2014/10/23

Seeds Announced for 2013 Davis Cup World Group Play-offs

 

(April 8, 2013) The ITF has announced the seeds for the Draw for the 2013 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-offs. The Draw will take place on Wednesday 10 April at the ITF offices in London at 11:00 local time (10:00 GMT). The seeds are based on the new ITF Davis Cup Nations Ranking of 8 April: www.daviscup.com/en/rankings/current-rankings.aspx

 

The eight seeded nations in the World Group play-offs are:

 

Spain (1)

Austria (2)

Croatia (3)

Switzerland (4)

Germany (5)

Australia (6)

Belgium (7)

Japan (8)

 

Each of the seeds will be drawn against one of the following unseeded nations:

 

Brazil

Colombia

Ecuador

Great Britain

Israel

Netherlands

Poland

Ukraine

 

The 2013 World Group play-offs will take place alongside the World Group semifinals on 13-15 September. The eight winning nations will contest the 2014 World Group.

 

The line-up for the World Group play-offs was confirmed when Australia, Colombia, Ecuador, Great Britain, Japan, Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine all won their Zone Group I second round ties on 5-7 April. They joined the losers from the 2013 World Group first round ties.

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Ward Rallies Past Tursunov to even tie with Russia 2-2

 

By Ros Satar

James Ward [GBR] def. Dmitry Tursunov [RUS] 6-4, 5-7, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4

 

(April 7, 2013) COVENTRY, England – After facing the press on Friday in utter desolation, British No. 2, James Ward, rallied against a sometimes agitated Tursunov to bring GB level with Russia.

 

After starting so impressively against Evgeny Donskoy, only to lose in five sets from being two sets and a break up, there was a lot of pressure on Ward’s thin shoulders.

 

If any nerves were evident on Ward’s side, he hid them well, banging down two aces a-piece, as the first five games went with serve.

 

The first sign of frailty appeared on Tursunov’s serve, taken to deuce twice in successive serves.

 

It paid off for Ward as he needed just one break point to edge ahead 5-4, before topping off the first set with a hold to love.

 

The games were going tightly with serve in the second set.

 

At times Tursunov seemed just a little slow and Ward struggled to get into Tursunov’s service games, letting two break points go, at 5-5.

 

It was Ward’s turn for fraying nerves, starting with a double fault, while serving to stay in the set, and ending with a netted cross-court forehand to hand Russia the second set 7-5.

 

British hopes were raised with an early break in the first game of the third set, only for Tursunov to break straight back.

 

A stream of errors from Ward gave Tursunov a second break in the third set, to leave Ward coming out to stay in the set at 2-5.

 

Ward was rewarded for his tenacity by breaking Tursunov in the next game to put himself back on serve.

 

Despite that, Ward found himself having to save break points on his next two serves.

 

Tursunov turned up the pace, aided and abetted with another error-strewn game by Ward, to take the third set 7-5.

 

Ward started the brighter in the fourth set breaking early, and Tursunov picked up a code violation as he started to get annoyed with the crowd.

 

Ward just needed the one set point as Tursunov netted forehand return to even the match and take the rubber into a deciding set.

 

Ward got a break to lead 3-2, courtesy of a Tursunov double fault on break point, after a long rally where the Russian sent a forehand flying long.

 

Just keeping his nose ahead, the Brit was only taken to deuce once on his serve, before coming out to serve for the match at 5-4.

 

To the watching crowd’s delight, Ward held his final serve to 15, finishing with an ace to go from zero to hero.

 

Ward said: “It would have been very tough to take 2 5-set losses in a weekend.

 

“If anything it’s even more pleasing beating Tursunov, who I’ve lost to twice in the past”

 

Team captain, Leon Smith had been reiterating the same advice, to serve out wide to the Russian unless he started to read the serve.

 

And Ward was happy to acknowledge the captain’s belief in him.

