2014/11/28

Roger Federer Win Clinches Switzerland’s First Davis Cup Title

 

(November 23, 2014) Switzerland became the 14th country to claim the country’s first Davis Cup title on Sunday when they defeated France 3- 1 in Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille, France.

In front of a record setting crowd of 27,448, world No. 2 Roger Federer clinched the tie for Switzerland defeating Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, falling to the ground in celebration after hitting a drop shot winner. Gasquet filled in for an ailing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The Swiss No. 1 was in command of the match from beginning to end, which lasted an hour and 42 minutes.

“He was playing fast. He was very focused and making very few mistakes. I was not even able to have a break point,” said Gasquet. “It was difficult for me to give him problems. We are all disappointed. I would have liked to do more for the team because the crowd was ready, ready to support me to the end. In that situation, the only thing you want to do is play a fourth or fifth set just to please the crowd.”

“He was not unbeatable today, but he only made a few mistakes,” Gasquet explained. “It’s a shame I could not get any break points.”

Federer was dominated in a straight set loss to Gael Monfils in the second singles rubber on Friday. Stan Wawrinka opened the tie with a four-set victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and teamed with Federer to claim the doubles rubber on Saturday to give the Swiss a 2-1 lead coming into Sunday.

Being a part of a winning David Cup, adds another victory to his career resume, in which he already holds 17 major titles.

“I’m unbelievably happy. Amazing feeling to be celebrating with my friends,” said Federer post match in an on-court interview. “Just a great match, great atmosphere. It was a beautiful weekend for tennis.”

“We fought hard for it, I’ve been playing this game for almost 15 years now and clearly I’ve never come as close as this last weekend. I’m happy I was able to stay calm and play a good match when I had to and I’m happy for all the guys on the team.”

With Federer coming into the Davis Cup final in questionable health due to a back injury which forced him to withdraw last week’s ATP World Tour Final against No. 1 Novak Djokovic, the Basel native gave full credit to Wawrinka as the “MVP” of the Davis Cup Final.

“Everybody worked incredibly hard to get me match ready, Stan has put in so much effort over the years and played an unbelievable weekend that gave me the opportunity today,” said Federer.

“I’m very much aware of that, this one is for the boys. It’s not for me. I’ve won enough in my career and did not need to tick any empty boxes. I’m just happy for everybody else. I’m happy we could live a great tennis historic moment in our country.”

Just over a week ago, there appeared to be friction between Federer and Wawrinka when some media reports claimed that Federer’s wife Mirka allegedly heckled Wawrinka by calling him a “crybaby” during the ATP World Tour Finals semifinals between Federer and Wawrinka. It was later reported that Federer and Wawrinka had an argument in the locker room after the match.

“At the end, it’s a tennis match, you feel great emotions,” Federer continued. “You’re unbelievably happy and relieved “We wanted this clearly very badly, especially being up 2-1. You inch yourself closer and closer. Clearly seeing Stan out there, the rest of the team supporting you, gives you an extra push. It was definitely one of the better feelings in my career, no doubt about it. So much nicer to celebrate it all together.”

“It’s an amazing feeling. The best,” said Wawrinka. “We all know how it’s great to watch such an amazing player when he’s playing good tennis.”

With the Davis Cup win on Sunday, Wawrinka, became the first person since Andre Agassi in 1992 to win his first Grand Slam title and his first Davis Cup trophy in the same year. Wawrinka also won his first Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo, taking out Davis Cup teammate Federer back in April.

Federer set a new record as the most successful Swiss player in the history of the Davis Cup. It was his 50th win, now ahead of Jakob Hlasek for total wins.

Asked about comparing this victory to winning his first major, Wimbledon in 2003, Federer said, “You can’t compare. When I won Wimbledon, it was a total shock honestly. Davis Cup is something that I knew was possible at some stage in my career.

“Of course, there was the pressure of being able to manage all this and make everyone happy with all the support we had for the team and everything. So it is a totally different feeling. Also I was not alone on the court. This changes everything.”

 

Final scores:

DAVIS CUP BY BNP PARIBAS FINAL

SWITZERLAND defeated FRANCE 3-1

Venue: Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille, FRA (clay – indoors)
Stan Wawrinka (SUI) d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 61 36 63 62

Gael Monfils (FRA) d. Roger Federer (SUI) 61 64 63

Roger Federer/Stan Wawrinka (SUI) d. Julien Benneteau/Richard Gasquet (FRA) 63 75 64

Roger Federer (SUI) d. Richard Gasquet (FRA) 64 62 62

Gael Monfils (FRA) v Stan Wawrinka (SUI) not played

 

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Switzerland Takes 2-1 lead over France in Davis Cup Final

(November 22, 2014) Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka gave Switzerland an important 2-1 lead in the Davis Cup final on Saturday, when they defeated France’s doubles team of Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 in Lille, France.

Switzerland’s captain Severin Luthi made the move to place the 2008 Olympic champion doubles team instead of Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer, who were slated to play.

In the 2 hour and 12 minute match, the Swiss pair defended all five break points against them.

After Federer lost to Gael Monfils on Friday in the second singles rubber, the 17-time major champ said after the match that he would be ready to play doubles if he was needed despite the back injury.

Federer was clearly moving better on Saturday than on Friday.

Federer is scheduled to face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the opening rubber on Sunday, with Stan Wawrinka playing Gael Monfils in the fifth rubber if necessary.

France is looking for it’s 10 Davis Cup while Switzerland is seeking it’s first.

 

 

DAVIS CUP BY BNP PARIBAS FINAL

 

SWITZERLAND leads FRANCE 2-1

Venue: Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille (clay – indoors)
Stan Wawrinka (SUI) d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 61 36 63 62

Gael Monfils (FRA) d. Roger Federer (SUI) 61 64 63

Roger Federer/Stan Wawrinka (SUI) d. Julien Benneteau/Richard Gasquet (FRA) 63 75 64

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v Roger Federer (SUI)

Gael Monfils (FRA) v Stan Wawrinka (SUI)

 

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France Evens Tie Against Switzerland in Davis Cup Final

(November 21, 2014) France leveled the Davis Cup final against Switzerland at 1-1 at the end of day one in Lille, France when Gael Monfils dispatched Roger Federer 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 on Friday. I was Monfils’ first win over the world No. 2 on clay. Monfils hit 44 winners in the less than two hour match.

