Davis Cup

09/19/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/18/2021 19:01

Peru punch above weight to reach November's Knock-outs

Juan Pablo Varillas and Nicolas Alvarez scored a memorable victory for Peruvian tennis as they overcame Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-2 to advance to the World Group I Knock-outs in November.

With just one player ranked inside the Top 300, Peru have managed to put themselves one win away from reaching the Davis Cup Qualifiers next year - from where they could even make it through to the 2022 Davis Cup Finals.

Sunday started 1-1 after both No. 1s had won on a gruelling opening day that saw both singles matches extend past the two-hour mark at the Club Lawn Tennis de la Exposicion in Lima.

And it was the visitors who took the first point of the day in the doubles as Mirza Basic and Tomislav Brkic defeated Sergio Galdos and Jorge Brian Panta 7-5 6-2 in an hour and 27 minutes.

Peru's No. 1 Juan Pablo Varillas, who represented his country at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer, is only ranked four places higher than Bosnia and Herzegovina's Damir Dzumhur but he outclassed his opponent from the off, storming to a comprehensive 6-1 6-3 victory in an hour and five minutes to level the score in the tie once again.

And so the stage was set. A decisive fifth match between Nicolas Alvarez, who had pushed Dzumhur to a third set on the opening day, and Nerman Fatic, who had been brought in as a fresh pair of legs to replace Basic.

And it was Fatic who started more brightly, winning eight points in a row at the start of the match to break his opponent to love.

But Alvarez was by no means going to go down without a fight. The Peruvian reeled off four games in a row to take a 4-2 lead in the first set before failing to serve for the opener at 5-4. A tie-break would dictate the opening set and it was the Peruvian who came out on top.

In the second set, the players exchanged breaks in the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth games - including when Alvarez was serving for the match at 5-3 up.

An epic final game of the match saw Alvarez finally clinch it at the second time of asking to close out a memorable encounter 7-6(4) 6-4 in two hours and five minutes.

Peru will find out its opponent in the Knock-outs when the draw takes place on Wednesday next week. Bosnia and Herzegovina will next compete in the World Group I Play-offs in February 2022.