2014/10/26

Gemany Completes 4-1 win over Spain in Davis Cup

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By Florian Heer

(February 2, 2014) FRANKFURT, GERMANY – Final day of the first round Davis Cup tie in Frankfurt and Team Germany ran out of players for the last two singles matches. Only Daniel Brands was nominated to take on Roberto Bautista-Agut for the single dead rubber on Sunday. It was officially announced by Team captain Carsten Arriens that Tommy Haas, Florian Mayer and Philipp Kohlschreiber were injured. The spectators in the Fraport Arena answered with catcalls and the following match was played in a weird atmosphere.

Nonetheless the encounter between Brands and Bautista became an interesting affair with tennis on a very high level. In the end it was the German, who had the advantage in the decisive moments. Brands won the first set in the tie-break and gained the only break of the match in the tenth game of the second frame winning 7-6, 6-4 after 80 minutes.

 

“I tried to do my best and put some effort into winning one point for Spain,” Bautista-Agut said afterwards. “Nonetheless it was very difficult for me to go on court today. It was like having zero motivation, as we are still disappointed,” the Spaniard added. “All of our players gave their best but the German team was very strong throughout weekend,” Team Captain Carlos Moya said. “Of course we are disappointed as we wanted to win but there is still an opponent who also has a word to say and Germany played very well,” Moya stated.

Due to the missing third rubber, the German fans were also disappointed and as a consequence the president of the German Tennis Federation, Karl Altenburg, announced that there will be show match in Frankfurt in summer as a compensation for today’s ticket holders.

 

“I really can understand that the fans are angry,” team captain Carsten Arriens told the press after he had been barracked by the fans inside the arena. “I’ll think about the things, which happened in the arena in the next couple of days. We were really surprised by the reactions from the spectators and maybe we also underestimated the situation. Nonetheless I hope that the positive aspects from Friday and Saturday will remain the dominant facts for the fans. I do not want to embellish the situation but Tommy, Flo and Philipp did a great job the last two days and that’s what I want to point out. Unfortunately all three are injured,” Arriens tried to explain. “We had two fantastic days here in Frankfurt and I really want to thank the spectators for creating a great atmosphere and their support, it was something special for me, too, having the tie played in my hometown” the captain said. A very successful weekend for the German team has come to an end but today’s occurrences will probably leave a bland aftertaste.

Germany will play France the first weekend in April for a chance to make the Davis Cup semifinals.

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Doubles Team of Kohlschreiber and Haas send Germany to the Davis Cup Quarterfinals

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By Florian Heer

(February 1, 2014) FRANFURT, GERMANY – Saturday in Frankfurt and in the morning it must have looked like climbing Mount Everest for the Spanish team to come back into this tie. In this competition the Iberians have never been able to recover from being 0-2 down after the first day and so Carlos Moya’s squad was forced to win the doubles rubber when David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco took on Philipp Kohlschreiber, who replaced Daniel Brands, and Tommy Haas.

It was the first time that the Spanish ATP World Tour Final Champions played as a team at Davis Cup. For the Germans it was also a new doubles team situation as doubles partners. For Kohlschreiber and Haas the longer the match took, the better both players found their rhythm as a team. In the first set, however, the Germans had a quite difficult start. Haas had to save set points in his service game to put the first set into a tie-break. Two magnificent shots from Marrero saved set points for the Spaniards but two double faults handed the Germans the opening set.

There were no break points in the second set and so again the tie breaker had to decide. Spain has already lost four tie-breaks during this weekend but were finally freed from a curse by winning this one 11-9 after one hour and 52 minutes.

Verdasco took more and more command on Spanish side, hitting baseline shots as hard as he could and eventually played another unavoidable tie-break in the third set almost alone. Before, the Spaniards were not able to capitalize on break points in the third game and consequently lost another close breaker 7-9.

So it became more and more difficult for the Spanish team to get back into this tie. The atmosphere at the Fraport Arena, filled with 5.000 spectators, was great for the home team, were the lucky ones to finally gain the first break of the match in the fourth game of the fourth set after three hours and eight minutes of play. It should become the decisive one.

Twenty-six minutes later, Haas served the match out in the ninth game giving Germany the victory by winning 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3. “The team presented themselves how it should be at a home game,” Carsten Arriens said.

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“It was hard work today but in the end it worked out for Tommy and Philipp today. I also had a lot of fun during the last two days on the bench,” the German team captain added. “It was great to be back playing Davis Cup,” Haas stated.

 “Carsten’s vision of having a doubles team with Kohlschreiber and Haas became reality today. It was a difficult match against two experienced players but I think that we harmonized quite well on the court today,” the German veteran said. “It also have to be mentioned that Tommy and I do not have a problem with each other,”

Kohlschreiber explained his relation to Haas. “I think sometimes it’s just the media, which needs something to write about,” Kohlschreiber said. “My match on Friday wasn’t that long, so I felt good to play the doubles today as well,” he added. The German team already celebrated their victory during the press conference by drinking champagne and announced that this will become a long night for them.

 

On the other hand, the Spanish team was disappointed. “It was very close today. There was only one break of serve in the entire match,” Moya said. “Similar to Feliciano yesterday, we had our chances but in the end we couldn’t capitalize on it. Nonetheless my team can be proud of themselves how they played today and hopefully next time the luck will be on our side,” the Spanish team captain added.

 

Germany will face an away tie against France in the quarterfinals and Spain has to play a second time in a row the Davis Cup World Group play-offs.

Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Future Circuit!  Follow his twitter account @Florian _Heer.

