Doubles Win Gives Czech Republic a 2-1 Lead In Davis Cup Final

(November 17, 2012) Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek paired on Saturday to give the Czech Republic a 2-1 lead in the Davis Cup final in Prague. The pair rallied to stop Spain’s team of Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez 3-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-3 to capture the doubles rubber.

The victory moves the Czech Republic to one win away from capturing its first Davis Cup title as an independent country since 1980 when they were part of Czechoslovakia which split in 1993.

The Spanish pair are fresh off of a title win at the ATP World Tour Finals.

Sunday’s matches will feature Spain’s David Ferrer against Berdych, followed by Nicolas Almagro versus Stepanek, if necessary. Ferrer holds a 5-3 career record against Berdych while Stepanek hold a 2-1 advantage over Almagro head-to-head.

Spain is hoping for its fourth Davis Cup crown in five years.



Venue: O2 Arena, Prague (hard – indoors)

David Ferrer (ESP) defeated Radek Stepanek (CZE) 63 64 64

Tomas Berdych (CZE) defeated Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 63 36 63 67(5) 63

Tomas Berdych/Radek Stepanek (CZE) defeated Marcel Granollers/Marc Lopez (ESP) 36 75 75 63

Tomas Berdych (CZE) versus David Ferrer (ESP)

Radek Stepanek (CZE) versus Nicolas Almagro (ESP)


Bryan Brothers Keep US Hopes Alive in Davis Cup Doubles Win

Team USA is still alive in the Davis Cup World Group semifinal – but just barely.

Bob and Mike Bryan kept the US hopes alive holding back Spain’s Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez to win the doubles rubber on Saturday 6-3, 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 to close the gap to 2-1 versus Spain, in Gijon.

Spain aiming for their fourth final in five years won both singles rubber on Friday thanks to wins from David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro.

During the match, Granollers had a calf injury and his movement was hampered.

“We stayed the course the whole way and three hours 40 minutes was maybe one of the longest Davis Cup matches we ever played,” the Bryan Brothers told Spanish television.

“We’re happy to get the team to Sunday and I have all the faith in John and Sam to play some good tennis tomorrow and we’ll see what happens.”

Mike Bryan has now played in 24 Davis Cup doubles matches, tying John Van Ryn for first all-time in most doubles matches played in US Davis Cup history, overall  Mike Bryan is 22-2 in Davis Cup competition. He also is tied with Van Ryn for the most individual doubles wins with 22.

On Sunday David Ferrer hopes to close out the tie for Spain with a win over American John Isner in reverse singles. Almagro is scheduled to play Sam Querrey in the second match.



Notes and Quotes From The US Davis Cup Team News Conference

The draw for this weekend’s Davis Cup World Group Semifinal between the United States and Spain was held on Thursday in Gijon, Spain. Here are some quotes from the United States team’s news conference:



On playing in Gijon and facing a tough Spanish team…


The stadium is very well done; the facilities are wonderful for us. We have had a very good practice week. I think the hometown, Spain, is the favorite. They are a fantastic team; they could make three or four Davis cup teams that would be very good, considering how many players they have. But we are here to play, we are here to compete and we will take our chances here this weekend.


We are expecting a very difficult battle. That is what all these matches, whether is it home or away, are about, it is about getting ready, getting set and letting fire.




On facing Spain in their home country…


Our team has played in some tough environments before and we expect a tough environment tomorrow, but at the same time we know it is going to be a lot of fun. I am just going to go out there and try to enjoy it. It is going to be a good challenge and it is going to be in front of a big crowd. I don’t think it is going to be anything I’m not used to.


They have two guys who are top ten in the world playing this tie. The team is so deep.



On playing for the U.S. in Davis Cup for the first time since 2010…


It is really exciting to be back on the team. It has been a few years since I played back in 2010. I was out last year with elbow surgery but I have come back and I feel like I am playing really well. I am excited to be part of this team and I am really looking forward to it. The handful of Davis Cup teams I have played in the past have been really fun, it is exciting to play on a team every now and then.


