Sat, Mar 05, 2011 - Page 20 News List

China on top in Davis Cup tie against Taiwan

By Tony Phillips  /  Staff Writer

Taiwan will need to win all three remaining matches in their Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group 1 first-round tie against China after a disastrous first day yesterday

In the first match at the Shanghai Xianxia Tennis Center, China’s Gong Mao-xin beat Yang Tsung-hua 5-7, 6-1, 7-6(5), 4-6, 8-6 in a five-set thriller.

Then Lu Yen-hsun suffered a shock defeat against Wu Di, a player ranked more than 300 places lower than the Taiwanese male No. 1.

Wu claimed the first set before Lu took the initiative by taking the next two sets fairly comfortably.

Wu had to win the remaining sets to stay in the match and duly did so to earn a 6-4, 3-6, 3-6, 7-5, 9-7 victory.

Taiwan’s Chen Ti and Yi Chu-huan must beat Gong and Zhe Li in today’s doubles and hope that Lu and Yang can triumph in tomorrow’s reverse singles.

One glimmer of hope for the Taiwanese is that Lu and Yang are both ranked higher than their prospective opponents, but, as Lu found out yesterday, upsets are not uncommon in the Davis Cup.

Should China win in Shanghai it will be their first Davis Cup triumph against Taiwan at the third time of asking.

The two countries last met in Taipei in 2007 when the hosts claimed a thrilling tie 3-2 following a victory by Jimmy Wang in the fifth and deciding rubber.

The winners of this weekend’s tie will face Australia in the second round in July.

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