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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Andreyev Rescues Davis Cup Holders

APAndreyev being congratulated by captain Shamil Tarpischev and teammate Teimuraz Gabashvili after clinching the deciding rubber in Chile on Sunday.
LA SERENA, Chile -- Igor Andreyev said Sunday that he never imagined becoming his country's Davis Cup hero by winning both his singles rubbers in his team's 3-2 World Cup victory over Chile.

The South Americans had come from 2-0 down to 2-2 by winning Saturday's doubles and Sunday's first reverse singles between Australian Open finalist Fernando Gonzalez and former world No. 1 Marat Safin, the Chilean triumphing 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.

But Andreyev overcame Olympic champion Massu 6-2, 6-1, 6-7, 6-4 in the deciding rubber to set up a last-eight tie with France for two-time winner Russia.

Ranked 147 in the world following an injury-marred 2006, the 23-year-old beat two players ranked more than 100 places above him in the ATP rankings to take the defending champion into the quarterfinals of the competition.

On Friday, he overcame last month's Australian Open finalist Fernando Gonzalez in four sets, and Sunday, in the deciding match and faced with a hostile crowd, he did the same to world No. 42 Massu, who just last week reached the final of an ATP tournament in his home town of Vina del Mar.

Andreyev played the first two sets as if he were the favorite, finding the corners with a series of elegant ground strokes and breaking serve seemingly at will.

The Chilean managed to stay with the Russian in the third set, taking it to a tiebreak, which he won comfortably, but Andreyev broke serve early in the fourth and kept his nerve to seal victory in the face of constant heckling from the home crowd.

"When you start to play, you never think of winning both games. You think about the first point and just doing all you can," he said afterward.

"I think before we came here no one expected us to win because the two [Chileans] were playing very well. Fernando had reached the final in Australia and Nicolas had reached the final in Vina. Both were very confident."

Andreyev felt his current ranking belied his talent.

"I think I can play at a very good level. It's just that last year was a shame because I got injured. But if things carry on like this, I think I have every possibility of getting back to having a good ranking," he said.

"The Davis Cup is very different from the other tournaments we play each week. You play for your country, with your heart and all your soul and you don't think about rankings and things like that."

The Chileans thanked the home crowd but Marat Safin chastised them for whistling and heckling him at crucial points during his straight sets defeat by Gonzalez in Sunday's first reverse singles rubber.

"There's no need to insult people when they're playing," the Russian said. "There's no need to shout between points. We're here to compete, and nothing more. We're not here to rob the Chileans of their land."

But despite the hostile reception, the former world No. 1 said he had enjoyed the long trip to this beach resort on the Pacific coast.

Asked why, Safin smiled and replied in fluent Spanish he learned at his training base in Mallorca.

"The summer, the sun, the beach," he said. "What more could anyone want?"