Malta Davis Cup team returned from Estonia after taking part in the Eurozone Group Three Division. This year 15 teams took part, with Malta being drawn in the only group consisting of 3 teams together with San Marino and the tournament’s No. 1 seeds Moldova.
The first tie was against San Marino, where Matthew Asciak took on the San Marino Number 2 Pietro Grassi. Pietro was no match for our top player who played a very solid game and won 6-1; 6-1 .
Next Bernard Cassar Torregiani played their Number 1 Marco de Rossi. Bernard played extremely well in this match against De Rossi, loosing in two tiebreak sets 6-7 (2); 6-7 (3). The tie went to the doubles to decide it. Davis Cup Captain Steve Curana paired Matthew Asciak with Barnard Cassar Torregiani to play the San Marino pair of M. De Rossi/P. Grassi. The Maltese pair ran out easy winners 6-2; 6-1. Mathew and Bernard played well together and exploited the other pairs weaknesses to the full during this match.
Next up was the Number 1 seeds Moldova. Unfortunately, Matthew Asciak woke feeling unwell and was not fit enough to play so Bradley Callus was chosen to face Andrei Soltoiam. Bradley played solidly and there were some very good exchanges during this match. However, Bradleys’ service games proved to be the deciding factor, with Soltoiam attacking his second serves which resulted in a 2-6; 3-6 win to Moldova.
The next match of this tie Bernard found very tough going up against the world No. 145, R. Albut and was over powered losing 0-6; 1-6. The doubles saw Bradley team up with Matthew Cassar Torregiani. Bradley and Matthew played well against Moldova’s top 2 players and fought bravely until the last point loosing 2-6; 3-6.
Malta was then to play Greece for the 5th – 8th place playoff. Matthew Asciak felt fit enough to face Vasilelos Iliopouloas and won convincingly 6-2; 6-1.
Bernard then faced Ioannis Stergiou the Greek Number 1 player who is way above the rest of his colleagues, and although Bernard played well to win the second set, he eventually lost the third, giving Greece the win.
The deciding doubles was played by Matthew and Bernard against the experienced Greek pair, and although they fought hard and even had the opportunity of a set point, unfortunately they lost 5-7; 4-6.
The Maltese team in general performed well this year being placed 7th overall, and moved up four places in the world rankings.