Argentina will not be participating in the Davis Cup World Group in 2018 following yesterday’s 3-2 playoff defeat to Kazakhstan. The relegation comes just 10 months after Argentina lifted the trophy for the first time, breaking 16 consecutive years in the World Group. With a First round 3-2 loss to Italy, the current Davis Cup holders had to play a World Group playoff against Kazakhstan, who qualified through the Asia/Oceania in a victory against China.
Guido Pella was the first Argentine on court and was defeated by Kazakh veteran Mikhail Kukushkin 3-1 despite having won the first set.
Diego Schwartzman managed to level the score with relative ease. The 25 year old beat Dimitry Popko in straight sets in a match that lasted little over 2 hours.
However, Argentine pair Máximo Gomez and Andrés Molteni were unable to overcome Timur Khabibulin and Aleksandre Nedovyesov in the doubles match. Similar to Pella, they were able to win the first set only to be pushed aside by the Kazakh duo.
The last match for Argentina also ended in defeat. Diego Schwartzman, fresh from a successful US open in which he reached the quarter finals, was unable to overcome Kukushkin, who defeated in him in straight sets.
Next year, the Argentine team will be a part of the Americas Group 1 of the championship, where it will dispute a spot in the playoffs to return to the elite.