2014/08/21

Switzerland, France and Italy Stage Comebacks to Clinch Berths in Davis Cup Semis

(April 6, 2014) France, Italy and the Czech Republic each had to rally from 1-2 down going into Sunday’s play in Davis Cup and each team won their final two rubbers to join the Czech Republic in the semifinals which will take place September 12-14.

France came back from a 0-2 deficit on Friday to beat Germany, closing out the tie on Sunday with wins from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils. It’s only the eighth time in Davis Cup history that a team has come back from being down two matches to none. They will face the Czech Republic in the semifinals who beat Japan 5-0.

Tsonga dominated Tobias Kamke 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. Tsonga hit 45 winners in the match.

Gael Monfils sealed the win for France, beating Peter Gojowczyk 6-1, 7-6 (0), 6-2. Monfils won the first five games of the match and shut out his opponent in the second set tiebreak.

Team Italy came into Sunday’s play down 1-2. An inspired Fabio Fognini beat Wimbledon champion Andy Murray 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 to level the tie at 2-2. Andreas Seppi completed the comeback by topping James Ward 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.

It will be the first time in 16 years that Italy has reached the semifinals of Davis Cup. Italy has won the Davis Cup only once, back in 1976.

Italy will face Switzerland next.

Stanislas Wawrinka and Roger Federer won their matches on Sunday to seal Switzerland’s win over a game Kazakhstan team 3-2.

Wawrinka leveled the tie at 2-2 with Kazakhstan rallying to beat Mikhail Kukushkin 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 for his first point of the weekend. The Australian Open champion lost his opening singles match to Golubev and the doubles where he teamed up with Federer. The Swiss did not allow any break points during the match.

For the first time in his career, Roger Federer played a live fifth rubber in a Davis Cup tie. No. 4 Federer held back No.  64 Andrey Golubev 7-6(0), 6-2, 6-

For Switzerland, they have sealed a berth in their first Davis Cup semifinal in 11 years. They’ll play Italy at home for a chance to reach the final.

 

The nations competing in the World Group play-offs which take place the same weekend as the semifinals are:

World Group first round losing nations: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain and USA.

Zone Group I second round winning nations: Brazil, Croatia, Colombia, India, Israel, Slovak Republic, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

The draw for the play-offs will take place on Tuesday.

Davis Cup Results:

WORLD GROUP QUARTERFINALS

 

CZECH REPUBLIC defeated JAPAN 5-0

Venue: Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo, JPN (hard – indoor)

 

Radek Stepanek (CZE) d. Tatsuma Ito (JPN) 67(5) 76(5) 61 75

Lukas Rosol (CZE) d. Taro Daniel (JPN) 64 64 36 46 62

Lukas Rosol/Radek Stepanek (CZE) d. Tatsuma Ito/Yasutaka Uchiyama (JPN) 64 64 64

Lukas Rosol (CZE) d. Yasutaka Uchiyama (JPN) 63 36 64

Jiri Vesely (CZE) d. Taro Daniel (JPN) 64 64

 

FRANCE defeated GERMANY 3-2

Venue: Palais des Sports Jean Weille, Nancy, FRA (hard – indoor)

 

Tobias Kamke (GER) d. Julien Benneteau (FRA) 76(8) 63 62

Peter Gojowczyk (GER) d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 57 76(3) 36 76(8) 86

Julien Benneteau/Michael Llodra (FRA) d. Andre Begemann/Tobias Kamke (GER) 61 76(5) 46 75

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) d. Tobias Kamke (GER) 63 62 64

Gael Monfils (FRA) d. Peter Gojowczyk (GER) 61 76(0) 62

 

ITALY defeated GREAT BRITAIN 3-2

Venue: Tennis Club Napoli, Naples, ITA (clay – outdoor)

 

Fabio Fognini (ITA) d. James Ward (GBR) 64 26 64 61

Andy Murray (GBR) d. Andreas Seppi (ITA) 64 75 63

Colin Fleming/Andy Murray (GBR) d. Simone Bolelli/Fabio Fognini (ITA) 63 62 36 75

Fabio Fognini (ITA) d. Andy Murray (GBR) 63 63 64

Andreas Seppi (ITA) d. James Ward (GBR) 64 63 64

 

SWITZERLAND defeated KAZAKHSTAN 3-2

Venue: Palexpo, Geneva, SUI (hard – indoor)

 

Andrey Golubev (KAZ) d. Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) 76(5) 62 36 76(5)

Roger Federer (SUI) d. Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 64 64 62

Andrey Golubev/Aleksandr Nedovyesov (KAZ) d. Roger Federer/Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) 64 76(5) 46 76(6)

Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) d. Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 67(4) 64 64 64

Roger Federer (SUI) d. Andrey Golubev (KAZ) 76(0) 62 63

 

 

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP I SECOND ROUND

 

BRAZIL defeated ECUADOR 3-1

Venue: Francisco Segura Cano, Guayaquil, ECU (clay – outdoor)

 

Rogerio Dutra Silva (BRA) d. Julio-Cesar Campozano (ECU) 64 26 64 64

Emilio Gomez (ECU) d. Guilherme Clezar (BRA) 67(3) 64 1-1 ret.