On opening up the tie tomorrow in the first singles rubber…


I didn’t really have a preference playing first or second. Either way David Ferrer is a tough player, it is going to be a tough match.




On facing Granollers and Lopez in the doubles rubber…


I am definitely expecting those two guys [Granollers and Lopez] to out there. They are one of the best teams in the world. They have won a Masters on clay, they have played us tough, a couple times. They had match point against us in Toronto. There is going to be no surprises, we know we have our hands full. We are practicing hard, we feel good, riding some confidence from a good summer, as are they. It is whoever plays better and executes on the day is going to win.



On facing Spain in doubles and playing away ties…


We have a pretty good record on the road.  We treat all these road ties as Grand Slam finals. We played every road tie on clay and we are pretty comfortable on clay. We have good game plans coming in playing a lot of clay court players and we are playing another really good clay court team. This could be our toughest away tie match, as it is against a top five team in the world.


As Bob said, we are going to have to execute, we will treat it just like we did the US Open final a week ago. Davis Cup matches are huge for us.


Weekend Schedule

Friday, 12 p.m.
Singles A:              Sam Querrey (USA) vs. David Ferrer (ESP)
Singles B:              John Isner (USA) vs. Nicolas Almagro (ESP)

Saturday, 2 p.m.
Doubles:                Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA) vs. Marcel Granollers/Marc Lopez (ESP)*

Sunday, 12 p.m.
Singles C:             John Isner (USA) vs. David Ferrer (ESP)
Singles D:             Sam Querrey (USA) vs. Nicolas Almagro (ESP)

Matches will be streamed for free live on USTA.com. Matches will also be televised live on Tennis Channel with Friday’s singles matches airing at 6 a.m. ET, Saturday’s doubles match airing at 8 a.m., and Sunday’s singles matches airing at 6 a.m.


US Davis Cup Team Named to Battle Defending Champion Spain

The USTA and U.S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier announced on Tuesday that world No. 10 John Isner, No. 28 Sam Querrey, and 2012 Olympic doubles gold medalists Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan will represent the United States in the 2012 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Semifinal tie against Spain, September 14-16.  The tie will be played on an outdoor red clay court at the Parque Hermanos Castro in Gijon, Spain.

Spain, the defending Davis Cup champion, announced their roster of No.5 David Ferrer, No. 12 Nicolas Almagro, No. 24 Marcel Granollers, and Top 10 doubles player Marc Lopez earlier today. Spain has won the Davis Cup title three out of the last four years (2008, 2009 and 2011).

“Our team is battle-tested after two tough road wins this year against Switzerland and France,” said second-year U.S. Davis Cup Captain Courier, who has a 3-0 record on the road. “Playing against Spain on clay is the ultimate test in Davis Cup and we look forward to the challenge in Gijon.”

“It’s the ultimate ask,” Courier told media.

“We have had the toughest draw you can have in Davis Cup with the road matches we have faced, and this one is the ultimate ask in current Davis Cup tennis. Going into Spain, playing them on red clay, they haven’t lost in a long, long time. We certainly feel like we’re going to have a chance, but we also feel like we’re not the favorites. We felt that way in the first two matches this year, too.”

Courier also announced that two-time NCAA singles champion Steve Johnson, former US Open boys’ singles finalist Denis Kudla and 2011 NCAA doubles champion Austin Krajicek will be practice partners for the team.  All three have served as practice partners before.

Matches will be telecast live on Tennis Channel starting at 6 a.m. ET on Friday, 8 a.m. ET on Saturday, and 6 a.m. ET on Sunday.  USTA.com will also feature live streaming of all Davis Cup matches in the United States for free.

The opening day of play in the best-of-five match series features each country’s No. 1 singles player against the No. 2 player from the opposing country.  The pivotal doubles match is played Saturday, followed by Sunday’s “reverse singles,” starting with each country’s No. 1 players squaring off followed by the No. 2 players in the fifth and final match.

