09/19/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/19/2021 07:08
Lithuania and Turkey secured their place in the Davis Cup by Rakuten World Group I play-offs in 2022 after completing resounding triumphs over Greece and Latvia, respectively, in their World Group II ties on Sunday.
The Lithuanians overcame Greece 3-1 in Heraklion and Turkey eased past Latvia 4-0 on home soil in Istanbul to follow the lead of Switzerland, Slovenia and Barbados, who also achieved dominant tie victories in their World Group II contests this weekend, and secure their safe passage through to the next stage of the competition.
The five nations will join Mexico and Poland who, back in March, claimed the first two spots into next February's play-offs. South Africa, who lead Venezuela 2-0 in their World Group II tie, can join them later today if they secure the all-important third point in New York.
Rimvydas Mugevicius' Lithuanian side were relatively untroubled by Greece, with Ricardas Berankis and Laurynas Grigelis easing past Petros Tsitsipas and Markos Kalovelonis 6-2 7-5 in Sunday's doubles.
The Lithuanians had laid the foundations for their team's success the day before, with their doubles win formalising their tie triumph following Berankis' victory over Tsitsipas and Grigelis' epic three-hour victory over Michail Pervolarakis on Saturday.
Altug Celikbilek and Cem Ilkel, who starred for Turkey in singles yesterday, picked up where they left off on Sunday, sealing victory for the home side after rallying back to defeat Ernests Gulbis and Robert Strombachs 2-6 6-3 6-4.
Ergi Kirkin put the gloss on the win, dropping just three games on his Davis Cup debut in a 6-1 6-2 win over Edgards Manusis that rounded off their 4-0 triumph.
The results of the higher-ranked World Group II nations mean that Tunisia, despite their 3-2 win over Dominican Republic, will play in the World Group II knock-outs in November rather than earning an automatic spot into the World Group I play-offs.