This tie against the home nation was always going to be a tricky encounter. Matthew Asciak started the ball rolling and gave Malta an early lead when he convincingly beat, K. Gasimov 6-0; 6-2. Although the score might indicate a comfortable win, Matthew had to use all his experience to deny his opponent a comeback as the latter upped his game but found Matthew in no mood to release his grip on the match.
The next match saw Liam Delicata come up against T. Azizov. Liam started strongly and wrapped up the first set 6-1 with some excellent tennis. Azizov, however, found another gear and turned the match around to continue his excellent personal record in the competition to win the match 1-6; 6-3; 6-4 to put the tie even at 1-1. Great effort by Liam who fought till the end but Azizov was stronger on the day.This meant that victory or defeat in the tie depended on the doubles encounter.
Here, captain Gordon Asciak fielded the tried and tested pairing of Matthew Asciak and Alex Degabriele who were up against T.Azizov/K. Gasimov. The first set was a very tight affair but we managed to edge it 7-5. The second set saw our opponents starting better and at one point they were leading 3-0. Our boys, however, fought back bravely and turned the set around to clinch it and the match 7-5; 6-4. Our captain, Gordon Asciak said that after overcoming this tricky encounter against the host nation we should top the group and then await who our opponents will be in Saturday’s promotion decider.Well done everyone!