Posts Tagged ‘2010 Davis Cup

05
Dec
10

Serbia Triumphant in the World’s greatest Tennis competition!

 

Better than Wimbledon, the US Open, the Australian Open or Roland Garros, the overwhelming outpouring of emotion by both the players and the partisan fans leaves those other events far behind. And for those who would even suggest that the Davis Cup is out-of-date, and needs to revamped, then it must be assumed that they did not witness this latest event or they have an ulterior motive behind their suggestion. Maybe it’s because the USA, Australia and the UK, the three former powerhouses of tennis, are unlikely to have a competive team in the foreseeable future, that they want to change the format.

Viktor Troicki was the hero as Serbia won the Davis Cup for the first time in their history on Sunday. After Novak Djokovic had seen off Gael Monfils to level the final in Belgrade at 2-2, Troicki beat Michael Llodra in straight sets to seal the trophy for the hosts. The world number 30, a surprise late replacement for Janko Tipsarevic for the final rubber, ran out a comfortable 6-2 6-2 6-3 winner as Llodra struggled with his game. Troicki’s success sent a partisan home crowd into wild celebrations.

Troicki, who had disappointed in Saturday’s doubles rubber which France won to take control of the tie, responded with arguably the finest match of his young career as he revelled in the home support and outplayed a French opponent ranked seven places higher than him. The mood inside the Belgrade Arena had already been stoked after an emotional 6-2 6-2 6-4 win from Djokovic, who wore his heart on his sleeve in typical style. But it is Troicki, rather than the world number three, who will be remembered as the man who delivered Serbia their first Davis Cup crown after his stirring performance.

Both men were late replacements for the final rubber – Llodra coming in for Gilles Simon – and they showed early signs of nerves. However, it was Troicki who drew first blood with a break of the Llodra serve in the third game. He continued to cause his opponent problems, often coming up with a pass as Llodra tried to get to the net. Having lost the first set too easily, Llodra launched a fightback at the start of the second, opening a 2-0 lead. However, errors soon returned and he lost the next eight games to all but end France’s chances of winning a 10th Davis Cup crown. A double fault handed Troicki a double-break lead in the third set and although there was a minor slip-up from Troicki – he lost his serve in the following game – there was no denying the Serbs. Troicki clinched the historic victory with a superb backhand winner on the return of serve to write his name into Serbian folklore.

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05
Dec
10

Djokovic forces a fifth and final rubber in Belgrade to decide the 2010 Davis Cup Champions.

The Davis Cup final will go down to a fifth and decisive rubber after Novak Djokovic beat Gael Monfils to bring Serbia level with France at 2-2. Djokovic played superbly in front of a fervent crowd of 16,000 as he swept past Monfils 6-2 6-2 6-4 in the fourth rubber at the Belgrade Arena on Sunday. Serbia are trying to win the sport’s major team prize for the first time.

And it will be Janko Tipsarevic or Viktor Troicki against Michael Llodra or Gilles Simon in the decider. Djokovic stormed through the first two sets against Monfils and looked to be cruising to his sixth straight win over the Frenchman, but had to survive a pulsating third set before clinching victory.

The world number three twice fell a break behind, smashing his racquet in absolute fury on the second occasion, but hit back immediately both times before closing out the match. “Under the circumstances, with huge pressure, I played an amazing match,” said Djokovic. “Everything was working.” And he then delivered a message to his home crowd in Serbian, before explaining: “My message was for them to stay. I know it’s difficult in a best-of-five match, it can last hours and hours, but the next match is the most important in maybe all our careers.”

04
Dec
10

French duo puts France ahead going into tomorrow.

France will take a 2-1 lead into the last day of the Davis Cup final after a stunning doubles comeback in Belgrade on Saturday. Hosts Serbia looked set for victory in the vital doubles rubber when they opened a two-set lead but the French pair of Michael Llodra and Arnaud Clement fought back for a memorable 3-6 6-7 (3/7) 6-4 7-5 6-4 triumph. It leaves them needing to win just one of Sunday’s two reverse singles matches to claim the trophy.

Nenad Zimonjic and Viktor Troicki, who suffered their first defeat as a duo in Davis Cup play, started well enough but the latter in particular struggled as the French raised their game. Serbia blew break points on Clement’s serve to regain command in the fourth set and paid the price as the French levelled the match as Troicki cracked on serve in game 11. And they immediately took control of the final set, breaking Zimonjic this time for the first time in the match. Despite the Serbs forcing two break points in the eighth game of the set, they could not take their chance and the French pair were soon celebrating after four and a half hours on court.

Novak Djokovic is due to take on Gael Monfils – a player he has never lost to – in the first of Sunday’s matches, with Janko Tipsarevic slated to play Gilles Simon in what could be the decisive final rubber.

03
Dec
10

Djokovic brings Serbia level at 1-1.

Novak Djokovic brought Serbia level with France at 1-1 after day one of the Davis Cup final thanks to a straight-sets win over Gilles Simon in Belgrade. World number three Djokovic thrilled the majority of the 16,000 fans with a 6-3 6-1 7-5 win, after Gael Monfils had beaten Janko Tipsarevic 7-6 (7-4) 6-0. Viktor Troicki will partner Nenad Zimonjic against Michael Llodra and Arnaud Clement in Sunday’s doubles.

