May 4, 2016

April 17 Fed Cup Results

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(April 17, 2016) The final results for the 2016 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinals, and World Group and World Group II play-offs taking place on 16-17 April.

France will host Czech Republic in the Fed Cup Final on 12-13 November. In the semifinals, France defeated Netherlands 3-2 in Trelaze, while Czech Republic overcame Switzerland by the same scoreline in Lucerne.

Belarus, Germany, Spain and USA all won their World Group play-offs and will join Czech Republic, France, Netherlands and Switzerland in the 2017 World Group.

Belgium, Chinese Taipei, Slovakia and Ukraine all won their World Group II play-offs, and will join the four World Group play-off losing nations, Australia, Italy, Romania and Russia, in 2017 World Group II. The four World Group II play-off losing nations, Argentina, Canada, Poland and Serbia, will contest their respective Zone Group I events in 2017.

The draw for the 2017 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas will be held at the ITF AGM in Zagreb, Croatia on Monday 20 June. The top two seeds in the 2017 World Group will be the 2016 finalists, while the remaining seeds will be based on the ITF Fed Cup Nations Ranking of 18 April.

WORLD GROUP SEMIFINALS

 

CZECH REPUBLIC defeated SWITZERLAND 3-2

Venue: Messe Luzern, Lucerne, SUI (hard – indoor)

Barbora Strycova (CZE) d. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) 60 62

Viktorija Golubic (SUI) d. Karolina Pliskova (CZE) 36 64 64

Karolina Pliskova (CZE) d. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) 64 62

Viktorija Golubic (SUI) d. Barbora Strycova (CZE) 36 76(6) 61

Lucie Hradecka/Karolina Pliskova (CZE) d. Viktorija Golubic/Martina Hingis (SUI) 62 62

FRANCE defeated NETHERLANDS 3-2

Venue: Arena Loire, Trélazé, FRA (clay – indoor)

 

Kiki Bertens (NED) d. Caroline Garcia (FRA) 64 62

Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. Richel Hogenkamp (NED) 62 64

Kiki Bertens (NED) d. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 75 64

Caroline Garcia (FRA) d. Arantxa Rus (NED) 63 64

Caroline Garcia/Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. Kiki Bertens/Richel Hogenkamp (NED) 46 63 63

WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS

 

BELARUS defeated RUSSIA 3-2

Venue: Small Sports Arena “Luzhniki”, Moscow, RUS (clay – indoor)

 

Darya Kasatkina (RUS) d. Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 63 36 61

Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) 62 63

Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Darya Kasatkina (RUS) 62 57 63

Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) d. Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) 46 61 75

Darya Kasatkina/Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. Olga Govortsova/Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) 64 62

 

SPAIN defeated ITALY 4-0

Venue: Club de Tennis Lleida, Lleida, ESP (clay – outdoor)

 

Garbine Muguruza (ESP) d. Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 76(4) 60

Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) d. Roberta Vinci (ITA) 61 61

Garbine Muguruza (ESP) d. Roberta Vinci (ITA) 62 62

Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) v Francesca Schiavone (ITA) – not played

Anabel Medina Garrigues/Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) d. Karin Knapp/Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 11  ret.

 

GERMANY defeated ROMANIA 4-1

Venue: Sala Polivalenta Cluj-Napoca, Cluj-Napoca, ROU (clay – indoor)

 

Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) 62 63

Simona Halep (ROU) d. Andrea Petkovic (GER) 64 67(5) 64

Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Simona Halep (ROU) 62 62

Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Monica Niculescu (ROU) 06 76(1) 63

Annika Beck/Julia Goerges (GER) d. Irina-Camelia Begu/Alexandra Dulgheru (ROU) 67(5) 76(4) [10-7]

 

USA defeated AUSTRALIA 4-0

Venue: Pat Rafter Arena, Brisbane, AUS (clay – outdoor)

 

Madison Keys (USA) d. Daria Gavrilova (AUS) 64 62

Christina McHale (USA) d. Samantha Stosur (AUS) 36 61 75

Coco Vandeweghe (USA) d. Samantha Stosur (AUS) 26 75 64

Daria Gavrilova (AUS) v Christina McHale (USA) – not played

Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Coco Vandeweghe (USA) d. Daria Gavrilova/Arina Rodionova (AUS) 61 64

WORLD GROUP II PLAY-OFFS

 

BELGIUM defeated SERBIA 3-2

Venue: Aleksandar Nikolic Arena (Pionir Hall), Belgrade, SRB (clay – indoor)

 

Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) d. Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 64 76(8)

Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. Jovana Jaksic (SRB) 75 60

Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) 16 75 86

Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) d. Ivana Jorovic (SRB) 76(8) 64

Jovana Jaksic/Nina Stojanovic (SRB) d. Ysaline Bonaventure/An-Sophie Mestach (BEL) 46 60 [10-5]

 

SLOVAKIA defeated CANADA 3-2

Venue: AEGON Arena, Bratislava, SVK (clay – indoor)

 

Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Francoise Abanda (CAN) 46 63 61

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) d. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 64 46 64

Francoise Abanda (CAN) d. Jana Cepelova (SVK) 75 62

Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 62 60

Sharon Fichman/Charlotte Robillard-Millette (CAN) d. Jana Cepelova/Tereza Mihalikova (SVK) 63 06 [10-8]

 

CHINESE TAIPEI defeated POLAND 4-1

Venue: OSiR Hala Widowiskowo-Sportowa, Inowroclaw, POL (hard – indoor)

 

Hsu Ching-Wen (TPE) d. Paula Kania (POL) 63 64

Magdalena Frech (POL) d. Lee Ya-Hsuan (TPE) 46 60 62

Lee Ya-Hsuan (TPE) d. Paula Kania (POL) 26 63 97

Hsu Ching-Wen (TPE) d. Magdalena Frech (POL) 62 46 63

Chan Chin-Wei/Chuang Chia-Jung (TPE) d. Klaudia Jans-Ignacik/Katarzyna Kawa (POL) 62 76(1)

 

UKRAINE defeated ARGENTINA 4-0

Venue: Campa Tennis Club, Bucha, Kiev, UKR (hard – outdoor)

Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) d. Maria Irigoyen (ARG) 61 61

Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) d. Nadia Podoroska (ARG) 61 64

Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) d. Maria Irigoyen (ARG) 60 63

Kateryna Bondaren

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Fed Cup: U.S. defeats Australia 4-0 to Advance to World Group in 2017

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(April 17, 2016) The U.S. now moves back to competing in the World Group next year by beating Australia, 4-0, in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Playoff on an outdoor clay court in Pat Rafter Arena at the Queensland Tennis Centre in Brisbane, Australia.

In the first match of the day, world No. 36 CoCo Vandeweghe came from a set down to beat world No. 26 Samantha Stosur, 26, 75, 64, in two hours and 18 minutes to clinch the victory for the United States. The win was also the first in her Fed Cup singles career for Vandeweghe who now moves to 1-3. Vandeweghe also moved her lifetime record to 4-1 against Stosur.   The U.S. team is now 3-1 when Coco takes the court.  The Christina McHale-Daria Gavrilova match was not played.

“Well, I mean Sam’s a phenomenal player and I actually really enjoy playing against her because she is that phenomenal player,” said Vandeweghe.  “This is the first time we ever played on clay, so I mean, all the other surfaces were quicker, hardcourts or grass.  So I knew this would be more well suited for her game, she’d be more comfortable than I would be.  But you know, I still stuck to my game plan of trying to implement my game to her before she could definitely get me off balance and that’s pretty much what I try to do against her most of the time when we play.”

