South Africa on Friday (October 4) won a place in the final of the Davis Cup tennis competition, when they raced to a winning 3-0 lead over Italy.
South Africa on Friday (October 4) won a place in the final of the Davis Cup tennis competition, when they raced to a winning 3-0 lead over Italy. But victory at once put the final in doubt.
India has already won through to the final, and has said repeatedly in recent days that if South Africa turned out to be the other finalist, they would refuse to take part in the match because of South Africa's apartheid policies. If they refuse to change their policy, the Indians will cede the title to South Africa.
The South Africans wrapped up their semi-final victory over Italy when their doubles pairing, Bob Hewitt and frew McMillan, scored a straight sets victory over Adriano Panatta and Paulo Bertolucci. The score was 7-5, 6-4, 10-8.
Earlier yesterday, Ray Moore of South Africa completed a match that had been interrupted by bad light the previous night when he beat Panatta 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-4.
SYNOPSIS: South African Ray Moore serving to Adriano Panatta of Italy, as their two countries continued their Davis Cup semi-final clash in Johannesburg on Friday.
Match point to Moore of South Africa. The match had been interrupted the previous night because of bad light, with Moore two-sets-to one ahead. On Friday he soon went on his winning way again.
That victory gave South Africa a two-nil lead in the semi-final.
So Italy's hopes depended on the doubles match. Veteran Bob Hewitt, partnered by Frew McMillan of South Africa, serving. This point took them to within a point of the first set against Panatta and Paulo Bertolucci of Italy. Hewitt obliged with an ace to wrap up the first set.
Italy's tale of woe continued in the second set. They lost this six-four.
McMillan serving in the third set, and the Italians making more of a fight of it. Earlier in the set there'd been controversy when Hewitt accused Panatta of hitting the ball twice.
Hewitt serving now as the third set approached its climax. Controversy also hangs over the Davis Cup. India, already in the final, has threatened to boycott the tie if South Africa qualified. So when Hewitt served at match point, and duly wrapped up the match seven-five, six-four, ten-eight, the whole future of this year's competition was left in doubt. As South Africa marched through to the final by three matches to nil, international lawn tennis officials were already appealing to India to reconsider statements that it would boycott the final.