 

He said: “I’m grateful to him for the opportunity to play again and show heart and desire and everything that he wanted this weekend, and I think I showed it.”

 

Ros Satar is a British Journalist- an IT journalist by day, and a sports journalist in all the gaps in between. She is the co-founder of Britwatch Sports (britwatchsports.com). Follow her on twitter at @rfsatar.

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Serbia Holds Off Bryans in Five-Set Thriller

 

 

By Junior Williams

DAVIS CUP: SERBIA HOLDS OFF BRYANS IN THRILLER

Takes 2-1 lead after Zimonjic, Bozoljac win in five-set marathon.

 

(April 6, 2013) BOISE, Idaho – Serbia Davis Cup captain Bogdan Obradovic is probably saying, “I told you so.”

 

He stuck with No. 335th ranked Ilija Bozoljac instead of replacing him with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

 

The payoff: Bozoljac and Nenad Zimonjic defeated top-ranked Americans Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6 (5), 7-6 (1), 5-7, 4-6, 15-13 in a thrilling 4 hour 21- minute doubles match in the Davis Cup World Group Quarterfinals at Taco Bell Arena, giving Serbia a 2-1 lead heading into Sunday’s rubbers and an opportunity for Djokovic to clinch the tie in his singles match.

 

Bozoljac’s powerful serves — many of them rockets at around 135 miles per hour — helped to neutralize the Bryans. Together, Bozoljac and Zimonjic served up 36 aces to the Americans’ twelve.

 

The 27-year old Bozoljac also came through with a number of backhand winners down the line. his play, combined with the experience of former world number one doubles player Zimonjic, came in handy for the Serbs.

 

Both teams broke each other midway through the first set, but it was Serbia that struck first by winning the tiebreak on a Zimonjic second serve ace, followed by a winner that clipped the baseline.

 

The second tiebreak also went to Serbia, helped by a minibreak due to a net cord and a strong service game resulting in three aces.

 

But the world’s No. 1 doubles team refused to give up. The Americans began their comeback by breaking Bozoljac’s serve in the final game of the third set, as Zimonjic’s block of a Mike Bryan shot sailed beyond the baseline.

 

The Bryans repeated the feat in the fourth set, as Zimonjic — who was serving this game — knocked a return from the Americans in to the net, knotting up the match at two sets apiece.

 

In the fifth set, each team managed to hold serve while escaping danger at times, until the 27th game of the set, when Bozoljac’s backhad stab return was sent wide by the Americans to give Serbia a break and a chance to serve out the match.

 

But there was more drama, as Zimonjic double faulted to give the Bryans two break points and a chance to tie the set at 14-14. That’s when Zimonjic blasted two aces to tie the game at deuce.

 

After the Bryans staved off one match point on a lob the Serbs couldn’t convert, Zimonjic served out the next two points, ending with an ace to seal the victory for Serbia. The winners hugged each other on the court as their supporters cheered wildly. Despite their disappointment, those rooting for the home team applauded the quality play of both the Serbians and the Americans.

 

Just how close was the match? Each team scored 217 points.

 

“For sure, it’s the biggest win in the Davis Cup doubles for me,” said Zimonjic. “We were playing very good.

 

“This was definitely a great, great performance and great match from me.”

 

“Anybody who was supposed to play with Nenad was supposed to be the underdog against the Bryans,” Bozoljac said. “We won and I just can’t believe it happened.

“For me, it definitely means a lot because this is my best performance in Davis Cup so far. I knew if I give my 100 percent for one match I could play on a really high level.”

 

“Have to tip our hats to those guys, obviously,” said a disappointed Bob Bryan.  “Thought they played really well all day.  36 aces, didn’t give us much opportunity, in the fifth especially.
“Just one of those things.  Obviously disappointed we let the team down.”