 

“Well that was the first Fed Cup singles win that I’ve ever had,” she said.  “The first time I ever played was in a final and I really didn’t rise to the occasion too well, I was – I think I was like 18 or something the first time I played and, you know, that was really disappointing for me as a player and also as a player representing the United States.  So, I mean I think it’s such a privilege to play for the United States and I think it’s always been my No.1 goal to play for my country and to make the Olympic team eventually more so than Grand Slams and stuff like that.  It was just the way I was raised.

 

In the dead doubles rubber, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and CoCo Vandeweghe faced Daria Gavrilova and Arina Rodionova.  Daria and Arina were substituted for Casey Dellacqua and Samantha Stosur.  In the end, Mattek-Sands and Vandeweghe won the match, 61, 64, in one hour and 17 minutes.  With the victory Mattek-Sands and Vandeweghe remain undefeated as a doubles team.  In Fed Cup, Mattek-Sands moved her doubles record to 5-0 record while Vandeweghe moved to 3-0.

 

“No the whole team is MVP, they all did their part, they all contributed,” said United Stated Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez.  “I always say the first match kind of gives you the momentum, I always say the first match is critical.  So Madison got us off to such a great start.  Hooray. And then Christina picked it up and played really, really well and fought so hard towards the end of the match, and then Coco today came back, a set and 2-love down, and you know, fought as well.  So it was an amazing effort to turn that match around and the doubles went great too.  So I couldn’t be more proud of each and every one of them.”

The U.S. remains undefeated at 22-0 when leading after the first day of play (since the World Group format was instituted in 1995). The U.S. also improves to 10-12 all-time in Fed Cup ties played on the road, and holds an overall 146-36 record.  The victory also moves the Fed Cup teams record to 11-3 in matches played in Australia/New Zealand.

With the victory, the U.S. advances to the World Group in 2017. The 2017 Fed Cup draw will be made in mid-November after the World Group Finals.

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Fed Cup Draws Announced for World Group Play-offs and World Group II Play-offs

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(April 15, 2016) The ITF has announced the draws for the 2016 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinals, and World Group and World Group II play-offs taking place on 16-17 April.

Three Fed Cup Zone Group events are also taking place this week: Asia/Oceania Zone Group II in Hua Hin, Thailand (11-16 April); Europe/Africa Zone Group II in Cairo, Egypt (13-16 April); and Europe/Africa Zone Group III in Ulcinj, Montenegro (11-16 April).

The four winners of the World Group play-offs will qualify for the 2017 World Group, with the losers contesting 2017 World Group II. The four winners of the World Group II play-offs will qualify for 2017 World Group II, with the four losers contesting the 2017 Zone Group I events. The draw for the 2017 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas will be held at the ITF AGM in Zagreb, Croatia on Monday 20 June.

 

WORLD GROUP SEMIFINALS

 

SWITZERLAND v CZECH REPUBLIC

Venue: Messe Luzern, Lucerne, SUI (hard – indoor)

 

Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) v Barbora Strycova (CZE)

Viktorija Golubic (SUI) v Karolina Pliskova (CZE)

Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) v Karolina Pliskova (CZE)

Viktorija Golubic (SUI) v Barbora Strycova (CZE)

Timea Bacsinszky/Martina Hingis (SUI) v Denisa Allertova/Lucie Hradecka (CZE)

 

FRANCE v NETHERLANDS

Venue: Arena Loire, Trélazé, FRA (clay – indoor)

 

Caroline Garcia (FRA) v Kiki Bertens (NED)

Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) v Richel Hogenkamp (NED)

Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) v Kiki Bertens (NED)

Caroline Garcia (FRA) v Richel Hogenkamp (NED)

Alize Cornet/Pauline Parmentier (FRA) v Cindy Burger/Arantxa Rus (NED)

 

WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS

 

RUSSIA v BELARUS

Venue: Small Sports Arena “Luzhniki”, Moscow, RUS (clay – indoor)

 

Darya Kasatkina (RUS) v Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR)

Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) v Victoria Azarenka (BLR)

Darya Kasatkina (RUS) v Victoria Azarenka (BLR)

Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) v Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR)

Elizaveta Kulichkova/Elena Vesnina (RUS) v Olga Govortsova/Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR)

 

SPAIN v ITALY

Venue: Club de Tennis Lleida, Lleida, ESP (clay – outdoor)

 

Garbine Muguruza (ESP) v Sara Errani (ITA)

Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) v Roberta Vinci (ITA)

Garbine Muguruza (ESP) v Roberta Vinci (ITA)

Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) v Sara Errani (ITA)

Anabel Medina Garrigues/Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) v Karin Knapp/Francesca Schiavone (ITA)

 

ROMANIA v GERMANY

Venue: Sala Polivalenta Cluj-Napoca, Cluj-Napoca, ROU (clay – indoor)

 

Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) v Angelique Kerber (GER)

Simona Halep (ROU) v Andrea Petkovic (GER)

Simona Halep (ROU) v Angelique Kerber (GER)

Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) v Andrea Petkovic (GER)

Alexandra Dulgheru/Monica Niculescu (ROU) v Annika Beck/Julia Goerges (GER)

 

AUSTRALIA v USA

Venue: Pat Rafter Arena, Brisbane, AUS (clay – outdoor)

 

Daria Gavrilova (AUS) v Madison Keys (USA)

Samantha Stosur (AUS) v Christina McHale (USA)

Samantha Stosur (AUS) v Madison Keys (USA)

Daria Gavrilova (AUS) v Christina McHale (USA)

Casey Dellacqua/Samantha Stosur (AUS) v Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Coco Vandeweghe (USA)

 

WORLD GROUP II PLAY-OFFS

 

SERBIA v BELGIUM

Venue: Aleksandar Nikolic Arena (Pionir Hall), Belgrade, SRB (clay – indoor)

 

Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) v Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)

Jovana Jaksic (SRB) v Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)

Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) v Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)

Jovana Jaksic (SRB) v Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)

Ivana Jorovic/Nina Stojanovic (SRB) v Ysaline Bonaventure/An-Sophie Mestach (BEL)

 

SLOVAKIA v CANADA

Venue: AEGON Arena, Bratislava, SVK (clay – indoor)

 

Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) v Francoise Abanda (CAN)

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) v Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN)

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) v Francoise Abanda (CAN)

Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) v Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN)

Jana Cepelova/Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) v Sharon Fichman/Charlotte Robillard-Millette (CAN)

 

POLAND v CHINESE TAIPEI

Venue: ORiR Hala Widowiskowo-Sportowa, Inowroclaw, POL (hard – indoor)

 

Paula Kania (POL) v Hsu Ching-Wen (TPE)
Magdalena Frech (POL) v Lee Ya-Hsuan (TPE)
Paula Kania (POL) v Lee Ya-Hsuan (TPE)
Magdalena Frech (POL) v Hsu Ching-Wen (TPE)
Klaudia Jans-Ignacik/Katarzyna Kawa (POL) v Chan Chin-Wei/Chuang Chia-Jung (TPE)

 

UKRAINE v ARGENTINA

Venue: Campa Tennis Club, Bucha, Kiev, UKR (hard – outdoor)

 

Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) v Maria Irigoyen (ARG)

Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) v Nadia Podoroska (ARG)

Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) v Maria Irigoyen (ARG)

Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) v Nadia Podoroska (ARG)

Lyudmyla Kichenok/Olga Savchuk (UKR) v Maria Lourdes Carle/Guadalupe Perez Rojas (ARG)

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ITF Confirms Schedule for 2017 Davis Cup and Fed Cup

 

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(March 14, 2016) The ITF today confirmed the schedule for the 2017 Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas. These are the regular dates for both competitions in a year with a short summer, when there is one less week in the summer tennis calendar.

