Davis Cup: Tommy Robredo draws first blood for Spain in Vladivostok
Veteran Tommy Robredo put Spain 1-0 up with a straight-set win over Russia`s Andrey Rublev in the Davis Cup Group One Euro-African Zone second round tie in Vladivostok on Friday.
Vladivostok: Veteran Tommy Robredo put Spain 1-0 up with a straight-set win over Russia`s Andrey Rublev in the Davis Cup Group One Euro-African Zone second round tie in Vladivostok on Friday.
Five-time former champions Spain made the 13,000 kilometre trip from Madrid to the city near Russia`s border with North Korea and China without stars David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal.
But Robredo got the team coached by former Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez after Gala Leon was sacked off to the perfect start.
The 33-year-old, ranked 21st in the ATP rankings, took two hours to see off Rublev 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.
"It was much tougher than you`d think looking at the scoreline," Robredo said.
"Towards the end it was very hard to keep my concentration and energy because of the high humidity here in Vladivostok. But my teammates` support helped me a lot.
"Of course I had an advantage as my experience helped me today in the deciding moments."
Robredo`s win gave Spanish tennis something to smile about after Nadal`s swift Wimbledon demise and conflict at the Spanish Tennis Federation.
Fernando Fernandez-Ladreda was this month named as the body`s new president in place of Jose Luis Escanuela, who quit over mis-management charges.
Robredo commented: "I believe that our team`s strong spirit will help us to overcome the consequences of the recent conflict in our tennis federation. We all want to return to the World Group as soon as possible.
"I made the first step and I hope that Pablo (Andujar) will make the second one in that direction."
The experienced Robredo looked more confident on the hard court of Vladivostok Fetisov arena breaking the Russian teenager`s serve from the start.
Rublev, 17, broke back in the fourth game to level but Robredo outclassed his rival with a series of precise drives from the baseline and spinners producing two more breaks to take the set in 35 minutes.
In the second Robredo was in complete command breaking his opponent`s serve twice again for a commanding 2-0 advantage after one hour 13 minutes on court.
In the third Rublev, 194th in the world, tried to reduce the arrears but to no avail as Robredo broke his serve in the eighth game to win the set and the match with an ace.
Friday`s second singles features Russia`s Karen Khachanov against Spain`s Pablo Andujar.
The doubles clash will continue the tie`s programme on Saturday, while reversed singles will finish the schedule on Sunday.