The 2010 Davis Cup quarterfinals are here, less than a week after the Wimbledon finals. Who is ready to fight on?
SPAIN VS. FRANCE:
Wimby champ Rafael Nadal has pulled from the anticipated Spain vs. France quarterfinal in Clermont-Ferrand, France, to rest his knees. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is also out with a knee injury. As the draw stands now, Llodra and Verdasco are getting the brunt of the burden this weekend for their countries.
Michael ponders his mission, imposeeeeble:
Photo by Paul Zimmer for DavisCup.com
Davis Cup? Don’t you mean World Cup? The Spanish are already celebrating:
Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic for DavisCup.com
This is the tie that U.S. Tennis Channel subscribers are getting this weekend. Here’s the draw:
Spain vs. France in France
Gael Monfils (FRA) v David Ferrer (ESP)
Michael Llodra (FRA) v Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
Julien Benneteau / Michael Llodra (FRA) v Feliciano Lopez / Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
Gael Monfils (FRA) v Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
Michael Llodra (FRA) v David Ferrer (ESP)
Gilles Simon and Nicolas Almagro are on the bench.
It could be a great weekend for Spain – World Cup finals and a great record vs. France in the Davis Cup. According to DavisCup.com: “France will be hoping it can defeat Spain for the first time since 1923 and secure a spot in the last four for the first time in six years.”
CROATIA VS. SERBIA
Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic at DavisCup.com
This is the tie I most want to watch – what with 2005 DC hero Ivan Ljubicic and rising star Marin Cilic playing for Croatia and World Number 2 Novak Djokovic leading the Serbian team. And that’s not even touching on the fractured history of the region. This is the first time that these two independent nations will face each other. As recently as 1992, they played together under the flag of Yugoslavia. And despite the death, destruction and incalculable human tragedy both nations have faced since the split, we’ve been blessed as tennis fans that the players on both sides of the border have extended signs of fellowship and decency.
But let’s not get too kumbaya about this – it’s going to be a real battle this weekend in Split’s Paladium Arena. Croatia is hosting, though they face a big disadvantage - Ivo Karlovic is still out of play with an Achilles tendon injury and a gimpy Ivan Ljubicic is stepping in. The reigning Indian Wells champ is not sounding too confident (via DavisCup.com):
“I promised the captain [Goran Prpic] in case of big health problems I would jump in and unfortunately that is exactly what has happened,” (Ljubicic) said. “Ivo Karlovic is not able to play; Mario Ancic is not even here so I really had no choice but to step in and try to help the team because it’s a really important tie.”
Novak Djokovic should be commended for stepping up for his country this weekend, despite a tough loss in the Wimbledon semifinals. He is a true DC stalwart.
Serbia vs. Croatia in Croatia
Ivan Ljubicic (CRO) v Novak Djokovic (SRB)
Marin Cilic (CRO) v Viktor Troicki (SRB)
Ivan Dodig / Antonio Veic (CRO) v Janko Tipsarevic / Nenad Zimonjic (SRB)
Marin Cilic (CRO) v Novak Djokovic (SRB)
Ivan Ljubicic (CRO) v Viktor Troicki (SRB)
ARGENTINA VS. RUSSIA
There are Davis Cup stalwarts, and then there are Davis Cup fanatics. David Nablandian is the latter, having pulled out of Wimbledon this season to save himself for this weekend’s DC tie in Moscow. Nikolay Davydenko, who has been dealing with his own injuries, will face David in the opening rubber. Here’s the draw:
Russia vs. Argentina in Russia
Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) v David Nalbandian (ARG)
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) v Leonardo Mayer (ARG)
Teimuraz Gabashvili / Igor Kunitsyn (RUS) v David Nalbandian / Horacio Zeballos (ARG)
Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) v Leonardo Mayer (ARG)
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) v David Nalbandian (ARG)
It doesn’t matter who’s playing on the Russian team, we all know who’s in charge:
CHILE VS. CZECH REPUBLIC
And in the forgotten quarterfinal of the weekend, Nicolas Massu – ranked #101, leads the Chilean team at home without Olympic doubles partner Fernando Gonazlez. The Czech Republic is also playing without their dream team; Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych has pulled out and Radek Stepanek is injured. Here’s the draw:
Chile vs. Czech Republic in Chile
Nicolas Massu (CHI) v Ivo Minar (CZE)
Paul Capdeville (CHI) v Jan Hajek (CZE)
Jorge Aguilar/Paul Capdeville (CHI) v Frantisek Cermak/Lukas Dlouhy (CZE)
Nicolas Massu (CHI) v Jan Hajek (CZE)
Paul Capdeville (CHI) v Ivo Minar (CZE)
For more Davis Cup coverage, be sure to check out the always classy DavisCup.com.