Sunday, March 6, 2011
Davis Cup Wrap: Tunisia, Morocco lose despite Jaziri & Amrani efforts
Thirteen sets of valiant effort from Tunisia's Malek Al Jaziri were not enough to beat Great Britain in the Davis Cup Group II tie in Bolton.
The tie was left at 2-1 for the Brits after 3 rubbers and despite the 111 ranking spots that separate Jaziri from his higher-ranked opponent James Ward, it was obvious that this match-up was tough to call, considering Jaziri's level in the 2 previous matches he contested.
As expected the match was really tight and Jaziri, who was playing for the 3rd straight day and had played 8 sets already heading into Sunday's match, came really close to keeping Tunisia's hopes alive in the tie.
The 27-year-old was up 4-2 in the 5th set against Ward but exhaustion caught up with him and he eventually lost the match 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 8-6 giving Great Britain an unassailable 3-1 lead in the tie.
Slim Hamza lost the dead rubber to Jamie Baker 6-1, 6-4 and Great Britain advance to play Luxembourg at home in July a week after Wimbledon.
Meanwhile in Marrakech, the tie between Morocco and Bosnia-Herzegovina heated up when Reda El Amrani held his nerve and won the 4th rubber for Morocco by beating Aldin Setkic 6-2, 7-6(4), 6-4, to level the tie at 2-2.
Bosnia's talented Amer Delic, a former NCAA champion who up till last year represented the United States in tennis, was up against Talal Ouahabi in the deciding rubber.
Delic who was ranked as high as 60 in the world back in 2007 was forced out of the game for almost a year due to injury and is now making his comeback playing for his home country.
33-year-old Ouahabi, a former top-400 player but currently ranked outside the top 1000, unfortunately failed to seal the deal for Morocco against Delic, who pulled off his 2nd win playing for his country with a 1-6, 3-6, 6-4, 1-6 victory to earn a spot against Estonia in the 2nd round.