October 13, 2015

Czechs Win Junior Fed Cup and Canadians Claim Junior Davis Cup Titles


(October 4, 2015) The top seeds took home the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup finals on Sunday in Madrid’s La Caja Magica on Sunday.

Canada won the Junior Davis Cup title over Germany, while the Czech Republic was victorious over the United States.

For Canada this was the first Junior Davis Cup title in its history. The No. 1 seeds at Junior Davis Cup, with Junior US Open champions Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov capturing the deciding doubles match to earn the win 2-1.

“It was an unbelievable final,” said Auger-Aliassime after the match to Tennis Canada. “We had to clinch it in the deciding doubles but I think we did a great job. The support on the sidelines was amazing. We are really proud of what we did here.”

“It’s very exciting being the first Canadians to ever win Junior Davis Cup,” said Shapovalov. “We knew we had the team to do it as all three of the players on this team are great and contributed. We are very excited.”

Prior to this year, the best finish by a Canadian Junior Davis Cup or Fed Cup team was second place – 2011, 2004, 2003 (Junior Fed Cup) and 2010 (Junior Davis Cup).

On the ladies side, the Czech Republic also won 2-1. It’s their fourth Fed Cup title, first since 2001.

A total of 168 teams from 94 countries took part in regional qualifying in 2015, with 15 boys and 15 girls teams joining hosts Spain in the Finals.

The final positions of all the nations Courtesy of the ITF:

Junior Davis Cup – 1. Canada 2. Germany 3. Russia 4. Japan 5. Australia 6. Argentina 7. USA 8. Czech Republic 9. Poland 10. Colombia 11. Brazil 12. Chinese Taipei 13. Spain 14. Sweden 15. South Africa 16. Hong Kong, China


Junior Fed Cup – 1. Czech Republic 2. USA 3. Canada 4. Russia 5. Australia 6. Spain 7. Italy 8. Japan 9. Brazil 10. Great Britain 11. New Zealand 12. Argentina 13. Colombia 14. Chinese Taipei 15. Netherlands 16. Egypt

Girls Final


CZECH REPUBLIC (1) defeated USA (2) 2-1:
Kayla Day (USA) d. Monika Kilnarova (CZE) 63 61
Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) d. Claire Liu (USA) 75 64
Anna Slovakova/Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) d. Kayla Day/Claire Liu (USA) 60 62

Girls 3rd-4th place play-offs


CANADA (4) defeated RUSSIA (3) 3-0:
Bianca Andreescu (CAN) d. Evgeniya Levashova (RUS) 62 62
Charlotte Robillard-Millette (CAN) d. Olesya Pervushina (RUS) 63 75
Bianca Andreescu/Vanessa Wong (CAN) d. Evgeniya Levashova/Elena Rybakina (RUS) 61 36 63

Girls 13th-14th place play-offs



Wu Fang Hsien (TPE) d. Sofia Munera (COL) 63 46 61
Emiliana Arango (COL) d. Lee Yang (TPE) 62 62
Emiliana Arango/Sofia Munera (COL) d. Chen Pei Hsuan/Wu Fang Hsien (TPE) 63 64

Girls 15th-16th place play-offs


Suzan Lamens (NED) d. Laila Elnimr (EGY) 36 76(2) 60
Isolde de Jong (NED) d. Dalila Said (EGY) 62 62
Laila Elnimr/Dalila Said (EGY) d. Merel Hoedt/Isolde de Jong (NED) 76(5) 64


Boys Final

CANADA (1) defeated GERMANY (5) 2-1:
Denis Shapovalov (CAN) d. Marvin Moeller (GER) 61 64
Nicola Kuhn (GER) d. Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 63 63
Felix Auger-Aliassime/Denis Shapovalov (CAN) d. Nicola Kuhn/Marvin Moeller (GER) 63 36 62


Boys 3rd-4th place play-offs

RUSSIA (4) defeated JAPAN (8) 3-0:
Alen Avidzba (RUS) d. Yunosuke Tanaka (JPN) 64 62
Artem Dubrivnyy (RUS) d. Toru Horie (JPN) 63 60
Alen Avidzba/Mikhail Sokolovskiy d. Yuta Shimizu/Yunosuke Tanaka (JPN) 62 64