 

He’s a guy we haven’t seen too much of on the tour,” Mike Bryan said about journeyman Bozoljac.  “Asked a few questions of guys that have seen him play.  Gave us a few things.  But he served great all day.  He actually was a stronger returner.  There at the end he didn’t show any nerves, came up with the goods, especially on some of those 30‑All points.”

 

US Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier was asked about if Bozoljac’s is a testament to the spirit of Davis Cup “I think inspiration is pretty easy to come by when you’re playing for the colors on your back, US.  We’ve seen a lot of people in this competition rise up.  You look at the numbers next to the guy’s career, you see the performance today, something doesn’t add up.  You clearly see there was some inspiration, chemistry with Nenad on the court, and you say, Too good.”

 

It was the second consecutive Davis Cup defeat for the Bryans, who back in February lost in the World Group First Round to Brazil’s Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares. The winningest doubles team in U.S. Davis Cup history is now 20-4 when playing together.

 

Now the U.S. faces a tall task in tomorrow’s reverse singles, with Djokovic set to take on Sam Querrey in the first match. If Querrey pulls off the upset, it’ll be left to American John Isner and Serb Viktor Troicki to settle the tie.

 

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 Boise, Idaho covering the Davis Cup quarterfinal World Group tie between the United States and Serbia for Tennis Panorama News.

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Great Britain Wins Doubles Rubber Over Russia in Davis Cup

 

Fleming/Marray [GBR] def. Baluda/Kunitsyn [RUS] 6-1, 6-4, 6-2

By Ros Satar

(April 6, 2013) COVENTRY, England – The British team were always the favorites to win this doubles rubber, and Jonny Marray and Colin Fleming did not disappoint.

 

The British pair, ranked 16th and 28th respectively, were counting on a win, to give the British team any hope at all of salvaging the second round Europe /Africa zone Group 1 tie, after two crushing 5-set defeats on the first day.

 

Victor Baluda (doubles ranking of 440) and Igor Kunitsyn (439) would be facing the British team, although there had been some speculation that Dmitry Tursunov would replace Baluda.

 

After some tentative serves into the lights, Marray kicked off his Davis Cup debut with a strong hold.

 

The Russians may be ranked some 400 places below the Brits, but were already exhibiting some good tagging shots, especially coming from Kunitsyn.

 

First blood went to the Brits, breaking Kunitsyn to take an early lead.

 

With another break, this time against Baluda on the third break point, the Brits took the first set, in just under half an hour.

 

The first break of the second set came even earlier, again on Kunitsyn’s serve, but the Russians stayed in contention, when Kunitsyn held for the first time since the match began, as the Brits maintained a single break margin.

 

Fleming came out to hold, with an overhead smash from Marray sealing the second set 6-4.

 

The final set could not have started worse for Russian pair, with Baluda being broken in the first game, followed by Kunitsyn in the next service game.

 

The crispness that they had started to display in the second set deserted them, and although they got two games on the board, they never took the British pair to deuce on any serve.

 

Fleming came out to serve for the match, and although the Russian pair saved one of the match points, an ace nailed the win.

 

After the match, Marray described how he’d felt his debut had gone:

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to be a part of, to get the opportunity to represent your country, it’s fantastic.”

 

For Fleming, it was his eighth Davis Cup win in a row.

“It’s something to be proud of, but in tennis and life you’ve got to keep pushing forward,” he said.

 

“It’s all about focusing on what the team needs to do and my aim when it comes to DC, is to play one of those matches in the World group.

“It would be a special occasion and I’ve not managed to do that.”

 

There was a nice touch on the on-court interview, as Colin Fleming dedicated the win to Davis Cup team-mate Ross Hutchins, who is undergoing treatment for cancer.

 

He is over half way through his chemotherapy and the initial results show the treatment is working.

 

Later in press, Leon Smith and Colin Fleming described how Ross had spent hours watching and analyzing the Russian team.

 

Fleming said: “It’s great that he’s still involved in the team.

“I know Ross has got big plans to play again, and I’m sure he’ll be part of the team again in the future.”

