South Africa has won the 1974 Davis Cup - by default. On Friday, (4 October)?
South Africa has won the 1974 Davis Cup - by default. On Friday, (4 October) South Africa recorded a convincing three matches to nil win over Italy in the semi-finals. This put South Africa into the finals, against India. However, India stood firm and refused to play South Africa, because of its apartheid policy... and thus forfeited the opportunity to contest the final.
On the first day of the semi-finals on Thursday (3 October), South Africa's Number One player, Australian-born Bob Hewitt downed the second-ranked Italian, Antonio Zugarelli - 4-6, 6-0, 9-7, 4-6, 6-1. That match lasted three and a half hours, and thus the second match between Ray Moore and the top Italian player, Adriana Panatta was cut short. Moore was leading 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 5-4 when play was stopped because of failing light.
Hewitt, at 34 and 10 years older than his opponent, weathered the gruelling duel... and even managed to race through the final set, leaving the Italian exhausted.
Zugarelli contributed to his own defeat, however, by serving 14 double faults in the first four sets. In the third set, he seemed in a position to take control but faulted and lost the set in the 16th game. Zugarelli won the next set to square the match, but then his game collapsed.
In the second match, Panatta opened strongly, serving powerfully and volleying crisply. However, after the first set, his big serve began to wilt, and Moore took over, with a series of fine angled volleys.
SYNOPSIS: Zugarelli, who is twenty-four and ten years younger than his oppoent, started out pomisingly, winning the first set.
Hewitt came back into the match with a powerful six-love in the second set. In this, the third set, Zugarelli staged a recovery and at one stage led his opponent five-two. However, he let Hewitt off the hook, and the Australian-born South African went on to take the set nine-seven.