France took out defending champ Spain in Davis Cup action on Saturday. The team of Llodra/Benneteau beat Lopez/Verdasco 6-1, 6-2, 6-7(6), 7-6(5), posting an insurmountable 3-0 lead for Team France.
“Even if I am 30 years, I like this kind of match,” said Llodra, who also upset Verdasco in Monday’s singles rubber. “Amazing. We play tennis for that. Today it was too good on the court. When I started playing tennis, my dream was to play in the French team. When I was 11 years old, I saw Guy Forget and Henri Leconte in Davis Cup in Lyon when they won against the USA and, in my head, you know I said one time in my life I want to be like this and today it was amazing. . .We beat Spain, the defending champions. It’s unbelievable.” (via DavisCup.com)
I’ll be rooting for the red and gold tomorrow in South Africa, but ALLEZ LLODRA! I just have to cheer for my boy.
Okay, so who are the poor schmucks playing the dead rubbers for Spain, tomorrow? Rafael Nadal will be watching the final live in Johannesburg. Any chance he takes the stage with Shakira(!!!!) as she kicks things off in Soccer City with her rendition of the official tournament anthem, Waka Waka ?
In other Davis Cup news, hometown host Chile has also been swept out of the Davis Cup, going down 0-3 to the Czech Republic B-Squad after Jan Hajek and Lukas Dlouhy defeated Jorge Aguilar and Nicolas Massu, 7-6(3), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
How quickly things can change in tennis! This year’s Australian Open star and feared man, Nikolay Davydenko, has proved a liability in this weekend’s Davis Cup tie vs. underdogs Argentina. He suffered his second loss in as many days, as he and partner Igor Kunitsyn went down in four sets on Saturday to the Argentine team of Eduardo Schwank and Horacio Zeballos. Argentina now enjoys a 2-1 lead going into Sunday’s fourth rubber, and Kolya – still scheduled to play in it – is not sounding too confident: “We have a small hope for tomorrow and it’s going to be very difficult,” Davydenko said.
DavisCup.com has a blog post about Marat Safin, who is serving as hitting partner this week for the Russian team. Here’s an excerpt:
It was almost hard to tell this week that Safin is a retired two-time grand slam champion. He’s been with the Russian team all week long, acting as a hitting partner for the likes of Mikhail Youzhny and Nikolay Davydenko, despite not having picked up a racket for almost three months. That said he looked in pretty good form!
Supposedly he’s too busy setting up a Russian tennis academy to consider making a comeback, but maybe this weekend’s tie will change his mind.
Any chance Tennis Channel can switch to the Croatia vs. Serbia rubber? Things are getting very interesting in Split – visiting team Serbia is now up 2-1 going into Sunday, as top doubles player, Nenad Zimonjic, paired up with Janko Tipsarevic on Saturday to take out Cilic/Dodig in straights. DavisCup.com and Janko Tipsarevic were both diplomatic in their post-match description of the Croatian fans:
The fans may be noisy and disrespectful towards the visiting team, but they are passionate and supportive of their team.
“The only problem is that some words you can understand,” said Tipsarevic. “Probably when you play in other countries they also say stuff but you don’t understand them.”
We now go into an excruciatingly suspenseful fourth rubber, as Marin Cilic faces both Novak Djokovic and the nearly unbearable expectations of his hometown crowd in a must-win fourth rubber.