Federer pulled out of the final of the ATP year-end event in London on Sunday due to a back injury, decided to play despite a back injury that forced him to pull out of the title match at the ATP Finals last Sunday.

Stan Wawrinka gave Switzerland a 1-0 advantage after the opening rubber defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Wawrinka was dominant at the net winning 25 points there. He hit 61 winners during the match.

The crowd of 27,432 has set a new record for an officially-sanctioned tennis match, more than the previous record, Spain versus United States Davis Cup Final at the Estadio Olympico de Sevilla in 2004 at 27,200.
 

More to follow.

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Draw Set for Davis Cup Final – France Versus Switzerland

davis cup 2014

(November 20, 2014) The draw has been set for the Davis Cup final between France and Switzerland this weekend in Lille, France on a clay court.

After speculation about Roger Federer, who pulled out of the final ATP World Tour Finals with a back injury, the 17-time major champion will participate in Davis Cup this weekend.

Roger Federer will face off against Gael Monfils in the second match on Friday. Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka will open the series against Jo-Wilfired Tsonga.

France has a rich Davis Cup and is looking for a 10th title, while Switzerland seeking its first crown in the team competition. France leads Switzerland 10-2 in head-to-head competition in the ITF event.

 

 

DAVIS CUP BY BNP PARIBAS FINAL

FRANCE v SWITZERLAND

Venue: Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille (clay – indoors)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v Stan Wawrinka (SUI)

Gael Monfils (FRA) v Roger Federer (SUI)

Julien Benneteau/Richard Gasquet (FRA) v Marco Chiudinelli/Michael Lammer (SUI)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v Roger Federer (SUI)

Gael Monfils (FRA) v Stan Wawrinka (SUI)

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2015 Davis Cup Draw Announced

(September 18, 2014) The ITF announced the draw for the 2015 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas in Dubai.

This year’s finalists France and Switzerland will both travel away to European opposition with Les Blues opening their campaign against Germany. Switzerland will travel to Belgium after David Goffin inspired his nation to retain its place in the World Group in last weekend’s play-offs.

One of the stories of the draw was the coupling of great Latin American rivals Brazil and Argentina. The tie, which will be held in Argentina, will be the first meeting between the two nations since 1980. The two sides have never met in the World Group.

For the second consecutive year, Great Britain and USA have been drawn to face each other in the first round. After colliding in San Diego this year, the two nations will meet on British soil with the visitors keen to avoid another loss to their great Davis Cup rivals.

Third and fourth seeds Czech Republic and Serbia will both begin their campaigns with home ties. The Czechs, drawn in the same half as France, will host Australia while Serbia will host neighbors Croatia.

The full draw can be found below:
World Group

First round (6-8 March)

Germany [c] v France [s]

Great Britain [c] v USA [s]

Czech Republic [s] [c] v Australia

Kazakhstan [c] [*] v Italy [s]

Argentina [s] [c] v Brazil

Serbia [s] [c] v Croatia

Canada [s] [c] v Japan

Belgium [c] v Switzerland [s]
Americas Zone Group I

First round (6-8 March)

Colombia [s] v Bye

Uruguay v Bye

Barbados [c] v Dominican Republic

Ecuador [s] v Bye
Asia/Oceania Zone Group I

First round (6-8 March)

Uzbekistan [s] v Bye

Thailand [c] v Korea, Rep.

China, P. R. v Chinese Taipei or New Zealand

India [s] v Bye
Europe/Africa Zone Group I

First round (6-8 March)

Spain [s] v Bye

Russia [c] v Denmark

Netherlands [s] v Bye

Austria v Latvia or Sweden

Slovakia [c] [*] v Slovenia

[c] Romania v Israel [s]

Poland [c] v Lithuania

Ukraine [s] v Bye
Americas Zone Group II

First round (6-8 March)

Venezuela [s] [c] [*] v Costa Rica

Puerto Rico [c] v El Salvador [s]

Mexico [s] [c] [*] v Bolivia

Chile [s] [c] v Peru
Asia/Oceania Zone Group II

First round (6-8 March)

Chinese Taipei or New Zealand [s] v Lebanon

Philippines [s] [c] v Sri Lanka

Iran v Indonesia [s] [c]

Pakistan [s] [c] v Kuwait

 

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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Davis Cup Results for September 14, 2014

 

davis_cup_logo_

(September 14, 2014) France will be at home to Switzerland in the 2014 World Group Final on 21-23 November, with details of the venue confirmed later this month.

 

Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia and USA all won their World Group play-off ties to qualify for the 2015 World Group. The World Group play-off losers, Colombia, Israel, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine and Uzbekistan will contest their respective Zone Group I competitions in 2015.

 

The World Group play-off tie between India and Serbia in Bangalore has been suspended overnight due to rain and will resume at 12:00 local time (06:30 GMT) on Monday.

 

The Draw for the 2015 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas will be held during the ITF AGM in Dubai on Thursday 18 September at 19:00 local time (15:00 GMT). The draw will be live streamed on www.daviscup.com.

 

There is still one tie to be played in both Asia/Oceania Zone Group I and Europe/Africa Zone Group I in October. An announcement will be made on Monday on whether the draws for 2015 Asia/Oceania Zone Groups I and II, and Europe/Africa Zone Groups I and II can be held on 18 September.

 

The seeds for the 2015 Davis Cup Draw will also be announced on Monday. The top two seeds in the 2015 World Group will be the two finalists from 2014, while the remaining seeds will be based on the new Davis Cup Nations Ranking of 15 September.

 

 

WORLD GROUP SEMIFINALS

 

FRANCE defeated CZECH REPUBLIC 4-1

Venue: Roland Garros, Paris, FRA (clay – outdoor)
Richard Gasquet (FRA) d. Tomas Berdych (CZE) 63 62 63
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) d. Lukas Rosol (CZE) 62 62 63
Richard Gasquet/Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) d. Tomas Berdych/Radek Stepanek (CZE) 67(5) 64 76(5) 61

Jiri Vesely (CZE) d. Julien Benneteau (FRA) 64 63
Gael Monfils (FRA) d. Lukas Rosol (CZE) 57 64 75

 

SWITZERLAND defeated ITALY 3-2

Venue: Palexpo, Geneva, SUI (hard – indoor)
Roger Federer (SUI) d. Simone Bolelli (ITA) 76(5) 64 64
Stan Wawrinka (SUI) d. Fabio Fognini (ITA) 62 63 62
Simone Bolelli/Fabio Fognini (ITA) d. Marco Chiudinelli/Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 75 36 57 63 62

