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Rediff.com  » Sports » Chile, Croatia secure World Group berths

Chile, Croatia secure World Group berths

September 22, 2008 13:57 IST

Chile, Austria, Croatia, Israel, Romania and the Netherlands secured places in the World Group of the Davis Cup for 2009 after completing playoff victories in the reverse singles on Sunday.

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Australia, champions 28 times but without the injured Lleyton Hewitt, will remain in the Asia/Oceania group after losing in Chile.

Olympic silver medallist Fernando Gonzalez beat Chris Guccione 7-6, 7-5, 6-3 to secure an unassailable 3-1 lead and take Chile back to the World Group following their relegation last year.

Austria beat Britain 3-2 on the grass of Wimbledon as world number four Andy Murray's victory over Austrian number one Juergen Melzer to level at 2-2 proved to be in vain.

Alex Bogdanovic, who has lost seven consecutive first-round matches at Wimbledon and had not won a "live" Davis Cup rubber in five previous attempts, repeated his performance from Friday when he started well then fell away badly.

He took the first set against Alexander Peya but went down 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 after yet another mental collapse to leave the Austrians in the top flight.

Dudi Sela defeated Luis Horna of Peru 6-7, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 to send Israel through while Romanian number one Victor Hanescu defeated India counterpart Prakash Amritraj in straight sets in the first reverse singles in Bucharest to see the hosts home.

The Netherlands eventually prevailed in the fifth rubber after Lee Hyung-taik came back from a poor start to beat Jesse Huta Galung 1-6, 6-1, 7-6, 6-2 to level at 2-2.

Thiemo de Bakker made no mistake in the decider though, thumping Jun Woong-sun 6-2, 6-1, 6-3.

Switzerland and Serbia had already qualified after Saturday's doubles.

Source:
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