2014/04/20

Gemany Completes 4-1 win over Spain in Davis Cup

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By Florian Heer

(February 2, 2014) FRANKFURT, GERMANY – Final day of the first round Davis Cup tie in Frankfurt and Team Germany ran out of players for the last two singles matches. Only Daniel Brands was nominated to take on Roberto Bautista-Agut for the single dead rubber on Sunday. It was officially announced by Team captain Carsten Arriens that Tommy Haas, Florian Mayer and Philipp Kohlschreiber were injured. The spectators in the Fraport Arena answered with catcalls and the following match was played in a weird atmosphere.

Nonetheless the encounter between Brands and Bautista became an interesting affair with tennis on a very high level. In the end it was the German, who had the advantage in the decisive moments. Brands won the first set in the tie-break and gained the only break of the match in the tenth game of the second frame winning 7-6, 6-4 after 80 minutes.

 

“I tried to do my best and put some effort into winning one point for Spain,” Bautista-Agut said afterwards. “Nonetheless it was very difficult for me to go on court today. It was like having zero motivation, as we are still disappointed,” the Spaniard added. “All of our players gave their best but the German team was very strong throughout weekend,” Team Captain Carlos Moya said. “Of course we are disappointed as we wanted to win but there is still an opponent who also has a word to say and Germany played very well,” Moya stated.

Due to the missing third rubber, the German fans were also disappointed and as a consequence the president of the German Tennis Federation, Karl Altenburg, announced that there will be show match in Frankfurt in summer as a compensation for today’s ticket holders.

 

“I really can understand that the fans are angry,” team captain Carsten Arriens told the press after he had been barracked by the fans inside the arena. “I’ll think about the things, which happened in the arena in the next couple of days. We were really surprised by the reactions from the spectators and maybe we also underestimated the situation. Nonetheless I hope that the positive aspects from Friday and Saturday will remain the dominant facts for the fans. I do not want to embellish the situation but Tommy, Flo and Philipp did a great job the last two days and that’s what I want to point out. Unfortunately all three are injured,” Arriens tried to explain. “We had two fantastic days here in Frankfurt and I really want to thank the spectators for creating a great atmosphere and their support, it was something special for me, too, having the tie played in my hometown” the captain said. A very successful weekend for the German team has come to an end but today’s occurrences will probably leave a bland aftertaste.

Germany will play France the first weekend in April for a chance to make the Davis Cup semifinals.

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

Germany wins-001

By Florian Heer

(February 1, 2014) FRANFURT, GERMANY – Saturday in Frankfurt and in the morning it must have looked like climbing Mount Everest for the Spanish team to come back into this tie. In this competition the Iberians have never been able to recover from being 0-2 down after the first day and so Carlos Moya’s squad was forced to win the doubles rubber when David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco took on Philipp Kohlschreiber, who replaced Daniel Brands, and Tommy Haas.

It was the first time that the Spanish ATP World Tour Final Champions played as a team at Davis Cup. For the Germans it was also a new doubles team situation as doubles partners. For Kohlschreiber and Haas the longer the match took, the better both players found their rhythm as a team. In the first set, however, the Germans had a quite difficult start. Haas had to save set points in his service game to put the first set into a tie-break. Two magnificent shots from Marrero saved set points for the Spaniards but two double faults handed the Germans the opening set.

There were no break points in the second set and so again the tie breaker had to decide. Spain has already lost four tie-breaks during this weekend but were finally freed from a curse by winning this one 11-9 after one hour and 52 minutes.

Verdasco took more and more command on Spanish side, hitting baseline shots as hard as he could and eventually played another unavoidable tie-break in the third set almost alone. Before, the Spaniards were not able to capitalize on break points in the third game and consequently lost another close breaker 7-9.

So it became more and more difficult for the Spanish team to get back into this tie. The atmosphere at the Fraport Arena, filled with 5.000 spectators, was great for the home team, were the lucky ones to finally gain the first break of the match in the fourth game of the fourth set after three hours and eight minutes of play. It should become the decisive one.

Twenty-six minutes later, Haas served the match out in the ninth game giving Germany the victory by winning 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3. “The team presented themselves how it should be at a home game,” Carsten Arriens said.

