Argentina win third title in Dusseldorf tennis


Dusseldorf : Agustin Calleri and Jose Acacuso sparked Argentina to a third title at the ARAG World Team Championship, clinching a 2-1 win over the Czech Republic with a doubles victory.

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The trophy for the South Americans Saturday was added to honours they lifted in 1980 and in 2002, when they beat Russia.

The Czechs earned the early lead as Tomas Berdych outlasted Juan Chela 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) in the first rubber of a rain-hit match.

Calleri drew Argentina level 1-1 with his 6-3, 6-1 defeat of Jan Hajek.

The 30-year old then combined with Acasuso for a concluding win against Berdych and Martin Damm 2-6, 6-4, 10-4 (match tie-break).

Argentina was playing its second final in three years after losing to Germany in 2005. In addition to 2002 the nation was also champion in 1980.

Berdych didn't lose concentration after dropping the first set against Chela and sitting through a weather interruption at 2-3 in the final set which lasted for well over an hour.

The final set took 63 minutes, the Czech seizing his opening as a Chela return bounced long off the net cord.

Leading 5-4 in the tie-breaker, Berdych fired over his fourth ace for a pair of match points. Chela saved one before returning long to lose after two hours, 23 minutes of play.

Calleri won the second singles in 72 minutes, his six aces and four breaks of serve proving too much for the inexperienced Hajek, world number 101, who came to Dusseldorf standing 0-8 this season and won three singles matches.

The doubles was wrapped up in one hour and 22 minutes, with Acasuso driving a return at the feet of the Czech side to conclude the victory.

Victory marked the fourth for a South American nation in six years after Argentina's 2002 success and back-to-back titles for Chile in 2003 and 2004.