Bermuda suffer defeat in Davis Cup opener
Bermuda slumped to defeat in their opening Davis Cup Americas Group III clash with Costa Rica at the Club de Tenis La Paz in La Paz, Bolivia.
The Islands four-man squad lost the three match Group B round robin series 2-1 against their opponents who are ranked 44 places above them in the ITF Davis Cup rankings
The result enabled Costa Rica to improve their overall head-to-head record against Bermuda to 8-2.
Playing on red clay surface at high altitude, Gavin Manders gave Bermuda a dream start after getting past Pablo Nunez in a hard fought three setter.
In the opening set Manders found himself trailing 15-40 at 5-4 on serve but managed to hold to even the score at 5-5 before going on to beat his rival 7-1 in a tiebreaker and win the set 7-6.
A mental lapse by Bermudas top player allowed Nunez to come into the match and take the set 2-6.
However, Manders regained his intensity and continued to pressure his opponent before taking the third set 6-3 to clinch the match and improve his Davis Cup singles record to 8-5.
Manders victory brought Bermuda on the verge of a series win.
But they failed to capitalise after Jenson Bascome lost his singles match to Ignacio Roca 6-2, 6-4 that evened the series and set up a winner takes all doubles showdown.
Costa Rica then clinched the series after Manders and Bascome went down 6-2, 6-3 in their doubles match against Reifer and Roca.
Bermudas non playing captain Ricky Mallory said his players found the outcome hard to swallow.
The guys are really disappointed with the result because once we got into the matches the players, especially Jensen, realised that Costa Rica was definitely beatable, he told The Royal Gazette.
Mallory described playing conditions in Bolivia as challenging but made no excuses for his teams defeat.
The conditions are very hard here with the colder weather and high altitude ball which makes play a lot faster, he said. But both teams play under the same conditions, its just a matter of who adjusts the best and Costa Rica were able to make the necessary adjustments.
Bermuda will now look to bounce back when they face Panama in their second Group B fixture today.
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