Tearney wins first singles rubber for NZ
New Zealand number two Finn Tearney has beaten Venezuelan number one Jordi Munoz in straight sets 6-4 6-4 in 1 hour 19 to win the first point for the hosts in the Davis Cup Group 1 playoff at Auckland’s ASB Tennis Arena.
Tearney weathered a storm in the latter stages of the first set after he had raced to a 5-2 lead. He dominated on serve and converted two of his four break point chances.
But Munoz rallied with a break back when Tearney was serving for the set and then held to put the pressure on the 29-year-old Kiwi.
But Tearney held his nerve and served out the set 6-4. He made a superb forehand cross court passing shot to break Munoz in the opening game of the second set.
Munoz broke back immediately for 2-2 on the back of a Tearney double fault. However, the 20-year-old Spanish based Venezuelan dropped serve in the very next game. Games went with serve for the remainder of the set although Tearney did face a break point in the 8th game and two while serving for the match in the 10th game.
The Venezuelan left hander is currently ranked 1234 on ATP Tour and Tearney although only very much a part time player these days (ranked 1018) has been as high as 356.
It was a special occasion for the New Zealanders, marking the 100th anniversary of the first Davis Cup tie to be held in NZ between Australasia and the United States.
Ajeet Rai plays the second singles rubber against Luis David Martinez.
The prize for the winner of the tie is a place in September’s World Group qualifying round against a losing team from this week’s qualifiers.