Roger Federer (SUI) d. Fabio Fognini (ITA) 62 63 76(4)
Andreas Seppi (ITA) d. Michael Lammer (SUI) 64 16 64

 

WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS

 

SERBIA level with INDIA 2-2

Venue: KSLTA Tennis Stadium, Bangalore, IND (hard – outdoor)

 

Dusan Lajovic (SRB) d. Yuki Bhambri (IND) 63 62 75
Filip Krajinovic (SRB) d. Somdev Devvarman (IND) 61 46 63 62

Rohan Bopanna/Leander Paes (IND) d. Ilija Bozoljac/Nenad Zimonjic (SRB) 16 67(4) 63 63 86

Somdev Devvarman (IND) d. Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 16 64 46 63 62

Filip Krajinovic (SRB) leads Yuki Bhambri (IND) 63 4-4 (play suspended due to rain)

 

BRAZIL defeated SPAIN 3-1

Venue: Ginasio Estadual Geraldo Jose de Almeida, Sao Paulo, BRA (clay – indoor)

 

Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) d. Rogerio Dutra Silva (BRA) 60 61 63
Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) d. Pablo Andujar (ESP) 36 67(6) 64 75 63

Marcelo Melo/Bruno Soares (BRA) d. Marc Lopez/David Marrero (ESP) 63 75 75

Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) d. Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) 64 36 63 62
Rogerio Dutra Silva (BRA) v Pablo Andujar (ESP) not played

 

 

ARGENTINA defeated ISRAEL 3-2

Venue: Sunrise Tennis Club, Sunrise, FL, USA (hard – outdoor)

 

Leonardo Mayer (ARG) d. Bar Tzuf Botzer (ISR) 64 36 62 61

Dudi Sela (ISR) d. Carlos Berlocq (ARG) 63 67(5) 62 62
Jonathan Erlich/Andy Ram (ISR) d. Federico Delbonis/Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 63 36 61 36 63

Leonardo Mayer (ARG) d. Dudi Sela (ISR) 62 61 64
Carlos Berlocq (ARG) d. Bar Tzuf Botzer (ISR) 62 63 60

 

CANADA defeated COLOMBIA 3-2

Venue: Halifax Metro Centre, Halifax, Canada (hard – indoor)

 

Vasek Pospisil (CAN) d. Santiago Giraldo (COL) 63 76(2) 63
Milos Raonic (CAN) d. Alejandro Gonzalez (COL) 63 63 62
Juan-Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah (COL) d. Daniel Nestor/Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 76(4) 76(7) 64
Milos Raonic (CAN) d. Santiago Giraldo (COL) 61 76(2) 75
Alejandro Gonzalez (COL) d. Frank Dancevic (CAN) 46 75 62

 

 

USA defeated SLOVAKIA 5-0

Venue: Sears Centre Arena, Chicago, IL, USA (hard – indoor)

 

John Isner (USA) d. Norbert Gombos (SVK) 76(5) 64 62
Sam Querrey (USA) d. Martin Klizan (SVK) 76(6) 63 63
Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA) d. Norbert Gombos/Lukas Lacko (SVK) 61 62 61
John Isner (USA) d. Lukas Lacko (SVK) 63 60
Sam Querrey (USA) d. Norbert Gombos (SVK) 64 46 64

 

AUSTRALIA defeated UZBEKISTAN 5-0

Venue: Cottesloe Tennis Club, Perth, AUS (grass – outdoor)

 

Nick Kyrgios (AUS) d. Denis Istomin (UZB) 64 75 64

Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) d. Farrukh Dustov (UZB) 64 64 62
Chris Guccione/Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) d. Farrukh Dustov/Denis Istomin (UZB) 63 76(5) 62

Samuel Groth (AUS) d. Temur Ismailov (UZB) 63 62

Nick Kyrgios (AUS) d. Sanjar Fayziev (UZB) 61 61

CROATIA defeated NETHERLANDS 3-2

Venue: Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, NED (clay – indoor)

 

Mate Delic (CRO) d. Igor Sijsling (NED) 46 64 75 62

Robin Haase (NED) d. Borna Coric (CRO) 76(4) 61 64
Marin Cilic/Marin Draganja (CRO) d. Robin Haase/Jean-Julien Rojer (NED) 62 36 63 64

Robin Haase (NED) d. Mate Delic (CRO) 36 46 64 61 64

Marin Cilic (CRO) d. Thiemo de Bakker (NED) 67(4) 64 62 75

 

BELGIUM defeated UKRAINE 3-2

Venue: Tere Tennis Centre, Tallinn, EST (hard – indoor)

 

Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) d. Steve Darcis (BEL) 67(5) 64 62 62
David Goffin (BEL) d. Illya Marchenko (UKR) 76(1) 63 61
Ruben Bemelmans/Olivier Rochus (BEL) d. Sergei Bubka/Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 62 63 26 36 62
David Goffin (BEL) d. Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 63 61 62
Illya Marchenko (UKR) d. Steve Darcis (BEL) 76(2) 64

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP I – SECOND ROUND PLAY-OFF

URUGUAY defeated VENEZUELA 4-1
Venue: Cancha Central, Caracas, VEN (hard – outdoor)

Pablo Cuevas (URU) d. Jesus Bandres (VEN) 63 62 61
Martin Cuevas (URU) d. Ricardo Rodriguez (VEN) 75 62 63
Martin Cuevas/Pablo Cuevas (URU) d. Luis David Martinez/Roberto Maytin (VEN) 75 62 62
Ricardo Rodriguez (VEN) d. Ariel Behar (URU) 2-1 ret.
Rodrigo Senattore (URU) d. Jesus Bandres (VEN) 46 75 63

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

KOREA, REPUBLIC defeated CHINESE TAIPEI 3-1
Venue: Kaohsiung Yangming Tennis Courts, Kaohsiung City, TPE (hard – outdoor)

Lim Yong-Kyu (KOR) d. Hung Jui Chen (TPE) 62 62 60
Chung Hyeon (KOR) d. Wang Chieh Fu (TPE) 64 75 62
Chen Ti/Peng Hsien Yin (TPE) d. Chung Hyeon/Lim Yong-Kyu (KOR) 76(3) 36 16 75 63
Chung Hyeon (KOR) d. Chen Ti (TPE) 60 36 67(3) 63 3-0 ret.
Wang Chieh Fu (TPE) v Lim Yong-Kyu (KOR) not played