Marcelo Melo/Bruno Soares (BRA) d. Gonzalo Escobar/Giovanni Lapentti (ECU) 62 60 63

Rogerio Dutra Silva (BRA) d. Emilio Gomez (ECU) 64 67(10) 61 61

Julio-Cesar Campozano (ECU) v Guilherme Clezar (BRA) – not played

 

COLOMBIA defeated DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 4-1

Venue: Estadio de Tenis “Alvaro Carlos Jordan”, Cali, COL (clay – outdoor)

 

Santiago Giraldo (COL) d. Jose Hernandez (DOM) 62 46 64 67(3) 62

Alejandro Falla (COL) d. Victor Estrella (DOM) 46 62 57 62 62

Juan-Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah (COL) d. Victor Estrella/Jose Hernandez (DOM) 63 62 64

Peter Bertran (DOM) d. Robert Farah (COL) 26 61 64

Juan-Sebastian Cabal (COL) d. Jose Olivares (DOM) 60 61
ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP I SECOND ROUND

 

UZBEKISTAN defeated CHINA, P.R. 3-2

Venue: Tianjin Tennis Center, Tianjin, CHN (hard – outdoor)

 

Denis Istomin (UZB) d. Zhang Ze (CHN) 64 46 36 63 64

Wu Di (CHN) d. Farrukh Dustov (UZB) 16 76(4) 76(4) 36 97

Farrukh Dustov/Denis Istomin (UZB) d. Gong Mao-Xin/Li Zhe (CHN) 64 62 62

Wu Di (CHN) d. Denis Istomin (UZB) 16 75 63 75

Farrukh Dustov (UZB) d. Zhang Ze (CHN) 62 16 63 67(4) 63

 

INDIA defeated KOREA, REPUBLIC 3-1

Venue: Spo1 Tennis Courts, Busan, KOR (hard – outdoor)

 

Somdev Devvarman (IND) d. Chung Hyeon (KOR) 76(4) 76(3) 64

Lim Yong-Kyu (KOR) d. Sanam Singh (IND) 76(5) 64 64

Rohan Bopanna/Saketh Myneni (IND) d. Lee Hyung-Taik/Lim Yong-Kyu (KOR) 76(4) 57 76(2) 63

Somdev Devvarman (IND) d. Lim Yong-Kyu (KOR) 64 57 63 61

Chung Hyeon (KOR) v Sanam Singh (IND) – not played

 

 

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP I SECOND ROUND

 

CROATIA defeated POLAND 3-1

Venue: Torwar Hall, Warsaw, POL (hard – indoor)

 

Marin Cilic (CRO) d. Michal Przysiezny (POL) 61 64 64

Borna Coric (CRO) d. Jerzy Janowicz (POL) 26 62 75 57 64

Mariusz Fyrstenberg/Marcin Matkowski (POL) d. Marin Draganja/Mate Pavic (CRO) 67(1) 76(4) 46 76(2) 64

Marin Cilic (CRO) d. Jerzy Janowicz (POL) 36 67(5) 64 61 63

Michal Przysiezny (POL) v Borna Coric (CRO) – not played

 

ISRAEL defeated SLOVENIA 3-1

Venue: SRC Marina Portoroz, SLO (clay – outdoor)

 

Amir Weintraub (ISR) d. Blaz Kavcic (SLO) 46 75 63 36 64

Blaz Rola (SLO) d. Dudi Sela (ISR) 63 64 64

Jonathan Erlich/Andy Ram (ISR) d. Blaz Rola/Grega Zemlja (SLO) 76(7) 46 76(5) 63

Dudi Sela (ISR) d. Grega Zemlja (SLO) 62 67(5) 60 62

Blaz Rola (SLO) v Amir Weintraub (ISR) – not played

 

UKRAINE defeated SWEDEN 4-1

Venue: Baltiska Hallen, Malmo, SWE (hard – indoor)

 

Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) d. Johan Brunstrom (SWE) 64 64 57 36 1311

Artem Smirnov (UKR) d. Markus Eriksson (SWE) 64 61 62

Johan Brunstrom/Robert Lindstedt (SWE) d. Sergei Bubka/Denys Molchanov (UKR) 76(4) 67(6) 36 64 108

Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) d. Markus Eriksson (SWE) 76(5) 76(4) 64

Sergei Bubka (UKR) d. Robert Lindstedt (SWE) 57 76(3) ret.

