Lucho started off very well, but couldn't take the 2nd set, then he ran out of legs in the last two sets.
Sela's victory ensures Israel's status
Israel's Dudi Sela defeated Luis Horna of Peru in an epic four-set battle on Sunday to see the hosts through to the 2009 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group.
The tense match which lasted just over three hours, produced some top quality tennis, with Horna's forehand producing many outstanding winners in the first part of the match before Sela clawed his way back from losing the first set to win 67(6) 64 61 62.
Peru take a chance
Peru’s captain Jaime Yzaga decided to rest both his leading players, Horna and Ivan Miranda, in Saturday's doubles in the hope that they would recover sufficiently from Friday's opening singles to win the tie on the final day but Israel had other plans.
While he was still fresh, Horna was clearly the better player on Sunday. He hit some amazing winners on his forehand side from way behind the baseline, not allowing Sela any chance to forge a lead in the tense baseline battle. It was a completely different match from Friday’s clash with Harel Levy, which Horna won in a scrappy performance. Against Sela he pulled out all the stops with some quality baseline strokes off both sides.
In the first set, the players traded breaks before it went to a tiebreak after an hour's play where Sela held two set points. But Horna forced the errors from Sela's racket and came back to win the set 8-6 in the hot sunshine. Sela's spirit appeared to take a blow as he went a break down early in the second set and he slammed his racket to the ground, breaking it. Horna was still looking way better than his 106 world ranking and the supportive home crowd began to think that the tie might have to be decided in the final rubber. But as the set progressed, Horna tired and began to miss shots, while Sela kept the points long, running the Peruvian off his feet.
Sela takes control
Sela levelled the set with a break for 4-4 and another to level the match, and from there Horna's error count began to rise and Sela wrestled control. "I feel very good, it was a really tough match but we made it finally and we are back in the World Group," said an ecstatic Sela. "Horna was playing very well, his forehand was really big, it was really tough to read and to get back, but I think he tired through the second set and that is what helped me a lot."
Horna added that while he started the match well, it was not enough; he said that he felt a little shaky towards the end and much was to do with the opening singles on Friday where he beat Levy in a very long match played in intense heat. "I had a chance to go two sets up but I couldn't get my rhythm back and I lost confidence in a couple of shots which were key for me and after that it was very difficult," Horna said.
He added that while his form at the start of Sunday's match was excellent, it was not enough. "You have to finish the match at that level too," he said.