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

ROMANIA defeated SWEDEN 3-1
Venue: Arenele BNR, Bucharest, ROU (clay – outdoor)

Christian Lindell (SWE) d. Adrian Ungur (ROU) 75 76(2) 64
Marius Copil (ROU) d. Elias Ymer (SWE) 62 63 62
Florin Mergea/Horia Tecau (ROU) d. Isak Arvidsson/Johan Brunstrom (SWE) 76(2) 76(5) 63
Adrian Ungur (ROU) d. Elias Ymer (SWE) 36 64 76(4) 63
Marius Copil (ROU) v Christian Lindell (SWE) not played

AUSTRIA defeated LATVIA 4-1
Venue: Vidzemes Olimpiskaos Centrs, Valmiera, LAT (hard – indoor)

Martin Fischer (AUT) d. Andis Juska (LAT) 63 63 62
Jurgen Melzer (AUT) d. Janis Podzus (LAT) 63 61 64
Ernests Gulbis/Mikelis Libietis (LAT) d. Philipp Oswald/Alexander Peya (AUT) 75 76(3) 64
Jurgen Melzer (AUT) d. Mikelis Libietis (LAT) 62 62 64
Martin Fischer (AUT) d. Janis Podzus (LAT) 76(6) 64


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

RUSSIA defeated PORTUGAL 4-1
Venue: Olympic Stadium, Moscow, RUS (hard – indoor)

Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) d. Gastao Elias (POR) 62 64 64
Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) d. Joao Sousa (POR) 76(7) 64 36 61
Konstantin Kravchuk/Andrey Rublev (RUS) d. Gastao Elias/Joao Sousa (POR) 63 64 64
Rui Machado (POR) d. Konstantin Kravchuk (RUS) 67(4) 64 61

Andrey Rublev (RUS) d. Frederico Ferreira Silva (POR) 64 64

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP II – THIRD ROUND

BARBADOS defeated MEXICO 3-2
Venue: National Tennis Centre, St Michael, BAR (hard – outdoor)

Tigre Hank (MEX) d. Haydn Lewis (BAR) 75 64 63
Darian King (BAR) d. Miguel-Angel Reyes-Varela (MEX) 64 64 62
Santiago Gonzalez/Tigre Hank (MEX) d. Darian King/Haydn Lewis (BAR) 64 64 36 46 64
Darian King (BAR) d. Tigre Hank (MEX) 62 62 75
Haydn Lewis (BAR) d. Lucas Gomez (MEX) 26 63 61 63

ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP II – THIRD ROUND

THAILAND defeated PAKISTAN 4-1
Venue: The National Tennis Development Center, Nonthaburi, THA (hard – outdoor)

Pruchya Isarow (THA) d. Aisam Qureshi (PAK) 36 63 63 62
Danai Udomchoke (THA) d. Samir Iftikhar (PAK) 60 64 61
Sanchai Ratiwatana/Sonchat Ratiwatana (THA) d. Aqeel Khan/Aisam Qureshi (PAK) 75 62 62
Danai Udomchoke (THA) d. Muhammed Abid (PAK) 60 61
Samir Iftikhar (PAK) d. Pruchya Isarow (THA) 46 63 1-1 ret.

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP II – THIRD ROUND

LITHUANIA defeated BOSNIA/HERZEGOVINA 3-2
Venue: Mojmilo Sports Hall, Sarajevo, BIH (hard – indoor)

Ricardas Berankis (LTU) d. Mirza Basic (BIH) 57 36 64 64 64
Damir Dzumhur (BIH) d. Laurynas Grigelis (LTU) 67(5) 61 61 1-0 ret.
Ricardas Berankis/Laurynas Grigelis (LTU) d. Mirza Basic/Tomislav Brkic (BIH) 63 63 76(4)
Ricardas Berankis (LTU) d. Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 64 64 64
Nerman Fatic (BIH) d. Lukas Mugevicus (LTU) 67(6) 63 64

DENMARK defeated MOLDOVA 3-2
Venue: Bramdrupdam Hallerne, Kolding, DEN (carpet – indoor)

Radu Albot (MDA) d. Martin Pedersen (DEN) 75 63 62
Frederik Nielsen (DEN) d. Maxim Dubarenco (MDA) 62 62 63
Thomas Kromann/Frederik Nielsen (DEN) d. Radu Albot/Maxim Dubarenco (MDA) 62 64 64
Radu Albot (MDA) d. Frederik Nielsen (DEN) 75 63 63
Martin Pedersen (DEN) d. Maxim Dubarenco (MDA) 36 76(1) 64 36 75

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France to Host Switzerland in Davis Cup Final

 

(September 14, 2014) For the first time in 22 years, Switzerland is in the Davis Cup final. No. 1 singles player from Switzerland, Roger Federer clinched the tie versus Italy on Sunday, defeating Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (4) for an unassailable 3-1 lead in Geneva.

France will play host to Switzerland in the Davis Cup final November 21-23. France clinched their berth in the final on Saturday, winning the doubles rubber to take a 3-0 lead. They completed the tie on Sunday 4-1 over the Czech Republic at Roland Garros, site of the French Open.

“It’s nice sharing the emotions with your fans and team members,” Federer said in an on-court interview after the match.

“It was a pretty quick court, so if you’re not serving so well there are always going to be errors – it wasn’t the best performance for either of us.

“Some of the best match-ups I’ve had have been against France, but we’re very pleased to be in the final.”

The French team is looking for their first Davis Cup title since 2001, while Switzerland is seeking their first-ever Davis Cup crown.

Team France says they are ready for the challenge.

“Everybody speaks about a dream final against Switzerland, but for me the dream is just that France will be there,” said French Davis Cup captain Arnaud Clement said. “With Federer and Stan Wawrinka, It’s obviously a big contest but the important thing is that we are in the final.”

“Federer is a monument of tennis, this is a dream final,” said Richard Gasquet in press on Sunday.

“There is no need for motivation when you are in the final, but hosting Federer adds an extra something to a sumptuous final,” Julien Benneteau said.

Although not official, it’s been reported that the northern French city of Lille will host the final.

The French have a 10-2 record versus Switzerland in Davis Cup play.

