Fed Cup Final starts in



12 February 2013

Martinez makes successful debut



  • Mason Jones

Photo: Daniel MaurerThe Spanish Team

It was a tense morning for both teams in Alicante on Sunday, while Spain required just one point to move on to the World Group play-offs, Ukraine needed to pull out all the stops to get back in the race.

Following wins from Lourdes Domiguez Lino and Silvia Soler Espinosa on day one, some people could be accused of thinking Spain may have left the locker-room an over-confident side.

And this may well have been the case if not for captain Conchita Martinez.

Although the five time Fed Cup by BNP Paribas winner had praised her team's efforts on the first day, she would not rule out a comeback from Ukraine.

“We are in a good position but we cannot relax, we are two points up but we still need one more, we must keep our concentration and focus,” said the skipper.

Ukraine's hopes were crushed however following a third victory from Spain, cementing their place in the World Group play-offs.

20-year-old Maria-Teresa 'Tito' Torro-Flor beat Yuliya Beygelzimer  64 62 after one hour and twenty minutes of play.

“My confidence was up, but we needed one more point and it's never easy to close up,” said Martinez after the game.

“It was Tito's debut and she was a little bit nervous but it was nice to see her clinch the tie,” she added.

Although nothing was at stake by this point, next came a doubles game with Torro-Flor and Nuria Llagostera Vives against Beygelzimer and Olga Savchuk.

Ukraine captain Igor Dernovsky said the pairing was a tactical decision following minor injuries with some of the other players.

The decision proved to be wise as the team managed to secure their one and only point with a victory in the dead doubles rubber.

The pair hit back at Spain with a score of 36 62 510.

Jose Luis Escanuela, president of the Royal Federation of Spanish Tennis (RFET) later praised the efforts of Conchita Martinez, commenting that she and the team had done 'an extraordinary job' in putting Spain back on the map for women's tennis.

Martinez herself said that the fact that the tie had required extra seating highlighted the public's enthusiasm for women's sporting events.

Although it was a tough weekend for both teams, with each game having parts where it could have fallen one way or the other, it was Spain who truly ruled the weekend.

The mostly Spanish audience which filled the stands drummed up an electric atmosphere for their team, and the chants of 'Vamos España!' will still be ringing in the ears of those present.

Martinez's years on the court proved to be simply invaluable for her country.

She masterfully combined youthful enthusiasm with the experience of older players when selecting her team and will now see them move on to the World Group play-offs.

The team will find out their opponents tomorrow (Wednesday 13 February), with the ties scheduled for 20-21 April.

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ESP Flag Spain v Ukraine UKR Flag 9 Feb 2013 - 10 Feb 2013 View details

Related teams

  • More photos

    • The Spanish TeamLesia Tsurenko (UKR)
    • Yuliya Beygelzimer (UKR)Yuliya Beygelzimer (UKR)
    • Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor (ESP)Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor (ESP)
    • Nuria Llagostera Vives and Maria- Teresa Torro-Flor (ESP)Yuliya Beygelzimer and Olga Savchuk (UKR
    • Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP)Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP)
    • Elina Svitolina (UKR)Elina Svitolina (UKR)
    • Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP)Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP)
    • Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP)Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP)
    • Lesia Tsurenko (UKR)Lesia Tsurenko (UKR)
    • Nuria Llagostera Vives (ESP)

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