On Saturday, the qualifying match of the first world group of the Davis Cup between the men’s tennis teams of Lithuania and Sakartveli continued in the “SEB Arena” of Vilnius.
In the second singles match, the 33-year-old leader of the Lithuanian national team Richard Berankis (ATP-248) in 1 hour 31 minutes 6:2, 6:2 defeated the 23-year-old Zura Tkemaladze (ATP-721). The overall result of the meeting after the first day became 1:1.
R. Berankis already had 4 break points in the first game of the match, but made a lot of mistakes and Kartvel held on. In the third game, the Lithuanian created 3 more “break points” before finally winning the opponent’s service series. R. Berankis accumulated a crushing lead in the seventh game, when he once again won the opponent’s serving series. Meanwhile, Z. Tkemaladze did not have any “break points” during the whole set, although in two games he reached the result 40:40 during the servings of R. Berankis.
In the first game of the second set, R. Berankis won the opponent’s service series after a hard fight, and Z. Tkemaladze lost control of his emotions and broke the racket. In the second game, R. Berankis relaxed a bit, made many mistakes and unexpectedly lost his serving series. In the third game, the Lithuanian took the initiative again, and in the fourth game he almost blew the lead, when he fell behind 15:40 during his serving.
Ričardas Berankis against Zura Tkemaladze | Skirmantos Lisauskas/BNS Photo photo.
In the fifth game, the Lithuanian created three more “break points”, won the opponent’s serving series and already led 4:1. R. Berankis wanted to end the match already in the seventh game and was twice within a point of the goal, but Z. Tkemaladze did not resist (5:2). In the eighth game, the Lithuanian still strained the fans’ nerves (15:40), but he recovered in time and secured the victory with 4 points in a row.
R. Berankis had as many as 18 break points in this match, of which he realized 5 (kartvel – 1 out of 5). The Lithuanian noted after the match that the duel was not as easy as it might appear from the result, but he was happy with his well-being and victory.
Match statistics | Photo of the organizers.
R. Berankis recently returned from shoulder surgery and this year managed to play two ATP “Challenger” tournaments, reaching the round of 16 in both. In the Davis Cup, R. Berankis has played as many as 61 matches for the Lithuanian national team and achieved 44 victories. He has represented the Lithuanian national team for 16 years and this is an all-time record. R. Berankiis is 2 wins short of the Lithuanian national team’s record for victories in singles, which he owns Roland Muraška (37).
Z. Tkemaladze was the highest in the ATP ranking last year, when he ranked 633. Kartvel ended the last season late – in mid-December. Meanwhile, this season Davis Cup is his first tournament of the year. Z. Tkemaladze has played 13 matches in the Sakartvelo national team and achieved 7 victories. True, he played in the first group of the world for the first time.
The national teams of Lithuania and Sakartvel have played in the Davis Cup 3 times before. in 1999 in the match of the third group in Estonia, Lithuanians beat Kartveli 2:1, 2009 In Vilnius, the Lithuanians celebrated their victory in the second group of the world 3:2, and in 2017 in the second group also took victory from Tbilisi – 3:2. in 2017 the Lithuanians managed to win even without R. Berankis in their ranks, and the Kartvelians were not saved by their star that time Nikolozas Basilashvili. The last one in 2019 reached as high as 16th place in the ATP singles ranking, but then he began to indulge in scandals, and lately he has been plagued by frequent injuries.
The winners of the match between Lithuania and Sakartvelo will advance to the first group of the world, and the losers will play in the second group of the world.