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Davis Cup Results for September 12, 2014

davis_cup_logo_

WORLD GROUP SEMIFINALS

 

FRANCE leads CZECH REPUBLIC 2-0

Venue: Roland Garros, Paris, FRA (clay – outdoor)
Richard Gasquet (FRA) d. Tomas Berdych (CZE) 63 62 63
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) d. Lukas Rosol (CZE) 62 62 63
Julien Benneteau/Gael Monfils (FRA) v Radek Stepanek/Jiri Vesely (CZE)

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v Tomas Berdych (CZE)
Richard Gasquet (FRA) v Lukas Rosol (CZE)

 

SWITZERLAND leads ITALY 2-0

Venue: Palexpo, Geneva, SUI (hard – indoor)
Roger Federer (SUI) d. Simone Bolelli (ITA) 76(5) 64 64
Stan Wawrinka (SUI) d. Fabio Fognini (ITA) 62 63 62
Roger Federer/Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Paolo Lorenzi/Andreas Seppi (ITA)

Roger Federer (SUI) v Fabio Fognini (ITA)
Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Simone Bolelli (ITA)

 

WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS

 

SERBIA leads INDIA 2-0

Venue: KSLTA Tennis Stadium, Bangalore, IND (hard – outdoor)

 

Dusan Lajovic (SRB) d. Yuki Bhambri (IND) 63 62 75
Filip Krajinovic (SRB) d. Somdev Devvarman (IND) 61 46 63 62

Rohan Bopanna/Leander Paes (IND) v Ilija Bozoljac/Nenad Zimonjic (SRB)

Somdev Devvarman (IND) v Dusan Lajovic (SRB)

Yuki Bhambri (IND) v Filip Krajinovic (SRB)

 

BRAZIL level with SPAIN 1-1

Venue: Ginasio Estadual Geraldo Jose de Almeida, Sao Paulo, BRA (clay – indoor)

 

Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) d. Rogerio Dutra Silva (BRA) 60 61 63
Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) d. Pablo Andujar (ESP) 36 67(6) 64 75 63

Marcelo Melo/Bruno Soares (BRA) v Marc Lopez/David Marrero (ESP)

Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) v Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP)
Rogerio Dutra Silva (BRA) v Pablo Andujar (ESP)

 

 

ISRAEL level with ARGENTINA 1-1

Venue: Sunrise Tennis Club, Sunrise, FL, USA (hard – outdoor)

 

Leonardo Mayer (ARG) d. Bar Tzuf Botzer (ISR) 64 36 62 61

Dudi Sela (ISR) d. Carlos Berlocq (ARG) 63 67(5) 62 62
Jonathan Erlich/Andy Ram (ISR) v Federico Delbonis/Horacio Zeballos (ARG)

Dudi Sela (ISR) v Leonardo Mayer (ARG)
Bar Tzuf Botzer (ISR) v Carlos Berlocq (ARG)

 

CANADA leads COLOMBIA 2-0

Venue: Halifax Metro Centre, Halifax, Canada (hard – indoor)

 

Vasek Pospisil (CAN) d. Santiago Giraldo (COL) 63 76(2) 63
Milos Raonic (CAN) d. Alejandro Gonzalez (COL) 63 63 62
Daniel Nestor/Vasek Pospisil (CAN) v Juan-Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah (COL)
Milos Raonic (CAN) v Santiago Giraldo (COL)
Vasek Pospisil (CAN) v Alejandro Gonzalez (COL)

 

 

USA leads SLOVAKIA 2-0

Venue: Sears Centre Arena, Chicago, IL, USA (hard – indoor)

 

John Isner (USA) d. Norbert Gombos (SVK) 76(5) 64 62
Sam Querrey (USA) d. Martin Klizan (SVK) 76(6) 63 63
Mike Bryan/Bob Bryan (USA) v Lukas Lacko/Michal Mertinak (SVK)
John Isner (USA) v Martin Klizan (SVK)
Sam Querrey (USA) v Norbert Gombos (SVK)

 

AUSTRALIA leads UZBEKISTAN 2-0

Venue: Cottesloe Tennis Club, Perth, AUS (grass – outdoor)

 

Nick Kyrgios (AUS) d. Denis Istomin (UZB) 64 75 64

Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) d. Farrukh Dustov (UZB) 64 64 62
Chris Guccione/Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) v Farrukh Dustov/Denis Istomin (UZB)

Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) v Denis Istomin (UZB)

Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v Farrukh Dustov (UZB)

NETHERLANDS level with CROATIA 1-1

Venue: Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, NED (clay – indoor)

 

Mate Delic (CRO) d. Igor Sijsling (NED) 46 64 75 62

Robin Haase (NED) d. Borna Coric (CRO) 76(4) 61 64
Thiemo de Bakker/Jean-Julien Rojer (NED) v Marin Cilic/Marin Draganja (CRO)

Robin Haase (NED) v Mate Delic (CRO)

Igor Sijsling (NED) v Borna Coric (CRO)

 

UKRAINE level with BELGIUM 1-1

Venue: Tere Tennis Centre, Tallinn, EST (hard – indoor)

 

Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) d. Steve Darcis (BEL) 67(5) 64 62 62
David Goffin (BEL) d. Illya Marchenko (UKR) 76(1) 63 61
Sergei Bubka/Denys Molchanov (UKR) v Ruben Bemelmans/Olivier Rochus (BEL)
Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) v David Goffin (BEL)
Illya Marchenko (UKR) v Steve Darcis (BEL)

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP I – SECOND ROUND PLAY-OFF

URUGUAY leads VENEZUELA 2-0
Venue: Cancha Central, Caracas, VEN (hard – outdoor)

Pablo Cuevas (URU) d. Jesus Bandres (VEN) 63 62 61
Martin Cuevas (URU) d. Ricardo Rodriguez (VEN) 75 62 63
Luis David Martinez/Roberto Maytin (VEN) v Martin Cuevas/Pablo Cuevas (URU)
Ricardo Rodriguez (VEN) v Pablo Cuevas (URU)
Jesus Bandres (VEN) v Martin Cuevas (URU)

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

KOREA, REPUBLIC leads CHINESE TAIPEI 2-0
Venue: Kaohsiung Yangming Tennis Courts, Kaohsiung City, TPE (hard – outdoor)

Lim Yong-Kyu (KOR) d. Hung Jui Chen (TPE) 62 62 60
Chung Hyeon (KOR) d. Wang Chieh Fu (TPE) 64 75 62
Chen Ti/Peng Hsien Yin (TPE) v Cho Min Hyeok/Nam Jisung (KOR)
Hung Jui Chen (TPE) v Chung Hyeon (KOR)
Wang Chieh Fu (TPE) v Lim Yong-Kyu (KOR)

