Italy through to Davis Cup quarters, 3-0 up vs. Switzerland
PESARO, Italy (AP) — Italy eased into the Davis Cup quarterfinals with an insurmountable 3-0 lead against Switzerland after Simone Bolelli and Andreas Seppi beat Marco Chiudinelli and Henri Laaksonen in straight sets on Saturday.
The duo won 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 in less than two hours on the indoor clay court to help Italy reach its third quarterfinal in four years and preserve its seven-year unbeaten home record.
“We had a solid doubles match with few errors,” Seppi said. “We have been doing well in the past few years and now we are looking to go further ahead.”
Italy next plays Poland or Argentina, which leads 2-1 in Gdansk.
Potential debutant Marco Cecchinato was originally named to partner Bolelli but after watching his team fight for a 2-0 lead on a grueling opening day, Italy captain Corrado Barazzutti opted for the in-form pairing which won a tournament in Dubai only a week ago.
“This is a strong team with a group of players who know how to play on all surfaces,” Barazzutti said. “And at home, on clay, we can annoy anyone.”
Swiss pair Chiudinelli and Laaksonen played nearly eight hours of tennis between them on Friday, and it showed as the doubles went on.
“We played a great doubles match, we were solid right from the start, maybe they were a bit tired after Friday’s two singles,” Bolelli said. “They were two tough days but we are really happy.”
Italy secured the first break of the match in the sixth game of the opening set, as Laaksonen double-faulted and then sent a forehand long.
The Swiss hadn’t looked remotely threatening and it got worse for them in a one-sided second set, in which Italy secured three breaks of serve — one off Laaksonen’s delivery, two from Chiudinelli’s.
Italy won seven games in a row and broke in the sixth game of the third set. The crucial break came with a bit of fortune from a Bolelli netcord.
Bolelli saved a break point with an ace in the following game, then a Seppi smash sealed the win on the second of three match points.