2014/09/17

“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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James Blake To Be Guest Analyst For Tennis Channel’s Davis Cup Coverage This Weekend

JamesBlakeLeggMason

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 30, 2013 – American tennis player  James Blake, whose career includes a top-five ranking and 10 singles titles, will appear as a guest analyst during Tennis Channel’s exclusive first-round Davis Cup coverage this weekend. A Davis Cup team member from 2001-2003 and 2005-2009, Blake played a significant role in helping the U.S. squad capture its first cup in 12 years in 2007, and will offer his unique perspective at the competition between the Americans and initial 2013 opponent Brazil, live beginning Friday, Feb. 1, at 2 p.m. ET.

 

It is the first time that Blake will appear on television in an analyst’s role. He will share Tennis Channel’s booth with announcer Brett Haber (@BrettHaber) and interact with sideline reporter Ashley Fisher (@ashley_fisher75).

 

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to participate in Tennis Channel’s Davis Cup coverage,” said Blake. “There are few matches in our sport that take place in such a passionate, intense atmosphere. I’ve always loved how energized the crowds are during Davis Cup.”

 

Blake was a fixture of the U.S. Davis Cup team from 2001-2009, with the exception of 2004, which he missed for health reasons, and compiled a 21-12 record for his country. In 2007, en route to winning the championship with fellow stars Andy Roddick and twins Bob and Mike Bryan, Blake posted a 5-2 record, including two wins in the final against Russia. The team was captained by Patrick McEnroe.

 

During a professional career that begin in 1999, Blake has put together a 357-242 record and amassed 10 ATP World Tour titles, among them a 2006 championship at a Las Vegas tournament then owned and aired by Tennis Channel. That same year he reached a career-high No. 4 in the singles rankings, battling all the way into the top five after having missed extensive time in 2004 while recovering from injury and illness. In 2008 Blake competed in the Summer Olympics in Beijing.

 

Blake joins a list of tennis stars who first tested the television broadcast waters with Tennis Channel while still active as players, among them Lindsay Davenport, Justin Gimelstob, Rennae Stubbs and Corina Morariu.

 

“We couldn’t be happier to have James as part of Tennis Channel’s Davis Cup team this weekend,” said Bob Whyley, senior vice president, production, and executive producer, Tennis Channel. “We’ve been fortunate to work with a number of players while they were still on the tour, and to allow our viewers to experience the sport through people who know what it’s like to be out there right now, competing in these types of matches and against today’s players. James knows what it takes to be a Davis Cup champion, and we think he’s going to be a great guest analyst for Tennis Channel.”

 

After back-to-back singles matches beginning Friday, Feb. 1, at 2 p.m. ET, the U.S.-Brazil competition resumes with a doubles match Saturday, Feb. 2, also at 2 p.m. ET. The remaining back-to-back singles matches take place Sunday, Feb. 3, at 12 p.m. ET. In Davis Cup play, each of the five matches is worth one point, with the nation that wins at least three points advancing to the next round. The winner of this weekend’s first-round battle will face either Serbia or Belgium in April’s quarterfinal round.

 

In addition to live United States-Brazil action, this weekend Tennis Channel will televise the first-round matchup between defending champion Czech Republic and Switzerland.

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With Isner Not at 100%, Harrison Will Be on Standby For Davis Cup Versus Brazil

John Isner

(January 29, 2013) The 2013 Davis Cup World Group first round tie between the United States and Brazil will take place this weekend from February 1 – 3, in Jacksonville, Fla., at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on an indoor hard court.

 

The US team, as of now will consist of John Isner, Sam Querrey, Bob and Mike Bryan while the Brazilian team will be composed of Thomaz Bellucci, Thiago Alves, Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares.

 

On Tuesday both the US and Brazilian Davis Cup teams held pre-draw news conferences at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

 

John Isner who pulled out of the Australian Open due to a bruised right knee may not be 100 percent for the tie, but he’s in Jacksonville preparing.

 

“It’s definitely been feeling better,“ Isner said. I’ve been doing everything I can to try to get this better.

 

 

“Really, once I pulled out of Australia, there wasn’t much I could do besides rest. Rest was the most important thing. I can ice it five, six times a day. I can do some treatment on it. But the most important thing for me was rest. I definitely have that.

 

 

“My knee, it is feeling better. Hopefully I’ll be able to go on Friday. I would really like that. We have to see how this week progresses.”

 

 

Not taking any chances, US Davis cup Captain Jim Courier has a backup plan – Ryan Harrison.