 

SLOVAK REPUBLIC defeated AUSTRIA 4-1

Venue: Aegon Arena, National Tennis Centre, Bratislava, SVK (hard – indoor)

 

Norbert Gombos (SVK) d. Dominic Thiem (AUT) 64 36 63 64

Lukas Lacko (SVK) d. Andreas Haider-Maurer (AUT) 76(3) 46 46 62 63

Martin Klizan/Michal Mertinak (SVK) d. Alexander Peya/Dominic Thiem (AUT) 67(4) 36 76(5) 64 64

Andreas Haider-Maurer (AUT) d. Norbert Gombos (SVK) 76(5) 75

Lukas Lacko (SVK) d. Gerald Melzer (AUT) 46 63 62

 

 

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP II SECOND ROUND

 

BARBADOS defeated EL SALVADOR 4-1

Venue: National Tennis Centre, St Michael, BAR (hard – outdoor)

 

Darian King (BAR) d. Rafael Arevalo (ESA) 61 63 63

Marcelo Arevalo (ESA) d. Haydn Lewis (BAR) 76 (5) 57 64 76(1)

Darian King/Haydn Lewis (BAR) d. Marcelo Arevalo/Rafael Arevalo (ESA) 26 64 76(9) ret.

Darian King (BAR) d. Marcelo Arevalo (ESA) 60 1-0 ret.

Seanon Williams (BAR) d. Salvador Andres Bolanos (ESA) 62 67(5) 76(8)

 

MEXICO defeated PERU 3-1

Venue: Club Britania Zavaleta, Puebla, MEX (hard – outdoor)

 

Miguel-Angel Reyes-Varela (MEX) d. Mauricio Echazu (PER) 63 46 76(2) 64

Duilio Beretta (PER) d. Cesar Ramirez (MEX) 26 64 26 61 62

Santiago Gonzalez/Miguel-Angel Reyes-Varela (MEX) d. Sergio Galdos/Rodrigo Sanchez (PER) 62 61 61

Miguel-Angel Reyes-Varela (MEX) d. Duilio Beretta (PER) 63 76(2) 46 63

Cesar Ramirez (MEX) v Mauricio Echazu (PER) – not played

 

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP II PLAY-OFF

 

CHILE defeated PARAGUAY 5-0

Venue: Club Palestino, Santiago, CHI (clay – outdoor)

 

Gonzalo Lama (CHI) d. Juan Borba (PAR) 63 60 61

Christian Garin (CHI) d. Gustavo Ramirez (PAR) 46 63 60 63

Jorge Aguilar/Paul Capdeville (CHI) d. Ramon Delgado/Gustavo Ramirez (PAR) 62 64 64

Jorge Aguilar (CHI) d. Juan-Carlos Ramirez (PAR) 64 62

Christian Garin (CHI) d. Juan Borba (PAR) 62 61

 

BOLIVIA defeated GUATEMALA 3-1

Venue: Country Club Cochabamba, Cochabamba, BOL (clay – outdoor)

 

Christopher Diaz-Figueroa (GUA) d. Federico Zeballos (BOL) 76(8) 76(4) 76(4)

Hugo Dellien (BOL) d. Andres Bucaro (GUA) 62 63 75

Hugo Dellien/Federico Zeballos (BOL) d. Andres Bucaro/Christopher Diaz-Figueroa (GUA) 76(3) 75 64

Hugo Dellien (BOL) d. Christopher Diaz-Figueroa (GUA) 63 36 62 46 62

Federico Zeballos (BOL) v Andres Bucaro (GUA) – not played

 

ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP II SECOND ROUND

 

PAKISTAN defeated PHILIPPINES 3-2

Venue: Philippine Columbian Association, Manila, PHI (clay – indoor)

 

Patrick-John Tierro (PHI) d. Aqeel Khan (PAK) 75 64 64

Ruben Gonzales (PHI) d. Samir Iftihkar (PAK) 64 63 61

Aqeel Khan/Aisam Qureshi (PAK) d. Ruben Gonzales/Treat Huey (PHI) 75 63 62

Aqeel Khan (PAK) d. Johnny Arcilla (PHI) 46 61 26 63 5-1 ret.

Aisam Qureshi (PAK) d. Patrick-John Tierro (PHI) 62 63 36 64

 

THAILAND defeated KUWAIT 4-1

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

 

Pruchya Isarow (THA) d. Abdulhameed Alshatti (KUW) 60 60 60

Mohammad Ghareeb (KUW) d. Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul (THA) 36 76(8) 76(4) 36 75

Pruchya Isarow/Nuttanon Kadchapanan (THA) d. Hasan Al Mousa/Mohammad Ghareeb (KUW) 76(2) 75 63

Pruchya Isarow (THA) d. Mohammad Ghareeb (KUW) 62 76(12) 16 61

Warit Sornbutnark (THA) d. Ali Ghareeb (KUW) 63 64

 

ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP II PLAY-OFF

 

SRI LANKA defeated VIETNAM 3-2

Venue: The 198 Tennis Club, Da Lat City, VIE (hard – outdoor)

 

Minh-Quan Do (VIE) d. Dineshkanthan Thangarajan (SRI) 63 64 64

Harshana Godamanna (SRI) d. Thien Nguyen Hoang (VIE) 62 63 62

Sharmal Dissanayake/Harshana Godamanna (SRI) d. Minh-Quan Do/Quoc-Khanh Le (VIE) 64 75 63

Thien Nguyen Hoang (VIE) d. Sharmal Dissanayake (SRI) 62 63 64

Harshana Godamanna (SRI) d. Minh-Quan Do (VIE) 63 75 60

 

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP II SECOND ROUND

 

LITHUANIA defeated SOUTH AFRICA 3-2

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

 

Ricardas Berankis (LTU) d. Jean Andersen (RSA) 63 76(2) 63

Rik de Voest (RSA) d. Laurynas Grigelis (LTU) 76(5) 76(3) 26 76(4)

Jean Andersen/Raven Klaasen (RSA) d. Ricardas Berankis/Laurynas Grigelis (LTU) 36 63 63 76(5)

Ricardas Berankis (LTU) d. Rik de Voest (RSA) 62 64 57 75

Laurynas Grigelis (LTU) d. Ruan Roelofse 76(5) 36 76(3) 64

 

BOSNIA/HERZEGOVINA defeated FINLAND 3-2

Venue: Tali Tennis Center, Helsinki, FIN (hard – indoor)

 

Damir Dzumhur (BIH) d. Juho Paukku (FIN) 63 76(4) 64

Mirza Basic (BIH) d. Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) 36 76(3) 36 63 86

Henri Kontinen/Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) d. Mirza Basic/Tomislav Brkic (BIH) 63 76(4) 62

Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) d. Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 75 76(1) 61

Mirza Basic (BIH) d. Juho Paukku (FIN) 36 46 63 75 64

 

MOLDOVA defeated BELARUS 4-1

Venue: Manejul de Atletica Usoara, Chisinau, MDA (clay – indoor)

 

Radu Albot (MDA) d. Dzmitry Zhyrmont (BLR) 62 62 36 62

Maxim Dubarenco (MDA) d. Uladzimir Ignatik (BLR) 75 76(5) 63

Egor Gerasimov/Max Mirnyi (BLR) d. Andrei Ciumac/Andrei Gorban (MDA) 63 62 60

Radu Albot (MDA) d. Egor Gerasimov (BLR) 36 16 63 61 62

Maxim Dubarenco (MDA) d. Dzmitry Zhyrmont (BLR) 76(3) 76(2)

 

DENMARK defeated LUXEMBOURG 5-0

Venue: Hillerod Tennis Klub, DEN (hard – indoor)

 

Martin Pedersen (DEN) d. Ugo Nastasi (LUX) 64 64 61

Frederik Nielsen (DEN) d. Mike Scheidweiler (LUX) 63 64 57 67(5) 61

Thomas Kromann/Frederik Nielsen (DEN) d. Gilles Kremer/Mike Scheidweiler (LUX) 46 64 57 64 62

Frederik Nielsen (DEN) d. Ugo Nastasi (LUX) 64 36 62

Mikael Torpegaard (DEN) d. Christophe Tholl (LUX) 62 63

 

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP II PLAY-OFFS

 

MONACO defeated NORWAY 5-0

Venue: Oslo Tennis Arena, Oslo, NOR (hard – indoor)

 

Benjamin Balleret (MON) d. Viktor Durasovic (NOR) 61 62 64

Romain Arneodo (MON) d. Joachim Bjerke (NOR) 76(7) 63 63

Guillaume Couillard/Thomas Oger (MON) d. Stian Boretti/Erling Tveit (NOR) 62 64 63

Benjamin Balleret (MON) d. Joachim Bjerke (NOR) 76(5) 64

Romain Arneodo (MON) d. Viktor Durasovic (NOR) 61 62

 

BULGARIA defeated GREECE 4-1

Venue: Ilioupoli Tennis Club, Athens, GRE (clay – outdoor)

 

Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) d. Markos Kalovelonis (GRE) 63 63 60

Dimitar Kutrovsky (BUL) d. Theodoros Angelinos (GRE) 64 63 16 63

Grigor Dimitrov/Dimitar Kutrovsky (BUL) d. Alexandros Jakupovic/Markos Kalovelonis (GRE) 76(4) 62 64

Alexandros Jakupovic (GRE) d. Dinko Halachev (BUL) 76(2) 61

Dimitar Kutrovsky (BUL) d. Charalampos Kapogiannis (GRE) 57 60 61

 

IRELAND defeated EGYPT 3-2

Venue: Castleknock Tennis Club, Dublin, IRL (hard – indoor)