Boys 13th-14th place play-offs

SPAIN defeated SWEDEN 3-0:
Andres Fernandez Canovas (ESP) d. Linus Bergevi (SWE) 64 64
Nikolas Sanchez-Izquierdo Vivar (ESP) d. Jonas Eriksson Ziverts (SWE) 16 75 62
Alejandro Davidovich Fukina/Nikolas Sanchez-Izquierdo Vivar (ESP) d. Jonas Eriksson Ziverts/Karl Friberg (SWE) 67(5) 61 62


Boys 15th-16th place play-offs

Albertus Kruger (RSA) d. Sou Ming Chun Alan (HKG) 63 61
Richard Thongoana (RSA) d. Lam Ching (HKG) 63 62
Cheung Ngai Long/Sou Ming Chun Alan (HKG) d. Joshua Howard-Tripp/Richard Thongoana (RSA) 62 61


2015 Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup Results


(October 2, 2015) The latest results for the 2015 Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Finals at the Caja Magica in Madrid on 29 September – 4 October. Sixteen boys and 16 girls teams will take part in the competition.


Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup now in its 31st year, is the ITF’s official team competition for players aged 16-and-under. A total of 168 teams from 94 countries took part in regional qualifying in 2015, with 15 boys and 15 girls teams joining hosts Spain in the Finals. USA is defending champion in both events.


The Finals see boys and girls teams divided into four groups of four on a round-robin basis, with the top team in each group qualifying for the semifinals. Both finals will be played on Sunday 4 October. In Junior Davis Cup, the final will be between Canada and Germany. In Junior Fed Cup, Czech Republic will face USA.



Girls Semifinals


CZECH REPUBLIC (1) defeated CANADA (4) 2-1:

Bianca Andreescu (CAN) d. Monika Kilnarova (CZE) 62 46 63

Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) d. Charlotte Robillard-Millette (CAN) 60 64
Anna Slovakova/Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) d. Bianca Andreescu/Charlotte Robillard-Millette (CAN) 26 63 62


USA (2) defeated RUSSIA (3) 2-1:

Kayla Day (USA) d. Elena Rybakina (RUS) 64 63
Claire Liu (USA) d. Olesya Pervushina (RUS) 26 61 63
Evgeniya Levashova/Elena Rybakina (RUS) d. Kayla Day/Michaela Gordon (USA) 36 75 62


Girls 5th-8th place play-offs


AUSTRALIA (5) defeated JAPAN 2-1:
Seone Mendez (AUS) d. Mai Hontama (JPN) 62 75
Kimika Sakata (JPN) d. Destanee Aiava (AUS) 16 75 63
Destanee Aiava/Seone Mendez (AUS) d. Ayumi Miyamoto/Kimika Sakata (JPN) 26 76(9) 63

SPAIN (6) defeated ITALY 3-0:
Noelia Bouzo Zanotti (ESP) d. Tatiana Pieri (ITA) 61 64
Eva Guerrero Alvarez (ESP) d. Federica Bilardo (ITA) 75 63
Paula Arias Manjon/Noelia Bouzo Zanotti (ESP) d. Monica Cappelletti/Tatiana Pieri (ITA) 62 64


Girls 9th-12th place play-offs



Ali Collins (GBR) d. Paula Baranano (ARG) 64 62
Katie Swan (GBR) d. Maria Lourdes Carle (ARG) 60 75
Maria Lourdes Carle/Camila Morena (ARG) d. Ali Collins/Katie Swan (GBR) w/o

BRAZIL (8) defeated NEW ZEALAND 2-1:
Valentina Ivanov (NZL) d. Nathalia Gasparin (BRA) 62 60
Thaisa Pedretti (BRA) d. Nina Paripovich (NZL) 60 61
Nathalia Gasparin/Thaisa Pedretti (BRA) d. Lauren Alter/Valentina Ivanov (NZL) 64 75