This semifinal tie will mark the 11th matchup overall between the U.S. and Spain in Davis Cup competition.  The countries are tied in their series with five wins each with the last meeting taking place in the 2011 World Group Quarterfinal in Austin, Texas (Spain won that tie, 3-1). The Spaniards last defeated the U.S. in Spain in the 2008 World Group Semifinal on clay, where Spain later went on to win the Davis Cup title that year.

The winner of this match will face the winner of the semifinal between the Czech Republic and Argentina. If the U.S. wins, it will either travel to Argentina or host the Czech Republic in the final, November 16-18.

Isner, 27, will be competing in his sixth Davis Cup tie and is 5-3 in singles and 2-0 in doubles.  Isner defeated Roger Federer in the U.S. Davis Cup team’s first round win at Switzerland in February, one of the biggest wins of his career, and won his sixth career ATP singles title this year at the Winston-Salem Open, an Emirates Airline US Open Series event. The tallest player in U.S. Davis Cup history at 6-foot-9, Isner made his Davis Cup debut in the 2010 World Group First Round in Serbia where he became the first U.S. player to compete in three live rubbers in the same tie since James Blake in the 2003 first round.   He turned professional after an outstanding four-year career at the University of Georgia, leading the Bulldogs to the 2007 NCAA team title as a senior. Isner is currently No. 10 in the world and is coming off a third round appearance at the US Open.

Querrey, 24, will be competing on the U.S. Davis Cup team for the first time since the 2010 World Group Playoff in Colombia and holds a 1-4 Davis Cup singles record in three ties. Querrey made his Davis Cup debut against Rafael Nadal on clay in Madrid in the 2008 World Group Semifinal, losing in four sets. He peaked at No. 17 in the world in January 2011, but was forced to undergo right elbow surgery in June last year that sidelined him for three months. This year, Querrey climbed back up the rankings after winning his seventh career ATP title at the Emirates Airline US Open Series event in Los Angeles and reaching three ATP semifinals. Like Isner, Querrey reached the third round of the 2012 US Open.

Bob Bryan, 34, holds a 20-2 doubles record in Davis Cup and a 19-2 record with twin brother, Mike. He is also 4-2 in singles (all dead rubbers). Bob did not compete in February’s first round match at Switzerland due to the birth of his daughter. In 2009, the Bryans’ win in the Davis Cup first round versus Switzerland put them first all-time in U.S. Davis Cup history with 15 doubles wins as a team and they are the only brothers to pair in victory for the U.S. In 2010, Bob and Mike broke the all-time Open era record of 62 team doubles titles after winning the Emirates Airline US Open Series event in Los Angeles and have since extended their record to 80 doubles titles. The Bryan brothers won the gold medal in doubles at the 2012 Olympics in London, where they completed a career Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal. Bob and Mike are currently in the quarterfinals of the US Open, of which they are three-time champions.

Mike Bryan, 34, played without twin brother Bob for just the second time in his Davis Cup career during the 2012 World Group First Round, where he teamed with Mardy Fish to defeat 2008 Olympic doubles gold medalists Federer and Wawrinka to clinch the tie for the U.S.  Mike holds a 21-2 record in Davis Cup doubles matches and is 19-2 with Bob (Mike partnered with Fish in the 2008 semifinal against Spain).  He played in 19 consecutive doubles matches for the U.S. Davis Cup team since he and Bob joined the team in September 2003 until suffering from food poisoning before the 2010 World Group First Round in Serbia (Isner replaced Mike and teamed with Bob).  The Bryan brothers currently share the No. 3 doubles ranking and finished six of the past seven years as the top-ranked doubles team in the world.  They have qualified for the year-end Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London. Mike owns 82 career tour-level doubles titles.

Founded in 1900, Davis Cup is the world’s largest annual international men’s team competition with 125 nations competing this year.  The U.S. leads all nations with 32 Davis Cup titles.


Around the Grounds at the BNP Paribas Open – Friday, March 9, 2012


By Jennifer Knapp

INDIAN WELLS, California- First full day on site  – so many matches (and practices) to see but so little time.   Armed with a fresh camera battery, 8gb memory card and fully charged iPhone, I plotted my plan of attack.   I have a love/hate relationship with the early rounds.  I love the fact that there are so many matches to see any one time but I hate having to make the often times difficult prioritization decisions.  Okay, so I’ll admit that when I think about what I just said, I realize that I am quite lucky to have such a predicament but it really can be quite stressful!   Here it goes!


