Davis Cup: Lithuania leads 2-0 against Norway while Latvia inferior 0-2 to Slovakia


[notice noticeType=”info” ]Laurynas Grigelis | LRT Photo[/notice]

Davis Cup started yesterday (Friday, January 31st) with a success to the Lithuania’s team. Ričardas Berankis and Laurynas Grigelis opened the first day of three with a victories over the Norwegian team in Oslo. Latvia fought hard but lost in the first two matches to Slovakia

Lithuania, that is playing in Europe/ Africa Zone Group II started the meeting with Norway in a positive way. The first to play was the 22-year-old Laurynas Grigelis who is taking the 242nd place in the world and played against the 19-year-old Joachim Bjerke whoe’s ATP rank is 938. The first set of the match went to the tie brake where the Norwegian surprised Grigelis and won 7-4 in the tie break in order to give 1-0 lead in sets to Norway.

During the second set, Grigelis took the control over the match and won the second set 6-3 and equalized the score to 1-1. The momentum continued to be with the Lithuanian who won the third set with 6-3, and the fourth with 6-2 in order to give 1-0 lead to Lithuania in the meeting against Norway.

The second Lithuanian to play was the first Lithuanian racquet and world number 150, Ričardas Berankis. The 23-year-old Lithuanian won by straight sets 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 against the 16-year-old Viktor Darusovič who is taking the 1296 place in the ATP race and gave to Lithuania 2-0 lead.

“It is nice to come back to play for my country. I have a really nice week with my teammates. I’m not felling 100% physically but it is normal because I didn’t recover from the injury yet. I had a tough single match, I didn’t play well but important is the victory!!! Ričiardas won he’s single match too, and I’m happy for him and for the team” said Laurynas Grigelis to Baltic-Review.

The next match between Lithuania and Norway will be today, (Suturday, February 1st), when Grigelis and Berankis will play the double matches against the 32-year-old Stian Boretti who has not any rank in the world and Viktor Darusevič. The match will start at 14:00 Vilnius time.

While Lithuania had a good start, Latvia, that is playing in Group I in Europe / Africa zone, struggled against the Slovak Republic. The first Latvian tennis player Ernest Gulbis, who is ranked at the 23rd position in the world did not take part in the meeting. Therefore, the first two players in the Latvian team are Andis Juška and Martinš Pudžus.

The meeting that is taking place in the national tennis center in Bratislava, Slovakia opened when the 19-year-old Martinš Podžuš who is ranked at the 650th place in the world face world number 101, the 26-year-old Lukas Lacko. Podžus gave a fight but it was not enough against the more experienced Slovakian who won in four sets 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-1.

The next match met the 28-year-old Andis Juška who is ranked at the 569th place in the world and the 24-year-old Martin Klizan who’s ATP rank is 91. The match that the Slovakian hoped to be easy was hard five sets battle. At the end, Klizan who is younger but more experienced than Juška, won 6-4, 6-7, 6-3, 4-6, 8-6 and secured 2-0 advantage to Slovakia.

Today, according to the Davis Cup traditions the doubles match will take place when the 19-year-old Janis Podšus and the 16-year-old Arturs Lazdins will present Latvia against Martin Klizan and the 34-year-old Michael Mertinak.

Aleksejus Podpruginas
Aleksejus Podpruginas is The Baltic Review author based in Israel

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