 

 

“John is here and obviously we’re hopeful he’s going to be prepared to play come Friday,“ Courier said. “But we have Ryan Harrison, as well, practicing with us. Ryan is certainly prepared to step in should John not be ready to go.”

 

Mardy Fish is also practicing with the team but is not match ready. He’s been off the tour with heart trouble.

 

 

“We’re glad to have him practicing with the team,“ Courier said.

“He’s building back up to be at tour level. He’s not going to be quite ready to go here.”

 

Well, we have a great medical support team here who will certainly make a decision whether John is fit to play or not,” Courier said.

 

“That will be one portion of the decision. The rest of it will just be between John and probably me and Jay Berger, our coach, as well to see if he’s ready to go.

 

“By Thursday when the draw comes out, we’ll name our firm four-player team, the Brazilians will do the same, and we’ll know what the options are from there.

 

“I think I speak for everyone when I say it’s a huge, huge honor,” said Isner.

“We’re excited to finally, myself and Sam, to play on home soil. We’ve never played a match in the U.S. I think both of us are looking forward to that.”

 

“As the captain said, this match is the first step towards our goal. We’re going to go out there and enjoy it and try to get it done.”

 

Tennis Channel will air live daily coverage of the tie. Friday’s singles matches will air live at 2 p.m. ET, Saturday’s doubles match will air at 2 p.m. ET, and Sunday’s singles matches will air live at 12 p.m. ET.

 

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News

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Martin to Replace Lendl PowerShares Sereis Event in San Jose

NEW YORK, NY (November 8, 2012) — The PowerShares Series has announced that Todd Martin will replace an injured Ivan Lendl in the BILT Champions Showdown to be held at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California on Friday, November 16, 2012.

Martin, a former Davis Cup Champion, will join John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, and Jim Courier in the four-man showdown event. Martin will take on McEnroe in the first semifinal while Agassi and Courier will square off in the second semifinal, with the winners meeting in the championship match.

“I am excited to have the chance to compete in San Jose,” said Martin. “I really enjoy the PowerShares Series and hopefully – just like last season in Minneapolis – I can step in and win one of these events.”

Lendl is suffering from a shoulder injury that will prevent him from competing in San Jose. “I was really looking forward to returning to play in Northern California,” said Lendl. “I have some great memories from playing there at Barry Mackay’s events. I am sure this will be another great night on the PowerShares Series tour and I hope to return to play there in 2013.”

The 2012 PowerShares Series is in action Friday night in Tampa, Florida with the Champions Challenge at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, and will continue in Atlanta, Georgia Saturday night with the Champions Shootout at the Gwinnett Center. of 30, created in 2005 by InsideOut Sports + Entertainment, the New York based firm which is co-owned and operated by former SFX executive Jon Venison and former world No. 1 Jim Courier.

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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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Davis Cup Results for September 14, 2012

The ITF has announced the latest results for the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinal and play-off ties as well as zone group ties taking place on 14-16 September.

WORLD GROUP SEMIFINALS

 

SPAIN leads USA 2-0

Venue: Parque Hermanos Castro, Gijon, ESP (clay – outdoor)

 

David Ferrer (ESP) d. Sam Querrey (USA) 46 62 62 64

Nicolas Almagro (ESP) d. John Isner (USA) 64 46 64 36 75

Marcel Granollers/Marc Lopez (ESP) v Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA)

David Ferrer (ESP) v John Isner (USA)

Nicolas Almagro (ESP) v Sam Querrey (USA)

 

 

ARGENTINA level with CZECH REPUBLIC 1-1

Venue: Parque Roca, Buenos Aires, ARG (clay – outdoor)

 

Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) d. Radek Stepanek (CZE) 64 64 62

Tomas Berdych (CZE) d. Juan Monaco (ARG) 61 46 16 64 64

Carlos Berlocq/Eduardo Schwank (ARG) v Ivo Minar/Lukas Rosol (CZE)

Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) v Tomas Berdych (CZE)

Juan Monaco (ARG) v Radek Stepanek (CZE)

 

 

WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS

 

UZBEKISTAN level with KAZAKHSTAN 1-1

Venue: National Tennis Centre, Astana, KAZ (clay – indoor)

 

Denis Istomin (UZB) d. Evgeny Korolev (KAZ) 63 46 62 06 63

Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) d. Farrukh Dustov (UZB) 62 64 36 76(5)

Andrey Golubev/Yuriy Schukin (KAZ) v Farrukh Dustov/Denis Istomin (UZB)

Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) v Denis Istomin (UZB)

Evgeny Korolev (KAZ) v Farrukh Dustov (UZB)

 

 

AUSTRALIA level with GERMANY 1-1

Venue: Rothenbaum Stadium, Hamburg, GER (clay – outdoor)

 

Bernard Tomic (AUS) d. Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER) 26 63 64 76(4)

Florian Mayer (GER) d. Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) 75 63 62

Benjamin Becker/Philipp Petzschner (GER) v Chris Guccione/Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)

Florian Mayer (GER) v Bernard Tomic (AUS)

Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER) v Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)

 

ISRAEL leads JAPAN 2-1

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

 

Go Soeda (JPN) d. Dudi Sela (ISR) 62 64 36 64

Amir Weintraub (ISR) d. Tatsuma Ito (JPN) 63 62 64

Jonathan Erlich/Andy Ram (ISR) d. Tatsuma Ito/Yuichi Sugita (JPN) 57 63 63 61

Tatsuma Ito (JPN) v Dudi Sela (ISR)

Go Soeda (JPN) v Amir Weintraub (ISR)

 

BELGIUM leads SWEDEN 2-0

Venue: Royal Primerose Tennis Club, Brussels, BEL (clay – outdoor)

 

Steve Darcis (BEL) d. Michael Ryderstedt (SWE) 63 76(3) 60

David Goffin (BEL) d. Andreas Vinciguerra (SWE) 64 63 75

Ruben Bemelmans/Olivier Rochus (BEL) v Johan Brunstrom/Michael Ryderstedt (SWE)

David Goffin (BEL) v Michael Ryderstedt (SWE)

Steve Darcis (BEL) v Andreas Vinciguerra (SWE)

 

 

CANADA leads SOUTH AFRICA 2-0

Venue: Uniprix Stadium, Montreal, CAN (hard – outdoor)

 

Vasek Pospisil (CAN) d. Izak van der Merwe (RSA) 63 64 64

Milos Raonic (CAN) v Nikala Scholtz (RSA) 75 64 75

Daniel Nestor/Vasek Pospisil (CAN) v Raven Klaasen/Izak van der Merwe (RSA)

Milos Raonic (CAN) v Izak van der Merwe (RSA)

Vasek Pospisil (CAN) v Nikala Scholtz (RSA)

 

 

BRAZIL leads RUSSIA 2-0

Venue: Harmonia Tenis Clube, Sao Jose do Rio Preto, BRA (clay – outdoor)

 

Rogerio Dutra Silva (BRA) d. Igor Andreev (RUS) 62 61 ret. (right shoulder)

Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) d. Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) 63 46 60 76(4)

Marcelo Melo/Bruno Soares (BRA) v Alex Bogomolov Jr./Stanislav Vovk (RUS)

Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) v Igor Andreev (RUS)

Rogerio Dutra Silva (BRA) v Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS)

 

 

ITALY leads CHILE 1-0

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

 

Andreas Seppi (ITA) d. Guillermo Hormazabal (CHI) 75 61 62

Fabio Fognini (ITA) v Paul Capdeville (CHI) 26 62 67(6) 61 1-1 match suspended due to darkness

Simone Bolelli/Daniele Bracciali (ITA) v Jorge Aguilar/Paul Capdeville (CHI)

Andreas Seppi (ITA) v Paul Capdeville (CHI)

Fabio Fognini (ITA) v Guillermo Hormazabal (CHI)

 

 

SWITZERLAND leads NETHERLANDS 2-0

Venue: Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam, NED (clay – outdoor)

 

Roger Federer (SUI) d. Thiemo de Bakker (NED) 63 64 64

Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) d. Robin Haase (NED) 63 36 63 76(4)

Robin Haase/Jean-Julien Rojer (NED) v Roger Federer/Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI)

Robin Haase (NED) v Roger Federer (SUI)

Thiemo de Bakker (NED) v Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI)

 

 

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP I – SECOND ROUND PLAY-OFF

 

ECUADOR leads PERU 2-0

Venue: Club Lawn Tennis de la Exposicion, Lima, PER (clay – outdoor)

 

Emilio Gomez (ECU) d. Duilio Beretta (PER) 57 62 63 64

Julio Cesar Campozano (ECU) d. Mauricio Echazu (PER) 76(6) 63 64

Duilio Beretta/Sergio Galdos (PER) v Julio Cesar Campozano/Roberto Quiroz (ECU)

Duilio Beretta (PER) v Julio Cesar Campozano (ECU)