 

2017 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas

 

World Group first round: 3-5 February

World Group quarterfinals: 7-9 April

World Group semifinals and play-offs: 15-17 September

World Group Final: 24-26 November

 

2017 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas

 

World Group and World Group II first round: 11-12 February

World Group semifinals, World Group/World Group II play-offs: 22-23 April

World Group Final: 11-12 November

 

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Davis Cup Results for March 6, 2016

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(March 6, 2016) The ITF has announced the final results for the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group first round and Zone Group ties taking place on 4-6 March. A total of 32 ties have been held this weekend.

 

In the World Group quarterfinals, to be played on 15-17 July, Serbia will be at home to Great Britain, Italy will host Argentina, Czech Republic will welcome France and USA will be on home soil against Croatia. The deadline for confirmation of the World Group quarterfinal venues is 5 April.

 

The eight World Group first round losers will contest the World Group play-offs on 16-18 September, where they will be joined by the eight winners of the Zone Group I 2nd round ties played on 15-17 July. The draw for the World Group play-offs will be held at the ITF on Tuesday 19 July at 10:00 local time (09:00 GMT). The seeds for the draw will be based on the latest  ITF Davis Cup Nations Ranking of 18 July.

 

WORLD GROUP FIRST ROUND

 

GREAT BRITAIN defeated JAPAN 3-1

Venue: Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham, GBR (hard – indoor)

 

Andy Murray (GBR) d. Taro Daniel (JPN) 61 63 61

Kei Nishikori (JPN) d. Daniel Evans (GBR) 63 75 76(3)

Andy Murray/Jamie Murray (GBR) d. Yoshihito Nishioka/Yasutaka Uchiyama (JPN) 63 62 64

Andy Murray (GBR) d. Kei Nishikori (JPN) 75 76(6) 36 46 63

Daniel Evans (GBR) v Taro Daniel (JPN) – not played

 

SERBIA defeated KAZAKHSTAN 3-2

Venue: Aleksandar Nikolic Arena (Pionir Hall), Belgrade, SRB (hard – indoor)

 

Novak Djokovic (SRB) d. Aleksandr Nedovyesov (KAZ) 61 62 63

Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) d. Viktor Troicki (SRB) 75 62 64

Andrey Golubev/Aleksandr Nedovyesov (KAZ) d. Novak Djokovic/Nenad Zimonjic (SRB) 63 76(3) 75

Novak Djokovic (SRB) d. Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 67(6) 76(3) 46 63 62

Viktor Troicki (SRB) d. Aleksandr Nedovyesov (KAZ) 62 63 64

 

ITALY defeated SWITZERLAND 5-0

Venue: Adriatic Arena, Pesaro, ITA (clay – indoor)

 

Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) d. Marco Chiudinelli (SUI) 76(14) 63 46 57 75

Andreas Seppi (ITA) d. Henri Laaksonen (SUI) 75 76(4) 36 63

Simone Bolelli/Andreas Seppi (ITA) d. Marco Chiudinelli/Henri Laaksonen (SUI) 63 61 63

Marco Cecchinato (ITA) d. Adrien Bossel (SUI) 63 75

Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) d. Antoine Bellier (SUI) 63 62

 

ARGENTINA defeated POLAND 3-2

Venue: Ergo Arena, Gdansk, POL (hard – indoor)

 

Guido Pella (ARG) d. Michal Przysiezny (POL) 61 64 76(5)

Leonardo Mayer (ARG) d. Hubert Hurkacz (POL) 62 76(3) 62

Lukasz Kubot/Marcin Matkowski (POL) d. Carlos Berlocq/Renzo Olivo (ARG) 63 64 64

Leonardo Mayer (ARG) d. Michal Przysiezny (POL) 67(4) 76(4) 62 63

Hubert Hurkacz (POL) d. Renzo Olivo (ARG) 46 76(6) 64

 

FRANCE defeated CANADA 5-0

Venue: Vélodrome Amédée Detraux, Guadeloupe, FRA (clay – outdoor)

 

Gael Monfils (FRA) d. Frank Dancevic (CAN) 63 61 63

Gilles Simon (FRA) d. Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 75 63 63

Richard Gasquet/Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) d. Philip Bester/Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 76(4) 61 76(4)

Richard Gasquet (FRA) d. Philip Bester (CAN) 61 76(4)

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) d. Frank Dancevic (CAN) 67(7) ret.

 

CZECH REPUBLIC defeated GERMANY 3-2

Venue: TUI Arena, Hannover, GER (hard – indoor)

 

Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) d. Lukas Rosol (CZE) 36 63 64 26 63

Tomas Berdych (CZE) d. Alexander Zverev (GER) 76(6) 16 46 76(5) 64

Tomas Berdych/Radek Stepanek (CZE) d. Philipp Kohlschreiber/Philipp Petzschner (GER) 76(7) 75 64

Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) d. Tomas Berdych (CZE) 63 75 ret.

Lukas Rosol (CZE) d. Alexander Zverev (GER) 62 63 61

 

USA defeated AUSTRALIA 3-1

Venue: Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, Kooyong, AUS (grass – outdoor)

 

John Isner (USA) d. Samuel Groth (AUS) 76(2) 62 62

Bernard Tomic (AUS) d. Jack Sock (USA) 76(2) 63 36 64

Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA) d. Lleyton Hewitt/John Peers (AUS) 63 63 46 46 63

John Isner (USA) d. Bernard Tomic (AUS) 64 64 57 76(4)

Samuel Groth (AUS) v Jack Sock (USA) – not played

 

CROATIA defeated BELGIUM 3-2

Venue: Country Hall du Sart-Tilman, Liège, BEL (clay – indoor)

 

Marin Cilic (CRO) d. Kimmer Coppejans (BEL) 75 63 75

David Goffin (BEL) d. Borna Coric (CRO) 63 62 26 36 63

Ivan Dodig/Franko Skugor (CRO) d. Ruben Bemelmans/David Goffin (BEL) 76(5) 63 61

David Goffin (BEL) d. Marin Cilic (CRO) 64 64 36 75

Borna Coric (CRO) d. Kimmer Coppejans (BEL) 76(5) 62 62

 

 

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP I FIRST ROUND

 

ROMANIA defeated SLOVENIA 4-1

Venue: Sala Sporturilor, Arad, ROU (hard – indoor)

 

Marius Copil (ROU) d. Blaz Rola (SLO) 75 63 76(5)

Adrian Ungur (ROU) d. Grega Zemlja (SLO) 46 46 63 76(3) 64

Florin Mergea/Horia Tecau (ROU) d. Blaz Rola/Grega Zemlja (SLO) 63 76(5) 76(3)

Blaz Rola (SLO) d. Adrian Ungur (ROU) 63 64

Marius Copil (ROU) d. Tomislav Ternar (SLO) 63 63

 

AUSTRIA defeated PORTUGAL 4-1

Venue: Pavilhao Vitoria Sport Clube, Guimarães, POR (hard – indoor)

 

Joao Sousa (POR) d. Gerald Melzer (AUT) 61 75 62

Dominic Thiem (AUT) d. Gastao Elias (POR) 36 75 63 16 76(6)

Alexander Peya/Dominic Thiem (AUT) d. Gastao Elias/Joao Sousa (POR) 67(6) 67(4) 61 63 64

Dominic Thiem (AUT) d. Joao Sousa (POR) 62 64 62

Dennis Novak (AUT) d. Pedro Sousa (POR) 64 63

 

RUSSIA defeated SWEDEN 5-0

Venue: Kazan Tennis Academy, Kazan, RUS (hard – indoor)

 

Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) d. Isak Arvidsson (SWE) 46 61 61 64

Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) d. Daniel Windahl (SWE) 63 61 61

Evgeny Donskoy/Konstantin Kravchuk (RUS) d. Johan Brunstrom/Robert Lindstedt (SWE) 63 76(5) 63

Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) d. Isak Arvidsson (SWE) 64 60

Konstantin Kravchuk (RUS) d. Daniel Windahl (SWE) 62 62

 

HUNGARY defeated ISRAEL 3-2

Venue: Heroes’ Square Stadium, Budapest, HUN (clay – indoor)

 

Peter Nagy (HUN) d. Dudi Sela (ISR) 62 63 46 46 61

Marton Fucsovics (HUN) d. Amir Weintraub (ISR) 64 62 75

Marton Fucsovics/Levente Godry (HUN) d. Jonathan Erlich/Dudi Sela (ISR) 76(2) 36 76(5) 76(7)

Edan Leshem (ISR) d. Gabor Borsos (HUN) 46 64 76(3)

Amir Weintraub (ISR) d. Peter Nagy (HUN) 57 64 62

 

 

ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP I FIRST ROUND

 

KOREA, REPUBLIC defeated NEW ZEALAND 3-1

Venue: Olympic Tennis Courts, Seoul, KOR (hard – outdoor)

 

Hong Seong Chan (KOR) d. Jose Statham (NZL) 64 63 46 76(6)

Chung Hyeon (KOR) d. Michael Venus (NZL) 64 75 61

Artem Sitak/Michael Venus (NZL) d. Lee Duck Hee / Lim Yong-Kyu (KOR) 76(3) 64 46 64

Chung Hyeon (KOR) d. Jose Statham (NZL) 62 64 62

Hong Seong Chan (KOR) v Michael Venus (NZL) – not played

 

CHINA, P.R. defeated PAKISTAN 5-0

Venue: Sri Lanka Tennis Association, Colombo, SRI (clay – outdoor)

 

Zhang Ze (CHN) d. Aqeel Khan (PAK) 64 62 62

Wu Di (CHN) d. Yasir Khan (PAK) 36 61 64 62

Bai Yan/Gong Mao-Xin (CHN) d. Aqeel Khan/Aisam Qureshi (PAK) 64 36 63 76(4)

Wu Di (CHN) d. Muhammad Abid (PAK) 61 60

Zhang Ze (CHN) d. Yasir Khan (PAK) 63 60

 

 

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP I FIRST ROUND

 

ECUADOR defeated BARBADOS 5-0

Venue: Portoviejo Tennis Club, Portoviejo, ECU (clay – outdoor)

 

Emilio Gomez (ECU) d. Adam Hornby (BAR) 60 60 60

Ivan Endara (ECU) d. Darian King (BAR) 61 62 64

Emilio Gomez/Giovanni Lapentti (ECU) d. Darian King/Haydn Lewis (BAR) 64 67(7) 62 63

Emilio Gomez (ECU) d. Seanon Williams (BAR) 60 62

Ivan Endara (ECU) d. Adam Hornby (BAR) 60 61

 

CHILE defeated DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 5-0

Venue: Estadio Nacional Julio Martinez P – Court Central, Santiago, CHI (clay – outdoor)

 

Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (CHI) d. Jose Olivares (DOM) 61 61 76(4)

Gonzalo Lama (CHI) d. Jose Hernandez-Fernandez (DOM) 63 76(3) 75

Julio Peralta/Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (CHI) d. Manuel Castellanos/Jose Hernandez-Fernandez (DOM) 61 61 75

Christian Garin (CHI) d. Manuel Castellanos (DOM) 61 62

Gonzalo Lama (CHI) d. Jose Olivares (DOM) 64 60

 

 

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP II FIRST ROUND

 

LITHUANIA defeated NORWAY 3-2

Venue: Siauliu Arena, Siauliai, LTU (hard – indoor)

 

Viktor Durasovic (NOR) d. Laurynas Grigelis (LTU) 75 36 64 46 76(2)

Ricardas Berankis (LTU) d. Casper Ruud (NOR) 62 61 64

Ricardas Berankis/Laurynas Grigelis (LTU) d. Viktor Durasovic/Casper Ruud (NOR) 62 76(2) 61

Ricardas Berankis (LTU) d. Viktor Durasovic (NOR) 62 61 60

Casper Ruud (NOR) d. Lukas Mugevicius (LTU) 63 63

 

SOUTH AFRICA defeated LUXEMBOURG 5-0

Venue: Irene Country Club, Centurion, RSA (hard – outdoor)

 

Tucker Vorster (RSA) d. Alex Knaff (LUX) 61 64 64

Lloyd Harris (RSA) d. Ugo Nastasi (LUX) 61 64 64

Dean O’Brien/Ruan Roelofse (RSA) d. Ugo Nastasi/Mike Scheidweiler (LUX) 63 75 62

Tucker Vorster (RSA) d. Tom Diederich (LUX) 63 64

Lloyd Harris (RSA) d. Alex Knaff (LUX) 62 61

 

TURKEY defeated BULGARIA 3-2

Venue: Ankara Tenis Kulübü, Ankara, TUR (hard – indoor)

 

Cem Ilkel (TUR) d. Dimitar Kuzmanov (BUL) 76(4) 16 64 16 75

Marsel Ilhan (TUR) d. Alexandar Lazarov (BUL) 64 62 63

Aleksandar Lazov/Vasko Mladenov (BUL) d. Tuna Altuna/Cem Ilkel (TUR) 76(6) 67(5) 67(4) 76(5) 64

Marsel Ilhan (TUR) d. Dimitar Kuzmanov (BUL) 46 62 64 46 60

Alexandar Lazarov (BUL) d. Altug Celikbilek (TUR) 46 64 64

 

BOSNIA/HERZEGOVINA defeated TUNISIA 3-1

Venue: Gradska Arena Zenica, Zenica, BIH (carpet – indoor)

 

Mirza Basic (BIH) d. Anis Ghorbel (TUN) 62 64 62

Malek Jaziri (TUN) d. Tomislav Brkic (BIH) 67(5) 62 76(7) 67(5) 64

Mirza Basic/Tomislav Brkic (BIH) d. Malek Jaziri/Skander Mansouri (TUN) 67(2) 46 63 75 64

Mirza Basic (BIH) d. Malek Jaziri (TUN) 57 46 76(6) 76(16) 63

Tomislav Brkic (BIH) v Anis Ghorbel (TUN) – not played

 

LATVIA defeated MONACO 3-2

Venue: Daugavpils Olimpiskais Centrs, Daugavpils, LAT (hard – indoor)

 

Martins Podzus (LAT) d. Romain Arneodo (MON) 76(5) 64 76(6)

Mikelis Libietis (LAT) d. Benjamin Balleret (MON) 36 64 36 63 64

Mikelis Libietis/Martins Podzus (LAT) d. Romain Arneodo/Benjamin Balleret (MON) 63 62 75

Lucas Catarina (MON) d. Rudolfs Mednis (LAT) 5-2 ret.

