July 13, 2009
LIMA, Peru – Representing Canada, former Kentucky tennis player Bruno Agostinelli defeated Ivan Miranda in four sets in the deciding rubber match to clinch a 3-2 Davis Cup victory for his home country over host Peru in an Americas Group I first-round playoff on the red clay outdoors at the Club Lawn Tennis De La Exposicion in Lima, Monday afternoon.
Agostinelli’s match, the last on the schedule, was suspended due to darkness Sunday evening with the former UK All-American leading Miranda, ranked No. 547 in the world, 7-6(5), 1-6, 6-3. The unlikely scenario gave Agostinelli a chance to be the hero Monday afternoon by clinching the win for Canada while recording his first Davis Cup victory.
He did just that, taking the fourth set 6-4 for the win.
In the winning set, Agostinelli jumped out to a 4-1 lead after breaking Miranda’s serve twice. Miranda fought back to cut Agostinelli’s lead to 5-4 after breaking the Canadian’s serve. The former Wildcat clinched his match in the next game, causing a jubilant Canadian team to rush the court to douse Agostinelli and Team Canada captain Martin Laurendeau with water.
“I relaxed after the third set last night and I did well today,” said Agostinelli. “I was focused on the game, without thinking about what was happening. Now, I am headed back to (Kentucky) to finish the last semester of my studies.”
The former Wildcat’s win keeps Canada in the Americas Zone Group I for 2010. Laurendeau chose Agostinelli along with 2009 Wimbledon men’s doubles champion and Davis Cup veteran Daniel Nestor, Frederic Niemeyer and Peter Polansky.
“This victory is a special moment for Canada,” Laurendeau said after the match.
Ivan Miranda, acknowledged that Agostinelli took the lead in the final set, with a good game that allowed him to get ahead by 4-1.
“He was very quick and gave me no time to even the score when granted opportunities. I am comfortable with my performance, although hurt by the defeat,” said Miranda.
Agostinelli is the eighth UK men’s tennis player to participate as a member of a Davis Cup national team. Current Wildcat Alberto Gonzalez is a member of Panama’s Davis Cup squad.
Agostinelli turned pro this summer after a storied collegiate career in the Blue and White.
“This is a huge win as Bruno starts his pro career,” said UK head coach Dennis Emery. “It takes a player with a lot of character to go on the road in front of a huge partisan crowd, play on an unfamiliar surface of red clay for the first time and persevere for a win. It’s always great to see a coach take a chance on a player because of character and be rewarded as a result.”
The Niagara Falls, Ontario, native made his David Cup debut on Friday with a singles match against Luis Horna, Peru’s top player and former world No. 33. Agostinelli fell 6-2, 7-6(2), 4-6, 7-5 to Horna, currently ranked at No. 367 in the world. After dropping the opening set, Agostinelli had opportunities to level the match in the second set but couldn’t convert. The former Wildcat did take the third set and forced extra games in the fourth but could not come back for a win.
Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for all of the latest Kentucky men’s tennis news.