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

ROMANIA level with SWEDEN 1-1
Venue: Arenele BNR, Bucharest, ROU (clay – outdoor)

Christian Lindell (SWE) d. Adrian Ungur (ROU) 75 76(2) 64
Marius Copil (ROU) d. Elias Ymer (SWE) 62 63 62
Florin Mergea/Horia Tecau (ROU) v Isak Arvidsson/Johan Brunstrom (SWE)
Adrian Ungur (ROU) v Elias Ymer (SWE)
Marius Copil (ROU) v Christian Lindell (SWE)

AUSTRIA leads LATVIA 2-0
Venue: Vidzemes Olimpiskaos Centrs, Valmiera, LAT (hard – indoor)

Martin Fischer (AUT) d. Andis Juska (LAT) 63 63 62
Jurgen Melzer (AUT) d. Janis Podzus (LAT) 63 61 64
Ernests Gulbis/Mikelis Libietis (LAT) v Philipp Oswald/Alexander Peya (AUT)
Andis Juska (LAT) v Jurgen Melzer (AUT)
Janis Podzus (LAT) v Martin Fischer (AUT)


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

RUSSIA leads PORTUGAL 2-0
Venue: Olympic Stadium, Moscow, RUS (hard – indoor)

Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) d. Gastao Elias (POR) 62 64 64
Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) d. Joao Sousa (POR) 76(7) 64 36 61
Konstantin Kravchuk/Andrey Rublev (RUS) v Gastao Elias/Joao Sousa (POR)
Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) v Joao Sousa (POR)
Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) v Gastao Elias (POR)

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP II – THIRD ROUND

BARBADOS level with MEXICO 1-1
Venue: National Tennis Centre, St Michael, BAR (hard – outdoor)

Tigre Hank (MEX) d. Haydn Lewis (BAR) 75 64 63
Darian King (BAR) d. Miguel-Angel Reyes-Varela (MEX) 64 64 62
Darian King/Haydn Lewis (BAR) v Santiago Gonzalez/Miguel-Angel Reyes-Varela (MEX)
Darian King (BAR) v Tigre Hank (MEX)
Haydn Lewis (BAR) v Miguel-Angel Reyes-Varela (MEX)

ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP II – THIRD ROUND

THAILAND leads PAKISTAN 2-0
Venue: The National Tennis Development Center, Nonthaburi, THA (hard – outdoor)

Pruchya Isarow (THA) d. Aisam Qureshi (PAK) 36 63 63 62
Danai Udomchoke (THA) d. Samir Iftikhar (PAK) 60 64 61
Sanchai Ratiwatana/Sonchat Ratiwatana (THA) v Aqeel Khan/Aisam Qureshi (PAK)
Danai Udomchoke (THA) v Aisam Qureshi (PAK)
Pruchya Isarow (THA) v Samir Iftikhar (PAK)

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP II – THIRD ROUND

BOSNIA/HERZEGOVINA level with LITHUANIA 1-1
Venue: Mojmilo Sports Hall, Sarajevo, BIH (hard – indoor)

Ricardas Berankis (LTU) d. Mirza Basic (BIH) 57 36 64 64 64
Damir Dzumhur (BIH) d. Laurynas Grigelis (LTU) 67(5) 61 61 1-0 ret.
Mirza Basic/Tomislav Brkic (BIH) v Lukas Mugevicius/Dovydas Sakinis (LTU)
Damir Dzumhur (BIH) v Ricardas Berankis (LTU)
Mirza Basic (BIH) v Laurynas Grigelis (LTU)

DENMARK level with MOLDOVA 1-1
Venue: Bramdrupdam Hallerne, Kolding, DEN (carpet – indoor)

Radu Albot (MDA) d. Martin Pedersen (DEN) 75 63 62
Frederik Nielsen (DEN) d. Maxim Dubarenco (MDA) 62 62 63
Thomas Kromann/Frederik Nielsen (DEN) v Radu Albot/Andrei Ciumac (MDA)
Frederik Nielsen (DEN) v Radu Albot (MDA)
Martin Pedersen (DEN) v Maxim Dubarenco (MDA)

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Draws announced for Davis Cup World Group Semifinals, Play-offs, and Zone Group ties

davis_cup_logo_

(September 11, 2014) The ITF has announced the draws for the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinals, World Group play-offs and Zone Group ties taking place on 12-14 September.

 

The winners of the two semifinals will contest the 2014 World Group Final on 21-23 November. The winners of the eight World Group play-offs will qualify for the 2015 World Group, while the losers will contest their respective Zone Group I competition in 2015.

WORLD GROUP SEMIFINALS

 

FRANCE v CZECH REPUBLIC

Venue: Roland Garros, Paris, FRA (clay – outdoor)
Richard Gasquet (FRA) v Tomas Berdych (CZE)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v Lukas Rosol (CZE)
Julien Benneteau/Gael Monfils (FRA) v Radek Stepanek/Jiri Vesely (CZE)

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v Tomas Berdych (CZE)
Richard Gasquet (FRA) v Lukas Rosol (CZE)

 

SWITZERLAND v ITALY

Venue: Palexpo, Geneva, SUI (hard – indoor)
Roger Federer (SUI) v Simone Bolelli (ITA)
Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Fabio Fognini (ITA)
Roger Federer/Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Paolo Lorenzi/Andreas Seppi (ITA)

Roger Federer (SUI) v Fabio Fognini (ITA)
Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Simone Bolelli (ITA)

 

WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS

 

INDIA v SERBIA

Venue: KSLTA Tennis Stadium, Bangalore, IND (hard – outdoor)

 

Yuki Bhambri (IND) v Dusan Lajovic (SRB)
Somdev Devvarman (IND) v Filip Krajinovic (SRB)

Rohan Bopanna/Leander Paes (IND) v Ilija Bozoljac/Nenad Zimonjic (SRB)

Somdev Devvarman (IND) v Dusan Lajovic (SRB)

Yuki Bhambri (IND) v Filip Krajinovic (SRB)

 

BRAZIL v SPAIN

Venue: Ginasio Estadual Geraldo Jose de Almeida, Sao Paulo, BRA (clay – indoor)

 

Rogerio Dutra Silva (BRA) v Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP)
Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) v Pablo Andujar (ESP)

Marcelo Melo/Bruno Soares (BRA) v Marc Lopez/David Marrero (ESP)

Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) v Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP)
Rogerio Dutra Silva (BRA) v Pablo Andujar (ESP)