 

James McGee (IRL) d. Karim-Mohamed Maamoun (EGY) 60 63 62

Mohamed Safwat (EGY) d. Sam Barry (IRL) 36 75 75 76(5)

Sam Barry/James Cluskey (IRL) d. Sherif Sabry/Mohamed Safwat (EGY) 62 76(6) 62

James McGee (IRL) d. Mohamed Safwat (EGY) 75 64 63

Mazen Osama (EGY) d. Daniel Glancy (IRL) 76(4) 76(5)

 

MOROCCO defeated CYPRUS 4-1

Venue: Complexe Sportif Al Amal, Casablanca, MAR (clay – outdoor)

 

Sergis Kyratzis (CYP) d. Hicham Khaddari (MAR) 26 62 61 75

Lamine Ouahab (MAR) d. Petros Chrysochos (CYP) 63 64 64

Lamine Ouahab/Mehdi Ziadi (MAR) d. Petros Chrysochos/Rares Cuzdriorean (CYP) 76(6) 61 36 46 64

Lamine Ouahab (MAR) d. Sergis Kyratzis (CYP) 60 60 60

Ayoub Chakrouni (MAR) d. Constantinos Ioannides (CYP) 63 62

 

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Davis Cup Draws Asia/Oceania Zone Group II

davis cup 2014

(February 13, 2014) The ITF has announced the draws for the two 2014 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Asia/Oceania Zone Group II first round ties taking place on 14-16 February.

 

ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP II FIRST ROUND

VIETNAM v PAKISTAN

Venue: The 198 Tennis Club, Da Lat City, VIE (hard – outdoor)

 

Quang-Huy Ngo (VIE) v Aqeel Khan (PAK)

Hoang Thien Nguyen (VIE) v Muhammad Abid (PAK)

Trinh Linh Giang/Quoc Khanh Le (VIE) v Aqeel Khan/Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (PAK)

Hoang Thien Nguyen (VIE) v Aqeel Khan (PAK)

Quang-Huy Ngo (VIE) v Muhammad Abid (PAK)

 

 

THAILAND v HONG KONG, CHINA

Venue: Thanyapura Sports & Leisure Club, Phuket, THA (hard – indoor)

 

Warit Sornbutnark (THA) v Phillip King (HKG)

Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul (THA) v Ognian Kolev (HKG)

Pruchya Isarow/Nuttanon Kadchapanan (THA) v Phillip King/Ognian Kolev (HKG)

Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul (THA) v Phillip King (HKG)

Warit Sornbutnark (THA) v Ognian Kolev (HKG)

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Murray Beats Querrey to Send Great Britain to the Davis Cup Quarterfinals

IMG_9611

By Vito Ellison, Special to Tennis Panorama News

 

(February 2, 2014) SAN DIEGO – With the Americans’ place in the 2014 Davis Cup World Group on the line, Sam Querrey ran neck and neck with Andy Murray today.  Unfortunately, he only kept pace with the 2-time major champion for two sets. Of those, he won just one. Therein lies the story of the match.  After a valiant effort, Querrey succumbed 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-3 in 2 hours and 54 minutes at Petco Park In San Diego.  Such is the challenge of playing against a member of the modern game’s “Big Four.”

 

“I had some ups and downs definitely,” Querrey said reflecting on the weekend. “Still bummed I lost that first one…but I’m proud of myself for putting it behind me and coming out strong today.” While Querrey was miles more competitive today than he managed to be on Friday versus James Ward, his loss clinched the tie for Great Britain.

 

Andy Murray, all but singlehandedly wiping the negative recent history of British tennis, guaranteed his side their first berth in the World Group quarterfinals for 28 years.  For your reference, Murray is 26 years old.

 

Despite the loss, US captain Jim Courier found positives in his team’s performance.  “We kept our heads together,” he said.  “I was proud of Sam and the way he competed.  I think Donald (Young) got some valuable experience…. Of Course Bob and Mike (Bryan) did that they do so well, which is compete hard and typically get us the win.”

 

Despite the unpredictable way in which the tie ultimately played out: Isner’s injury, Querrey’s flat opening performance and two ruthless displays by Murray, one questionable call may have played a major part in writing the final script, the Americans’ choice of a red clay surface.  Courier defended the choice at every turn throughout the week, pointing to strong prior performances by his squad on the terre battue. For his part at least, Murray was skeptical, “I was surprised they put it on clay, to be honest,” he said, even noting that the surface may have been helped Britain to victory.  “Yeah, obviously, it did have a bearing in the tie, for Sam especially.  I think his best surface is hard courts….I don’t know if they thought I wasn’t going to play because I had problems on clay last year with my back and coming off surgery.  So I don’t know”

 

Oddly enough, the road for the advancing team, Great Britain, on paper at least, becomes presumably easier than that for the losing American squad.  The Brits will play their next World Group tie away versus an Italian team headlined by Andreas Seppi and Fabio Fognini.  The United States, in falling to the World Group playoffs for the first time since 2010, could potentially face three teams headlined by major champions: (Spain, Serbia and Argentina) or our surging neighbor to the north, Canada, just to stay in the World Group for 2015.