Benjamin Balleret (MON) d. Martins Podzus (LAT) w/o

 

BELARUS defeated EGYPT 3-1

Venue: El Gezera Sporting Club, Cairo, EGY (clay – outdoor)

 

Egor Gerasimov (BLR) d. Karim-Mohamed Maamoun (EGY) 62 63 61

Ilya Ivashka (BLR) d. Mohamed Safwat (EGY) 57 60 36 76(3) 75

Youssef Hossam/Mohamed Safwat (EGY) d. Alexander Bury/Egor Gerasimov (BLR) 76(7) 46 64 46 75

Egor Gerasimov (BLR) d. Mohamed Safwat (EGY) 67(2) 75 75 64

Youssef Hossam (EGY) v Ilya Ivashka (BLR) – not played

 

FINLAND defeated ZIMBABWE 4-1

Venue: Kittilan Urheiluhalli, Kittila, FIN (hard – indoor)

 

Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) d. Courtney John Lock (ZIM) 60 60 60

Harri Heliovaara (FIN) d. Takanyi Garanganga (ZIM) 36 63 46 64 64

Henri Kontinen/Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) d. Mark Fynn/Courtney John Lock (ZIM) 61 60 61

Takanyi Garanganga (ZIM) d. Eero Vasa (FIN) 76(5) 75

Harri Heliovaara (FIN) d. Courtney John Lock (ZIM) 61 60

 

DENMARK defeated GEORGIA 5-0

Venue: New Sport Hall, Tbilisi, GEO (carpet – indoor)

 

Christian Sigsgaard (DEN) d. Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) 67(4) 61 64 64

Frederik Nielsen (DEN) d. George Tsivadze (GEO) 76(3) 60 61

Thomas Kromann/Frederik Nielsen (DEN) d. Nikoloz Basilashvili/George Tsivadze (GEO) 76(0) 61 62

Benjamin Hannestad (DEN) d. Giorgi Javakhishvili (GEO) 61 30 ret.

Christian Sigsgaard (DEN) d. Irakli Metreveli (GEO) 61 61

 

 

ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP II FIRST ROUND

 

CHINESE TAIPEI defeated MALAYSIA 4-1

Venue: Kaohsiung Yangming Tennis Courts, Kaohsiung, TPE (hard – outdoor)

 

Mohd Assri Merzuki (MAS) d. Hung Jui-Chen (TPE) 62 67(6) 06 61 64

Huang Liang-Chi (TPE) d. Syed Mohd Agil Syed Naguib (MAS) 60 60 62

Huang Liang-Chi/Yi Chu-Huan (TPE) d. Mohd Assri Merzuki/Syed Mohd Agil Syed Naguib (MAS) 61 64 62

Huang Liang-Chi  (TPE) d. Mohd Assri Merzuki (MAS) 61 62 62

Hung Jui-Chen (TPE) d. Hao Sheng Koay (MAS) 75 61

 

PHILIPPINES defeated KUWAIT 5-0

Venue: Valle Verde Country Club, Pasig City,  Metro-Manila, PHI (clay – indoor)

 

Jeson Patrombon (PHI) d. Abdulrahman Alawadhi (KUW) 60 62 61

Ruben Gonzales (PHI) d. Mohammad Ghareeb (KUW) 76(2) 62 16 67(6) 55 ret.

Francis Casey Alcantara/Treat Huey (PHI) d. Abdulrahman Alawadhi/Abdulhamid Mubarak (KUW) 61 61 62

Jeson Patrombon (PHI) d. Abdulhamid Mubarak (KUW) 76(5) 63

Francis Casey Alcantara (PHI) d. Ali Ghareeb (KUW) 62 61

 

VIETNAM defeated INDONESIA 3-2

Venue: Gelora Manahan Tennis Stadium Complex, Surakarta, INA (hard – outdoor)

 

Christopher Rungkat (INA) d. Minh Tuan Pham (VIE) 61 61 62

Nam Hoang Ly (VIE) d. Aditya Hari Sasongko (INA) 61 64 62

Nam Hoang Ly/Thien Nguyen Hoang (VIE) d. Christopher Rungkat/Sunu-Wahyu Trijati (INA) 63 36 76(3) 62

Christopher Rungkat (INA) d. Nam Hoang Ly (VIE) 64 61 20 ret.

Thien Nguyen Hoang (VIE) d. Aditya Hari Sasongko (INA) 36 62 36 64 64

 

THAILAND defeated SRI LANKA 3-2

Venue: The National Tennis Development Center (LTAT), Nonthaburi, THA (hard – outdoor)

 

Harshana Godamanna (SRI) d. Puriwat Chatpatcharoen (THA) 63 67(4) 63 63

Pruchya Isarow (THA) d. Sharmal Dissanayake (SRI) 62 63 63

Sanchai Ratiwatana/Sonchat Ratiwatana (THA) d. Yasitha De Silva/Dineshkanthan Thangarajah (SRI) 60 62 63

Sharmal Dissanayake (SRI) d. Puriwat Chatpatcharoen (THA) 46 26 63 63 61

Pruchya Isarow (THA) d. Harshana Godamanna (SRI) 64 67(5) 63 76(6)

 

 

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP II FIRST ROUND

 

PERU defeated URUGUAY 3-2

Venue: Club Tennis Las Terrazas Miraflores, Lima, PER (clay – outdoor)

 

Jorge Brian Panta (PER) d. Martin Cuevas (URU) 57 75 67(5) 76(4) 64

Mauricio Echazu (PER) d. Santiago Maresca (URU) 67(5) 61 62 61

Ariel Behar/Martin Cuevas (URU) d. Duilio Vallebuona/Juan Pablo Varillas Patino-Samudio (PER) 64 76(3) 75

Martin Cuevas (URU) d. Mauricio Echazu (PER) 75 61 64

Juan Pablo Varillas Patino-Samudio (PER) d. Rodrigo Arus (URU) 57 57 61 64 62

 

MEXICO defeated GUATEMALA 3-2

Venue: Juan Camilo Mouriño Terrazo Stadium, San Francisco de Campeche, MEX (hard – outdoor)

 

Lucas Gomez (MEX) d. Wilfredo Gonzalez (GUA) 64 36 62 62

Hans Hach (MEX) d. Christopher Diaz-Figueroa (GUA) 76(5) 67(2) 46 63 62

Santiago Gonzalez/Miguel-Angel Reyes-Varela (MEX) d. Christopher Diaz-Figueroa/Wilfredo Gonzalez (GUA) 61 76(7) 63

Christopher Diaz-Figueroa (GUA) d. Lucas Gomez (MEX) 62 62

Wilfredo Gonzalez (GUA) d. Hans Hach (MEX) 63 62

 

EL SALVADOR defeated PUERTO RICO 3-2

Venue: Complejo Polideportivo de Ciudad Merliot, Santa Tecla, ESA (hard – outdoor)

 

Sebastian Arcila (PUR) d. Alberto Emmanuel Alvarado Larin (ESA) 64 64 62

Marcelo Arevalo (ESA) d. Alex Diaz (PUR) 62 62 60

Marcelo Arevalo/Rafael Arevalo (ESA) d. Sebastian Arcila/Alex Diaz (PUR) 67(6) 62 62 63

Marcelo Arevalo (ESA) d. Sebastian Arcila (PUR) 62 75 61

Ignacio Garcia (PUR) d. Sebastian Quiros (ESA) 61 62

 

VENEZUELA defeated PARAGUAY 5-0

Venue: Cancha Central, Caracas, VEN (hard – outdoor)

 

Ricardo Rodriguez (VEN) d. Bruno Britez (PAR) 67(8) 75 61 75

Luis David Martinez (VEN) d. Ayed Zatar (PAR) 75 36 76(7) 64

Luis David Martinez/Roberto Maytin (VEN) d. Bruno Britez/Ayed Zatar (PAR) 62 62 64

Ricardo Rodriguez (VEN) d. Francisco Yim Kim (PAR) 61 60

Miguel Angel Este (VEN) d. Hernando Jose Escurra Isnardi (PAR) 63 63

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Davis Cup: Isner “Aces” Australia, Powers U.S. to Quarterfinals with Victory over Tomic

DAVIS CUP: ISNER “ACES” AUSTRALIA

Powers U.S. to Quarterfinals with victory over Tomic

By Junior Williams

(March 6, 2016) MELBOURNE, Australia – John Isner blasted 49 aces – including one on match point – to give the United States a 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(4) victory over Bernard Tomic and Australia, securing an unassailable 3-1 lead and advancing into the quarterfinal round of the Davis Cup World Group.

