Georgia to host Finland for key Davis Cup match

The Georgian team will seek promotion to Group 1 of the Davis Cup this year. Photo: Georgia’s Sport Ministry press office., 30 Jan 2017 - 16:30, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s National Tennis team will face Finland in a bid to advance towards promotion from their bracket within the Davis Cup international competition later this week.

The two teams will face off in matches held at the Tbilisi Olympic Palace – also known as the New Sports Palace – from February 3-5.

Featuring four players from either side competing in singles and doubles rounds, the games will be played within the first round of this year’s Davis Cup, also known as "the world cup of tennis”.

Nikoloz Basilashvili will lead the national team’s Davis Cup campaign. Photo: Georgia’s Sport Ministry press office.

Led by the country’s top ranked player Nikoloz Basilashvili (classified 89th in ATP singles ranking), the Georgian team will also feature George Tsivadze (819) and currently unranked young players Vazha Shubladze and Zura Tkemaladze.

Finland’s Patrik Niklas-Salminen (745) will lead the visiting team that also includes Eero Vasa, Emil Ruusuvuori and Harri Heliovaara.

We will play in front of our supporters, which is very significant. We all feel motivated. I urge everyone to support us, while we promise to do everything for the win”, Basilashvili was quoted by the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs of Georgia ahead of the fixture.

In preview of the matches against Finland, national team coach Aka Metreveli revealed the team’s management has been joined by retired Georgian player Irakli Labadze, who reached the fourth round of the 2006 Wimbledon Championships and was World No. 42 in 2004.

Georgia’s national team trains at the Tbilisi Olympic Palace ahead of their fixture against Finland. Photo: Georgia’s Sport Ministry press office.

A win against Finland would see Georgia advance to the second round and face the winner of the Lithuania-Madagascar pairing.

Three stages of the competition will be held during the year, with the second round coming in April and the third round in September.

Georgia is part of Group 2 of the Europe/Africa Zone and is seeking promotion to Group 1 by winning the three rounds of this year’s calendar.

The Georgian team retained its place in Group 2 last year by defeating Zimbabwe in the play-off match in July.