Tennis: Monaco lose to Ecuador in Davis Cup tie

Monaco's Davis Cup team lining up against Ecuador at the Monte-Carlo Country Club (MCCC)

The Monaco Davis Cup team succumbed to a 3-1 defeat against Ecuador, as Guillaume Couillard’s men failed to reach the World Group I play-offs. 

Prior to the tie, held at the Monte-Carlo Country Club (MCCC) last Friday and Saturday, Monaco captain Couillard rated his team’s chances of victory at “50/50”. The Monegasques fell on the wrong side of those fine margins, however, and in the wake of the defeat, will now have to fight to remain in World Group II.

Ecuador’s Alvaro Guillen. Photo by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life

Valentin Vacherot and Ecuador’s Alvaro Guillen got the action underway under the beating sun at Court 18. Monaco’s top-ranked player took the first set, but his opponent broke back in the second, taking the tie to a tie-break, and winning.

Guillen then took the third and deciding set on a tie-break (6-3, 6-7, 6-7), getting Ecuador off to the perfect start, and leaving the Principality playing catch-up.

Lucas Catarina, against Ecuador’s top-ranked player, Emilio Gomez, levelled the tie at 1-1 on Friday afternoon thanks to a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 victory. Everything was to play for heading into the second day of competition.

A rare doubles defeat

Monaco would have been confident of a doubles victory. Hugo Nys, a finalist in the Australian Open earlier this year, won alongside partner Jan Zielinski on clay in Rome in May, whilst Romain Arneodo reached the doubles final of the Monte-Carlo Masters earlier this year as well. Arneodo and Nys were fancied heading into the doubles match, but lost to Gonzalo Escobar and Diego Hidalgo (4-6, 2-6), leaving Monaco on the brink of defeat.

Gomez then put the nail in the coffin, beating Vacherot to wrap up the tie (1-6, 6-1, 1-6) and consign Monaco to a rare defeat. Monaco will soon find out their next opponents as they look to retain their place in World Cup II.


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Photo by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life