Ričardas Berankis, Laurynas Grigelis, Dovydas Šakinis and Lukas Mugevičius may never have been household names for the world tennis community however these four boys had an entire nation behind their back, on this day in 2010.
Lithuania Tribune sports writer Alex Tigani pictured with Ričardas Berankis three years later in 2013. Photo courtesy of Alex Tigani.

Aged 20, 18, 18 and 15 respectively, the four had defied Davis Cup logic earlier in the year by defeating Great Britain 3:2 despite the fact that they had received the smallest conceivable fraction of funding when compared to their opponents.

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It was now time to battle the Irish and if ever there was a time that Lithuanians bypassed basketball as its national sport than it would have been on this weekend four years ago.

Three years earlier the two nations had met for the first time in Cairo, Egypt where the Irish would triumph 2:1.

The first battle on this day would take place between Berankis and 23-year-old James McGee; the Lithuanian would put his nation on the board earlier despite trailing in the first set.

Then it would be Grigelis’ turn to dual the experienced Connor Niland. This would be no problem for the teenager who would hand Lithuania its first straight set victory of the weekend.

Just as they did against Great Britain earlier in the year, Berankis and Grigelis would then unite to tear apart James Cluskey and Barry King before a flabbergasted Dublin crowd.

Though both Šakinis and Mugevičius would face defeat in their respective matches Lithuania would embark on its first Semi Final in Davis Cup history.

This year, they will again play-off in the Semi Final against Bosnia & Herzegovina; aiming for its first relegation to the main European group.

Also on this day in Football, Lithuania celebrated its 6th Baltic Cup title.

The 1996 tournament was hosted by the city of Narva (Estonia’s 3rd largest) and would be displayed before 2,300 people across three days.

The host nation drew level 1:1 with Latvia on Day 1 before the crowd tripled to see Lithuania account for Latvia 2:1.

Both of Lithuania’s goals by 20-year-old Tomas Ražanauskas (5’) and 29-year-old veteran Ričardas Zdančius (68’) were from penalties.

Klaipėda born striker Rimas Žvingilas commenced the final day by scoring another penalty for Lithuania in the opening 18-minutes.

Estonian midfielder Martin Reim would match his opponent minutes later however the final result (1:1) would be enough to secure Lithuania at the top of the table.

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