Spain’s Feliciano Lopez, Fernando Verdasco beat Belgium’s Steve Darcis, Olivier Rochus in Davis Cup

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Spain’s Feliciano Lopez, Fernando Verdasco beat Belgium’s Steve Darcis, Olivier Rochus in Davis Cup
The Spanish pair Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco won their doubles tie against Belgium's Olivier Rochus and Steve Darcis during the first round of the Davis Cup 2011.
The match was a straight-forward triumph for the Iberian pair, who took it in straight sets, 7-6, 6-4, 6-3. This victory ensures Spain's coursing into the quarterfinals as it hands the nation a decisive 3-0 advantage. Spain's previous two victories came
when Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco defeated Ruben Bemelmans and Xavier Malisse respectively. The tie looks like it will turn into a 5-0 whitewash, as Spain posts dominant performance one after the other.
The doubles tie started off close. The first set saw the Spaniards serving somewhat better than their opponents, landing in 67 percent of their first serves compared to the Belgians' 57 percent. However, both were almost equally efficient at converting serves
to points, with respective percentages of 68 and 67. The Spaniards were also better on the return, winning 38 percent of the return points they faced. Their opponents managed a close 33 percent and since both teams gained a break each, the set went into tie-break.
Lopez and his partner dominated the exchange there, and Spain clinched the first set.
The second set was more of the same. The competition remained intense, with the Belgian pair bettering their first serve percentage to 65. They also gained more points on the return, 37 percent to their opponent's 30. However, they failed to capitalise on
the lone break point they garnered. The Spaniards did not make the same mistake and gaining a break against the tide of play, took the set 6-4.
The last set was very well-contested again. The first serve percentages stood at 67 for Spain and 61 for Belgium. The Spaniards won vastly more return points though, 48 percent against their opponents' 29. Consequently, they converted two break points into
breaks and despite losing on serve once, closed the set 6-3.
The match was closely fought through-out and the outcome of a few key points decided everything. Commenting on the match, Spanish captain Albert Costa said, “In sport, everything can change on a few points. What is now 3-0 could easily have been 2-1, so
we are happy. We have done a good job all week, and my players adapted to the court really well. It’s now time to enjoy this victory.”
Getting through to the next round allows Spain to relax for the weekend. The next two matches, reverse singles, will be a mere formality for the team, and perhaps a chance to have some fun.



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