Girls 13th-16th place play-offs


Sofia Munera (COL) d. Merel Hoedt (NED) 63 63
Emiliana Arango (COL) d. Suzan Lamens (NED) 76(5) 26 61
Merel Hoedt/Isolde de Jong (NED) d. Sofia Munera/Maria Osorio 64 63

Chen Pei Hsuan (TPE) d. Sara Ismail (EGY) 64 75
Lee Yang (TPE) d. Laila Elnimr (EGY) 76(7) 75
Lee Yang/Wu Fang Hsien (TPE) d. Sara Ismail/Dalila Said (EGY) 60 61


Boys Semifinals


CANADA (1) defeated RUSSIA (4) 3-0:
Denis Shapovalov (CAN) d. Alen Avidzba (RUS) 64 63
Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) d. Artem Dubrivnyy (RUS) 64 75
Felix Auger-Aliassime/Denis Shapovalov (CAN) d. Alen Avidzba/Mikhail Sokolovskiy (RUS) 61 63

GERMANY (5) defeated JAPAN (8) 2-1:

Yunosuke Tanaka (JPN) d. Marvin Moeller (GER) 63 57 64
Nicola Kuhn (GER) d. Toru Horie (JPN) 67(4) 76(2) 61
Nicola Kuhn/Marvin Moeller (GER) d. Toru Horie/Yunosuke Tanaka (JPN) 63 63


Boys 5th-8th place play-offs


ARGENTINA (6) defeated CZECH REPUBLIC (7) 2-1:
Santiago Rodriguez Taverna (ARG) d. Daniel Velek (CZE) 62 61
Tomas Etcheverry (ARG) d. Michael Vrbensky (CZE) 62 64
Daniel Velek/Michael Vrbensky (CZE) d. Camilo Ugo Carabelli/Santiago Rodriguez Taverna (ARG) 64 67(6) 61


AUSTRALIA (2) defeated USA (3) 2-1:
Blake Ellis (AUS) d. Patrick Kypson (USA) 76(5) 36 62

Vasil Kirkov (USA) d. Alex de Minaur (AUS) 64 63

Blake Ellis/Alexei Popyrin (AUS) d. Vasil Kirkov/Patrick Kypson (USA) 36 61 62


Boys 9th-12th place play-offs


Daniel Michalski (POL) d. Yu Hua Chen (TPE) 63 64
Kacper Zuk (POL) d. Huang Tsung Hao (TPE) 61 61
Hsu Tyu Hsiou/Huang Tsung Hao (TPE) d. Konrad Fryze/Kacper Zuk (POL) 36 1-0 ret.


COLOMBIA defeated BRAZIL 2-1:
Nicolas Mejia (COL) d. Enzo Kohn (BRA) 63 62
Gabriel Decamps (BRA) d. Sergio Hernandez (COL) 62 61
Alejandro Hoyos/Nicolas Mejia (COL) d. Gabriel Bugiga/Gabriel Decamps (BRA) 62 36 61


Boys 13th-16th place play-offs


SWEDEN defeated HONG KONG 3-0:
Linus Bergevi (SWE) d. Sou Ming Chun Alan (HKG) 61 62
Jonas Eriksson Ziverts (SWE) d. Lam Ching (HKG) 75 62
Linus Bergevi/Jonas Eriksson Ziverts (SWE) d. Cheung Ngai Long/Sou Ming Chun Alan (HKG) 67(5) 76(2) 64


SPAIN defeated SOUTH AFRICA 2-1:
Andres Fernandez Canovas (ESP) d. Joshua Howard-Tripp (RSA) 26 76(5) 64
Nikolas Sanchez-Izquierdo Vivar (ESP) d. Richard Thongoana (RSA) 76(2) 61
Albertus Kruger/Richard Thongoana (RSA) d. Andres Fernandez Canovas/Nikolas Sanchez-Izquierdo Vivar (ESP) 62 63

ian Todorov (GER) d. Alejandro Hoyos/Nicolas Mejia (COL) 64 57 62


Draws for Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup Finals


(September 28, 2015) The International Tennis Federation has announced the draws for the 2015 Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup Finals, held for the first time at the Caja Magica in Madrid, Spain on 29 September – 4 October. Sixteen boys and 16 girls teams will take part in the competition.


Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, now in its 31st year, is the ITF’s official team competition for players aged 16-and-under. A total of 168 teams from 94 countries took part in regional qualifying in 2015, with 15 boys and 15 girls teams joining hosts Spain in the Finals. USA is defending champion in both events. Since the launch of the event in 1985, many of the world’s leading names have taken part in the competition, including current stars Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska.


The Finals see boys and girls teams divided into four groups of four on a round-robin basis, with the top team in each group qualifying for the semifinals.


There is comprehensive coverage of the Finals on the ITF Juniors website www.itftennis.com/juniors,

Girls Group A


Czech Republic (1)

Marketa Vondrousova

Monika Kilnarova

Anna Slovakova

Captain: Patrik Navara



Destanee Aiava

Seone Mendez

Jaimee Fourlis

Captain: Rohan Fisher



Maria Lourdes Carle
Paula Baranano
Camila Moreno
Captain: Mailen Auroux



Isolde de Jong
Suzan Lamens
Merel Hoedt
Captain: Eddy Bank


Girls Group B


Canada (4)
Charlotte Robillard-Millette
Bianca Andreescu
Vanessa Wong
Captain: Ralph Platz


Great Britain
Katie Swan
Jodie Anna Burrage
Ali Collins
Captain: Lucie Ahl


Kimika Sakata
Ayumi Miyamoto
Mai Hontama
Captain: Yoshinori Nakayama


Emiliana Arango
Sofia Munera
Maria Osorio
Captain: Catalina Castano


Girls Group C


Russia (3)

Olesya Pervushina
Elena Rybakina
Evgeniya Levashova
Captain: Oxana Mishukova


Thaisa Pedretti
Nathalia Gasparin
Marcelle Cirino
Captain: Roland Santos


Chinese Taipei
Yang Lee
Fang Hsien Wu
Pei Hsuan Chen
Captain: Ming Mi Chen


Federica Bilardo
Tatiana Pieri
Monica Cappelletti
Captain: Silvia Farina


Girls Group D


USA (2)
Claire Liu
Michaela Gordon
Kayla Day
Captain: Adam Peterson


Eva Guerrero Alvarez
Noelia Bouzo Zanotti
Paula Arias Manjon
Captain: Antonio Capella Lopez


New Zealand
Nina Paripovich
Valentina Ivanov
Lauren Alter
Captain: Emma Hayman


Dalila Said
Laila Elnimr
Sara Ismail
Captain: Khaled Farouk


Boys Group A


Canada (1)
Felix Auger-Aliassime
Denis Shapovalov
Benjamin Sigouin
Captain: Oded Jacob


Czech Republic
Partik Rikl
Michael Vrbensky
Daniel Velek
Captain: Josef Cihak


Hong Kong, China
Ching Lam
Ming Chun Alan Sou
Ngai Long Cheung
Captain: Jin Jian Liu


Kacper Zuk
Konrad Fryze
Daniel Michalski
Captain: Piotr Zurawiecki


Boys Group B


Russia (4)
Artem Dubrivnyy
Alen Avidzba
Mikhail Sokolovsky
Captain: Artem Derepasko


Tomas Echeverry
Santiago Rodriguez Taverna
Camilo Ugo Carabelli
Captain: Martin Errecalde


Chinese Taipei
Yu Hsiou Hsu
Tsung Hao Huang
Hua Chen Yu
Captain: Shao Hung Yu


Karl Friberg
Jonas Eriksson Ziverts
Linus Bergevi
Captain: Pontus Norberg


Boys Group C


USA (3)
Sam Riffice
Vasil Kirkov
Patrick Kypson
Captain: Sylvain Guichard


Toru Horie
Yunosuke Tanaka
Yuta Shimizu
Captain: Ko Iwamoto


Gabriel Decamps
Gabriel Bugiga
Enzo Kohn
Captain: William Kyriakos


Alejandro Davidovich Fukina
Nikolas Sanchez-Izquierdo Vivar
Andres Fernandez Canovas
Captain: Juan Perez Herrando


