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.
GV: Australian serving to Italians, long rally and Italians win point with lob shot over heads of Australians, applause.
Australian serves from far end and loses point.
GV: scoreboard 6-3, 6-4.
GV: Australian flag ZOOM OUT AND PAN TO match in progress and Italians win point.
GV: Australians serve and win point.
GV: Italians serve and win match point with stroke passing between the two Australians, crowd applauds and players shake hands.
GV: scoreboard 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.
In the singles the day before, (24 September) John Newcombe lost to Corrada Barazzutti seven-five, six-one, six-four, and Adriano Panatta lost to John Alexander, seven-five, six-three, six-four. Both matches were major upsets and after the doubles, the result hinged on the reverse singles on Sunday (26 September). Alexander won his match against Barazzutti, but the game between Newcombe and Panatta was stooped because of bad light with the score at two games all in the first set. The match....to decide the semi finals - was due to be continued the following day.
SPORT - TENNIS
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: 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.