Davis Cup squad halt winless run
After three straight losses, Bermuda picked up their first win in Pool B of the Davis Cup Americas Group 3 in Costa Rica yesterday, with a 2-1 win over Trinidad and Tobago in a battle of the winless teams in the group.
Gavin Manders beat Akiel Duke 6-3, 6-3 in the opening match before Neal Towlson sealed the win for Bermuda with his 6-3, 6-4 win over Richard Chung in the second singles.
Manders and doubles partner Tariq Simons then went down to Duke and Nabeel Majeed Mohammed 1-6, 6-4, 4-6.
The win came after the 2-1 loss to Jamaica on Wednesday despite Trey Mallory giving Bermuda the lead with his 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 win over Jacob Bicknell in a match that lasted almost three hours.
However, Rowland Phillips restored order for Jamaica with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Tariq Simons before the doubles pair of Phillips and Dominic Pagon sealed the match with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Manders and Towlson.
The loss came a day after Bermuda went down 2-1 to Panama. The first singles match saw Mallory go down 6-4, 6-2 to Marcelo Rodriguez. “That was a tough match for Trey,” commented Ricky Mallory, the Bermuda coach and the father of Trey. “Marcelo is a smart player with some strong ground strokes. Trey went toe to toe with Marcelo in the first set, going down 4-3 with a break, then losing focus a bit and allowing Marcelo to break right back.”
In the second match, Manders produced a good fightback to win the first set against José Gilbert Gomez 6-1.
At 3-3 in the second set, Manders had a few break chances, but could not capitalise, allowing Gomez to go up 4-3 before going on to win 6-3.
Gomez kept the momentum in the deciding set, going up 5-1 before Manders fought back, saving match point with some unbelievable play to get the score to 5-4.
He then broke Gomez again to tie the third set at 5-5 before holding serve despite being down 0-40. Gomez was visibly shaken at that point and was broken again by Manders to give him the match 6-1, 3-6, 7-5.
In the deciding match in the doubles, Manders and Towlson struggled against Luis Gomez and Rodriguez, going down 6-0 in the first set. They rallied in the second set before going down 6-4 as Panama clinched the win.
Bermuda also lost their opening match 2-1 against Honduras on Monday. After Manders and Towlson lost their singles matches, they teamed up to win the doubles 7-5, 6-4 over Alejandro Obando and Keny Turcios.