Victor Estrella wins Dustin Brown in Davis Cup
SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: It took Philipp Kohlschreiber very little time to insert Germany into the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-off tie when he arrived on court to play the second rubber on Friday.
The world No. 34 Kohlschreiber dampened the spirits of the crowd in Santa Domingo when he evened the score to 1-1 with a swift 61 63 61 win over No. 200 Jose Hernandez-Fernandez of the Dominican Republic.
“I’m very happy, of course,” said Kohlschreiber, smiling. “I think it was a very solid performance. Nothing big and nothing special.”
The home team delighted fans in the opener by taking the first advantage in this Davis Cup weekend when Victor Estrella lifted the Dominican Republic to a 1-0 lead over Germany.
The world No. 57 Estrella scored a hard fought 64 57 76 (3) 76 (5) win over No. 86 Dustin Brown in broiling tropical heat typical of a Caribbean nation in September.
“It was a very close match, really,” Estrella said. “I knew there was a possibility that it could change who I play. I had to get focused because Benjamin is very different than Dustin. But we are professionals so I had two hours to focus on the match.”
The children in attendance had little concern for the heat of the day as they yelled and jumped for joy when Estrella pulled off the four-set victory in 3 hours, 6 minutes.
For the Dominican Republic, playing with the high stakes of entering the World Group for the first time in the country’s 27-year Davis Cup history, just knowing the tie will be live on Sunday is a first hurdle in a weekend filled with possibilities.
But it was clear that the Germans understood that as three-time former Davis Cup champions they have much more on the line in the desire for a positive outcome.
“I think in general we have more pressure tennis-wise because we are the bigger, more experienced nation,” Kohlschreiber said. “For us, it’s more important to stay in the World Group.”
Kohlschreiber was confident from the minute he stepped on court for the one hour, 31 minute encounter against Hernandez.
“Right from the beginning he started putting the pressure on,” Hernandez said. “He was trying to put his ranking on top in the game. Everything happened way too fast. That’s part of not playing at that level because right now I’m on the Challenger level.”
In the end, Kohlschreiber surrendered one service game in the third set, keeping him from posting a perfect serving record in the rubber.
Kohlschreiber, who posted 22 winners to only six unforced errors, scored on eight of 15 break points Hernandez provided. The German broke serve three times in the first set, one time in the second set and four times in the third set.
Brown was a last-minute substitution for the scheduled Benjamin Becker, who fell ill with a stomach problem. Brown found out about two hours before the match that he would be playing.
“I tried to play as best as possible,” said Brown, who said that the heat proved to be a factor in the match. “The situation wasn’t the best very easy for both of us and that made it very difficult. It was a difficult and tough match that made it very stressful.”
In the first set, Estrella broke serve in the third game when Brown double-faulted at 15-40 and held onto the lead throughout the remainder of the set.
Brown, finally settling into the match, retaliated in the second set by breaking Estrella’s serve in the final game at 30-40 off of a forehand return winner.
In the third set, Estrella squandered an initial 4-2 lead by letting Brown recoup the service break in the eighth game.
The third set tiebreaker was on serve at 2-1 when Brown fell apart, double faulting twice in a row to allow Estrella a 4-1 lead. Serving at 63 with a first set point, Estrella captured the third set when Brown hit a backhand crosscourt way out.
After exchanging early service breaks in the fourth set, the set went down to the wire.
Estrella had his first match point on serve at 6-2 in the fourth set tiebreaker but would need four in total before seeing a Brown forehand sail long to put the Dominican Republic ahead.
German captain Michael Kohlmann said he believes Becker will be ready for action as the tie moves forward to the final two days of play.
The slate for Saturday’s doubles pits Brown and doubles specialist Philipp Petzschner for Germany against Roberto Cid and Jose Olivares for the hosts.
Sep 18, 2015
Category: DR News |