Boys Group D


Australia (2)
Alex de Minaur
Alexei Popyrin
Blake Ellis
Captain: Ben Pyne


Nicola Kuhn
Marvin Moeller
Maximilian Todorov
Captain: Guido Fratzke


Sergio Hernandez
Alejandro Hoyos
Nicolas Mejia
Captain: Juan Felipe Mateus


South Africa
Richard Thongoana
Joshua Howard-Tripp
Albertus Kruger
Captain: Allan Karam


Indian Wells Tennis Garden Celebrates Topping Out Stadium 2

Mary Roche, Mayor, City of Indian Wells; Steve Simon, Tournament Director, BNP Paribas Open; Raymond Moore, CEO, BNP Paribas Open and Indian Wells Tennis Garden; Jody James Watkins, President and CEO, Watkins Landmark Construction; Dick Oliphant, Owner's Representative.

Mary Roche, Mayor, City of Indian Wells; Steve Simon, Tournament Director, BNP Paribas Open; Raymond Moore, CEO, BNP Paribas Open and Indian Wells Tennis Garden; Jody James Watkins, President and CEO, Watkins Landmark Construction; Dick Oliphant, Owner’s Representative.

Indian Wells, Calif., August 6, 2013 – The final structural beam was placed atop the new Stadium 2 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden (IWTG) on Tuesday in a “topping out” celebration presented by Watkins Landmark Construction. The new stadium is on schedule to be completed in time for the 2014 BNP Paribas Open to be held March 3-16, 2014.

Construction workers, IWTG Staff, members of the design and engineering teams, Watkins Landmark Employees and other dignitaries in attendance signed the 15-foot beam to recognize the hard work and dedication of everyone involved to help this new structure come to fruition. The beam was then hoisted to its final resting place on the top of an elevator shaft on the northeast corner of the stadium. On hand to speak at the ceremony were Raymond Moore, CEO of the BNP Paribas Open and IWTG; Jody James Watkins, President and CEO of Watkins Landmark Construction; and Mary Roche, Mayor of the City of Indian Wells.

“This BNP Paribas Open and Indian Wells Tennis Garden ‘Topping Out’ ceremony is a celebration of the hard work that has been put into getting the structure where it is today,” said Moore. “However, this ceremony is also a landmark in the construction process, signifying that the home stretch is quickly approaching. The new Stadium 2 will be an outstanding facility for our fans come next March, when the tennis stars and fans from around the world descend upon Indian Wells.”

The new Stadium 2 officially broke ground in March during the 2013 BNP Paribas Open, which is currently home to the second-largest tennis stadium in the world. The facility will feature 8,000 seats and space for three restaurants.

This is part of an overall site expansion that also includes a marquee site entrance on Washington Street with a new box office, a new 19,000 square foot shade structure identical to the one built in 2012, four additional practice courts, expansion of the current Miles Street entrance, an upgraded accessible parking area on the north side, an additional grass parking space for up to 2,000 cars and expansion and relocation of the TV Production compound.

“We are so honored to be such a big part of this site expansion,” said Watkins. “This new Stadium 2 is going to add to the already-impressive Indian Wells Tennis Garden and be yet another jewel in the desert.”

Construction of the site expansion is set to finish in time for the 2014 BNP Paribas Open.


“Uncle Sam” Saves U.S. – Querrey helps Americans squeak past Brazil and into the Quarterfinals


Sam Querrey backhand2


Querrey helps Americans squeak past Brazil and into the Quarterfinals


By Junior Williams


(February 3, 2013) JACKSONVILLE – The U.S. Davis Cup team avoided a huge upset when Sam Querrey clinched the First Round tie for the Americans over Brazil, 3-2, in a fifth and decisive rubber on Sunday at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. The U.S. now moves on to the Quarterfinals and will host Serbia and world number one Novak Djokovic in Boise, Idaho.


Querrey, ranked number 20 in the world, defeated 141-ranked Thiago Alves, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3), becoming the first American to clinch a Davis Cup tie in a fifth and decisive rubber since 2000, when Pete Sampras defeated Slava Dosedel to defeat the Czech Republic in a World Group Quarterfinal in Los Angeles. Querrey’s second live Davis Cup singles victory came two days after he defeated Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci in straight sets.

