Davis Cup: Argentina beats Lithuania and returns to international tennis elite

Guillermo Coria’s team thrashed its rivals 4-0 at home and will play in the 2024 Finals qualifiers

Argentina’s Davis Cup team won its series against Lithuania 4-0 and secured a spot in the 2024 Davis Cup Finals qualifiers. The team led by Guillermo Coria was the clear favorite going into the series, and losing would’ve meant missing the chance at the 2024 Davis Cup title. 

Coria’s team started on the right foot on Saturday, with Francisco Cerúndolo (21st ranked) beating 18-year-old Vilius Gaubas (476) by 6-1, 6-7, 6-2. 

Then, it was Sebastián Báez (28) against Lithuania’s top player, 33-year-old Ricardas Berankis (231). The San Martín native, who was the only Argentine to reach the third round of the US Open, fought for over two hours and 42 minutes to win 7-6, 5-7, 6-3.

That set the stage for an Argentina victory on Sunday with the doubles game. Andrés Molteni (9th ranked doubles player) and Máximo González (10) wrapped up the series with a comfortable 6-4, 6-3 against Tadas Babalis (532) and Edas Butvilas (unranked) in just over an hour’s play.

It was a great moment for 35-year-old Molteni, who first picked up a tennis racket at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club aged seven. “I grew up in this club, I’ve played my whole career here. That makes it special, to win in my home,” he said.

After a two-hour rain delay, the celebrating fans at the stadium were treated to Tomás Etcheverry’s debut, who beat Edas Butvilas (532) by 6-2, 6-4.

Captain Coria, who represented Argentina eight times as a player, celebrated with his team. “I’m happy because we were able to pull through an emotionally demanding series, with a full stadium that would’ve got worked up if we didn’t win. The players were under pressure and they were up to it.”Argentina is now through to the 2024 Davis Cup Finals qualifiers, the round which determines which countries go through to the title decider. The Albiceleste’s rival in the next round, set to be played in February 2024, will be determined in November when the 2023 Davis Cup Finals are over.


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