Eight teams remain in contention to win the Davis Cup for their countries. They will battle each other in various (mostly European) cities this weekend – July 10 – 12.
Only a sport as crazy as tennis would schedule the quarterfinals of its premier team event the weekend after its premier tournament. Roddick, Ferrer, Nadal and Tursunov have pulled out with injury, and Marat Safin claims a lot of the remaining players are hurting (or else he’s playing possum). But it’s cute men in matching tracksuits, so at least they’re looking good!
Here are the basics, including the necessary (Marat Safin) photos and quotes.
Venue: Cez Arena, Ostrava (hard – indoors)
“We’re here to avenge the beating.” – Tomas Berdych via CBS, on losing 0-5 to the Argentines when they last met in D.C.
Team Czech Republic: Tomas Berdych, Radek Stepanek, Ivo Minar, Lukas Dlouhy/Captain: Jaroslav Navratil
Team Argentina: Juan Martin Del Potro, Jose Acasuso, Leonardo Mayer, Juan Monaco/Captain: Tito Vazquez
Venue: Sportska Dvorana “Zatika”, Porec (clay – indoors)
“Andy has been a stalwart for this team the past nine years, and his dedication to Davis Cup and his teammates is unquestioned.” – Captain Patrick McEnroe via CBS.
“It’s worse for us (than if Andy played.) Instead of an injured Roddick, who after such a final at Wimbledon would have had to play matches on clay, we’ll have to face a motivated Fish.” – Captain Goran Prpic via CBS.
Team Croatia: Marin Cilic, Ivo Karlovic, Roko Karanusic, Lovro Zovko/Captain: Goran Prpic
Team USA: Mardy Fish (replaced Andy Roddick), James Blake, Mike Bryan, Bob Bryan/Captain: Patrick McEnroe
(That’s Patrick McEnroe pretending to return Dr. Ivo’s serve.)
Venue: Sport Palaces Ltd (Nokia), Tel Aviv (hard – indoors)
“Not one of us is in shape, save for Igor (Andreev) – there’s nothing to hide about it. . .I hope we’ll be okay.” – Marat Safin via Haaretz
Team Israel: Dudi Sela, Haral Levy, Jonathan Erlich, Andy Ram/Captain: Eyal Ran
Team Russia: Igor Kunitsyn (replaced Dmitry Tursunov), Marat Safin, Igor Andreev, Mikhail Youzhny/Captain: Shamil Tarpischev
(Don’t worry, there’s plenty more Marat in the photo gallery, below! This may be his last time in a tracksuit, before he gets a Shamil-style belly and becomes DC captain in 2029. Sob!)
Venue: Plaza de Toros de Puerto Banus, Marbella (clay – outdoors)
“Nadal is not well and we have to let him rest.” Albert Costa via CBC
Team Spain: Fernando Verdasco, Tommy Robredo, Juan Carlos Ferrero (replaced David Ferrer), Feliciano Lopez/Captain: Albert Costa
Team Germany: Philipp Kohlschreiber, Nicolas Kiefer, Mischa Zverev, Andreas Beck/Captain: Patrick Kuhnen
(What does Philipp know that we don’t?)
Click here for the Davis Cup website.
All gallery photos via Daylife.