 

By Vito Ellison, Special to Tennis Panorama News

Murray’s not quite thinking about the next tie just yet.  Still in the midst of recovery, the Dunblane native is still working his way back to playing his best ball.  “I’m proud of the way I’m playing just now because I had to do a lot of work to get back to where I wanted to be,” said Murray. “I’m still not quite there yet, but winning matches of that length and quality so soon after the surgery is good.”

With a tough challenge behind him and Murray’s mood lightening, he added “I’ll have done 13 weeks consecutively without a break of training and I’m playing tournaments to try and get myself back.  I need a break now, so I’ll take some days off after I get home, because I deserve it.”

 

Related articles:

Motivated Murray Dismisses Young

Expectations, Or The Lack Thereof; Ward Upsets Querrey

Teams On The Edge

 

 

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Gemany Completes 4-1 win over Spain in Davis Cup

_B4H1528-001

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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Teams On The Edge

Courier and Bryans

By Vito Ellison, Special to Tennis Panorama News

(February 1, 2014) SAN DIEGO – With the Southern California sun finally making an appearance and a partisan crowd finally making their presence both seen and heard, it was clearly a new day in this US vs. Great Britain Davis Cup World Group tie.  Nonetheless, the American team was still haunted by yesterday’s failures at Petco Park in San Diego.

 

For a doubles pairing that had just kept the American side alive in this Davis Cup, the Bryan Brothers were in no mood for celebrating—or even smiling—about their win today, neither was US Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier.  The Bryans raised their record as a team to 21-4 in the competition on the back of a decisive 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Dominic Inglot and Colin Fleming. Yet, it was clear from the beginning of their press conference that the twins had other things on their minds.

 

“Always feels bad to let the team down,” Bob said.  He was responding to the first question raised.  While the query was about winning this match following two uncharacteristic, five-set Davis Cup losses a season ago, Bryan’s allusion wasn’t lost on anyone.  Bob was as much referencing the still-stinging memories of their 2013 Davis Cup campaign as he was yesterday’s upset loss by Sam Querrey at the hands of James Ward.

 

The Bryans had little mercy on their opponents today, avenging their teammate’s defeat by drawing 45 forced errors from the British pair in a match that didn’t reach the two-hour mark.  Their only hiccup, a loose game on Bob’s serve in the third set, that cost the USA a straight sets triumph. “I think they just take it to you every time,” said Inglot about his opponents. “They always ask a question of you and they’re never going to give you any free points.” “The match can rush away from you,” Fleming added.  “When we got behind in sets, it can become a blur against them.”

 

As uncharitable as the Bryans were on-court, Courier matched in the pressroom.  When asked about Querrey’s chances of springing an upset of 2-time major champion Andy Murray tomorrow, Courier fired with little hesitation, “He’s going to have to play significantly better than he did yesterday to stand a chance.” The British squad, while realistic, wasn’t taking anything for granted.  When asked about Andy Murray’s chances against a player who had just suffered a disappointing loss, another thinly veiled reference to Querrey, British captain Leon Smith stifled the rumor of a smile breaking out on his face and replied “Very good.  Yeah, very good.”

Vito Ellison is in San Diego, California covering the Davis Cup tie between the USA and Great Britain for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his updates on the site’s twitter @TennisNewsTPN, on his personal twitter @vblacklabel. and visit his site Blacklabeltennis.com.

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

Germany wins-001

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.

Kohlschreiber & Haas-001

“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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Expectations, Or The Lack Thereof; Ward Upsets Querrey

James Ward

James Ward

By Vito Ellison, Special to Tennis Panorama News

(January 31, 2014) SAN DIEGO – “Yeah, from London, Arsenal fan, see myself as a pretty normal bloke,” that’s how James Ward described himself to the assembled press following what was a rather abnormal moment in his career.  On a temporary red clay court constructed in the outfield of a baseball field, 175th ranked James Ward stunned No. 49 Sam Querrey 1-6, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in 3 hours and 10 minutes at Petco Park in San Diego.

 

Querrey opened the match in ominous form.  Although he only served 52% in the frame, he stormed to a 6-1 lead in 26 minutes.  This US Davis Cup team’s alpha male was doing the expected versus a presumably outmatched opponent and without much help from his most vaunted weapon.  Asked about moving on from that first set in his post match presser, Ward deadpanned “I thought I couldn’t play much worse than I did in the first set anyway.”