 

Ros Satar is a British Journalist- an IT journalist by day, and a sports journalist in all the gaps in between. She is the co-founder of Britwatch Sports (britwatchsports.com). Follow her on twitter at @rfsatar.

Day 2 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Euro/Africa Zone Group 1 second round results:

Russia leads Great Britain 2-1

Rubber 1 – D. Tursunov (RUS) d. D. Evans (GBR) 64 67(5) 64 57 64

Rubber 2 – E. Donskoy (RUS) d. J. Ward (GBR) 46 46 75 64 86

Rubber 3 – C.Fleming/J.Marray (GBR) d. V.Baluda/I.Kunitsyn (RUS) 61 64 62

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Davis Cup: US, Serbia Deadlocked at 1-1; Djokovic, Querrey Victorious in World Group Quarterfinals

DAVIS CUP: U.S., SERBIA DEADLOCKED AT 1-1

Djokovic, Querrey victorious in World Group Quarterfinals

By Junior Williams

Sam Querrey

Sam Querrey

(April 5, 2013) BOISE, Idaho – Sam Querrey rebounded from a two sets to one deficit to defeat Viktor Troicki 7-6 (1), 3-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, drawing the United States even with Serbia at one match apiece in the Davis Cup World Group Quarterfinals at a loud Taco Bell Arena on the Boise State University campus.

In the first match, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic dispatched American John Isner in straight sets 7-6 (5), 6-2, 7-5.

 

Isner got off to a fast start by breaking Djokovic early in the first set, but the Greensboro, North Carolina native failed to hold on to his advantage and went on to lose the first-set tiebreak, courtesy of a Djokovic change-of-pace serve that handcuffed the number 23-ranked player in the world.

 

From then on it was all Djokovic. He did his best impersonation of a backboard, neutralizing Isner’s powerful serves with solid returns and defense. The Serb wrapped up the match in two hours.

 

On court in a post-match interview, Djokovic was asked about how he executed his game plan against Isner.

 

His response: “I executed perfectly.”

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

 

Djokovic elaborated further in the news conference. “I guess one of the tactics — crucial points — was to get as many balls back on the return games and try to use my serve very efficiently and not give him any opportunities to atack my second serve. So I had a very high percentage of first serves in. That helped my confidence, and I could play with less pressure in his service games.”

 

Isner agreed with Djokovic that the Australian Open champion’s ability to break back in the first set was the turning point the match.

 

“I let him back in it,” said the American. “Granted, he played a good game, but I didn’t make many first serves that game. Doing that against this guy is not a good recipe.

“You want to make first serves, and I didn’t do in that one game in the first set. That was critical because I think he became a lot more comfortable at that point.”

 

Isner had seventeen aces in the match, but his first serve percentage was 54%, compared with 77% for Djokovic.

 

The Serb’s win set up another Davis Cup pressure cooker for Querrey, the top-ranked American and world No. 20. In the World Group First Round back in February, the Californian ousted Brazil’s Thiago Alves in a fifth and deciding rubber to send the U.S. into the quarterfinals.

 

Querrey and Troicki battled for 3 hours and 20 minutes in a match marked by long rallies, powerful serves and lots of unforced errors: Querrey had 82, Troicki 62.  Querrey was going for his shots, while Troicki – like Djokovic – appeared to be returning everything in sight.

crowd

The crowd erupted in the fifth set, when Querrey broke the world’s 44th-ranked player to go up 5-4, on a Troicki shot that hit the net cord but stayed on the Serbian’s side of the court. The American went on to hold serve in the next and final game.

 

Querrey said finding his groove in the fourth set was key: “I stayed positive and kept with the game plan and played aggressive. That fourth set served extremely well and was fortunate to get two breaks and that gave me a lot of momentum going into the fifth set.”

 

Troicki said he began to tire in the fourth set:

 

“I get a bit tired mentally and also physically my legs were not 100 percent and got a little bit slower. I could say fourth set I just like wasn’t there.”