Kohlschreiber & Haas-001

“It was hard work today but in the end it worked out for Tommy and Philipp today. I also had a lot of fun during the last two days on the bench,” the German team captain added. “It was great to be back playing Davis Cup,” Haas stated.

 “Carsten’s vision of having a doubles team with Kohlschreiber and Haas became reality today. It was a difficult match against two experienced players but I think that we harmonized quite well on the court today,” the German veteran said. “It also have to be mentioned that Tommy and I do not have a problem with each other,”

Kohlschreiber explained his relation to Haas. “I think sometimes it’s just the media, which needs something to write about,” Kohlschreiber said. “My match on Friday wasn’t that long, so I felt good to play the doubles today as well,” he added. The German team already celebrated their victory during the press conference by drinking champagne and announced that this will become a long night for them.

 

On the other hand, the Spanish team was disappointed. “It was very close today. There was only one break of serve in the entire match,” Moya said. “Similar to Feliciano yesterday, we had our chances but in the end we couldn’t capitalize on it. Nonetheless my team can be proud of themselves how they played today and hopefully next time the luck will be on our side,” the Spanish team captain added.

 

Germany will face an away tie against France in the quarterfinals and Spain has to play a second time in a row the Davis Cup World Group play-offs.

Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Future Circuit!  Follow his twitter account @Florian _Heer.

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

Florian Mayer

Florian Mayer

By Florian Heer

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Future Circuit!  Follow his twitter account @Florian _Heer.

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Czech Republic Wins Davis Cup Title Over Defending Champion Spain

 

(November 18, 2012) The Czech Republic won their first Davis Cup title as an independent nation on Sunday at home in Prague at the O2 Arena when Radek Stepanek won the fifth and deciding rubber over Spain’s Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 7-6(0), 3-6, 6-3 to claim the victory over the defending champion three rubbers to two.

The Czechs’ only Davis Cup title came in 1980 as part of Czechoslovakia which split in 1993.

The Czechs completed a rare feat in these two weeks – the women won the Fed Cup title in the same arena. The last country to win both Fed Cup and David Cup in the same year was the United States in 1990. The Czech become the first country to win the Hopman Cup, Fed Cup and Davis Cup in the same year.

“I was dreaming about it my whole life,”  the 37th ranked Stepanek said about the win in an on-court interview.

David Ferrer kept Spain’s hopes alive in the opening rubber of the day, demolishing Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 to even the tie at 2-2. It was Berdych’s first Davis Cup loss of the year, Ferrer’s 76th match win of the year to overtake Novak Djokovic the ATP Tour.

Ferrer is unbeaten in Davis Cup since 2010.

“I’m very happy with my game,” Ferrer said. “I played very focused, very aggressive. I started really good. Maybe the key was I began really good.”

“I was always few steps behind him,” said Berdych. “He was just playing too good today.”

Stepanek broke Almagro in the 10th game to claim the first set 6-4. Stepanek missed four set point chances in the second, but claimed the set 7-6 crushing Almagro in the tiebreak 7-0.

Almagro put himself back into the match overriding a 0-40 start in the third set to capture it 6-3.

“I was playing very aggressive today.  I wanted be the one who is active, who is controlling the game,” Stepanek said. “It paid off, even though I lost the third set. I had no doubt I was on the way.”

The serve-and-volleying Czech soared to a 3-0 fourth set lead and served out the match 6-3 for the victory in the fourth much to the delight of most of the 14,500 spectators.

Stepanek at 33, became the oldest player to win a deciding fifth rubber in Davis Cup Final history. He is only the second player over the age of 30 to win a deciding fifth rubber in the Davis Cup Final. The last time this happened was 100 years ago in 1912, when 31 year-old James Parke playing for the British Isles,defeated Rodney Heath of Australasia in Melbourne.

“Davis Cup champions! That’s amazing,”  said a joyful Stepanek. “We made history today and I hope the entire nation will be celebrating with us.”

“There’s nothing more to achieve,” Berdych exclaimed. “I have nothing to say more. This is a moment we never forget.”

 

WORLD GROUP FINAL

CZECH REPUBLIC defeated SPAIN 3-2

Venue: O2 Arena, Prague (hard – indoors)

David Ferrer (ESP) d. Radek Stepanek (CZE) 63 64 64

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

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

David Ferrer (ESP) d. Tomas Berdych (CZE) 62 63 75

Radek Stepanek (CZE) d. Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 64 76(0) 36 63

 

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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.