 

With Ward unable to inflict much scoreboard pressure early, he waited for his chances, fully knowing that the situation should ultimately reward him with a few. “They’re one rubber down,” Ward noted. “He’s expected to beat me on paper.  He’s not in an easy position.” After splitting the first six games of the second set though, it looked as if Querrey were about to re-establish his authority on the match. Ward engineered an unlikely comeback from 0-40 down on his serve to hold for 4-3 on serve.  The set went to a tiebreak and it was in that pressure cooker that the big-serving Californian first lost his grip on the match.

 

Sam Querrey

Sam Querrey

It was a topsy turvy affair for the next two sets, Querrey opening the 3rd set strongly, riding newfound momentum to a 6-3 win, backed up by a 4-2 lead in the 4th.  From there, with the expectations shifted back to Querrey, the American, up two sets to one, with a break in the fourth, would only win one more game.  “You know, I think he started to gain some momentum and get some reads on my serve,” Querrey said reflecting on the match.  “You know, kudos to him for making some big shots in the latter part of the match.”

 

The crowd, which had largely been out of the matches all afternoon, in part thanks to Andy Murray’s suffocating victory over Donald Young in the first rubber, began desperately cheering for Querrey to right the ship, but to no avail.  The American No. 1 found himself in a fifth set, a place where he had a 2-7 record; in Davis Cup where he had a 4-6 record.  He wouldn’t improve any of those numbers tonight and his loss leaves the Americans with yet another stat line to try to reverse, 0-2.  The Americans are down 0-2 to Great Britain and will begin trying to take the long road back, starting with the Bryan Brothers tomorrow.  With Murray up next for Querrey, it’ll be the American’s turn to play with no expectations.

 

Vito Ellison is in San Diego, California covering the Davis Cup tie between the USA and Great Britain for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his updates on the site’s twitter @TennisNewsTPN, on his personal twitter @vblacklabel. and visit his site Blacklabeltennis.com.

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Motivated Murray Dismisses Young

Donald Young

Donald Young

By Vito Ellison, Special to Tennis Panorama News

(January 31, 2014) SAN DIEGO – Donald Young and Andy Murray exist on two different planes of the tennis universe; they left the court Saturday afternoon showing just how far apart they are.  Dunblane’s favorite son, a champion on the fast courts of the US Open and Wimbledon, looked quite at home on the slow, by his words “slippery” red clay court in the outfield of Petco Park.  Murray dismissed his less-heralded American opponent 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 in just an hour and 38 minutes.

 

The combatants played the first two games on the match on near-even terms, though Murray would end both occasions the victor.  From there, with the exception of some brief signs of life from Young in the third set, the gulf only widened. “I’ve seen [Murray] do that to a lot of guys,” said Young “So I don’t feel quite as bad…it’s just rough.”

 

With Friday’s victory, Murray increased his winning streak in Davis Cup to 17 consecutive singles matches.  Across the net, Young admitted to feeling nerves in his first outing for the USA.  “Everything seemed like it was in hyperspeed,” Young said, “it was tough for me, but I’m happy I got through it.”

 

A matchup against Murray would have been tough enough under neutral circumstances, but the World No. 6 has some extra motivation coming into this year’s event. “I’ve never started a year in Davis Cup when you could actually win the competition, so this year it’s obviously a little bit different,” Murray pointed out. “I mean, every time I’ve played Davis Cup, I’ve enjoyed it; I’ve played well…it’s not like when I’ve played I just haven’t been motivated. It’s a different mindset, coming in and being in the main competition and being able to actually win it. I’m excited this year.”

 

Murray is giving Great Britain his complete commitment to winning, at minimum, this tie at least versus the Americans.  In addition to the two singles matches, Murray is scheduled to suit up alongside Colin Fleming in the doubles tomorrow.  The British pair will take on fifteen-time major champions Bob and Mike Bryan.

 

Young will have to wait until Sunday for his shot at Davis Cup redemption.  There will be no less pressure though, he could be tapped to play a decisive fifth rubber versus James Ward. For his part, Young is looking forward to the challenge. “I’ll never have this problem again, this feeling of the first time.  I’m looking forward to Sunday if need be,” Young said.  “If I’m needed, I’m definitely looking forward to playing and I’ll feel a lot better and a lot more confident….”

Vito Ellison is in San Diego, California covering the Davis Cup tie between the USA and Great Britain for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his updates on the site’s twitter @TennisNewsTPN, on his personal twitter @vblacklabel. and visit his site Blacklabeltennis.com.

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Expectations, Or The Lack Thereof; Ward Upsets Querrey

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Germany Takes a 2-0 Lead Over Spain in First Round of Davis Cup Play

Florian Mayer

Florian Mayer

By Florian Heer

(January 31, 2014) FRANKFURT – Germany and Frankfurt’s Fraport Arena with a capacity of 5.000 seats hosted five-time-champion Spain for the first round Davis Cup tie in the World Group. Although Germany holds a 9-6 record over Spain, their last victory is dated back to the year 1994. The Iberians had to accept the fact that their two top-players in Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer do not play, whereas the home team has been able to call up their probably best formation.

