Cyprus edged past Ireland 2-1 to win Europe Group 4 at the 2019 Davis Cup on Saturday.
Having each finished the round-robin stage with perfect records from their respective pools, the two nations faced off to determine who would take top spot. After the singles matches were shared, eventually Petros Chrysochos and Sergis Kyratzis overcame Peter Bothwell and Julian Bradley to clinch the overall win.
On the final day of competition in San Marino, there was also a win for Liechtenstein, as they hammered Malta 3-0 to secure third place. Iceland, Armenia, Andorra and Albania were the other victors.
Here are the results from Saturday's action and a recap of how the key matches unfolded.
Europe Group 4—Results
First Place Match - Cyprus 2-1 Ireland
Simon Carr (IRE) bt. Menelaos Efstathiou (CYP): 6-3, 6-1
Petros Chrysochos (CYP) bt. Peter Bothwell (IRE): 7-5, 6-3
Petros Chrysochos and Sergis Kyratzis (CYP) bt. Peter Bothwell and Julian Bradley (IRE): 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (0)
Third Place Match - Liechtenstein 3-0 Malta
Timo Kranz (LIE) bt. Omar Sudzuka (MAL): 6-1, 6-4
Vital Flurin Leuch (LIE) bt. Matthew Cassar Torregiani (MAL): 6-0, 6-0
Timo Kranz and Vital Flurin Leuch (LIE) bt. Denzil Agius and Omar Sudzuka (MAL): 6-2, 6-1
Fifth-Place Match: Iceland 3-0 San Marino
Daniel Siddall (ISL) bt. Domenico Vicini (SMR): 6-3, 7-6 (2)
Egill Sigurdsson (ISL) bt. Filippo Tommesani (SMR): 6-1, 6-0
Birkir Gunnarsson and Anton Magnusson (ISL) bt. Tommaso Simoncini and Filippo Tommesani (SMR): 6-4, 6-1
Seventh-Place Match: Armenia 3-0 Kosovo
Artur Soghoyan (ARM) bt. Muhamed Zulji (KOS): 6-0, 6-3
Sedrak Khachatryan (ARM) bt. Burim Bytyqi (KOS): 6-1, 6-2
Mikayel Khachatryan and Artur Soghoyan (ARM) bt. Muhamed Zulji and Burim Bytyqi (KOS): 6-2, 6-3
Ninth-Place Match: Albania 2-1 Andorra
Martin Muedini (ALB) bt. Guillermo Jauregui (AND): 6-2, 6-1
Eric Cervos Noguer (AND) bt. Rajan Dushi (ALB): 6-1, 6-1
Martin Muedini and Genajd Shypheja (ALB) bt. Eric Cervos Noguer and Guillermo Jauregui (AND): W/O
Given their flawless performances so far, it was always going to be intriguing to see how the Irish and Cypriot players reacted to a much higher level of competition on Saturday.
It was the Irish who struck the first blow, as 19-year-old Carr showed his promise, blasting past Menelaos Efstathiou for the loss of just four games. From there, Cyprus had a lot of work to do.
However, in Chrysochos they had the man for the job. He won the clutch points at the end of a tight opening set against Bothwell, then stepped up his levels in the second stanza, running out a 6-3 winner.
It set up a nerve-jangling doubles match, with the two Irishmen mentioned going up against Chrysochos and the newly introduced Sergis Kyratzis. As noted by former Ireland Davis Cup captain Garry Cahill, tensions were high after each nation shared a set:
There was little to separate them in the third either, with both sets of players winning six games each to set up a tiebreak.
In the end, the big-point pedigree of Chrysochos and the freshness of Kyratzis saw Cyprus home. Ireland were unable to cope with them in the breaker, with Cyprus running out 7-0 winners and completing an impressive Davis Cup campaign.