WORLD GROUP FINAL

CZECH REPUBLIC leads SPAIN 2-1

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)

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Spain and Czech Republic End Tied After Day 1 of Davis Cup Final

Spain’s David Ferrer stopped the Czech Republic’s Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 while Tomas Berdych defeated Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3 to end day one of the Davis Cup final in a 1-1 tie in Prague.

Spain is trying to win its fourth David Cup title in five years while the Czech Republic is trying to win as an independent country since it was part of the former Czechoslovakia.

The doubles rubber on Saturday is scheduled to have the Czech Republic’s Ivo Minar and Lukas Rosol face Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez. Speculation is that Berdych and Stepanek will play doubles for Minar and Rosol.

 

WORLD GROUP FINAL

CZECH REPUBLIC level with SPAIN 1-1

Venue: O2 Arena, Prague (hard – indoors)

 

David Ferrer (ESP) d. Radek Stepanek (CZE) 63 64 64

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

Ivo Minar/Lukas Rosol (CZE) v Marcel Granollers/Marc Lopez (ESP)

Tomas Berdych (CZE) v David Ferrer (ESP)

Radek Stepanek (CZE) v Nicolas Almagro (ESP)

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Davis Cup Final To Be Broadcast on Tennis Channel

LOS ANGELES, November 15, 2012 – Tennis Channel will provide exclusive coverage of defending champion Spain and the Czech Republic’s Davis Cup championship competition in Prague this weekend, with live and same-day “Instant Encore” replays Friday through Sunday. The countries find themselves in a rematch of the 2009 final. Spain, however, will be without former World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, who led his country to a 5-0 victory over the Czech Republic three years ago. David Ferrer, World No. 5, will lead his nation as it attempts to defend its 2011 Davis Cup crown while competing for its sixth title overall.

 

The year-end championship competition will consist of two singles matches on Friday, Nov. 16, at 10 a.m. ET, followed by the doubles match Saturday, Nov. 17, at 8 a.m. ET. Tennis Channel’s coverage concludes with the remaining singles play Sunday, Nov. 18, at 7 a.m. ET. Each of the five matches is worth one point, with the team that wins at least three points winning the Davis Cup title. Each evening Tennis Channel will offer an encore presentation of the day’s Davis Cup action.

 

Coverage from O2 Arena, Prague, Czech Republic (all times ET):

Friday, Nov. 16:

10 a.m. – Live Singles #1

1 p.m. – Live Singles #2

{4 p.m. – Instant Encore Singles #1}

{10 p.m. – Instant Encore Singles #1}

{1 a.m. – Instant Encore Singles #2}

 

Saturday, Nov. 17:

8 a.m. – Live Doubles

{11 a.m. – Instant Encore Doubles}

{8 p.m. – Instant Encore Doubles}

 

Sunday, Nov. 18:

7 a.m. – Live Singles #1

10 a.m. – Live Singles #2

{1 p.m. – Instant Encore Singles #1}

{8 p.m. – Instant Encore Singles #1}

 

Spain and the Czech Republic have faced each other six times in Davis Cup play, with the Spaniards holding a 4-2 advantage. The most recent competition was during the 2009 Davis Cup final, when Spain won 5-0. Spain enters this weekend’s championship after defeating the United States 3-1 during this year’s semifinals. The country has dominated the past decade with five Davis Cup championships since 2000, the most recent in 2011 when it beat Argentina 3-1 in Seville, Spain.

 

The Czech Republic enters the competition after a 3-2 semifinal victory over Argentina, and is chasing its first Davis Cup title since 1980, when it defeated Italy while competing as Czechoslovakia. The Czech team is captained by Jaroslav Navratil and features World No. 6 Tomas Berdych, Radek Stepanek, Lukas Rosol and Ivo Minar.

 

The Spanish team is captained by former tennis star Alex Corretja, and features Ferrer, Nicolas Almagro, Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez.

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100th Davis Cup Final to be staged in Prague

The ITF announced on Tuesday that the 100th Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final will be staged at the O2 Arena in Prague on 16-18 November. The 2012 final between Czech Republic and Spain will be played indoors in front of over 13,000 spectators, and marks the start of the ITF’s 2013 centenary celebrations.

