Cyprus Defeat Ireland In Davis Cup Play-off

Ireland remain in Davis Cup Group III after 0-2 defeat to Mediterraneans

Cyprus's Marcos Baghdatis and Ireland's Sam Barry pose ahead of their deciding singles match
Cyprus's Marcos Baghdatis and Ireland's Sam Barry pose ahead of their deciding singles match | Cyprus Tennis Federation

By Stephen Higgins | 5 March 2016

Ireland missed out on a swift return to Group II (Europe/Africa) of the Davis Cup after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Cyprus in Saturday's crucial play-off. The result means that Ireland will remain in Group III for the 2017 edition of the competition.

Marcos Baghdatis, who entered the tie with an exceptional record of 46 singles wins from 49 matches for the Mediterraneans, shaded the crucial second singles rubber 6-4 7-6 over Ireland's Sam Barry.

Earlier in the day, Petros Chrysochos survived a topsy turvy three-setter with Peter Bothwell in the opening singles. Chrysochos lost the second set but recovered to close out the match 6-1 2-6 6-0.

With the result confirmed, the teams agreed to forego the redundant doubles rubber.

After good performances throughout the week, Irish captain Conor Niland must be pleased with the performance of his squad. Ireland lost just one match in the ties with Armenia, Albania and Macedonia.

Sam Barry claimed five wins in all formats during the week, David O'Hare took three in doubles, and debutants Peter Bothwell and Bjorn Thomson each nabbed a singles victory.

It all means that Cyprus return to Group II for the first time in two years. Ireland, now ranked 64 in world, will attempt another promotion effort in 2017.