 

 

ISRAEL v ARGENTINA

Venue: Sunrise Tennis Club, Sunrise, FL, USA (hard – outdoor)

 

Bar Tzuf Botzer (ISR) v Leonardo Mayer (ARG)

Dudi Sela (ISR) v Carlos Berlocq (ARG)
Jonathan Erlich/Andy Ram (ISR) v Federico Delbonis/Horacio Zeballos (ARG)

Dudi Sela (ISR) v Leonardo Mayer (ARG)
Bar Tzuf Botzer (ISR) v Carlos Berlocq (ARG)

 

CANADA v COLOMBIA

Venue: Halifax Metro Centre, Halifax, Canada (hard – indoor)

 

Vasek Pospisil (CAN) v Santiago Giraldo (COL)
Milos Raonic (CAN) v Alejandro Gonzalez (COL)
Daniel Nestor/Vasek Pospisil (CAN) v Juan-Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah (COL)
Milos Raonic (CAN) v Santiago Giraldo (COL)
Vasek Pospisil (CAN) v Alejandro Gonzalez (COL)

 

 

USA v SLOVAKIA

Venue: Sears Centre Arena, Chicago, IL, USA (hard – indoor)

 

John Isner (USA) v Norbert Gombos (SVK)
Sam Querrey (USA) v Martin Klizan (SVK)
Mike Bryan/Bob Bryan (USA) v Lukas Lacko/Michal Mertinak (SVK)
John Isner (USA) v Martin Klizan (SVK)
Sam Querrey (USA) v Norbert Gombos (SVK)

 

AUSTRALIA v UZBEKISTAN

Venue: Cottesloe Tennis Club, Perth, AUS (grass – outdoor)

 

Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v Denis Istomin (UZB)

Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) v Farrukh Dustov (UZB)
Chris Guccione/Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) v Farrukh Dustov/Denis Istomin (UZB)

Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) v Denis Istomin (UZB)

Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v Farrukh Dustov (UZB)

NETHERLANDS v CROATIA

Venue: Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, NED (clay – indoor)

 

Igor Sijsling (NED) v Mate Delic (CRO)

Robin Haase (NED) v Borna Coric (CRO)
Thiemo de Bakker/Jean-Julien Rojer (NED) v Marin Cilic/Marin Draganja (CRO)

Robin Haase (NED) v Mate Delic (CRO)

Igor Sijsling (NED) v Borna Coric (CRO)

 

UKRAINE v BELGIUM

Venue: Tere Tennis Centre, Tallinn, EST (hard – indoor)

 

Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) v Steve Darcis (BEL)
Illya Marchenko (UKR) v David Goffin (BEL)
Sergei Bubka/Denys Molchanov (UKR) v Ruben Bemelmans/Olivier Rochus (BEL)
Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) v David Goffin (BEL)
Illya Marchenko (UKR) v Steve Darcis (BEL)

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP I – SECOND ROUND PLAY-OFF

VENEZUELA v URUGUAY
Venue: Cancha Central, Caracas, VEN (hard – outdoor)

Jesus Bandres (VEN) v Pablo Cuevas (URU)
Ricardo Rodriguez (VEN) v Martin Cuevas (URU)
Luis David Martinez/Roberto Maytin (VEN) v Martin Cuevas/Pablo Cuevas (URU)
Ricardo Rodriguez (VEN) v Pablo Cuevas (URU)
Jesus Bandres (VEN) v Martin Cuevas (URU)

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

CHINESE TAIPEI v KOREA, REPUBLIC
Venue: Kaohsiung Yangming Tennis Courts, Kaohsiung City, TPE (hard – outdoor)

Hung Jui Chen (TPE) v Lim Yong-Kyu (KOR)
Wang Chieh Fu (TPE) v Chung Hyeon (KOR)
Chen Ti/Peng Hsien Yin (TPE) v Cho Min Hyeok/Nam Jisung (KOR)
Hung Jui Chen (TPE) v Chung Hyeon (KOR)
Wang Chieh Fu (TPE) v Lim Yong-Kyu (KOR)

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

ROMANIA v SWEDEN
Venue: Arenele BNR, Bucharest, ROU (clay – outdoor)

Adrian Ungur (ROU) v Christian Lindell (SWE)
Marius Copil (ROU) v Elias Ymer (SWE)
Florin Mergea/Horia Tecau (ROU) v Isak Arvidsson/Johan Brunstrom (SWE)
Adrian Ungur (ROU) v Elias Ymer (SWE)
Marius Copil (ROU) v Christian Lindell (SWE)

LATVIA v AUSTRIA
Venue: Vidzemes Olimpiskaos Centrs, Valmiera, LAT (hard – indoor)

Andis Juska (LAT) v Martin Fischer (AUT)
Janis Podzus (LAT) v Jurgen Melzer (AUT)
Ernests Gulbis/Mikelis Libietis (LAT) v Philipp Oswald/Alexander Peya (AUT)
Andis Juska (LAT) v Jurgen Melzer (AUT)
Janis Podzus (LAT) v Martin Fischer (AUT)


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

RUSSIA v PORTUGAL
Venue: Olympic Stadium, Moscow, RUS (hard – indoor)

Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) v Gastao Elias (POR)
Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) v Joao Sousa (POR)
Konstantin Kravchuk/Andrey Rublev (RUS) v Gastao Elias/Joao Sousa (POR)
Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) v Joao Sousa (POR)
Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) v Gastao Elias (POR)

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP II – THIRD ROUND

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

Haydn Lewis (BAR) v Tigre Hank (MEX)
Darian King (BAR) v Miguel-Angel Reyes-Varela (MEX)
Darian King/Haydn Lewis (BAR) v Santiago Gonzalez/Miguel-Angel Reyes-Varela (MEX)
Darian King (BAR) v Tigre Hank (MEX)
Haydn Lewis (BAR) v Miguel-Angel Reyes-Varela (MEX)

ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP II – THIRD ROUND

THAILAND v PAKISTAN
Venue: The National Tennis Development Center, Nonthaburi, THA (hard – outdoor)

Pruchya Isarow (THA) v Aisam Qureshi (PAK)
Danai Udomchoke (THA) v Samir Iftikhar (PAK)
Sanchai Ratiwatana/Sonchat Ratiwatana (THA) v Aqeel Khan/Aisam Qureshi (PAK)
Danai Udomchoke (THA) v Aisam Qureshi (PAK)
Pruchya Isarow (THA) v Samir Iftikhar (PAK)

