Italy's Davis Cup tennis team took a two-one lead over Australia in the inter-zone semi-final on Saturday (25 September) in Rome.
Italy's Davis Cup tennis team took a two-one lead over Australia in the inter-zone semi-final on Saturday (25 September) in Rome. Adriano Panatta and Paolo Bertolucci won in straight sets against John Newcombe and Tony Roche. The final score.....six-three, six-four, six-three.
SYNOPSIS: The Australian pair, here with the advantage of service, had been considered one of the world's leading doubles teams. But at no time in the match did they have the upper hand over the Italians.
Panatta and Betolucci's obvious superiority on the day allowed them to break the Australian service throughout the match.
A capacity Roman crowd of six-and-a-half-thousand people saw their countrymen move effortlessly through the first two sets.
The Australian team manager, Neale Fraser said that the Italians simply played too well for Newcombe and Roche. He said they hit everything in front of them, and went on getting better throughout the game.
Another point for the Italian pair.
Interest in the doubles match was high, following the singles result which tied the semi-final the day before. The two favourites for the singles - Panatta and Newcombe-had lost, and both played in the doubles.
Match point, and the Italians with the serve. The ball was returned, but the winning stroke passed between the Australian players giving the Italians an easy win in a match lasting less than two hours. With only the reverse singles remaining, the Italians were favourites to go into the finals against Chile in December.