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Nadal Begins Hunt for Eighth French Open Crown with Four-Set Win Over Brands

Rafael Nadal

(May 27, 2013) Rafael Nadal recovered from losing the first set to stop German Daniel Brands 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-3  to move into the second round of the French Open. The seven-time Roland Garros  dropped only his 15th set  ever in Paris, 2nd time he’s lost the opening set.

Ranked 59th in the world, Brands, a hard-serving player who hits flat with a big forehand fought off two break points in the opening set while serving at 3-4.

“I started the match playing I think okay, well, but I get a little bit nervous when I didn’t have the break with the 4‑3, 15‑40, “ Nadal said.  “And then, you know, then I played a bad game with my serve.  And he was serving great during the whole match and hitting every time the first ball fantastic.”

In the next game Nadal’s serve betrayed him, double- faulting on break point to give Brands a 5-4 lead. Brands held to win the first set 6-4.

Both men remained on even terms and reached a tiebreak in the second set. Brands took a 3-0 lead in the tiebreak but Nadal, the third seed, stormed back winning seven of the next eight points to take the tiebreak and the second set 7-6(4).

“Was a mistake for him with the 3‑2 of the tiebreak, slice backhand,“ said Nadal.

“And then with the 5‑4 I think I played two break points, I think, one winner with my forehand down the line, and then a fantastic return winner down the line with my backhand.  In the right moment I hit two fantastic shots that probably was the match.”

“I was losing a little bit concentration after the tiebreak,” Brands said.  “Yeah, it was really tough for me, because, you know, he broke me early in the set, and then I had to come back always.

“Yeah, from that point I think he was just better after the second set.”

Despite the loss, Brands told media what he gained from this experience.

“A lot of confidence, of course,” Brands said.  “A lot of confidence.  And, yeah, if I am ‑‑ yeah, if I play my best tennis, I can also compete with the top guys.

“That’s, I think, really important for the future, also.”

The 6-foot-5 Brands is still winless in his career at Roland Garros at 0-5.

“He was playing unbelievable,” Nadal said. “He was trying to hit every ball as hard as he can. Sometimes you feel you are not hitting a bad shot, and every time comes back a bomb. So I am very happy to be through, seriously.”

Nadal will face Martin Klizan in the second round.

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Tomic Survives Brands to Gain Third Round of Australian Open

Bernard Tomic

By Jaclyn Stacey

 

(January 17, 2013) MELBOURNE PARK, Australia - Bernard Tomic triumphed in a difficult second round match against German qualifier Daniel Brands 6-7(4) 7-5 7-6(3) 7-6(8) to set up a likely third round encounter against Roger Federer.

 

As temperatures soared in Melbourne on Thursday the players took to the courts with the mercury sitting at 38°C (100°F) and during the match hit 40°C (104°F), making the court play faster than normal. Both players wore caps on court to deal with the conditions.

 

Neither player was able to take control in the match as three out of the four sets ended in a tie-break. The only break in the match came in the eleventh game of the second set when Tomic hit a running forehand pass down the line to take a 6-5 lead and serve out the set.

 

In the post-match news conference Tomic admitted that he had underestimated his opponent and said that Brands played a lot better than his ranking of 120 would suggest.

 

“I mean, he’s ranked not in the top 100 and he played like a top 10 player today, top 15. I think, as you saw in Doha, he played well, made the semis. He’s been in the top 60 or 70. But he played much, much better than his ranking today. Full credit to him. Like I said, he played much better than his ranking.”

 

Tomic closed out the match on his eighth opportunity in the fourth set tie-break and said he is feeling physically and mentally healthy after the two hour and 55 minute match.

 

“I was fine physically. Just the heat always distracts you when you’re playing an opponent that you can’t figure out, you can’t break him, he’s on top of you. It’s very difficult. It was very hot out there. I managed to cool down. I had a few cheap service games of mine. It allowed me to focus in the third and fourth set.”

 

Tomic says he very pleased with how he is serving and that being able to hold against Federer would be crucial in having a chance at beating him.

 

“I saw the stats as I was walking out. It was 23 to 26 aces my way. That’s probably the best I’ve ever served. I didn’t get broken today at all, not even in the first round. I think the last break of serve was in the quarters against Nieminen in Sydney. I think I just got broken once there. Tells you I’m serving really well.”

 

“But I’m going to use all this confidence into the next round, you know, potentially who waits there. We’ll see.”

 

Tomic says he’ll watch the match between Davydenko and Federer tonight and believes it might not go completely in the favour of the 17-time Grand Slam champion.

 

“He’s playing a guy that’s beaten him before. It’s not easy playing Davydenko. I’m sure Roger knows that as well. You can’t take anyone lightly, especially someone that’s been in the top 5 for like six years.”

 

If he does come up against the world No. 2,  Tomic is confident he will have more of a chance than ever to beat him.

 

“Yeah, if it is him, then what a match it is, you know, 10 out of 10 now with matches. I feel so confident. This is the perfect time to play him. I think, you know, I’ve got a good attitude to win. I’ve beaten a lot of good players over the last past two weeks, especially Novak. I think I can do it if he wins his match.”

 

“I’m ready. I mean, I’m not going to say, you know, I don’t have the belief. I do have the belief now. It’s possible. I showed that in Perth, that you can beat these players. Now I’m going to try to beat him.”

 

Jaclyn Stacey is a Melbourne based freelance journalist covering the Australian Open tournament as media for Tennis Panorama News.  Follow her Australian Open updates on @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter @JackattackAU.

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