Following a closely contested Zone Group I in the competition on 7-9 April, the eight nations eligible to take part in September’s Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-offs have been decided.
Kazakhstan, Hungary, India, , Belarus, Portugal, Netherlands, Brazil and Colombia will take part in the World Group play-offs on 15-17 September, with the draw set to take place at the ITF Offices in London at 10:00am local time (09:00 GMT) on Tuesday 11 April.
Portugal earned a landmark place in the World Group play-offs for just the second time in its history ,and the first time since 1994 , after defeating Ukraine 4-1 in their Europe/Africa Zone Group I tie in Lisbon.
Two singles victories for world No. 37 Joao Sousa and an opening rubber triumph for Gastao Elias made the difference for Nuno Marques’ side, who will bid to reach the Davis Cup’s top tier for the first time in September.
After missing out last year, Netherlands will contest the World Group play-offs after Robin Haase defeated Damir Dzumhur in five sets to seal a 3-1 triumph for the Dutch on away soil in Zenica, while Belarus emulated the success of its Fed Cup team by springing a surprise in a 3-1 win over Austria in Minsk.
Their victory, against an Austrian side bursting with experience with the likes of Jurgen Melzer and doubles specialist Alexander Peya in their ranks, sees Belarus take up a place in the World Group play-offs for the first time in a decade.
Meanwhile, Kazakhstan and India won their Asia/Oceania Zone Group II second round ties after defeating China P.R. and Uzbekistan 4-1 respectively. It’s an immediate return to the World Group play-offs for Kazakhstan, whose six-year stay in the World Group came to an end last year when they fell to Russia in September’s ties.
India reached its fourth consecutive World Group play-off after easing past an Uzbekistan side missing its stalwart Denis Istomin on home soil in Bangalore.
In Americas Zone Group I, Brazil ensured it will contest the World Group play-offs for a remarkable 12th straight year after whitewashing Ecuador in Ambato.
Thomaz Bellucci endured a tough start to the tie for the visitors, having to battle past Emilio Gomez in five sets in the opening game, but it was largely one way traffic for Brazil from there on as Thiago Monteiro won the second game and Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares combined to wrap up the tie in the doubles.
The last nation to reach the World Group play-offs was Colombia after Santiago Giraldo fended off a stubborn Christian Garin to seal a 3-1 victory over Chile in Medellin. Giraldo won 67(10) 63 63 67(7) 63 in an epic fourth rubber encounter, that was briefly interrupted by rain in the fourth set, to send the hosts into the World Group play-offs for the fourth time in five years.