Querrey stepped up for the U.S. after John Isner, ranked number 16 in the world, fell to the No. 36-ranked Bellucci, 2-6, 6-4, 6-7(7), 6-4, 6-3, in Sunday’s first reverse singles match. That evened the tie at 2-2, before Querrey served up 26 aces to defeat Alves.


It looked as if an upset was in the making when Alves took the first set, but Querrey soon found his groove. He began to win the long rallies against Alves, and take a two sets to one lead.


In the fourth set, Querrey was serving for the tie at 5-4, but he failed to convert a tie point and got broken after his overhead smash went into the net, giving Alves new life and the Brazilian fans hope. Both players battled into a fourth set tiebreak, in which Alves sent a shot past the baseline to give the U.S. a 5-3 lead Querrey would not relinquish. His victory gave joy and relief to the few hometown fans who hadn’t left the match to watch the Super Bowl.


“You know, I was just very happy with the way I battled through it,” said Querrey. “Didn’t strike the ball as well as on Friday, but fought through the tough points, made him play, got breaks in the second, third and fourth sets there.


“He broke me back, but then edged him out in a tiebreaker. I was just happy to get through it.”
U.S. Captain Jim Courier said Querrey will benefit from experiencing the Davis Cup pressure cooker. “Sometimes obstacles become opportunities, and that’s what this was today for Sam. John, we thought he was going to get through his match. We thought Bob and Mike (Bryan) were going to get through their match (on Saturday). It came down to Sam, and he stepped up when we needed him to. Sam faced some adversity at the end and played a great tiebreaker to get past not closing it out on serve. Those are learning moments for a player, things you can draw on later on in your career.”


“It was a good effort from everybody, particularly the Brazilians,” said Courier. “They deserve a lot of credit for pushing us and making us come up with what we had to at the end.”


The Brazilian Alves said he was pleased with his level of play during the tie. “So was a great match. Sam is a great player. The first set I got my chance, so I think he was a little bit tense, nervous. After that he start to

play better tennis. I fight for all the match, all the match.”


Brazil’s Captian Joao Zwetsch congratulated the U.S. team on its victory, but also gave praise to his players for almost coming back from down 0-2 in matches to pull off the shocker.


“Everybody did all the best all the week trying to win this tie” said Zwetsch. “Everybody was like this. When I get on the court, I can feel this energy. I was feeling today. It’s different. I can say to you it’s really different.”
Top-ranked Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci did his part to push the Americans to the brink with his five-set victory over Isner. It was Bellucci’s spin and kick serves versus Isner’s power service game, which included 22 aces.

But the American also committed 81 unforced errors in the nearly three-and-a-half hour match, and appeared to run out of gas in the fifth set — with this being only his second match since skipping the Australian open with a knee injury.
“In the end, I saw that Isner was a little bit tired and I was trying to put every ball inside the court to keep him playing,” said Bellucci.
“I just couldn’t quite win the big points,” said Isner. “It’s almost like I wanted it too badly. I just felt like I was forcing it, wasn’t going for my shots like I should. Confidence-wise I’m not even close to where I want to be.”


Isner also complained about the Brazilian fans, who came ready to root for their favorites with taunts and a number of noisemakers in tow: party horns, kazoos and rubber ducks. “To be honest I don’t appreciate their fans at all. I don’t think they’re too classy at all.” Isner went on to say that the fans are not an excuse for his defeat and that Bellucci deserved to win.
U.S. Captain Courier is now setting his sights on Serbia in the Davis Cup Quarterfinals: “We’re excited. We wanted to face Serbia. We thought that would be a great test for us. They’re one of the great Davis Cup nations right now. Novak is playing again this year after taking last year off. If you want to lift this trophy, you need to beat the best teams, and that certainly is one of them.

“We look forward to the challenge. We know it will be difficult. But Boise should be a very hospitable environment for us. We’ll like the altitude there. That should work well for us. We’ll look forward to playing there.”


