Barry holds his nerve to beat Estonian Marksoo
Sam Barry beat Marek Marksoo in the deciding rubber in Riverview yesterday to give Ireland a 3 - 2 victory over Estonia. Barry won 6-2, 6-1, 6-3.
The Limerick man was always in complete control against the Estonian who is just 19 and plays for Sacramento University in the US.
Barry broke Marksoo in his first service game and went on to dominate the match with an impressive display of hard hitting groundstrokes in conjunction with great depth of shot and consistency. He also served solidly throughout the match.
The main worry for Ireland before the match was whether Barry would suffer from nerves given his was the deciding rubber and this was his home Davis Cup debut but the 21-year-old kept his composure to ensure victory for Ireland.
The tie had gone to a deciding rubber after Vladimir Ivanov beat James McGee in a five set marathon earlier in the afternoon.
Ivanov took the first two sets 6-4, 6-3 playing the more aggressive tennis as McGee appeared to be waiting for his opponent to make a mistake rather than looking to assert his own game.
At two sets down, the Castleknock man realised he needed to be more proactive against a player who is ranked 109 places below him in the World.
He upped his performance level and, coupled with Ivanov making an increased number of errors, took the third and fourth sets 6-1, 6-4.
All the momentum appeared to be with Ireland with McGee in control and Ivanov appearing weary and frustrated. However, the critical moment came in the opening game of the fifth set when the Irishman squandered six break point opportunities. Holding on to this service game seemed to energise and revitalise Ivanov and he went on to break McGee twice and take the set 6-1.
Given Sunday’s results, the crucial rubber in the tie was Saturday’s doubles match.
McGee and Barry paired up together and looked comfortable when leading two sets to love. The Estonian pair of Ivanov and Marksoo fought back taking the next two sets and led 5-2 in the in the decider. The Irish fought back, saving 2 match points in the process, to win the match 9-7 in the fifth set.
Ireland’s reward for victory against Estonia is a home tie with Finland in April.