After 16 years, the Davis Cup returned to the historical Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis from Buenos Aires to receive the series between Argentina and Belarus. In order to stay in the World Group -What was previously considered Repechage-, the team that has Gastón Gaudio as captain faces a European team that arrived in the country with a youth squad due to the absence of its best players. However, the Europeans managed to strike at the start of the day: Diego Schwartzman, number 15 of the planet, fell 6-4 and 6-3 before Daniil Ostapenkov, an 18-year-old tennis player without a professional ranking.
The young Belarusian surprised from the outset by taking the lead in the game and breaking Peque’s service four times in the first chapter. With 1.91 meters tall, the European stomped in the key game to close the sleeve 6-4 and put pressure on number 15 of the planet in his own home.
Ostapenkov He was able to transfer his impressive level to the second set, where he broke the Argentine’s service twice in a row to stand 4-0. The breath of the public began to descend from the stands in search of an urgent reaction from the Argentine, that he could not make his footing in the first game of the series. Although he stepped on the accelerator and pressed the visitor, Daniil knew how to handle the great advantage he had achieved to close the duel with a resounding 6-3.
“It’s a bit difficult to prepare for a game like this because you search the internet and you can’t find anything. The only negative is that it takes a few minutes or more games to understand how the opponent plays and get into the rhythm. The conditions and the place favor us, what one has to do is play in the best way and hope that the rival feels uncomfortable, no matter what he does next, ”Schwartzman had declared after the draw.
It is worth remembering that in March 2020, before the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic that impacted the entire world, the albiceleste team fell with Colombia and he could not reach the Davis Cup finals to be played, as happened in the debut of the new format in 2019, at the Caja Mágica in Madrid, Spain. This is why now those led by the former Roland Garros champion must win and wait for their next rival to compete only in the first months of 2022.
The Belarusian captain Alexander Vasilevsky he had to appeal to youth tennis players in the face of the casualties of his best rackets. Ilya Ivashka (53º), Egor Gerasimov (82º) and the doubles player Andrei Vasilevsky (85th in the specialty) did not join the team. In this way, the visiting group at the BALT is made up of Alexander Zgirovsky (20 years old, 1233rd in singles), Martin Borisiouk (21 years old, 1408th singles and 949th in doubles) and two juniors without ATP ranking, such as Erik Arutiunian (16 years old, 42nd among juniors) and Daniil Ostapenkov (18 years old, 63rd).
The second singles of the series between Argentines and Belarusians had as protagonists Guido Pella and Erik Arutiunian with a 6-1 and 6-2 victory for the locals. So far in 2021, the 16-year-old has won 30 games and lost 11 among juniors. On the surface to be played over the weekend, brick dust, his record is 9-5.
The action between Argentina and Belarus will continue this Sunday with the duels that the Zeballos-González duo will play against Martin Borisiouk and Alexander Zgirovsky, 21 and 20 years old, respectively, from 11. In the event that the series is not defined in the first three points, and if necessary, Peque will play the fourth point against Arutiunian while the fifth will remain in the hands of Pella and Ostapenkov, unless the captains decide to change the singlists.
Argentina vs Belarus – Davis Cup World Group
Match N ° 1: Diego Schwartzman 0-2 Daniil Ostapenkov (4-6 y 3-6)
Match N ° 2: Guido Pella 2-0 Erik Arutiunian (6-1 and 6-2)
Match N ° 3: Horacio Zeballos and Máximo González vs. Martin Borisiouk and Alexander Zgirovsky
* Match N ° 4: Diego Schwartzman vs Erik Arutiunian
* Match N ° 5: Guido Pella vs Daniil Ostapenkov
* If necessary. They can change the members of the singles