Davis Cup | Norway Relegate Ireland To Group III

Casper Ruud inspires Scandinavians to 3-1 triumph in Oslo

The 2017 Irish Fed Cup team
Casper Ruud won both of his singles and the doubles (w. Durasovic) in the tie with Ireland | Espen Hildrup, Norges Tennisforbund

By Stephen Higgins | 8 April 2018

Norway’s star player Casper Ruud produced three points against Ireland to claim victory and ensure that his nation would remain in Group II of the Davis Cup in 2019.

The Irish team entered the second day of this relegation play-off with hope, level at 1-1 on the overall score.

On Saturday, Pete Bothwell’s impressive comeback victory against Victor Durasovic was followed by a comfortable straight sets win for Ruud over Simon Carr.

Sunday began with a doubles clash as Ruud/Durasovic took on Bothwell/Carr.

Irish captain Conor Niland with Simon Carr
Irish captain Conor Niland speaks with Simon Carr during Sunday's doubles clash | Espen Hildrup, Norges Tennisforbund

The home pair proved too strong for their Irish counterparts, breaking twice in each set to record a 6-2 6-2 victory in less than an hour.

The fourth rubber would be a singles match and Bothwell was tasked with an unlikely upset, defeating a player ranked 633 places higher than him.

Pete Bothwell during Norway-Ireland in 2018 Davis Cup
Pete Bothwell in action against Casper Ruud | Espen Hildrup, Norges Tennisforbund

The Hillsborough man put in a solid effort but it was not enough to derail Ruud and eventual Norwegian victory. The 19-year-old served out at 6-3 7-5 to earn a 9th Davis Cup singles win in his young career.

Ruud’s triumph pushed the overall score to 3-1, awarding the tie to the hosts and negating the requirement for a fifth rubber.

Norway will stay in Group II Europe/Africa for the 2019 season while Ireland will return to Group III. The Irish ended up in a relegation play-off after suffering a 4-1 defeat to Denmark in February.