In the first set, Isner took advantage of his first break point opportunity with a successful backhand volley, putting the U.S. up 3-2.

The world No. 11 finished the set with ten aces and won all six of his net points.

Isner’s next break of serve came in the second set when Tomic netted a return from the American, resulting in a 4-3 U.S. lead. Tomic shook his right wrist numerous times during that game and had it wrapped during the changeover. Isner went on to win the set after a Tomic volley at net went wide.

The momentum shifted in the third set, when Tomic began impersonating a backboard, successfully defending against the Isner serve. The world number 24 secured the set on his fifth break point of the game, giving hope to a home crowd cheering for a comeback.

But in the end, Isner pulled through after being down a mini-break early in the fourth-set tiebreak, rebounding to go up 5-4 – putting the match on his racket.

It was only fitting that he closed out the match — and the tie — with his 49th ace.

”We always knew it was going to be very difficult coming down here,” said U.S. captain Jim Courier. ”Our team came good. John stepped up today.”

“It was incredible tie for us,” Isner said. “We knew Australia was going to be tough and they put up a great fight.”

With the victory, The U.S. avoided a fifth and deciding rubber that the Aussie faithful at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club had been hoping for: A potential match-up between American Jack Sock and Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt.

Halfway through the second set Tomic was picked up on a court microphone berating his countryman Nick Kyrgios who could not play the tie due to a virus. Tomic said to Hewitt during a changeover: “While I’m here, Nick’s sitting down in Canberra. Bull**** he’s sick.”

Next up for the U.S. A home tie in July against the winner of the first round tie between Belgium and Croatia.

***************************************************************************************************

Some irony involving the U.S. victory over Australia: International Tennis Federation admitted the tie should have played on hard court instead of on grass. That’s because of an agreement in 1999 to have the Aussies play the Americans in the U.S. that year to celebrate the Davis Cup centennial – this despite it being Australia’s turn to host a tie between the two countries.

 

Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the US home ties. He is in Melbourne covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Australia.

 

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Bryan Brothers Hang on to Beat Hewitt and Peers in Davis Cup Five-Set Thriller

DAVIS CUP: U.S. HANGS ON TO BEAT AUSTRALIA

Goes up 2-1 after Bryans hold off Hewitt & Peers in 5-set thriller

By Junior Williams

(March 5, 2016) MELBOURNE, Australia – Bob and Mike Bryan fought off a comeback attempt by Lleyton Hewitt and John Peers to give the U.S. a 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Australia at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, putting the Americans up 2-1 against the home team in their Davis Cup World Group First Round tie.

Australian Davis Cup Captain, the recently retired Lleyton Hewitt, inserted himself into Saturday’s line-up.

“Yeah we made the decision last night,” said Hewitt, making his debut as Davis Cup Captain. “Just, you know, sharing the workload really. You know, that was the determining factor. We thought whatever pair we went with had an outside chance of going well. But, you know, that was probably the determining factor in the end.”

The Bryans raced out to a two sets to none lead by breaking the Aussies three times — twice on team captain Hewitt’s serve. But Australia began to rally after breaking the U.S. to go up 4-3 in the third set – Hewitt hitting solid returns and yelling “come on” for good measure, while Peers was stellar at the net and with his ground strokes. He closed out the set with a serve and volley point.

Australia maintained its momentum buy winning the fourth set, capped by put away at the net by Hewitt which sent the crowd into a frenzy.

But in the end, the Bryans showed why they’ve won 106 titles as a doubles team. They regained their groove by going up 2-0 in the fifth set after breaking Australia at love. With strong net play and service games, the Americans remained consistent throughout the set, winning all six of their second serve points and committing no unforced errors. The final point was an overhead smash at the net, followed by the twins’ trademark celebratory chest bump. The Bryans are now 24-4 as a doubles team in Davis Cup competition.

“The level was incredible on both sides of the net,“ noted U.S. Captain Jim Courier. “Grass court doubles can sometimes be a little bit messy because it’s so quick, tough to return. But man, the level from first ball was extremely high and obviously it got very complicated there after the second set. Those guys lifted, Lleyton in particular lifted his returns and fortunately Bob and Mike did the same in the fifth set and really put a stamp on it early which was big and just held it out.

Bob Bryan was not surprised by Hewitt’s decision to take the court. “No, not at all, He said. “He was practising 10 feet from us all week, playing lots of doubles, playing lots of singles, playing more than anyone out there and, you know, the guy’s an accomplished doubles player and probably this is his best surface to play on. With that serve, you know, it slides away, those cutter serves and he can return well on anything.”

On Sunday, World No. 11 John Isner will look to clinch the tie in a reverse singles match against Australia’s Bernard Tomic. Both players won their respective Friday matches. If it comes down to a fifth and deciding rubber, it’s scheduled to be American Jack Sock versus Sam Groth, but don’t rule out the possibility of Captain Hewitt stepping in for the Aussies.

“Well, it’s going to be an exciting day for sure,” Courier said, “Bernie played awfully well yesterday, so did John. So that’s where we’ll start and it looks like it’s going to be a toasty one again, so you know, that could play a part in the match. Hopefully John has been, I would think a little fresher than Bernie given he only played three sets might be a factor. But it’s going to be exciting, the crowd’s going to be jacked up. You know, we’re going to be ready for a fifth obviously too, and at this stage we don’t know necessarily if it’s going to be Sam or Lleyton playing in that fifth. Where Lleyton played, you know, I would think he would give himself consideration should there be a live fifth match.

“So we’ll be ready for that eventuality if it comes to pass. But this is why we love this competition, you know, it’s Sunday, it’s live, it’s all on the line and energy levels are going to be extraordinary.”

As to what to expect on Sunday, Hewitt said: “We need Bernie to win, so it’s pretty simple at the moment. So, you know, that’s obviously our main focus. He’s our number one player, he’s the leader of the team and you know, he played awfully well yesterday and we’re going to need that again out of him tomorrow.”

As for the former No. 1, will he insert himself into the singles line-up? Hewitt said, “ Possibly, wait and see.”

 

===============

 

NET CORDS

 

Unlike Friday, fans and players at Kooyong received a break from severe heat. Temperatures ranged between 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with lots of cloud cover and an occasional light breeze.

 

Kudos to the Aussie “Fanatics” band for their cover versions of songs including Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” and Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon.”

 

Prior to the match, a moment of silence was observed in memory of legendary tennis journalist and commentator Bud Collins, who died at the age of 86.

 

U.S. Davis Cup Captain Jim courier on the passing of Bud Collins: “Bud meant an immense amount to the sport of tennis and touched so many people. The things I remember about Bud were his generosity to everyone and general enthusiasm for life. Not just for tennis, but for travel and for learning and for sharing his stories. He was so kind and super positive. I had the privilege of working on television with Bud for NBC for several tournaments, so I go to know him and his lovely wife Anita very well. It is a sad day.”

 

Bob Bryan on the passing of Bud Collins: “It’s obviously a sad day, the guy meant a lot to tennis, he was so colorful and a positive part of our sport. We knew him pretty well and he was always so kind to us and gave us great advice, and you know, he was such a veteran and had been around this tour for so many years and he was a very familiar face at every tournament and we’ll definitely miss him.”