Mauricio Echazu (PER) v Emilio Gomez (ECU)

 

ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP I – FIRST ROUND PLAY-OFF

 

INDIA leads NEW ZEALAND 2-0

Venue: CLTA Tennis Stadium, Chandigarh, IND (hard – outdoor)

 

Yuki Bhambri (IND) d. Daniel King-Turner (NZL) 36 06 62 64 62

Vishnu Vardhan (IND) d. Jose Statham (NZL) 62 67(5) 64 62

Divij Sharan/Vishnu Vardhan (IND) v Daniel King-Turner/Michael Venus (NZL)

Yuki Bhambri (IND) v Jose Statham (NZL)

Vishnu Vardhan (IND) v Daniel King-Turner (NZL)

 

 

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP I – FIRST ROUND PLAY-OFF

 

FINLAND level with ROMANIA 1-1

Venue: Sala Sporturilor “Horia Demian” Cluj, Cluj-Napoca, ROU (hard – indoor)

 

Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) d. Victor Crivoi (ROU) 75 61 62

Marius Copil (ROU) d. Harri Heliovaara (FIN) 36 64 62 64

Florin Mergea/Horia Tecau (ROU) v Jarkko Nieminen/Timo Nieminen (FIN)

Marius Copil (ROU) v Jarkko Nieminen (FIN)

Victor Crivoi (ROU) v Harri Heliovaara (FIN)

 

 

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP I – SECOND ROUND PLAY-OFF

 

SLOVAK REPUBLIC level with PORTUGAL 1-1

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

 

Martin Klizan (SVK) d. Gastao Elias (POR) 36 62 76(4) 62

Joao Sousa (POR) d. Lucas Lacko (SVK) 64 64 63

Michal Mertinak/Filip Polasek (SVK) v Gastao Elias/Joao Sousa (POR)

Martin Klizan (SVK) v Joao Sousa (POR)

Lucas Lacko (SVK) v Gastao Elias (POR)

 

 

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP II – THIRD ROUND

 

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC leads MEXICO 2-0

Venue: Centro Español Inc. Santiago de los Caballeros, DOM (clay – outdoor)

 

Victor Estrella (DOM) d. Daniel Garza (MEX) 64 62 62

Jose Hernandez (DOM) d. Cesar Ramirez (MEX) 62 67(6) 75 46 63

Henry Estrella/Victor Estrella (DOM) v Santiago Gonzalez/Bruno Rodriguez (MEX)

Victor Estrella (DOM) v Cesar Ramirez (MEX)

Jose Hernandez (DOM) v Daniel Garza (MEX)

 

ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP II – THIRD ROUND

 

INDONESIA leads PHILIPPINES 2-1

Venue: Gelora Bung Karno Tennis Stadium, Jarkarta, INA (hard – oudoor)

 

Christopher Rungkat (INA) d. Francis Casey Alcantara (PHI) 76(3) 62 36 60

Treat Huey (PHI) d. Elbert Sie (INA) 64 62 63

Christopher Rungkat/Elbert Sie (INA) d. Ruben Gonzales/Treat Huey (PHI) 46 63 76(5) 62

Christopher Rungkat (INA) v Treat Huey (PHI)

Elbert Sie (INA) v Francis Casey Alcantara (PHI)

 

 

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP II – THIRD ROUND

 

LATVIA level with UKRAINE 1-1

Venue: Liepajas Olimpiskais Centrs, Liepaja, LAT (hard – indoor)

 

Ernests Gulbis (LAT) d. Sergei Bubka (UKR) 46 63 64 62

Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) d. Andis Juska (LAT) 63 64 64

Ernests Gulbis/Deniss Pavlovs (LAT) v Illya Marchenko/Denys Molchanov (UKR)

Ernests Gulbis (LAT) v Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR)

Andis Juska (LAT) v Sergei Bubka (UKR)

 

 

POLAND leads BELARUS 2-0

Venue: Miejski Osrodek Sportu i Rekreacji, Lodz, POL (hard – indoor)

 

Lukasz Kubot (POL) d. Dzmitry Zhyrmont (BLR) 61 64 62

Jerzy Janowicz (POL) d. Uladzimir Ignatik (BLR) 76(4) 62 63

Mariusz Fyrstenberg/Marcin Matkowski (POL) v Alexander Bury/Max Mirnyi (BLR)

Lukasz Kubot (POL) v Uladzimir Ignatik (BLR)

Jerzy Janowicz (POL) v Dzmitry Zhyrmont (BLR)

 

 

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