Photographer: Angelo Tonelli
A 6 hour five setter in Croatia, a Frenchman gets upset, Roger Federer wins – sometimes Davis Cup Drama is a little. . . predictable.
Here’s a quick summary of the action.
Peek-a -boo, I see you! Photographer: Sergio Carmona
Spain vs. Israel: Spain is up 2-0 against Israel going into day 2, with David Ferrer beating Harel Levy 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 and Juan Carlos Ferrero taking out Dudi Sela 6-4, 6-2, 6-0. But Erlich and Ram should score a point on Saturday vs. Robredo/Lopez.
Croatia vs. Czech Republic: The real drama was in Croatia, where Day 1 action lasted almost 10 hours. Much like Croatia’s quarterfinals against the U.S., the first two rubbers both went fives sets. Unfortunately for the Croatians, neither of the matches went their way this time.
Radek does have a fan club! Photographer: Paul Zimmer
Stepanek vs. Karlovic was the first match and the highlight of the day – Dr. Ivo hit 78 aces in the match. . .and still lost it. Even crazier, he broke TWO records: the previous Davis Cup ace record was 47 and the world record was 55. (per Daviscup.com)
And the Czech’s still won: 6-7(5) 7-6(5) 7-6(6) 6-7(2) 16-14.
Photographer: Paul Zimmer
Stepanek was gracious after the match:
“The crowd was amazing, we had a lot of fans and it was like playing at home. I was very surprised. The Croatian fans were great as well. They gave the players lots of support and huge atmosphere. It was just an honour; that’s why we play tennis, because of fans like this.”
Kudos to Mr. Vaidisova for a worm made warrior performance.
His countryman, Tomas Berdych, pulled out another five setter vs. Marin Cilic: 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3 in three hours 48 minutes.
WORLD GROUP PLAY OFFS
Roger’s fans. Photographer: Angelo Tonelli
Switzerland vs. Italy: Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka were dominant against their respective opponents, Simone Bolelli and Andreas Seppi, taking both matches in straight sets. Though playing in Italy, the Swiss team enjoyed the support of about 400 fans, and after Federer’s surprisingly jet-lag-free performance “the whole crowd of the Centro Sportivo Valletta Cambiaso gave Federer a long “standing ovation” for his impressive display.” (via DavisCup.com)
Tsonga stays cool as ice. Photographer: Virginie Bouyer
France vs. Netherlands: Is it surprising that a French player ranked 13 in the world (Gael Monfils) was upset by a no-name ranked 122 (Thiemo de Bakker)? Je pense que non!
Good thing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was around to pick up Gael Monfils’s slack. He tied things up with a straight set win against Jesse Huta Galung.
The French captain, Guy Forget, may have the toughest job in tennis (now that Marat Safin’s old coach, Hernan Gumy, has reportedly signed on with Ernests Gulbis). I think a little of Forget’s world weariness shows in this quote about Monfils’ match:
“It’s difficult to prepare someone for a Davis Cup match. You can tell a guy to get in the plane, here’s your parachute, it’s no big deal, just jump, you have a parachute. But when the guy gets there, it’s different. He says ‘it’s too high, I’m not jumping’. Maybe that’s what happened to Gaël today.”
Better push him out on Sunday!
More World Group results:
Belgium vs. Ukraine: 2-0
Brazil vs. Ecuador (including Nicolas Lapentti, who used to date Anna Kournikova, who is rumored to be pregnant): 1-1
South Africa vs. India: 0-2
Serbia vs. Uzbekistan: 2-0
Sweden vs. Romania: 1-1
In ZONAL TIE news, Great Britain and Poland are tied 1-1 going into day 2. Andy Murray beat World No. 678 Michal Przysiezny in straight sets, but Dan Evans was then beaten by Jerzy Janowicz. The big news, however, is Murray’s wrist injury, which flared up in Cincinnati and has not improved, possibly knocking Murray out of the rest of this weekend’s tie and even the rest of the season: “If it takes four months to get better, I will take four months off. If it takes a week, I will take a week. I don’t know how long it will take. I will have to see how the treatment goes.” he said in his presser.
Murray also launched into a “tirade” about the pressure he faces as the top ranked British player:
“I thought about not playing but the last time I did that I spent three months answering questions. It was ‘why aren’t you playing?’ and ‘don’t you want to play for the team?’ and ‘do you feel like you have let your country down?’ It’s pathetic. I play hard for my country. I enjoy playing for my country. I came up on Sunday with the guys and practised hard. I like being around a team atmosphere but, if I am not feeling well or I am hurt, I can’t, whether it’s the Davis Cup or a small ATP tournament.” (via The Guardian)
Spain vs. Israel is showing live on Tennis Channel here in the States. Click here for the TV Schedule and live streaming options.