May 30, 2016

Svitolina Heads Nominations for 2016 Fed Cup Zone Group I Events

 

fed cup colours

(January 6, 2016) World No. 19 Elina Svitolina heads the nominations for the 2016 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Zone Group I events taking place on 3-6 February in the same week as the Fed Cup World Group and World Group II first round ties on 6-7 February.

 

The ITF has announced the full nominations for Europe/Africa Zone Group I in Eilat, Israel; Americas Zone Group I in Santa Cruz, Bolivia; and Asia/Oceania Zone Group I in Hua Hin, Thailand.

 

The draws for all three Zone Group I events will be held at the ITF offices in London on Friday 8 January at 10am GMT.

 

All nations contesting the Zone Group I events will be bidding to qualify for the Fed Cup World Group II play-offs on 16-17 April, with two teams qualifying from the Europe/Africa Zone, and one team from both the Americas and Asia/Oceania Zones.

 

Five top 50 players will contest Europe/Africa Zone Group I, with Svitolina joined by countrywoman Lesia Tsurenko, Yanina Wickmayer and Alison van Uytvanck of Belgium and Johanna Konta of Great Britain. Teliana Pereira of Brazil and Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan head the nominations for Americas Zone Group I and Asia/Oceania Zone Group I respectively.

 

Nominations for the 2016 Fed Cup World Group and World Group II first round ties on 6-7 February will be announced on Wednesday 27 January.

 

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP I

Venue: Municipal Tennis Centre, Eilat, Israel (hard – outdoors)

Dates: 3-6 February

 

Belgium

Yanina Wickmayer

Alison van Uytvanck

An-Sophie Mestach

Ysaline Bonaventure

Captain: Ann Devries

 

Bulgaria
Tsvetana Pironkova
Elitsa Kostova
Isabella Shinikova
Dia Evtimova
Captain: Dora Rangelova

 

Croatia
Ana Konjuh
Donna Vekic
Petra Martic
Darija Jurak
Captain: Iva Majoli

 

Estonia
Anett Kontaveit
Kaia Kanepi
Valeria Gorlats
Maileen Nuudi
Captain: Marten Tamla

 

Georgia
Sofia Shapatava
Ekaterine Gorgodze
Sofia Kvatsabaia
Oksana Kalashnikova
Captain: Margalita Chakhnashvili

 

Great Britain

Johanna Konta
Heather Watson
Anna Smith
Jocelyn Rae
Captain: Judy Murray

 

Hungary
Reka-Luca Jani
Dalma Galfi
Anna Bondar
Fanny Stollar
Captain: Gabor Juhasz

 

Israel

Julia Glushko
Shahar Peer
Alona Pushkarevsky
Shelly Krolitzky
Captain: Tzipora Hirsh

 

Latvia
Jelena Ostapenko
Diana Marcinkevica
Darta-Elizabete Emulina
Anna Ozerova
Captain: Daiga Juska

 

Portugal
Michelle Larcher de Brito
Ines Murta
Barbara Luz
Maria Joao Koehler
Captain: Neuza Silva

 

South Africa
Chanel Simmonds
Ilze Hattingh
Madrie le Roux
Michelle Sammons
Captain: Earl Grainger

 

Sweden
Rebecca Peterson
Susanne Celik
Jacqueline Cabaj Awad
Cornelia Lister
Captain: Lars-Anders Wahlgren

 

Turkey
Cagla Buyukakcay
Ipek Soylu
Basak Eraydin
Pemra Ozgen
Captain: Alaaddin Karagoz

 

Ukraine

Elina Svitolina
Lesia Tsurenko
Kateryna Bondarenko
Olga Savchuk
Captain: Mikhail Filima

 

 

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP I

Venue: Country Club Las Palmas, Santa Cruz, Bolivia (clay – outdoors)

Dates: 3-6 February

 

Argentina
Maria Irigoyen
Nadia Podoroska
Julieta Lara Estable
Catalina Pella
Captain: Maria-Jose Gaidano

 

Bolivia
Maria-Fernanda Alvarez-Teran
Noelia Zeballos
Hortencia Birnbaumer
Daniela Ruiz
Captain: Rolando Nieva

 

Brazil
Teliana Pereira
Gabriela Ce
Beatriz Haddad Maia

Paula Cristina Goncalves
Captain: Fernando Roese

 

Colombia
Mariana Duque-Marino
Paula Andrea Perez-Garcia
Maria Fernanda Herazo Gonzalez
Emiliana Arango
Captain: Catalina Castano

 

Ecuador
Charlotte Roemer
Domenica Gonzalez
Rafaella Baquerizo
Camila Romero
Captain: Manuel Balda

 

Mexico
Marcela Zacarias
Victoria Rodriguez
Ana Sofia Sanchez
Renata Zarazua
Captain: Bruno Echagaray

 

Paraguay
Montserrat Gonzalez
Camila Giangreco Campiz
Sara Gimenez
Lara Escauriza
Captain: Alfredo de Brix

 

Peru
Bianco Botto
Anastasia Iamachkine
Patricia Ku Flores
Dominique Schaefer
Captain: Percy Melzi

 

ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP I

Venue: Hua Hin Centennial Sports Club, Hua Hin, Thailand (hard – outdoors)

Dates: 3-6 February

 

China, P.R.
Zheng Saisai
Wang Qiang
Wang Yafan
Liang Chen
Captain: Wang Peng

 

