Hrbaty Leads Slovak Republic Over Dutch

Posted on July 18, 2005

The Slovak Republic reached their first-ever Davis Cup semifinal Sunday when Dominik Hrbaty delivered the clinching blow in the opening singles, defeating Peter Wessels 6-3, 6-1, 3-0, ret. with the Dutchman failing to finish due to a rib injury.

In the dead fifth-rubber singles, Slovak Michal Mertinak defeated Melle Van Gemerden from a set down.

"Of course Argentina will be favorites," said Hrbaty of their home semifinal in September. "But I think that we have more togetherness. That is the main thing about our team. Also we will be playing at home so we can choose the surface. But Argentina has many players from the Top 10 but I have played them before and managed to win so I think we can win if we play our usual Davis Cup match."

Slovak captain Miroslav Mecir said the Slovaks were lucky the Dutch were without their injured top players Sjeng Schalken and Martin Verkerk.

"I think both teams were very strong but our team had better luck with injuries," Mecir said. "Both teams played with heart and gave everything."
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