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP II – THIRD ROUND

BOSNIA/HERZEGOVINA v LITHUANIA
Venue: Mojmilo Sports Hall, Sarajevo, BIH (hard – indoor)

Mirza Basic (BIH) v Ricardas Berankis (LTU)
Damir Dzumhur (BIH) v Laurynas Grigelis (LTU)
Mirza Basic/Tomislav Brkic (BIH) v Lukas Mugevicius/Dovydas Sakinis (LTU)
Damir Dzumhur (BIH) v Ricardas Berankis (LTU)
Mirza Basic (BIH) v Laurynas Grigelis (LTU)

DENMARK v MOLDOVA
Venue: Bramdrupdam Hallerne, Kolding, DEN (carpet – indoor)

Martin Pedersen (DEN) v Radu Albot (MDA)
Frederik Nielsen (DEN) v Maxim Dubarenco (MDA)
Thomas Kromann/Frederik Nielsen (DEN) v Radu Albot/Andrei Ciumac (MDA)
Frederik Nielsen (DEN) v Radu Albot (MDA)
Martin Pedersen (DEN) v Maxim Dubarenco (MDA)

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Canada fights to 2-0 lead in World Group Playoff Tie against the Slovak Republic

Eugenie Bouchard'

Eugenie Bouchard’

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin

 

(April 19, 2014) QUEBEC CITY – It wasn’t easy, and it certainly wasn’t always pretty, but Canada managed to take a commanding 2-0 lead against the Slovakian squad on the first day of their World Group Playoff tie in Quebec City. While Aleksandra Wozniak had to throw everything but the kitchen sink at young Jana Cepelova in order to get the first point, Eugenie Bouchard probably made Brad Gilbert proud with a textbook example of ‘winning ugly’ in the second match against an inspired Kucova.

On paper, the Wozniak-Cepelova match was the most intriguing: the Canadian is a seasoned Fed Cup competitor with almost 50 matches under her belt, while Cepelova is an up-an-coming star who was still on a high after her dream Charleston run a few weeks ago when she beat Serena Williams en route to losing in the final to Andrea Petkovic. While the ranking gap between both highly favored the Slovakian, the Canadian is coming back from a series of serious injuries, went as high as 21st in the world and thus couldn’t be counted out.

The first set saw both players exchange a large number of breaks, but it was Cepelova who took the early lead, as Wozniak seemed tentative and struggling to find her usual aggressive game. On the other hand, the young Slovak was controlling points with her heavy forehand and kept Wozniak on her toes with a few of her infamous dropshots. While the Canadian started finding her form, it was too little too late as Cepelova broke at 5-4 despite Wozniak having two game points: it was the seventh break of the set.

The first half of the second set followed the same pattern, as Wozniak’s level dropped early and Cepelova kept the pressure on the Canadian’s serve. Down 6-4 5-2, the crowd didn’t have much hope for their home player, but better serving, lower unforced errors, better strategy (everything on the backhand) and a few tight games from Cepelova, who was two points away from the match at both 5-3 and 5-4, helped Wozniak level things off at 5-all. Playing more aggressively, being less tentative and serving much better, the Canadian won the last two games comfortably to force a third.

Oddly enough, the same scenario was repeated in the third set, as Cepelova, who was clearly the most consistent aggressor of the two, took another early lead, only to see Wozniak get back at 3-all. That’s when the match reached its peak, as both players started playing their best tennis and had numerous long, entertaining and varied rallies. Cepelova’s fighting spirit got her through the next two tight games, as she gave herself a second chance to serve out the match…only to get broken again. Serving to stay in the match, Wozniak unleashed a super down-the-line forehand winner to get out of a close game, which resulted in a standing ovation from the crowd of about 2000. Unphased, Cepelova got to a quick 40-0 lead in her next service game, only to see Wozniak reel off 5 straight points, then serve out the match quite easily for a hard-found 4-6  7-5 7-5 win. It was Wozniak’s 39th Fed Cup singles win, and probably the most dramatic of them all. After all she went through in the past few months, Wozniack seemed quite emotional in the on-court interview, as she held back tears of joy.

After such a dramatic match, the crowd expect a walk in the park for Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard, Canada’s top ranked player. While she was ranked more than 100 places higher than her opponent Kucova, it seemed like the roles were reversed at the start. Indeed, the Slovak came out firing with her two-handed shots on both sides, attacking early, hitting deep and flat, taking Genie off guard. The Canadian, on the other hand, looked flat and a bit snappy and struggled to keep the ball in play, getting rapidly in a 0-3 hole. While she managed to steady the ship and get back to 3-all, the Slovak kept her cool, followed her game plan and soon got to set point on Bouchard’s serve at 5-3. That’s when Bouchard decided to raise her level, saving a total of four set points in that game and then breaking to level things off at 5-5. After two holds, the set reached a tiebreak and despite coming from behind all set long, Bouchard managed to reel seven straight points by cleaning up her game and raising the aggression level.

After getting so close and failing to close out the set, one could have expected Kucova, ranked outside the top 100, to give up early in the second. But this would be underestimating the Slovak, who started playing lights out tennis and hitting numerous winners out of everywhere in the court, both as an attacker and when defending. On the other hand, Bouchard was average at best, and never managed to get a grip on a set that rapidly, and surprisingly, went the way of Slovak Republic on a score of 6-2.

The crowd was getting used to changes in momentum, as there were plenty all day, and the start of the third set saw yet another one. Bouchard, who seemed to find better form, took an early 2-0 lead, and even had chances for a double break for 3-0. But Kucova, who gained quite a few fans in the stands today as she showed a tremendous amount of heart, kept on fighting and getting to balls that seemed impossible to reach, and managed to hold for 1-2. That’s when her body started struggling, as she started to stretch between points and seemed to be out of breath. It didn’t take much more for Genie to smell blood and move her around, and while she was playing arguably better than Bouchard for most of the match, Kucova just couldn’t keep up with such a level after over two hours. The Canadian won the last four games, and the match, to give Canada a 2-0 lead.

This match was a great example of a superior player who is struggling against an opponent playing lights-out tennis, but who manages to find a way to win. And while she was clearly frustrated with her level after the match, the situation was well summarized by Sylvain Bureau, Canada’s captain: ”No matter how we did it, in the end, we finish the day leading 2-0. All we need tomorrow is to win one match and we will focus on that”.

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

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