Chinese Taipei
Hsieh Su-Wei
Chang Kai-Chen
Chan Yung-Jan
Chan Hao-Ching
Captain: Wang Shi-Ting

 

India
Ankita Raina
Prerna Bhambri
Prarthana G. Thombare
Sania Mirza
Captain: Zeeshan Ali

 

Japan
Nao Hibino
Kurumi Nara
Eri Hozumi
Shuko Aoyama
Captain: Toshihisa Tsuchihashi

 

Kazakhstan

Zarina Diyas
Yaroslava Shvedova
Yuliya Putintseva
Galina Voskoboeva
Captain: Dias Doskarayev

 

Korea, Republic
Jang Su Jeong
Han Na-Lae
Lee So-Ra
Choi Ji-Hee
Captain: Cho Yoon Jeong

 

Thailand
Luksika Kumkhum
Peangtarn Plipuech
Kamonwan Buayam
Bunyawi Thamchaiwat
Captain: Pracharapol Khamsaman

 

Uzbekistan
Nigina Abduraimova
Agkul Amanmuradova
Sabina Sharipova
Arina Folts
Captain: Dmitriy Tomashevich

 

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Hawaii to Host Fed Cup for the First Time as USA Faces Poland in February

USAFEDCUP

From the USTA : WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., October 20, 2015 – The USTA announced that the Holua Tennis Center at Holua Resort at Mauna Loa Village in Kailua Kona, Hawaii, has been selected as the site for the 2016 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II First Round between the United States and Poland, February 6-7.  Fed Cup is the world’s largest annual international team competition in women’s sport with approximately 100 nations taking part each year.

 

The best-of-five match series begins on Saturday, February 6, with two singles matches. It is followed by two reverse singles matches and the doubles match on Sunday, February 7. Matches will be played on an outdoor hard court.  U.S. Fed Cup Team Captain Mary Joe Fernandez will select the four players to represent the United States no later than ten days prior to the event. Poland is likely to be led by Agnieszka Radwanska, currently ranked No. 6 in the world.

 

This is the first time that Hawaii will host Fed Cup, becoming the 16th state to host this prestigious competition. Hawaii hosted Davis Cup, the men’s equivalent to Fed Cup, in Kohala Coast at the Mauna Lani Racquet Club in the 1992 World Group First Round, where the U.S. team of Andre Agassi, John McEnroe and Pete Sampras swept Argentina, 5-0. Hawaii also hosts a $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit men’s Challenger in mid-January in Maui and will be joined by a $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit women’s event that same week in Maui in 2016.

 

“We are thrilled to bring Fed Cup to Hawaii, as the USTA continues to grow the game of tennis in communities nationwide,” said Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman of the Board, CEO, and President. “Kailua Kona will create a one-of-a-kind atmosphere for Fed Cup and is a perfect location for our players. We look forward to Hawaii fans filling the stands and coming out to cheer Team USA to victory.”

 

The winner of this match advances to the World Group Playoff, held April 16-17, to compete for a spot in the 2017 World Group. The losing nation will play in the World Group II Playoff in April to remain in World Group II in 2017. The U.S. will compete in World Group II in 2016 for just the third time since the World Group format was instituted in 1995. (The U.S. also competed in the World Group II in 2012 and 2015; it has competed in the World Group all other years.)

 

The United States holds a 3-0 record over Poland in Fed Cup. The U.S. last faced Poland in the 1990 World Group First Round in Atlanta, sweeping the tie, 3-0. The U.S., who also faced Poland in 1974 and 1980, has never lost a point in Fed Cup to Poland. This will be the United States’ first home tie since 2014 in St. Louis, as the team competed on the road against Argentina and Italy this year.

 

Tickets will go on sale to the public on Friday, December 11. The USTA has partnered with the USTA Hawaii Pacific Section and the Hawaii Tourism Authority to bring this event to Kailua Kona, while the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay will be the host hotel.

 

“We are all excited about the opportunity to host the Fed Cup here in Hawaii,” said Ron Romano, USTA Hawaii Pacific Executive Director. “We look forward to extending our Aloha Spirit to the players and everyone involved so they have a memorable experience.”

 

“We are honored that Hawai‘i was selected to serve as the host site for the Fed Cup,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO. “Tennis is a globally popular sport and hosting this prestigious international event will elevate awareness of Hawaii as a premier sporting destination. We look forward to welcoming and sharing our Aloha spirit with players, fans and their families.”

 

The site selection is subject to final approval by the International Tennis Federation. Tennis Channel will present live daily coverage of the World Group II First Round.

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

jrdcfc

(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

 

COLOMBIA defeated CHINESE TAIPEI 2-1:

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

 

NETHERLANDS defeated EGYPT 2-1:
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

SOUTH AFRICA defeated HONG KONG, CHINA 2-1:
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

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

 

Sam Querrey backhand2

DAVIS CUP: “UNCLE SAM” SAVES U.S.

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.”

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

 

Bob and Mike Bryan

Bob and Mike Bryan

 

DAVIS CUP: BRAZIL STAYS ALIVE
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.

 

 

 

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Davis Cup: High “I. Q.” For USA

John-Isner_Miami-Tennis-Cup-e1354390274784

 

DAVIS CUP: HIGH “I.Q.” FOR U.S.

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.

 

Jacksonvillearena

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.

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