Mon, Jul 18, 2016 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan win in Manila to advance to final

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter

Britain’s Jamie Murray, right, watches Dominic Inglot hit a return to Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic and Nenad Zimonjic, not pictured, in their Davis Cup World Group quarter-final doubles rubber at the Tasmajdan Stadium in Belgrade, Serbia, on Saturday.

Photo: Reuters

Taiwan advanced to the final of Davis Cup Asia/Ocenia Group II yesterday after Chen Ti rallied from a set down to win the first reverse singles rubber and complete a 3-1 victory over the Philippines in Manila.

World No. 227 Chen fell a set down to Jeson Patrombon at the Philippine Columbian Association, but rallied to complete a 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-0, 6-1 victory in 2 hours, 50 minutes.

The Taiwanese saved nine of 17 break points and converted nine of 12, winning 119 of the 214 points contested against an opponent who served up seven double faults.

The victory handed Taiwan a 3-1 victory in the tie after Chen defeated Ruben Gonzales 6-2, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in Friday’s first singles rubber and Francis Casey Alcantara retired with world No. 529 Huang Liang-chi leading the second singles rubber 6-1, 3-6, 6-7 (4/7), 6-1, 1-0.

The Philippines cut the deficit on Saturday when Gonzales and doubles specialist Treat Huey rallied from a set down to defeat Hung Jui-chen and Wang Chieh-fu 6-7 (7/9), 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.

Yesterday’s dead second reverse singles rubber was not played.

Taiwan face Thailand in the final on Sept. 16 to Sept. 18 after the hosts completed a 5-0 semi-final whitewash of Vietnam at the National Tennis Development Center in Nonthaburi yesterday.

WORLD GROUP

AFP, PARIS

Defending champions Britain, Argentina and France gatecrashed their hosts’ Davis Cup parties to edge closer to the semi-finals on Saturday.

Britain, playing without Wimbledon champion and world No. 2 Andy Murray, took a 2-1 lead over 2010 winners Serbia in Belgrade.

In the second singles rubber, rescheduled from Friday due to heavy rain, Dusan Lajovic defeated James Ward 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 to pull the hosts, who are missing world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, level, but Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot then beat Filip Krajinovic and Nenad Zimonjic 6-1, 6-7 (2/7), 6-3, 6-4 in the doubles to move Britain to within one win of the last four.

Krajinovic had replaced Janko Tipsarevic, who was easily defeated by Kyle Edmund 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 in the first singles rubber on Friday.

Ward could win the tie in yesterday’s first reverse singles rubber against Tipsarevic, but if the Serb veteran won then it would come down to a deciding match between world No. 67 Edmund and Lajovic, the two teams’ highest-ranked players.

“Constant pressure is what makes the Davis Cup a great competition and I dealt with it pretty well,” world No. 81 Lajovic said. “If I reproduce this kind of performance against Edmund, I think I have a good chance of winning.”

The winners will face either Argentina or Italy in the semi-finals. Argentina are currently 2-1 in front in their last-eight tie in Pesaro, Italy.

Fabio Fognini had pulled Italy level by beating Juan Monaco 6-1, 6-1, 7-5 in a singles rubber held over from Friday because of rain.

“I played my worst two sets of the year,” said Monaco, back in the team after a two-and-a-half-year absence.

However, Juan Martin del Potro marked his first Davis Cup tie in four years by teaming up with Guido Pella to beat Fognini and Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 3-6, 6-4.

France were also enjoying their hosts’ hospitality by taking a 2-1 lead over 2012 and 2013 champions the Czech Republic in steel town Trinec.

Wimbledon champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert, ranked first and second in the world, beat Radek Stepanek and Lukas Rosol 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in just over three hours.

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