 

But Troicki added both he and Querrey played well in the fifth set, and that it just came down to who seized the opportunities.

 

“I had some chances early in the fifth,” said Troicki. “I had some chances early in the fifth.  I had some break points; didn’t use them.  He used his chances when he had a break point in a crucial moment for me. So I could say I was unlucky to lose this serve and also, yeah, to lose the match.  But that’s tennis.”

 

Next up: A crucial Saturday doubles match with Americans Bob and Mike Bryan — the number one team in the world — scheduled to play Serbian doubles specialist Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac. But Novak Djokovic says he’s “still in the option” for doubles.

 

Whether Djokovic plays or not, U.S. Davis Cup captain Jim Courier says Saturday’s match is “not a must‑win.  We won’t be eliminated, nor will Serbia no matter what happens tomorrow.”

“We certainly want to win.  There is no doubt about that.  It’s an important match for both squads.  We’ll have two singles players ready to fire on Sunday.”

 

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 Boise, Idaho covering the Davis Cup quarterfinal World Group tie between the United States and Serbia for Tennis Panorama News.

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Donskoy Rallies from Two Sets Down to Give Russia 2-0 Lead Over Great Britain in Davis Cup

 

By Ros Satar

 

Evgeny Donskoy [RUS] def. James Ward [GBR] 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 8-6

 

(April 5, 2013) COVENTRY, ENGLAND – Evgeny Donskoy delivered a real heartbreaker in another five-set thriller on the first day of the Davis Cup tie between Great Britain and Russia in  the Euro/Africa zone second round Group 1 play.

 

Donskoy came from two sets down to give Russia a 2-0 lead at the end of the first day.

 

At the start of the match, though, the outcome looked far from certain.

 

In press, Dan Evans regretted not starting fast enough, James Ward more than made up for it.

 

The British No. 2 came out swinging solidly with very few unforced errors, and an early break secured him the first set.

 

A similar fast start to the second set meant it would be a long way back for the Russian, Evgeny Donskoy, who impressed many with his performance against Andy Murray at Indian Wells.

 

It was almost as though, with the pressure reversed, Donskoy was left floundering, at times his feet just not catching up with the rest of him.

 

That is not to say that he did not have some chances of his own, breaking back to make sure that Ward would not take this match for granted.

 

Into the third set and there was a distinct feeling that Donskoy was feeling his way back into the match.

 

Nerves seemed to overtake Ward, as he scrambled to save three set points, capitulating on the fourth.

 

After such a blistering start, suddenly it was Ward’s turn to look ill at ease, going down a break quickly in the fourth set.

 

Ward exhibited some of that earlier confidence, holding to love to stay in the set as the Russian was taken to deuce on his serve, for the fourth set.

 

Ward saved two set points but a lazy squash shot sailed just long past the corner of the court, to take the second rubber into a deciding fifth set.

 

It was beginning to look a little like last man standing out there, as the fifth set progressed with serve, particularly grueling on Ward’s service game, saving the first break points against is serve in the decider.

 

Donskoy was coming up with the goods both times he was serving to stay in the set.

 

As Ward came out to serve at 6-6 there was a sense that he had made his last stand, as the Russian broke.

 

There was a brief glimmer of hope as the Russian went 0-30 down, serving for the match, and then again as Ward saved the first match point against him.

 

Suddenly it was Donskoy’s turn to feel under the hammer, as Ward wrestled a break point back, and then had to save a second match point.

 

The third time was the charm for Donskoy as Russia took the second rubber, 8-6 in the final set.

 

It was an interesting contrast in press, with an equally dejected Ward hoping to work harder to improve, whereas Evans understood that he was struggling with that desire to improve.

 

Leon Smith concluded the conference, believing that the tie could be turned around, starting with the doubles tomorrow, with the top British pairing of Fleming and Marray favorites to put a rubber on the board for Britain.