Brazil Stays Alive As Melo and Soares Upset the Bryans in 5 Sets


Bob and Mike Bryan

Bob and Mike Bryan


Melo and Soares upset the Bryans in 5 sets; U.S. up 2-1
By Junior Williams


(February 2, 2013) JACKSONVILLE — On Groundhog Day here in the United States, the conventional wisdom was that the world’s top-doubles team would clinch a first round Davis Cup World Group victory and ensure a long winter for Brazil’s team.


But as any Brazilian will tell you — it’s actually summer south of the Equator, and it’s not over yet.


Serveral hours after the American weather groundhog Punxsutawney Phil failed to see his shadow and predicted an early spring, Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares kept Brazil’s Davis Cup hopes alive by stunning Americans Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6(6), 6-7(7), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, in what was a high-quality and intense match. The U.S. now leads the tie 2-1.


For the Bryans — who are coming off their 13th major doubles title by winning the Australian Open — Saturday’s defeat marks only their third loss in 23 career Davis Cup matches.


In the first set tiebreak, Brazil rebounded from a 5-1 deficit and saved three set points on the way to winning the set, shocking the hometown faithful at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Coliseum.


“It was very important for us ’cause we kept the pressure on them,” said Soares. “You never know, it’s tough to say, but I think if they had won the first set, they would come back really strong, and then it’s really tough to hold them back.”


The Bryans returned the favor in the second set tiebreak by saving four set points — including one as part of a challenge resulting in deadlock at 6-6 — to even the match at a set apiece. It was during the changeover at 6-6 during the tiebreak that Bob Bryan had some words with the Brazilian bench, ratcheting up the intensity level of the match.



“I felt strange Bob’s reaction” said Melo.  “Just running, too close from me, screaming on my ear. I don’t know what’s happened like that, you know. Bob never did this before. We have really good relationship. I have him as a friend. In that moment I got in shock, How Bob did this, is not normal.”


Here’s Bob Bryan’s take on the situation: “Yeah, Davis Cup is an emotional atmosphere. They got passionate after they thought they won the set. I got passionate to them. There were some words said. You know, no hard feelings, no grudges.


It’s Davis Cup. This sort of stuff happens all the time. It didn’t affect the outcome of the match at all. There’s no hard feelings.”

The Brazilians went on to take the third set, and the Americans battled back to win the fourth, putting the Bryans in uncharted territory: Their first ever five-setter in Davis Cup. The turning point in the fifth set was when Mike Bryan double faulted to give Brazil the break and a 5-3 lead. Brazil held serve in the following game to secure the victory, to the delight of fans wearing the green, gold and blue.

“We came here today to fight,” said Soares. “We know we play well together. We never give up. So I think today was just a perfect example how good me and Marcelo can play together.”


Soares said part of Brazil’s game plan was to take away Mike Bryan’s return of serve down the middle. “Mike is one of the best returners in the game. We know we have to mix it up, take chances, serve in a spot that you don’t really feel comfortable, but you got to do it. He can hit any return anywhere. So I think what we tried to do a lot is to play the ‘I’ position and mix it up a lot.”


Soares called the win against the American his best ever in doubles competition.

“Beat Bryans on a Davis Cup World Group in their home. Tough to beat that. Maybe later on our career we hope to have some good wins as good as this one. But this one for me, it’s very special. It’s number one, for sure.”


“Hats off to the Brazilians, said Bob Bryan. I thought they served well pretty much of the four hours. A lot of high-percentage first serves. They were half-volleying well, keeping the pressure on for a long time. We didn’t get it done, and that’s our fault. We came here from Australia and gave it our best effort to get in shape and win this match, and we came up short.

“All the credit to those guys. They’ve beaten us before. They’re a good team. They’re in the mix in the big tournaments around the world. They knock on the door. They beat some other big teams as well. I’m sure we’re going to see them again for many years.”
In response to a follow-up question about the Bryans having any jet-lag or letdown after traveling from Australia, Mike Bryan said the twins felt great and were not mentally fatigued. “I don’t think we executed our best. We could have played a better match. Could have probably played a little more aggressive. But it wasn’t a factor of just winning a Grand Slam and traveling so far.”