 

Prague’s O2 Arena will also host the 2012 Fed Cup Final between Czech Republic and Serbia on 3-4 November, becoming the first stadium to stage both finals in the same year. Czech Republic has also made history by becoming the first country to host both finals since the introduction of the Fed Cup World Group in 1995.

 

Spain is bidding for its fourth title in five years, having defeated Argentina in the 2011 Final in Seville. Czech Republic is looking for its first title since Ivan Lendl led Czechoslovakia to victory over Italy in the 1980 final in Prague at the Sportnovi Hala. Spain leads Czech Republic 4-2 in head-to-head meetings, and won their most recent encounter 5-0 at the 2009 Davis Cup Final in Barcelona.

 

Davis Cup began in 1900 as a competition between USA and Great Britain at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston. It was conceived by four members of the Harvard University tennis team, one of whom, Dwight Davis, designed a tournament format and ordered a trophy, buying it with his own money. The tournament was originally known as the International Lawn Tennis Challenge, but soon became known as Davis Cup after Dwight Davis’s trophy.

 

Davis Cup has grown to become the largest annual international team competition in sport with 122 nations taking part in 2012. The competition celebrated its centenary year in 1999, and 2012 will see the 100th staging of the Final. The 100 finals have been held in 16 countries, with just 13 countries going on to become Davis Cup champion.

 

The Davis Cup itself has also grown from the silver salad bowl presented for the inaugural competition in 1900, to a 110cm-high and 107cm wide three-plinth trophy holding the original cup itself, engraved with the names of the champions. The bowl itself bears the names of the champions from 1900-1919; the tray with the 1920-1932 winners; the top two plinths with the names of the 1933-2002 champions on its silver plaques; and the recent winners on the base plinth. It is also the world’s only original major sporting cup to have lasted a century and the most well-travelled.

 

Prague’s O2 Arena was built in time to stage the World Ice Hockey Championships in 2004 and has since held major sporting events for ice hockey, basketball and floorball. The venue has also welcomed some of the world’s biggest music acts, including Elton John, Coldplay and Lady Gaga.

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Ferrer Victory Sends Spain into Davis Cup Final

World No. 5 David Ferrer sent Spain back into the Davis Cup final for a chance to win a fourth time in five years by defeating John Isner  6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 on Sunday in Gijon to clinch the tie 3-1 against the United States.

Spain will play the Czech Republic on the road in the Davis Cup final in November. The Czechs defeated Argentina 3-1 in Argentina.

“I am very happy, this is a dream for me,“ said Ferrer.  “Another Davis Cup final, I won the last match and I’m really happy.  Isner is a good top 10 player.”

Isner’s 70 errors helped to keep Ferrer perfect on clay in Davis Cup play at 16-0.

With or without Rafael Nadal, Spain fields a strong team.

“It was disappointing. The Spanish team was just too good,” said Isner.“They won the important points, and it’s a bit discouraging for me because I wanted to contribute like I did in the first two ties, and that’s a credit to (Nicolas) Almagro and Ferrer, who got two of their points from me.”

 

“I think it was a great battle between two of the best teams in the world. Spain is the high watermark in Davis Cup in the last 15 years and we knew it was going to be a very tricky tie for us and we were close,” said US Davis cup Captain Jim Courier. “All of us who live in tennis know that there are always a few points that make big differences and the Spaniards found a way to win some key points in the three matches that they won.”

 

“There is a lot for this team to be proud of and what we have achieved this year—the way we have approached it, attacked it and the draw, the obstacles we have had. We are proud of our effort and we salute the Spanish team for their efforts and their victory. Two great teams went out there and competed and it was very close. The team that played better when they needed to won the matches.

 

“It has been a very positive year for us on the U.S. Davis Cup Team. We have been given the most difficult draw that you can have in this era to play the teams we have on the road. We had some great wins and we had some competitive losses.”

 

Following the Ferrer – Isner match, US Davis Cup Captain Courier and Spanish Davis Cup Captain Alex Corretja decided not to play the final rubber, which was scheduled to be Sam Querrey against Nicolas Almagro.

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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.

 

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