Despite trailing 0-2 in the tie, Captain Leon Smith said, “I am so proud of both Dan and James today. It was excellent international tennis, very high level, more than eight hours and great value for money. The team spirit was great today and we have it still all to play for tomorrow in the doubles and in Sunday’s singles.”

 

Then on Sunday, can two players who have proved they can punch above their weight, turn things around?

 

Ros Satar is a British Journalist- an IT journalist by day, and a sports journalist in all the gaps in between. She is the co-founder of Britwatch Sports (britwatchsports.com). Follow her on twitter at @rfsatar.

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Tursunov’s Five-Set Win Over Evans Gives Russia 1-0 Lead Over Great Britain in Davis Cup

 

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Tursunov’s Five-Set Win Over Evans Gives Russia 1-0 Lead Over Great Britain in Davis Cup

 

By Ros Satar

Dmitry Tursunov [RUS] def Dan Evans [GBR] 6-4, 6-7(5),6-4, 5-7, 6-4

(April 5, 2013) COVENTRY, ENGLAND -It was a great gamble, that almost, but did not quite pay off.

Great Britain’s Davis Cup Captain Leon Smith replaced first choice, Jamie Baker, at pretty much the eleventh hour, in favor of Dan Evans.

Evans’ heroics in last year’s ties and perhaps more of a familiarity with faster courts that Baker, meant the pressure was on the shoulders of a player ranked 325 in the world.

Coming out, Evans seemed relaxed enough, but first blood went to Dmitry Tursunov, breaking Evans to love to lead 4-2.

Evans broke back, but it wasn’t enough to keep the first set from going to the Russian 6-4.

Evans seemed to want to go for crowd pleasing forehand winners, that soon became his undoing, and Tursunov was looking sharp at the net.

In the second set, Evans showed that he was made of sterner stuff, breaking the Russian to lead 4-3, but again consistency seemed to desert him, just when he needed it most.

Coming out to serve for the set, he saved one break point but a double-fault on another handed a reprieve to Tursunov.

Forcing the second set into a tiebreak, Evans kept his nose ahead just enough to level the match.

A lapse in concentration at the start of the third set, left Evans looking a little flat at times, again losing out by a single break margin.

A change of top and a change of fortunes in the fourth set as it was Tursunov’s time to look a little tired, as Evans broke to take the fourth set 7-5.

Was the faith Smith had showed in Evans about to pay off in another heroic win?

Sadly not, as Evans lost the opening game of the final set, and although the men traded a couple of breaks, it was not enough to keep Tursunov at bay.

In press, Evans had to face the inevitable questions about why he cannot translate his level of play to the events week in, week out?

He said: “I don’t train hard enough and I don’t work hard enough day in day out.”

He acknowledged that in the past, he had just been enjoying life.
“It’s not that I don’t want to do it, I obviously want to do it, but for whatever reasons, there are distractions.“

“Hopefully now, I’ve been working pretty hard since the start of the year.”

Tursunov acknowledged it had been a tough match.

“I was really very impressed with his returning.

“At times he definitely played made some shots I wasn’t expecting him to, and there were also a few shots that also a few opportunities I didn’t capitalize on.”

When asked about whether Evans could achieve that potential if he worked harder, the Russian acknowledged that sometimes Davis Cup brings out the best in people.

“I think the first step for him is to realize what he’s doing wrong.
“That also comes a little bit with experience.”

Time (or maybe Sunday) will tell whether Evans can build on this experience.

Ros Satar is a British Journalist- an IT journalist by day, and a sports journalist in all the gaps in between. She is the co-founder of Britwatch Sports (britwatchsports.com). Follow her on twitter at @rfsatar.

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2013 Draws Announced for Davis Cup World and Zonal Groups

The Draw for the 2013 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas was held at the London offices of title sponsor BNP Paribas on Wednesday.

