Evgeny Donskoy beats Tommy Robredo to pull Russia level
Evgeny Donskoy kept Russia`s hopes of reaching the Davis Cup World Group play-offs alive beating the veteran Spaniard Tommy Robredo in the Sunday`s opening reversed singles rubber.
The local crowd`s favourite won 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (7/3) his first ever meeting with Robredo in two hours 27 minutes to level the score of the two teams Davis Cup Group One Euro-African Zone second round tie at 2-2.
"It was a very nervous match especially the fourth set which went up and down all the way," Donskoy said.
"I led the score but lost control and allowed Tommy (Robredo) to level. Later on he has three set points which I managed to survive before winning the tiebreak.
"It was a real roller-coaster. Luckily, I managed to win."
Donskoy, who is 178th in the ATP rankings, looked confident from the start keeping Robredo under constant pressure with precise drives from the base line and powerful serves.
He broke the 33-year-old Spaniard`s serve early in the opening set and kept his lead through to earn a 1-0 lead in 31 minutes.
In the second Robredo, currently 21st in the world, seriously improved his serve and it paid off as he levelled at one set all with a break in the 12th game after one hour eight minutes on court.
In the third Moscow resident Donskoy was in command at the hard court of Vladivostok`s Fetisov arena again breaking the Spanish veteran serve twice to restore his one-set advantage.
The opponents both looked nervous as they traded breaks twice in the fourth set, which they decided in a tiebreak, which Russia`s 25-year-old won acting at slightly more accuracy.
Andrey Rublev and Pablo Andujar will decide the tie`s winner in the second reversed singles encounter.
Five-time former Davis Cup titleholders 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.
After Friday`s rubbers the Spaniards took a commanding 2-0 lead as their veteran Robredo got off to a perfect start by beating teenager Rublev 6-2, 6-3, 6-3, while Andujar despatched Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-3, 6-2
The opening day wins 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.
But on Saturday Donskoy and Konstantin Kravchuk put Russia back on track with a hard-fought doubles win 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 5-7, 7-5, 6-4.