An entertaining display from national hero Adriano Panatta took Italy into the Davis Cup final in Rome on Monday (27 September) with a 5-7, 8-6, 6-2 victory over John Newcombe of Australia.
An entertaining display from national hero Adriano Panatta took Italy into the Davis Cup final in Rome on Monday (27 September) with a 5-7, 8-6, 6-2 victory over John Newcombe of Australia. panatta's win in this decisive last singles match gave Italy a 3-2 edge in the inter-zone semi-final. They will now meet Chile in the final, probably in Santiago in December.
SYNOPSIS: Panatta, 26, and Newcombe, 32, had been level overnight at one set each and 2-2 in the third when had light stopped play. But Newcombe, three times Wimbledon champion, was completely out of touch when play was resumed on the centre court of the Foro Italico in Some. Panatta, serving superbly, finished off the Australian in an hour.
With Panatta leading two sets to one and four games to love int he forth set, his concentration wavered long enough to allow the Australian to take the next two games. In the first of the two, Newcombe served superbly.
As the match drew to a close, Newcombe survived a first match point with a fine service return to take the score to deuce in the last game.
In the end, the Australian failed to return a service shot by Panatta and put the ball into the sidelines, giving the Italians their ticket for Chile.