In the first rubber Philipp Kohlschreiber took on Roberto Bautista-Agut. The Spaniard is making his Davis Cup debut this weekend and is considered as a player, who feels comfortable on hard courts. The German suffered an injury in his thigh right before the Australian Open but has become fit for the Davis Cup. In Frankfurt both players met for the very first time. The German was dictating the match from the baseline and was the better player throughout the encounter. Kohlschreiber gained the first break in the fifth game of the opening set to take the frame in the eighth in only 26 minutes.

The world No.  27 from Augsburg outplayed his opponent in most of the rallies and was the more solid competitor in every situation. Kohlschreiber served well, hit some great returns and the Spaniard wasn’t able to find his rhythm at all. Consequently the German served the match out without facing a single break point winning 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 43 minutes.

“I played a great match today against an opponent, who came with a lot of confidence from Australia,” Kohlschreiber was happy. “I’m really satisfied with my match. Roberto seemed to have problems to read my service, which made it difficult for him,” the German said. The Spaniard seemed to agree. “Philipp played brilliant,” Bautista had to admit afterwards. “I wasn’t able to play my best tennis today. I was also quite nervous at the beginning. I was waiting for some errors from my opponent but Philipp didn’t really make a lot. So it became difficult for me,” the Spaniard analysed the match. “The surface also seemed to suit Philipp’s fast game,” Bautista added.

 

In the second rubber Florian Mayer took on Spain’s No. 1 Feliciano López. Before the encounter, the Spaniard held a 3-2 head to head record over Mayer.  The German took the first set in the tie-break and the Spanish team had to wait until the 11th game of the second set to gain their first break point of the tie – a wait lasting a total of three hours and 26 minutes. Mayer saved it and took the second frame in the tie-break as well.

The encounter was of highest quality with exciting rallies, great volley games and nice passing shots. López didn’t give up and eventually was the first player to get a break in the fourth game of the third set. The Spanish world No.  26 took the frame after two hours and twenty minutes in the seventh game. At crunch time in the 10th game of the fourth set, López saved two match points and took the momentum into the decider.

The 32-year-old from Toledo, however, couldn’t back his good performance in the beginning of the final set. One poor service game by López became the decisive one. Mayer, who fought for every point, gained the break and finally held his service until the end. The 30-year-old German closed the match out after three hours and fifty minutes winning 7-6, 7-6, 1-6, 5-7, 6-3 to give his country a 2-0 lead.

“I’m very pleased with my performance today,” Mayer was more than happy afterwards. “My match plan totally worked out to make points over his forehand and avoid his backhand slice. He really has a mean game,” the German laughed. “At the end of the fourth set I had to take some painkillers as I fell on my shoulder during one rally,” he said. “The shoulder is not broken but we have to see how it goes on for the rest of the weekend,” Mayer told about his injury.

On the other hand the Spaniards were understandably disappointed. “After the effort I made to come back being two sets down, I really thought that I could win the match but unfortunately I made some stupid mistakes in the fifth set,” López said. “Nonetheless Flo was a champion today and really deserved the victory,” the Spaniard stated.

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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Czech Republic Take 2-1 Lead Over Serbia in Davis Cup Final

(November 16, 2013) The Czech Republic stands one win away from claiming the Davis Cup title. On Sunday the doubles rubber went to the Czech team of Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek beating Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (4) to give the visiting team a 2-1 lead. The Czech pair is now 14-1 in Davis Cup.

Novak Djokovic will face Tomas Berdych in the opening rubber on day 3.  The Setb has only lost Should Djokovic win, it will force a fifth and deciding rubber with Radek Stepanek playing either Dusan Lajovic or Ilija Bozoljac.

Before Saturday’s doubles rubber, Serbia’s Nenad Zimonjic was honored with the Davis Cup Award of Excellence by the ITF and the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The award recognizes a Davis Cup player, past or present, who demonstrates a strong commitment to the spirit of the competition. The award was presented on court by ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti and Serbian tennis great Slobodan Zivojinovic, a past recipient of the award.

 

WORLD GROUP FINAL

CZECH REPUBLIC leads SERBIA 2-1

Venue: Belgrade Arena, Belgrade, SRB (hard – indoors)

 

Novak Djokovic (SRB) d. Radek Stepanek (CZE) 75 61 64

Tomas Berdych (CZE) d. Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 63 64 63

Tomas Berdych/Radek Stepanek (CZE) d. Ilija Bozoljac/Nenad Zimonjic (SRB) 62 64 76(4)

Novak Djokovic (SRB) v Tomas Berdych (CZE)

Dusan Lajovic (SRB) v Radek Stepanek (CZE)

 

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