Photo: Mathilde DusolViktoriia Lvova (RUS)
Spain and Switzerland will contest Wednesday’s men’s final at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup European Qualification, while Italy and Russia will meet in the women’s final in Antalya, Turkey.
The only one of the four semifinals to go to a deciding doubles rubber on Tuesday’s penultimate day of the competition saw third seed Italy beat top seed France 2-1 in the women’s event as all three matches went to three sets.
A thrilling contest began with Italy’s Stefania Galletti defeating Emiie Chene 26 61 64 before world No.16 Charlotte Famin and 18 Marianna Lauro produced another enthralling contest that culminated in Famin coming from a set down to prevail 46 61 63. However, Galletti and Silvia Morotti created the upset after clinching the doubles rubber against Chene and Famin 60 76(3).
The other semifinal produced something of an upset in the opening singles rubber as Russian 15-year-old Viktoriia Lvova defeated Switzerland’s former world No. 6 Karin Suter-Erath 63 46 61.
Thereafter, Ludmila Bubnova dropped just one game to Simona Rsunak to ensure Russia’s place in the final and partnered Lvova to win the doubles rubber 60 63.
Spain and Switzerland into men’s final
Top seed Spain and second seed Switzerland booked their places in the men’s final after winning both singles rubbers against Russia and Hungary respectively.
Switzerland’s semifinal came to an exciting conclusion despite the opening singles rubber ending in a comfortable 62 60 win over Raphael Gremion. With Laszlo Farkas needing to win the second singles rubber to take the contest to the doubles rubber, the experienced Hungarian claimed the opening set against Daniel Pellegrina, but world No. 48 Pellegrina battled back to clinch a final set tiebreak for a 57 64 76(3) win over his higher ranked opponent to give a Switzerland and overall 2-0 victory.
Spain’s Roberto Chamizo and Daniel Caverzaschi are no strangers to World Team Cup success after winning the junior title in 2011 and the duo won both singles rubbers against Artur Saitgareev and Yuriy Golovin in Spain’s 3-0 semifinal win over Russia. Chamizo had the more difficult task, edging out Saitgareev 63 75 but Caverzaschi wasted little time in beating Golovin 60 60 to give Spain an unassailable lead.
Play-offs produce exciting finishes
All of the first three sets of play-offs for the minor places in the men’s event were decided in doubles rubbers as Croatia edged past Israel 2-1, Romania defeated Ireland 2-1 and host nation Turkey beat Portugal 2-1.
Croatia will play Romania for fifth place on Wednesday’s last day of play In Antalya, with Ireland and Israel contesting seventh place and Turkey and Lithuania meeting to decide who finishes ninth. Portugal ends the qualification event in 11th place.
Turkey will play Poland for fifth place in the women’s event after Julide Yildiz, Busra Un and Aydemir gave the host nation a 3-0 win over Sweden. However, Poland’s first play-off contest against Belgium produced one of the day’s most exciting finishes as Agnieszka Wysocka and Lucyna Mietrkiewicz recovered from a set down to beat Sofie Cox and Els Verhoeven 46 62 (10-4) after a championship tiebreak, earning Poland a 2-1 victory.