 

Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the US home ties. He is in Melbourne covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Australia.

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Davis Cup: Deadlocked Down Under, USA and Australia Tied at 1-1

 

DAVIS CUP: DEADLOCKED DOWN UNDER

U.S., Australia tied at 1-1 in World Group First Round

 

By Junior Williams

(March 4, 2016) MELBOURNE, Australia – On a sizzling hot afternoon which saw temperatures surge close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, Bernard Tomic defeated Jack Sock 7-6(2), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, to bring Australia even with the United States at 1-1 in their Davis Cup World Group First Round tie at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club.

Tomic’s victory came after American John Isner dispatched Sam Groth 7-6(2), 6-2, 6-2 to give the U.S. an early lead.

It was a tight but impressive first set for Tomic, who won all 22 of his first serve points. His ball striking and defense of Sock’s ground strokes also gave the Australian the edge.

The world’s 20th-ranked player continued his momentum in the second set, securing it by breaking Sock with a shot that handcuffed the American on what was the fifth set point.

Sock bounced back in the third set, breaking Tomic for the first time in the match after the Australian mishit a ball past the baseline. The world number 24 also broke Tomic in the final game of the set.

But Tomic — who was 0-3 head-to-head against Sock prior to this match — took control in the fourth set, going up 5-4 winning a break point after rocketing a deep return of serve that Sock hit into the net.

Tomic closed out the 2 hour 24-minute match in the following game, to the delight of the home crowd. He won 120 points to Sock’s 114.

“It was very tough out there,” Tomic said. “I haven’t beaten Sock before so I knew that it was going to be tough. Anyone that you haven’t beaten before in your career – I think he’s on 2 or 3-0 record against me. So, for me I knew it was going to be tough but also playing him on a surface where I could beat him on and I was very happy because the conditions were very tough because I travelled so quickly here and you have to reset and you only have two or three days. So for me it was very tough out there.”

The top Australian admitted that it was difficult to get through the fourth set: “It was very tough because I had chances to be up a break in the third and then he got that break and it became a little bit hotter and after playing those first two sets everything got to me. So I had to find a bit of that energy and sometimes that’s good, I mean, I lapse away with my concentration a lot and that, to me, is a good thing because you rebuild your energy and it worked out in my favour in that fourth set. Gee, can you listen to that rain? I swear I finished and three minutes later it started.”

“Bernie did really well,” said Australian Davis Cup Captain Lleyton Hewitt. “Right from the start he came out serving great, hitting his spots really well. That was obviously a key to not let Jack get into too many of Bernie’s service games and we felt like Bernie’s going to get a lot more into his and put a lot more pressure on his second serve and he was able to do that. Bernie, the first set was a huge key as well and he played a great tie break, he picked the right side on a couple of shots and came up with a couple big passes and to have that first set, you know, it was hot out there as well especially those first couple of sets and once he went two sets to love up, he had a little lull there, which, you know, it happens in any five set matches. It’s about how you respond to that and he found a way in the fourth set. It’s not an easy thing to do to come out when you’re the number one player for your country and you’re one love down in Davis Cup in a World Group match. Bernie did fantastic today and he’s done absolutely everything that we’ve asked of him all week.”

“Bernie played some good tennis today when he needed to and came up with some good shots and, I’ll just take away you know the things I need to work on from that and take it into Sunday,” Sock said in press.

“Well we were put on grass, that’s the biggest difference I would say. I’ve played him on some slow hardcourts and some other hardcourts where you know my style definitely matches up well against and you know, his favourite surface is grass. His best results, you know, in the Slam are on grass and very crafty out there and his game is suitable for it. But, you know, I was in there and I felt confident after getting that third and then having a few chances early in the fourth, definitely felt like I was right. So, you know, for me my least experience has been on grass, so for me it actually did take away some confidence today playing out there against an experienced grass player and I’ll definitely use that for Sunday.”

In the opening match — a battle of high-powered servers — John Isner hit 20 aces and held serve throughout the match, despite six break point opportunities for Sam Groth, who was tapped to play singles for Australia after Nick Kyrgios pulled out of the competition due to illness.

The first set included a lot of what you’d expect, with eleven aces for Groth and ten for Isner. Groth also sprinkled in some doubles skills, winning four out of six net points. But Isner won a first set tiebreak, helped by a successful challenge that gave him a mini-break, and an ace up the middle to capture the set.

After that it was all Isner. Aside from his service game, the world No. 11 consistently cracked forehand and backhand winners up the sidelines. He also was helped by Groth’s first-serve percentage of 48-percent in the second set. The Georgia Bulldog notched his victory in 1 hour 49 minutes.

“It was a lot of confidence, you know, getting through that first set, I mean, I knew I was going to go out there, I knew I wasn’t going to be feeling fantastic right away,” Isner said. “Of course there’s a lot of nerves and you know, I haven’t seen his serve yet. So I got rid of those nerves in the first set and I got used to seeing the serve out there, so I became a lot more comfortable after that first set and I think it showed right away. I believe I broke the first game of the second set.

“So it was a very, very good performance for me and certainly I’ve played some matches in a lot in my career where I’ve struggled on return but I think today I was pretty solid.”

Isner commented on the court conditions with temperatures close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. “Yeah I thought the court was great, he said. “The heat was pretty hot. It was more humid than I’ve ever played in Melbourne it’s generally dryer in my opinion, but it was pretty humid. At the same time in a match up like that, you tell me how many rallies we had more than five shots, so it could have been 200 degrees out there and I probably would have felt all right.”

“I think the first set was always going to be big, especially in the way we both play, we both play with a little bit of confidence, both play behind our serve and especially on a day where it’s quite hot out there as well,” Groth said. “You know, had I maybe taken a chance, that 0-40 game earlier, maybe it’s a different story but I felt like after that when he won that back-hand winner that clipped the line in the tie breaker and then his confidence just seemed to build. He started taking cuts on returns and, you know, to his credit they started going in.”

The tie now moves to doubles Saturday. Future Hall of Famers Bob and Mike Bryan are slated for the U.S., with Groth and doubles specialist John Peers scheduled to go for Australia.

But the watch is on to see if captain Lleyton Hewitt will put himself in the mix for the green and gold.

Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the US home ties. He is in Melbourne covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Australia.

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Lleyton Hewitt on Standby as a Playing Captain to Replace an Ill Nick Kyrgios in Davis Cup Tie

(March 3, 2016) MELBOURNE, Australia – Lleyton Hewitt, who just retired from professional tennis at his home country’s major in January looks as though his career will continue. Hewitt, the 35-year-old former No. 1, who is making his debut as Australia’s Davis Cup Captain, will be a playing captain due to Nick Kyrgios who has been ill with a virus and can’t participate. Hewitt is officially on standby to play the tie against the United States in the first round of the Davis Cup World Group this weekend to be played at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club.

Hewitt is Australia’s most accomplished Davis Cup player winning 58 of the 78 singles and doubles matches in his career.

“We took him (Nick Kyrgios) through his paces this morning and gave him a little fitness test to see how he pulled up from yesterday, but he just wasn’t fit enough to play this weekend,” Hewitt said. “It’s bad timing for us but it was really out of our hands and the end.”
“The illness is a kind of an unknown a little bit. You just don’t know,” Hewitt said “But obviously before nine o’clock this morning we had to make the best possible decision for the team, and we were dealing with Nick on everything. He wanted to put his hand up and certainly didn’t want to let the team down, and that’s why it was a tough decision for everyone involved.”

