Mon, Sep 19, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Taiwan win in Manila, relegate the hosts

AFP and Reuters, MANILA, TOKYO, SYDNEY and PARIS

Japan’s Kei Nishikori stretches for a return against Vishnu Vardhan of India in their Davis Cup World Group playoff in Tokyo, Japan, yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Taiwan defeated the Philippines 3-2 in Manila yesterday to relegate the hosts from Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I.

Taiwan’s Chen Ti won the winning rubber, beating Treat Huey 6-3, 7-6 (7/2), 6-2 in the reverse singles. Jeson Patrombon grabbed a consolation victory for the Philippines when he defeated Jimmy Wang 1-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Taiwan had started the final day of three with a 2-1 lead after doubles pairing Jimmy Wang and Yi Chu-huan beat Ruben Gonzales and Jeson Patrombon 3-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, 8-6 on Saturday.

The opening singles matches were also shared on Friday.

In Tokyo, Japan stormed back into the Davis Cup World Group for the first time in nearly three decades after Kei Nishikori defeated Vishnu Vardhan to give the hosts an insurmountable lead over India.

Nishikori, ranked 55th in the world against Vardhan’s 456th, coasted to a straightforward 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 victory to put the tie beyond doubt at 3-1.

In the last, dead rubber, Rohan Bopanna quit the match at 5-4 up in the first set to give Go Soeda a win and Japan a 4-1 overall scoreline.

Japan, who had only three wins and 18 defeats against India previously, have not played in the World Group since 1985. They advanced to the playoff by beating Uzbekistan 4-1 in July.

In Sydney, Australia and Switzerland will have to wait today to complete their battle for promotion to the World Group after the deciding rubber between Lleyton Hewitt and Stanislas Wawrinka was suspended because of poor light.

The Swiss was leading Hewitt 4-6, 6-4, 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 5-3 in the deciding set when the umpire suspended play with the Australian to serve.

Wawrinka, who went down to Bernard Tomic in the opening rubber and often struggles on grass, showed good spirit to fight back against the experienced Hewitt after losing the first and third sets.

Earlier, world No. 3 Roger Federer leveled the tie at 2-2 with a 6-2, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 win over teenager Tomic.

On Saturday, defending champions Serbia and France stayed alive in their Davis Cup semi-finals when they both won their decisive doubles rubbers.

In Belgrade, Viktor Troicki and Nenad Zimonjic defeated Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Chela and Juan Monaco 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 6-2 to trail 2-1 overall, while in Cordoba, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra earned France their first point by beating Spanish duo Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco 6-1, 6-2, 6-0.

After world No. 1 Novak Djokovic pulled out of the opening singles rubber on Friday, Serbia slumped to 2-0 down overnight. Djokovic was suffering from fatigue as well as a back injury picked up in his US Open final win over Rafael Nadal on Monday.

World No. 74 David Nalbandian took full advantage of Djokovic’s absence on Friday to see off Troicki, who won the decisive leg of last year’s final against France, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Juan Martin del Potro then eased past Janko Tipsarevic 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 to give Argentina, who have never won the Davis Cup, a 2-0 lead.

However, on Saturday Troicki and Zimonjic took a tense tiebreak and then battled back from 4-1 down in the second set, winning five games in succession, roared on by a 15,000-strong crowd.

“There was so much energy out there,” said Serbia captain Bogdan Obradovic, adding that Djokovic would be fit to compete in the reverse singles.

“It was a must-win situation for us, we were definitely under pressure and we played really well under the circumstances,” Zimonjic said.

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