti and Marianna Lauro had a better time on Sunday against Poland, winning both singles and the doubles in straight sets. Italy and Turkey, both with one win apiece after the first two days, will now meet in their final round-robin tie in pool 1.

Meanwhile, former World Team Cup finalist Switzerland also won both singles rubbers and the doubles rubber against Sweden in straight sets and plays Belgium in their last pool 2 contest.