The Americans are hoping John Isner will seal the tie when he takes on Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci in Sunday’s first singles match. A Bellucci victory would force a fifth and deciding match between Sam Querrey of the U.S. and Thiago Alves of Brazil. Querrey is ranked number 20 in the world, while Alves is ranked number 141.


U.S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier says he Isner and Querrey are “well-prepared. They come in with three sets under their belt from yesterday which is good for their

confidence, not damaging to their physical fitness. We feel confident in our chances (Sunday). We don’t underestimate the opposition. They gained a little bit of momentum. It will be our job to quell that tomorrow and snuff it out first ball.”
Courier’s counterpart, Brazilian Davis Cup Captain Joao Zwetsch, said his team is going to “come strong” on Sunday and use the doubles victory as added motivation. “We still respecting a lot the American team, like I said all the time this week,” said Zwetsch. “But I guess we are like stronger mentally now to come (Sunday) and fight as we fight (Saturday).”


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 Jacksonville, Florida covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Brazil for Tennis Panorama News.





Davis Cup: High “I. Q.” For USA




Isner, Querrey give Americans 2-0 lead over Brazil


By Junior Williams


(February 1, 2013) JACKSONVILLE – Straight sets victories by John Isner and Sam Querrey have given the United States a commanding 2-0 lead over Brazil in the first round of the Davis Cup World Group at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.


Isner — who skipped the Australian open due to a knee injury — showed signs of rust in his 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3 win over Thiago Alves, who’s ranked 141 in the world. The American committed 62 unforced errors in the nearly two-hour match, partly due to some spirited play from Alves, who at times surprised Isner with his return of serve and ability to win long rallies.


But in the end Isner was bailed out by his powerful serve. In the second set, Isner staved off two set points by firing aces and going on to hold at 5-5. He later overcame a mini-break in the second set tiebreak, and closed out the set with a pair of aces — he had 32 in all.


Isner — the top ranked American and number 16 in the world — took control of the third set by breaking Alves to go up 4-2, on the Brazilian’s unforced error past the baseline.


When asked whether the four-week layoff bothered him, Isner replied, “It wasn’t exactly pretty, but I knew that may be the case going into this match today because I’m real short on match practice, real short on practice in general. But these are the type of matches for me going forward that I need to get under my belt. But all in all I’m very happy with the outcome and glad I was able to contribute today.”


In the first match, Sam Querrey defeated Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. The American — whose world ranking is 20 — served 15 aces and won 96 percent of his first serve points. Early in the match, Querrey had trouble returning the Belucci’s kick serves, but the Brazilian double faulted midway through the first set to send Querrey up a break. Querrey capitalized by clinching the set as Bellucci returned his serve into the net.


“I feel like I played great,” said Querrey.  I was serving well, and that just makes things so much easier. I could play a little freer on his service games.I was a little nervous at the beginning.Once I got that first break, I felt like I got my feet settled and I was on a roll.


After that, it was all Querrey, who broke Bellucci in the first game in each of the remaining sets en route to his first Davis Cup singles victory



The number 36-ranked Bellucci said “It was not easy to play today. The court was very fast. (Querrey)  was serving very strong, very close from the lines. I didn’t play my best tennis, so I’m a little bit disappointing.



The turnout for today’s matches was low, but Querrey still gave the home crowd a thumbs up.


“Everyone that was there did a great job. They got surprisingly loud there at the end for an arena that wasn’t full.You know, it’s still good for who was there.Hopefully tomorrow we can get more. I know sometimes it’s a little tougher on Friday with people working. Hopefully tomorrow and Sunday we can get more.”


Saturday, the United States will look to clinch the tie by going with Bob and Mike Bryan, who are fresh from winning the Australian Open men’s doubles championship — a record-setting 13th major title. The twins will take on top 20 doubles players Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares.”


A U.S. victory would send the Americans to the Davis Cup World Group quarterfinals, where they would likely host Serbia. World number one Novak Djokovic and teammate Viktor Troicki won their matches against Belgium to take a 2-0 lead.


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 Jacksonville, Florida covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Brazil for Tennis Panorama News.