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Peru cruises into Davis Cup World Group playoffs

Peru’s Davis Cup tennis team is through to the World Group playoffs after building up an unassailable 3-0 lead against Mexico at the end of the second day in Playa Asia, a resort town about 100km south of Lima.

Luis Horna and Ivan Miranda won Saturday’s doubles match against Santiago Gonzalez/Antonio Ruiz-Rosales with a dramatic 3-set victory, all of them decided by tiebreakers: 7:6 (6-1), 7:6 (6-3), 7:6 (6-1).

Especially Miranda and Gonzalez had to mobilize their last reserves. Just hours earlier on Saturday morning both players had to resume their singles match which was suspended in the fourth set Friday night due to darkness. At the time Miranda was in front 6:4, 3:6, 6:1 and 5:5, but Gonzalez came out the gate quicker, broke Miranda’s serve and won the set 7:5.

However, Miranda ultimately prevailed in the 5th, beating Gonzalez 8:6 and scored the very important second victory for Peru.

In the first match on Friday, Peru’s Luis Horna beat Mexico’s Daniel Garza 3-1 in a 120-minute match with sets of 6-4, 7-6, 2-6 and 6-3. In the middle of the third set, Horna suffered serious cramps but recovered and sealed the first point for Peru.

Seven nations: Peru, Japan, Korea, Great Britain, Israel, Slovak Republic and Serbia have booked their places in Wednesday’s World Group play-off draw, after winning their respective Group I second round ties with a day to spare.

These seven nations all established unassailable 3-0 leads after winning Saturday’s doubles rubbers. They will be joined by the eight losers from February’s World Group first round ties: Chile, Romania, Croatia, Australia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Belarus and Austria, as well as the winner of the Brazil v Canada tie in Americas Zone Group I second round.

The draw for the eight ties will take place on Wednesday, April 11. Eight nations will be seeded according to the new ITF Davis Cup Nations Rankings which will be published on Tuesday 10 April.

The World Group play-off ties will take place on 21-23 September, the same weekend as the World Group semifinals. As of Saturday, Germany, USA, and Sweden have already secured their spot for this year’s semis with deciding 3:0 victories, while the encounter between Russia and France (2:1 after today’s doubles match) will be decided tomorrow.

Wolfy Becker

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