The draw for the tie took place in Kooyong on Thursday where Bernard Tomic, Sam Groth and John Peers were officially named to team Australia. Friday will see No. 1 U.S. player John Isner play Groth, followed by Australia’s top player Tomic face Jack Sock. Doubles day on Saturday as the Bryan Brothers are scheduled to play John Peers and Sam Groth. Sundya will be reverse singles – Isner versus Tomic and Groth against Sock.

U.S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier said he was not shocked to see Hewitt change the team.

“I wouldn’t say we are surprised given that we saw Lleyton practicing this week and Nick’s pretty conspicuous absence,” he said. “It is certainly not something coming to Australia that we were anticipating though. Nick is a very tough player who is on a high now with his results. However, Sam is a very capable grass court player and we won’t take him lightly for one second.

“I am sure that Lleyton will do whatever is best for his team. That’s his role. He is very aware of doing whatever is required to give him the best chance to win. He knows how everyone is feeling with health and length of matches. There are all types of combinations that could bring him to the court. That will be his call and we will be prepared.”

Jack Sock says he’s ready to take on friend Tomic on Friday. “It is going to be a very competitive and fiery match. He has had great results in Davis Cup and this is just my second tie, but we also played each other a few times in the past. It is a different scenario in Davis Cup, but I think the matches in the past will help me with my confidence and how to go about the match. We have always had some close matches and it comes down to a few points here or there. He is definitely playing some great tennis right now with some good results this year.”

Australia and the United States will be meeting for the 46th time. The U.S. team leads 25-20, last competing against the Aussies in the 1999 quarterfinals, when Australia won and went on take the Davis Cup title. The U.S. and Australia are the two leading nations with the most Davis Cup titles, 32 and 28 respectively.

Weekend Line-up

DAY/LOCAL MATCH TIME                  EVENT                    DETAILS/PAIRING

Friday, 11:00 a.m.                                   Singles A:                John Isner (USA) vs. Sam Groth (AUS)

Singles B:                Jack Sock (USA) vs. Bernard Tomic (AUS)

Saturday, 12:00 p.m.                               Doubles:                  Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA) vs. Sam Groth/John Peers (AUS)

Sunday, 11:00 a.m.                                 Singles C:                John Isner (USA) vs. Bernard Tomic (AUS)

Singles D:                Jack Sock (USA) vs. Sam Groth (AUS)

 

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Australia Takes On U. S. in Davis Cup This Weekend in Kooyong

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Australia Takes On U. S. in Davis Cup This Weekend in Kooyong

U. S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier

U. S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier

(March 1, 2016) The United States will take on Australia in the Davis Cup World Group First Round this weekend at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club in Kooyong, Australia, from March 4-6 on a temporary grass court. The club was the former home to the Australian Open from 1972- 1987. The U.S. has met Australia more times than any other nation in Davis Cup play. The U.S. leads the head-to-head series 25-20.

Former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, who retired at this year’s Australian Open will be making his debut as Australia’s Davis Cup captain. Hewitt has named world No. 20 Bernard Tomic, world No. 27 Nick Kyrgios, world No. 77 Sam Groth, and doubles specialist John Peers to team Australia.

Tomic holds a 15-3 singles record in Davis Cup competition, Kyrgios is 3-3 and Groth is 2-1 in singles and 1-2 in doubles. Peers is making his Davis Cup debut.

United States Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier has chosen top-ranked American and world No. 11 John Isner, world No. 24 Jack Sock, and 16-time major doubles champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan to the U.S. Davis Cup Team. Isner is 8-9 singles in Davis Cup competition. Sock made his debut on the U.S. team last year in the World Group Playoff, where he won both of his singles matches, becoming the first American since John McEnroe in 1978 to win two live rubbers in a Davis Cup debut. Bob and Mike Bryan are a dominant 23-4 in Davis Cup doubles together and are the all-time winningest U.S. Davis Cup doubles team in history.

Both teams held a pre-draw news conference on Tuesday, the draw will be made on Thursday.

Kyrgios was absent from the news conference due to a virus said Captain Hewitt who told him to rest: “Nick has a virus. At the moment, he is taking it easy and trying to get over that 100% to be ready to go. I didn’t want him around the other boys if he is a bit infectious. It is more of a precaution. He will be ready.

“Nick has played a lot of matches, as well as Bernie. They are coming in confident with their ball striking and it is about these guys doing the small things to feel comfortable on the grass courts. Come match day, I am backing both of these boys.”

 

“I am lucky with both of these guys (Kyrgios and Tomic),” Hewitt said. “Both of their games suit grass with big serves and good returns. The reason both boys are approaching career-high rankings right now is because of their serves. That will be a big point this weekend because the U.S. team serves well, too. It will come down to a few points here or there, just like any grass-court five-set match, but I am glad our boys have won quite a few matches in the last month.”

Tomic is back from just having played the final of Acapulco over the weekend.

“It was tough to play a final then fly here,” Tomic admitted. It was tough to get here, but I am happy to be here. The hit today was good and now on grass, I need to get as ready as I can.

“It is tough to say if I will be 100% by Friday, but there will not be a lot of rallies. There will be quick points. I am serving really well and playing very confidently. I just played one of my biggest tournaments and I am very happy with the way I am playing and will be ready for the show on Friday”

On making the transition to being a captain from a player, Hewitt said: “I have adjusted pretty smoothly. This week has been all about getting these boys on the practice courts and working out drills. It has been good this week, especially with doubles, and learning what times to say something and other times not to say so much. I have been a good hitting partner.”

U.S. Captain Courier reacted to Hewitt’s comments about Australia being the underdog: “It doesn’t matter one bit. We are the away team and we travelled to get here. The crowd will be behind them. We are here to play whether it is as an underdog or overdog. None of that matters, which I wish it did. We have to go to battle and play.

“We have to get through the first tie, but our draw is more favorable this year than it has been,” said Courier in discussing the outlook for the U. S. in Davis Cup competition this year. “Second round matchups are not easy, but it is easier than some other teams for us. But, you cannot look past anyone in Davis Cup and we have learned that the hard way. You have to put one foot in front of the other and this will be a tough tie for us.”

“Jack (Sock) had a great debut as a Davis Cup player in Uzbekistan last year and that is big part of why he is here. We have a lot of confidence in what he brings to the table and he is getting valuable experience here. We have some younger players that have had good success in the juniors that is translating to the pros. It is nice to feel that energy coming up below our best players.”

“Every point is huge,” said Isner. “I have been playing Davis Cup for quite a bit, but not nearly as long as the Bryans. Jack is a bit newer at this. There is certainly pressure on every player that is competing this weekend and we know that. I don’t think there is any extra pressure on me by any means.

I am preparing for the team that has been submitted. It can change come Thursday, but as of right now, I am prepared for all of them.”

Sock discussed the challenge of taking on Tomic and Kygios this weekend.

On facing Bernard Tomic, Sock said: “We are good friends. We have spent some time together in our careers. However, in any setting on the court, we go out there and you put that aside and compete. Afterwards, you are still pretty good friends, but when it is on the court, that doesn’t really enter your mind.

He has always been a good player. He is consistently staying more professional and working on the things he needs to do and that is why his results are showing.”

As for Kyrgios: “Similar to Bernie, I am friends with Nick, but when you step on the court, it is about the tennis and playing each other.

“When you are off the court, you can still be friends. When you are out there playing, that is the only thing that matters—especially this weekend when you are representing your country. It gives me all the more reason to go out there and compete as hard as I can.”

The winner of this tie moves into the World Group Quarterfinal, July 15-17, and will play either Croatia or Belgium. The tie will air on Tennis Channel in the United States.

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