Egypt have lost their Davis Cup Group II first round tie to Cyprus 3-2. Following the first day, when both nations were tied at 1-1, Egyptian duo, Karim Maamoun and Sherif Sabry lost the doubles rubber on Saturday 7-6, 7-5, 6-1, to Marcos Baghdatis and Photos Kallias.
The third and final day of the tie saw a switch in the line up from the Egyptian side as Egypt team captain Mostafa Naim Dalam opted for playing Mohamed Safwat instead of Karim Maamoun in the 4th rubber against Baghdatis. The 19-year-old was crushed by Baghdatis 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 which gave the Cypriots an unassailable 3-1 lead.
Egypt number 2, Sabry, won the dead rubber against Christopher Koutrouzas to give Egypt a consolation point with a thrashing 6-1, 6-0 victory.
Egypt will now have to play some play-off matches to ensure they stay in Group II and avoid relegation.
All in all, I think Egypt put up a decent fight. The doubles rubber was crucial and the scoreline shows that the first 2 sets were pretty tight. Baghdatis is back playing in lethal form this year and it was a tough task for the North Africans.
Cyrpus will now play Portugal in the second round.