Photo: ITFCroatia's men's team
Men’s top seeds Switzerland opened their challenge with a comfortable victory on Saturday’s second day of the BNP Paribas World Team Cup European Qualification event, while second seeds Croatia recorded their second successive victory and host nation Turkey registered their first victory after a marathon doubles rubber in Antalya.
Meanwhile, another fascinating day in the women’s round-robin pool ties ended with victories for the top four seeds, Spain, Turkey, Switzerland and Russia.
Switzerland made confident start to men’s event
After finishing runners-up in the 2012 BNP Paribas World Team Cup, Switzerland made a confident start in their bid to earn qualification for World Group 2 this year after beating Lithuania.
Thomas Von Daeniken, Daniel Pellegrina and Christophe Vouillamoz dropped a total of just five games throughout their two singles rubbers and doubles rubber to top their pool ahead of Lithaunia.
For the second successive day, all of the men’s pool matches ended 3-0. After Croatia beat Israel on the opening day, both nations were victorious on the second day in their pool of four nations.
Drazen Miksic gave Croatia the lead against Russia before Anto Miksic put the tie beyond doubt after defeating Yuriy Golovin 76(3) 62. Meanwhile, Amir Levi beat Christian Illum 61 61 and Asaaf Stokol eased past Christoffer Holmer 62 62 en route to third seeds Israel’s win over Denmark.
After losing out to fourth seeds Greece on the opening day of play, host nation Turkey joined Greece on a win apiece in their pool at the end of the second day.
Turkey gave Ireland a tough reintroduction to BNP Paribas World Team Cup competition as Ireland played their first World Team Cup tie since 2002. Ismael Canturk and Turan Akalin secured the tie for Turkey after the singles rubber, but the two-man Irish team of Ivor Jess and Stafford Lynn provided stiff opposition in the doubles rubber before Muharrem Cakmak and Akalin finally clinched a marathon contest 36 63 (15-13) in a match tiebreak.
Women’s ties continue to provide excitement
After an exciting first day in the women’s event, there were no deciding doubles matches on the second day of pool ties, but there was still plenty of drama, with close matches in all four contests.
Top seeds Spain and fifth seeds Austria always looked like providing an enthralling tie and so it proved as Elena Jacinto clinched an opening 61 46 62 victory over Margrit Fink. Lola Ochoa put the tie beyond doubt after edging out Henriett Koosz 64 64, while Jacinto and Ochoa sealed the doubles rubber against Fink and Koosz by the same score to leave Spain with two wins in two days.
In the same pool as Spain junior world No. 3 Polina Shakirova claimed a 75 76(3) win over Malene Olesen to give Russia an unassailable lead against Denmark.
Host nation Turkey clinched their second win in successive days after a 2-1 victory over Israel, with Israel winning the dead doubles rubber. Ebru Bulgurcu claimed her first win from two matches after defeating Israel’s Veronika Zvik 63 61, but Busra Un had battle back from a set down before putting the tie beyond doubt after she edged past Inna Mashkovsky 26 62 64. However, Mashkovsky and Zvik paired up to win a deciding match tie break in the doubles, beating Nese Addemir and Julide Yildiz 63 46 (10-2)
After losing out to Turkey in a deciding doubles rubber on Friday’s first day of play in Antalya, third seeds Switzerland had to win two three set matches to claim their 3-0 victory over Ukraine. Gabriela Buehler’s tense 75 46 75 win over Olena Shyngaryova proved decisive for Switzerland in the second singles rubber, while Buehler and Simona Rusnak again just had the upper hand as they held off Olena Grabovskaya and Shyngaryova 63 46 (10-7) to clinch the doubles rubber.