Individual draws were made for the 2013 World Group, Americas Zone Groups I and II, Asia/Oceania Zone Group II and Europe/Africa Zone Group I. The draws for Asia/Oceania Zone Group I and Europe/Africa Zone Group II will be held following the remaining 2012 Davis Cup play-off ties on 19-21 October.

Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the largest annual international team competition in sport with 130 nations entered in 2013. The title sponsor is BNP Paribas, the Official Bank of Davis Cup. International sponsors are HP (Official Technology Sponsor), Rolex (Official Timekeeper) Hugo Boss (Official Men’s Fashion Clothing Sponsor), Adecco (Official HR Sponsor) and NH Hoteles (Official Hotel). Wilson Sporting Goods (Official Ball) is an international partner. The 100th Davis Cup Final will take place on 16-18 November at the start of the ITF centenary celebrations in 2013. To view the full draw sheets please visit the official Davis Cup website www.daviscup.com and www.copadavis.com.

World Group

First round (1-3 February)

Canada [c] v Spain [s]

Italy [c] v Croatia [s]

Belgium [c] v Serbia [s]

USA [s] [c] v Brazil

France [s] [c] v Israel

Argentina [s] [c] v Germany

Kazakhstan [s] [c] [*] v Austria

Switzerland [c] v Czech Republic [s]

Key
[s] = Seeded nation
[c] = Choice of ground
[*] = Choice of ground decided by lot

The home nation is listed first for each tie.

Americas Zone Group I

First round (1-3 February)

Chile [s] v Bye

Ecuador v Bye

Uruguay [c] v Dominican Republic

Colombia [s] v Bye

Second round (5-7 April)

Ecuador [c] v Chile [s]

Europe/Africa Zone Group I

First round (1-3 February)

Russia [s] v Bye

Great Britain v Bye

South Africa [s] v Bye

Poland [c] v Slovenia

Finland or Denmark v Romania (Home team not yet known)

Netherlands [s] v Bye

Ukraine [c] v Slovak Republic

Sweden [s] v Bye

Second round (5-7 April)

Great Britain [c] [*] v Russia [s]

Americas Zone Group II

First round (1-3 February)

Puerto Rico [c] [*] v Mexico [s]

El Salvador [s] [c] [*] v Barbados

Venezuela [s] [c] v Guatemala

Peru [s] [c] [*] v Haiti

Asia/Oceania Zone Group II

First round (1-3 February)

Chinese Taipei or New Zealand [s] v Lebanon (Home team not yet known)

Sri Lanka [c] v Pakistan [s]

Kuwait [c] v Thailand [s]

Syria [c] [*] v Philippines [s]

Key
[s] = Seeded nation
[c] = Choice of ground
[*] = Choice of ground decided by lot

The home nation is listed first for each tie.

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Seeds announced for 2013 Davis Cup Draw

Spain and Czech Republic head the seeds for the Draw for the World Group of the 2013 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, which takes place at the BNP Paribas offices in London on Wednesday 19 September at 11:00 local time (10:00 GMT).

 

The draws for 2013 Americas Zone Groups I and II, Asia/Oceania Zone Group II and Europe/Africa Zone Group I will also take place in London. The draws for Asia/Oceania Zone Group I and Europe/Africa Zone Group II will be held following the remaining 2012 Davis Cup play-off ties on 19-21 October.

According to the Davis Cup Regulations, the two finalist nations are seeded No. 1 and No. 2 in the World Group for the following year, and will be drawn in opposite halves. Seeds 3-8 are in accordance with the latest ITF Davis Cup Nations Ranking of 17 September.

 

World Group

 

1. Spain

2. Czech Republic

3. Argentina

4. Serbia

5. France

6. USA

7. Croatia

8. Kazakhstan

 

The seeded nations will be drawn against the remaining World Group nations: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, Switzerland.

 

Seeds for the Zone Group I and Group II competitions are also based on the latest Davis Cup Nations Ranking.

