Re: ---Chris Guccione Cheering Thread---
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Australia leads as Guccione wins in five
Chris Guccione (AUS) was in unfamiliar territory when he walked on court for the first rubber for the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas quarterfinal tie against Belarus. The Australian – playing in just his third tie - had never opened a tie and was facing Max Mirnyi (BLR), a veteran of 30 Davis Cup ties for Belarus.
After three hours and 41 minutes, Guccione had scored the biggest win of his life as he defeated Mirnyi 76(4) 36 75 36 64 in a see-saw battle made tougher by the windy conditions. In doing so, he put Australia a step towards maintaining it's amazing record of not being beaten at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club for 60 years.
Biggest career win for Australian
“It’s definitely the biggest win of my career; I had a great win in Switzerland, a big win in Switzerland, but to do it in front of my family and friends it couldn’t be any bigger,” said Guccione, who won the deciding rubber in the first round tie against Switzerland in February.
“It was a bit different to Geneva because if I had lost there we would have been back in the qualifying rounds, but the pressure was still on in this one being in my home town and home country. I was really nervous at the start, but pretty happy that went away and I hit some good balls out there.”
The first set went with serve all the way to the tiebreak when Mirnyi opened up a 4- 1 lead before Guccione worked his way back into contention, reeling off six consecutive points to win the set. Mirnyi struck back pretty quickly by breaking serve in the first game of the second set and then broke once more to level the match at 1-1.
Mirnyi fights back
In the third set the shoe was on the other foot as Mirnyi started the set and dropped his serve immediately, but when the Australian was serving for the set at 5-4 a brilliant topspin lob from the Belarusian gave him a break point and then he levelled the set when Guccione sent a forehand long.
Many thought Mirnyi’s experience would kick in at this point, but Guccione showed great maturity to break again and then serve out the set. Mirnyi then came forging back to level the match at 2-2, finishing things off on his third set point with a service winner.
There was a break each mid-way through the fifth set but with Mirnyi trying to stay in the match and make it 5-5, he faltered with a double fault. Guccione sent a forehand down the line to bring up match point and on the next point Mirnyi netted a forehand volley to give Australia that first rubber.
“We’re a little disappointed, you guys (Australians) are so happy, Chris Guccione is a new hero, isn’t that what Davis Cup is all about,” said Mirnyi. “Sure it’s a disappointment. Being number one for the team and playing the number two, you are expected to win every time, at least the numbers say so, but game wise, it was a very tough match up and Chris played some good points at a time and it was very difficult.”