Brazil makes world group playoffs in Davis Cup

Rio de Janeiro: Brazil advanced to the Davis Cup world group playoffs after Thomaz Bellucci defeated Colombia's Santiago Giraldo in straight sets in Sao Jose do Rio Preto.

Bellucci, ranked No.45 in the world, took almost two hours to overcome the 55th-ranked Giraldo 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-2 on the clay court of Harmonia Tennis Club Sunday, 450 km northeast of Sao Paulo.

The result gave Brazil its third point from a possible five in the tie.

The team now advances as the American Zone 1 qualifier for the playoffs of the elite teams' competition in September.

Brazil has not qualified for the Davis Cup world group since 2003 when it boasted former world No.1 Gustavo Kuerten in its team.

"This victory belongs to everybody, not just me," Bellucci was quoted as saying by Xinhua after his victory.

"We started on a bad note but fought until the end. We have a very strong team and we showed that throughout the three days here."

Brazil's Joao Souza lost the opening match to Giraldo Friday before Bellucci levelled the tie by overcoming a two sets to love deficit against Alejandro Falla.

Brazil's doubles pairing of Bruno Soares and Marcelo Melo easily accounted for Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 3-0 Saturday. (IANS)