14 Apr 2018

Spain, Israel and Great Britain, Russia into finals

News Article

Photo: Angelo Leite Momentum PhotographyAdam Berdichevsky (ISR)

Top seed Spain and third seed Israel are through to Sunday’s men’s final at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup European Qualification in Vilamoura, Portugal, while top seed Great Britain and second seed Russia will meet in the crucial last round-robin tie in the women’s event.

The winners of the men’s and the women’s events on Sunday will qualify for the 2018 BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, due to take place on 20 May to 3 June.

Martin de la Puente and Daniel Caverzaschi booked Spain’s place in the men’s final after winning both of their semifnal singles rubbers against Croaitia.

World No.19 de la Puente wasted little time in giving Spain, winner of the European Qualification men’s event in 2014, the lead, as he sped past Drazen Miksic 60 60.

World No. 14 Daniel Caverzaschi also dominated his contest against Anto Joskic to win 61 60, while the Spanish duo also claimed the doubles rubber by the same score to completed Spain’s 3-0 victory.

The other men’s semifinal began with Israel’s world No. 98 Guy Sasson producing another fine performance to beat world No. 45 Giorgos Lazaridis 61 61. Stefanos Diamantis, world ranked No. 32, defeated Adam Berdichevsky 62 67(3) 63 to keep Greece in with a chance to reaching the final again.

However, Berdichevsky and Asi Stokol wrapped up a 2-1 victory by beating Diamantis and Lazaridis 62 75, reversing the outcome of the 2013 and 2016 European Qualification finals won by Greece.

Great Britain to face Russia in crucial women’s decider

Lauren Jones secured her first singles win of the week as Great Britain beat Belgium 3-0 in their third round-robin tie at Vilamoura Tennis Academy.

World No. 34 Jones beat Sofie Cox 62 61 before world No. 15 Louise Hunt claimed her third singles rubber of the week, defeating Els Verhoeven 75 61. Two-time Paralympic doubles bronze medallist Lucy Shuker later partnered Jones to secure a third 3-0 win for Great Britain in Vilamoura when they eased past Cox and Verhoeven 61 60.

Russia secured victory in the women’s event at the European Qualification in both 2014 and 2016 and Polina Shakirova gave Russia the ideal start against Austria, earning a 60 61 win over Christina Pseendorfer. World No. 21 Viktoriia Lvova then showed why she is Russian No.1 when beating Margrit Fink 61 75.

Ludmila Bubnova and Lvova took the doubles 61 62 as Russia also made it three 3-0 victories in Portugal this week.

The men’s play-offs for fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth places began with 2-1 wins for both Czech Republic and Switzerland.

After conflicting fortunes in their singles rubbers Raphael Gremion and Daniel Dalla Pellegrina combined to win Switzerland’s deciding doubles rubber against Hungary 63 61.

Meanwhile, Czech Republic’s Michal Stefanu and Petr Utikal engineered an impressive comeback to win a thrilling deciding doubles against Slovakia’s Marek Gergely and Tomas Masaryk 26 64 (10-4).

Germany and Turkey each won their two singles rubbers against Estonia and Romania, respectively, and will meet in the play-off for ninth place.