Tennis....and Italy swept to their second successive Davis Cup final on Saturday (17 December) defeating?
Tennis....and Italy swept to their second successive Davis Cup final on Saturday (17 December) defeating France, in an inter-zone semi final in Rome. Victory came after Corrado Barazzutti defeated Francois Jauffret 6-4 in the final set of their resumed singles match, which was stopped on Friday (16 September) because of poor light. Italy took the doubles when Adriano Panatta and Paolo Bertolucci downed the French pair Patrice Dominquez and Francois Jauffret in four sets 6-1, 3-6, 9-7, 6-1.
SYNOPSIS: Hopes that France would make its first Davis Cup final in forty five years, rested with 35 year old Francois Jauffret, playing in white. Jauffret battled Barazzutti tenaciously to bring the match to five sets. But his Italian opponent, eleven years his junior, managed to stay a step ahead during the rallies.
Jauffret managed to break Barazzutti in the third game, but the Italian broke back and the games went with service until Barazzutti was at 5-4.
In the tenth game, Barazzutti pulled back from love-thirty down, to finally take the set and match. It took 35 minutes for the Italian to finish off the Frenchman. The final score 6-4, 2-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4. Barazzutti admitted that he was afraid of losing it.
Jauffret returned to the court one hour later with Patrice Dominquez for a double match against the Italian pair of Andriano Panatta and Paolo Bertolucci, considered the best doubles partners in the world on clay courts.
With the Italians leading 5-1 in the fourth set, after breaking Jauffret's serve for the fourth time in the match, Panatta wrapped it up in love game with a brilliant ace.