Brazil is once again behind Germany in the confrontation for the qualifying phase of the Davis Cup World Group, the main team tournament in men’s tennis. This Saturday (5), at the Barra da Tijuca Olympic Park, west of Rio de Janeiro, Bruno Soares from Minas Gerais and Felipe Meligeni from São Paulo were surpassed by the partnership between Kevin Krawietz and Tim Pütz by two sets to one, with partials of 4 /6, 7/6 (7/4) and 6/4, in two hours and 22 minutes of play.
The Germans opened up two to one in the duel, played in a best of five matches (four singles and one doubles) and are one triumph away from the group stage of the competition, in September, which will bring together 16 countries, with eight pre-qualified. . The Brazilians will have to win the next two games to turn the confrontation around. The last time Brazil advanced in the World Group was in 2001, with Gustavo Kuerten and Fernando Meligeni (Felipe’s uncle) in the team.
The next game of the confrontation brings together the best-placed athletes from Brazil and Germany in the ranking of the Professional Tennis Association (ATP): Thiago Monteiro (114th) and Alexander Zverev (third). Then, Thiago Wild (216th) faces Jan-Lennard Struff (60th) in the match that ends the duel.
Felipe’s lineup (92nd in the world in doubles) for the confrontation by captain Jaime Oncins surprised, because, normally, Bruno’s partner (19th) at Davis is Marcelo Melo (43rd). The paulista, however, is having a better moment, recently winning the ATP 250 title in Santiago (Chile) with Rafael Matos (440th). Favoritism, however, was on the German side, as Pütz is 12th in the rankings and Krawietz is 14th.
The first set started balanced, with Felipe releasing his arm and dictating the rhythm of the Brazilian partnership. In the ninth game, a return from Bruno, on the line, broke the German service. The European duo tried to react in the sequence, led by Krawietz, but did not take advantage of the two break points they had. Better for hosts, who closed the split at 6/4 after 43 minutes.
The Brazilians tried to maintain the aggressive rhythm in the second set, but made more unforced mistakes than in the first. In the third game, the Germans again had break points in their favor, but failed to receive Bruno’s serves, raising the crowd. It was the only real chance of breakage in the partial, which lasted 57 minutes and was decided in the tie-break. Krawietz and Pütz managed to vary the blows better and won by 7/4, tying the match.
The third set started open, with the pairs oscillating and having to save break points. In the fifth game, a ball in Felipe’s net culminated in the first break of the partial. The Brazilians felt the greater consistency of the Germans and were slow to react. After 46 minutes, a beautiful volley from Pütz set the split at 6/4 in favor of the Europeans.
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