 

Americas Zone Group I

 

1. Chile

2. Colombia

 

Remaining Nations: Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Uruguay.

 

Europe/Africa Zone Group I

 

1. Russia

2. Sweden

3. South Africa

4. Netherlands

 

Remaining Nations: Denmark or Finland, Great Britain, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Ukraine.

 

Americas Zone Group II

 

1. Mexico

2. Peru

3. Venezuela

4. El Salvador

 

Remaining Nations: Barbados, Haiti, Guatemala, Puerto Rico.

 

Asia/Oceania Zone Group II

 

1. Chinese Taipei or New Zealand

2. Philippines

3. Thailand

4. Pakistan

 

Remaining Nations: Kuwait, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Syria.

 

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Davis Cup: Canada Storms to a 2-0 Lead

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin

MONTREAL, CANADA – To the delight of the local crowd, both Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic were near flawless in the first two singles matches of the Canada-South Africa tie played at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal. Without dropping a set, both Canadians secured a commanding 2-0 lead and confirmed their role as heavy favorites in this encounter.

 

On paper, this already seemed like a tough task for the South African team: they flew to Canada without their best player, 35th ranked Kevin Anderson, and veteran Rik de Voest, on the starting line-up, injured his wrist practicing earlier during the week and had to withdraw. John-Laffnie de Jager, coach of the South African team, actually had to sign in as a player to ensure a fourth member from his country and prevent disqualification. This left Izak van der Merwe, 188th in the world, and University of Mississippi player (and unranked) Nikala Scholtz as the starting singles players.

 

On the other hand, Canada couldn’t have asked for a better team. Led by 15th ranked Milos Raonic, the Canadian crew was looking to maintain its spot in the World Group and brought out the big guns in order to do so. Joining Milos was 118th ranked Vasek Pospisil, Frank Dancevic (130th) and doubles star Daniel Nestor.

 

On Friday afternoon, Canada’s No. 2 Pospisil started off against South African’s number 1 van de Merwe in what was already a key moment of the encounter. Indeed, this match theoretically seemed like the most even one of the weekend, while the other four had the Canadians as the favorites with a much greater edge. Using his strong forehand and getting pumped up by the loud cheers from the crowd, Pospisil came out strong off the blocks, being perfect on break point conversions in the first two sets to take a fast 6-3 6-4 lead. The third set saw van de Merwe give the Canadian a much tougher time, especially as Pospisil was serving for the match, but it was too little too late as Pospisil regrouped to finish in three straight sets and give Canada a 1-0 lead.

 

For Nikala Scholtz, playing Davis Cup for his country was a dream: the sophomore at University of Mississippi was already happy to be in Montreal as a hitting partner when news of de Voest’s withdrawal changed his weekend plans. A few days later, the player ranked 14th in the NCAA rankings came on court and had a big (and tall) task in front of him in Milos Raonic, ranked 15th…on the professional tour. Fresh from a strong summer hardcourt season where he reached two consecutive quarterfinals in Masters events and the round of 16 at the US Open, Raonic was the star attraction of the event in Montreal.

 

And the 6-foot-5 Canadian didn’t disappoint: blasting serves (and 26 aces!), he totally overpowered Scholtz with his serve, never giving him a single break opportunity. While the match was much more even from the ground, Scholtz’s efforts couldn’t help him keep up with Raonic’s level: the Canadian cruised through in three sets in just under two hours.

 

This win gave Canada a commanding 2-0 lead, and the Nestor-Pospisil pair will be aiming at already securing the Canadian win on Saturday in the doubles match of the tie.

Charles David Mathieu-Poulin blogs for WtaQuebec www.wtaquebec.com, a website promoting local Quebec players. He is covering the Davis Cup in Montreal for Tennis Panorama News. Follow him on twitter @earthstroke, follow his Montreal coverage on @TennnisNewsTPN.

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