A few minutes after I got settled in the media room, word spread that Feliciano Lopez, David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco were on the practice courts so I quickly grabbed my camera and headed downstairs.  Before I could get very far, I saw a huge crowd looked up and realized it was Juan Martin Del Potro.  Took a few (blurry) photos and headed over to the grassy area just in time to see Feliciano Lopez kicking around a soccer ball.  More photos.  I spotted Ferrer and Verdasco practicing on the far court and Caroline Wozniacki on the court closest to me. More photos.  Practicing nearby on separate courts were Victoria Azarenka and Janko Tipsarevic. Even more photos before I finally made it to Court 8 for Tommy Haas versus Jarko Nieminen.


Tommy Haas

Haas seemed to be in control in the first set but ended up winning it in a tie break – one that he came very close to losing.  He eventually won the match but he cracked at least a few rackets along the way.  Haas has long since been a desert favorite and he didn’t disappoint.  And yes, I took more pictures.


Next up was the Novak Djokovic/Viktor Troicki versus Feliciano Lopez/Marcel Granollers match on Stadium One.  It was a very entertaining match but I think the primarily pro-Djokovic/Troicki crowd was quite shocked to see Lopez/Granollers win in straight sets.  No pictures for this one as I was sitting up too high – in the shade – but after a few hours in the direct sun, it was a welcomed relief.


Juan Monaco and Rafael Nadal

I made my way back to the practice courts in time to see a huge crowd watching Rafael Nadal and Juan Monaco.  Very little chance of finding any free space, I opted to take photos from the other side and relied on my zoom to make them look much closer than I actually was. 

Also on the practice courts at the same time was Bernard Tomic who was tucked far away from the fans.   I think this might have been his first time in Indian Wells and unfortunately, it was a brief visit as he ended up losing in 3 sets to Gilles Muller.


My next destination was Court 2 to watch David Nalbandian and Potito Starace.  It was extremely hot sitting courtside so I took a bunch of photos and headed up to the top of the stands where you have a much better chance of catching a breeze.  The first set was a tight one with Nalbandian taking in in a tiebreak but it seemed like Starace gave up pretty early in the second set and eventually was bageled. Ouch.


My Twitter timeline let me know that Victoria Azarenka was in trouble on Stadium 1 so I hightailed it back over there.  The idea the #1 player in the world, riding an unbeaten streak in 2012, could crash out in the first round seemed unthinkable but it came way too close to happening.  Total crowd thriller though and what a match for Mona Barthel.


Andy Roddick

Took a quick break to freshen up and got myself situated (in the cafeteria) for the Andy Roddick/Mardy Fish versus Florian Mayer/Jarkko Nieminen match.  Wanted to catch some of the Gael Monfils/Philipp Kohlschreiber doubles but I knew it was going to conflict so I made one of those judgement calls.  Mayer/Nieminen started off with a bang and jumped to an early lead but Roddick/Fish fought back to take the second set and come within only a few points of winning the match. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.   Managed to catch the last few minutes of Roddick’s news conference and heard him answering questions about his radio show and the Olympics.  


Last but not least was the highly anticipated doubles match between Rafael Nadal/Marc Lopez and Nenad Zimonjic/Michael Llodra.  Sat in the photo pit for this one and it was quite a view.  Nadal and Lopez were clearly fired up and seem to play some of their best doubles matches in Indian Wells.  Tonight was no exception as they beat the No. 3 seeds in straight sets.  During the on court interview, Nadal “encouraged” Lopez to speak to the crowd in English but Lopez opted to stick to Spanish.  Great way to end the evening!


My next and final task for the day was to complete this write up which I am now finishing after 11:00pm  – 13 hours after my “tennis” day began.  It was an amazing day and Saturday promises to be equally exciting so stay tuned!

Jennifer Knapp is covering the BNP Paribas Open as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter @Jusbjen.