Manders earns memorable win in Davis Cup match
Tennis ace Gavin Manders captured a second singles win at the Davis Cup Americas Zone Group III in Bolivia yesterday.
The Island’s most successful Davis Cup player dug deep to come away with a hard fought 7-6, 5-7, 7-6 victory in a gruelling three-hour long Group B match with Honduran Alejandro Obando on the clay surface at the Club de Tenis La Paz.
The impressive result improved Manders’ overall Davis Cup singles record to 10-7.
Manders rallied from being down four set points to force a tie-breaker in the opening set which he won 7-3 to take the early lead in the match.
But Obando came storming back in the second set, unleashing some excellent ground strokes to break his Bermudian rival and go on and win the set and even the match.
Manders broke Obando‘s serve early in the third set to take a 2-1 lead only to see his rival return the favour in the next game.
At 5-3 up Manders appeared to be in control. But he double faulted twice while serving for the match to allow Obando a way back in the tie
Both players then held serve to make it 6-6 and force the another tie-breaker which Manders rallied from 3-2 down to win 7-4 to take the set and the match.
“This was definitely my hardest match I’ve ever played at Davis Cup and the longest match in Bermuda Davis Cup history,” Manders said. “To play this type of match after just recovering from my (road) accident really means a lot to me.
“This match is big for Bermuda and I would like to thank Ricky (Bermuda captain and coach Ricky Mallory) and the for their support during the match.”
Mallory added: “Sitting in the captain’s seat watching Gavin give his heart and soul into the match made me very proud of him also proud to be a part of this Bermuda team.”
Earlier this week Manders got past Costa Rican Pablo Nunez 7-6 (1), 2-6, 6-3 to get his tournament off to a winning start.
Manders’ team-mate Na’im Azhar also savoured victory in singles play, defeating Panama’s Jose Gomez 6-7 (4), 6-7 (7) to celebrate a maiden Davis Cup win at the fourth attempt.
The outcome of Bermuda’s remaining matches with Honduras yesterday were not available at press time.
Jensen Bascome was due to face Keny Turcios in singles while Manders and Philip Cooper were scheduled to meet Ricardo Pindea and Turcios in doubles.
Bermuda’s hopes of promotion to Americas Zone Group II were dashed earlier this week following successive losses to Costa Rica (2-1), Bahamas (3-0) and Panama (2-1).