Ireland’s Davis Cup defeat to Finland marked by rancour
Ireland’s Daniel Clancy
Finland beat Ireland 3-1 in their Euro Africa Zone Group 11 match at Castleknock over the weekend.
However, controversy reigned yesterday when Finland refused to play the fifth rubber. Under Davis Cup rules, all matches must be completed even if the overall tie has already been decided. Finland claimed their remaining three players were all unfit to play due to injury – Micke Kontinen had lost to Daniel Glancy earlier in the day.
However, the independent medical officer, Davide Susta, said two of the Finnish players were fit to play and that Jarkko Nieminen was their only player with a valid injury.
The referee, Clare Wood, has said she will include the incident in her official report to the Davis Cup Committee.
The board of Tennis Ireland is meeting tonight and will decide whether or not to lodge a formal complaint. A financial penalty is the most likely punishment for the Finns should they be found guilty.
Glancy’s victory gained a consolation rubber for Ireland as the tie was decided after Ireland lost the doubles on Saturday having also lost both singles matches on Friday. Glancy, making his Davis Cup debut, won 6-2, 2-6, 6-2. The Castlebar man, becoming the first man from Mayo to play for Ireland, showed no sign of nerves – breaking Kontinen in his second service game. Both players played a similar type of game battling it out with heavy ground strokes from the back of the court.
Kontinen turned it around in the second set. He became more aggressive and forced errors from his opponent, breaking his serve twice to win the set 6-2. However, Glancy dominated the final set.
Jarkko Nieminen and Henri Kontinen combined on Saturday to beat Sam Barry and Colin O’Brien 6-1, 6-2, 6-4, giving the Finns an unassailable 3-0 lead in the tie. The Finnish pair dominated.
They took control of the net, giving a great display of all types of volleys while the one bright spot for the Irish was the excellent serving of Sam Barry.