Serbia are attempting to win the Davis Cup for the first time. Should they defeat nine-time champions France, team captain Bogdan Obradovic has suggested it would be the biggest achievement in his nation’s sporting history. I was nervous and it’s not surprising the crowd never really got going because I gave them very little to cheer about. The pressure was now on world number three Djokovic to deliver for the home side and he did so in style. Simon has slipped from a high of sixth in the world last year to 42nd after a series of injuries and went into the match having lost his last five encounters with the former Australian Open champion. The early signs were that this would be a tighter match, but after Djokovic converted his fourth break point in a lengthy game seven there was only going to be one winner.

Serving superbly, he appeared to be strolling to the finish line until nerves finally took hold as he served for victory, with two match points going begging before Simon broke back to make it 5-5. There was tension on both sides of the net, however, and the Frenchman handed the advantage straight back to Djokovic with a loose game before the grateful Serb grabbed his second opportunity to close it out after two hours and 15 minutes.

02
Dec
10

Tipsarevic will open against Monfils while Llodra is to play doubles only?

The draw for this weekend’s Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final has thrown up an intriguing first day’s play with Gael Monfils set to get proceedings underway against Janko Tipsarevic at 2pm local time. Monfils, who is unbeaten in Davis Cup singles rubbers so far this year, will be looking to get his side off to the perfect start, but he will have to overcome Serbia’s semifinals hero, Tipsarevic. The charismatic Serbian claimed two vital points for his country against the Czech Republic in the Belgrade Arena and his opponent is hoping the pressure of the home crowd could work to his advantage. “I know Janko,” said Monfils. “He will be very nervous because he plans to come out first on the court in front of the Serbian crowd. It will be tough for him. I will try to be very relaxed and just play my game.”

The second singles match tomorrow sees Serbia’s No. 1 Novak Djokovic up against France’s Gilles Simon. There was much speculation about who Guy Forget would pick as his team’s No. 2 and it looks like he has opted to rest Michael Llodra for what could be a pivotal doubles rubber on Saturday in favour of former Top 10 player Simon. Asked for the reason behind his decision, Forget said: “It’s always a tough choice to choose someone because you let someone down. I expect Gilles to play a great match against Novak. I expect Michael to play great doubles with Arnaud [Clement]. They’ve done so many times in the past. “In my opinion, that was the best choice for the French team. The Sunday matches probably will count. That leaves me probably some more options doing it this way.”

And Djokovic didn’t seemed surprised by the French decision to go with Simon in the singles, hinting that the Serbian team had expected Forget to make that particular call. “That’s what we kind of expected,” Djokovic said. “Regardless of who I play, I have to be on top of my game. It’s the finals of Davis Cup. Everybody will try to perform their best and everybody will have a lot of motivation to play great tennis in these three days.”

With so little to choose between the two teams, it is expected that this tie could go to a third and final day. If that is the case all eyes will be on the match-up of the No. 1’s. Djokovic is scheduled to play Monfils first on Sunday and there’s no doubt that this will be a crucial rubber in the outcome of the tie. Should proceedings go to a decisive fifth rubber, Tipsarevic will have to repeat his heroics of the semifinals once again in front of an expectant home crowd.

29
Nov
10

This weekend’s Davis Cup final could be the closest in years.

As the tennis season draws to a close, all eyes turn to Belgrade this weekend for what should be a thrilling Davis Cup Final between Serbia and France. On paper, this year’s Final should be one of the closest in recent memory. First-time finalist Serbia boasts the highest-ranked singles player in the shape of world No. 3 Novak Djokovic, who looked in good form at the ATP World Tour Finals last week, reaching the semifinals before losing to eventual champion Roger Federer on Saturday. But French captain Guy Forget has an enviable strength in depth from which to pick his team. France has no fewer than seven players in the Top 50 and is not lacking in experience with players like Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra among the ranks.

With so little to choose between the two sides, it may well come down to the all-important doubles rubber on Saturday and Nenad Zimonjic’s timely win at the end of year finals at the O2 will do wonders for Serbia’s confidence. Zimonjic won his second end of year doubles title alongside Canadian partner Daniel Nestor with a 76(6) 64 victory over Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi in the final. A likely doubles partnership for the French would see the two most experienced players, Clement and Llodra, on the team named alongside one another. Llodra is expected to play both singles and doubles this weekend given he has yet to lose a rubber in 2010. Joining him in the doubles could be Clement, who has been given a rare opportunity to feature in his first Davis Cup Final at the age of 32. What better way to give himself an early birthday present (he turns 33 on 17 December) than to finally play a rubber in the final having been cruelly denied on two previous occasions? Clement was nominated in the French team to play in the Davis Cup Finals in both 2001 and 2002, but on both occasions he was replaced at the last minute by Cedric Pioline and Paul-Henri Mathieu respectively.

France will be looking to Gael Monfils to continue his fine run of form that saw him finish the season strongly, so much so that he is now the away team’s top-ranked player having overtaken his compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who is unavailable due to a lingering knee injury.

23
Nov
10

France unchanged for the Davis Cup final against Serbia.

Forget named a squad of Gael Monfils, Gilles Simon, Michael Llodra, Arnaud Clement and Richard Gasquet for the tie on December 3 to 5, though that group will have to be cut down to four by December 2. Gasquet did not feature in the semi-final against Argentina. “I selected four players in Gael Monfils, Gilles Simon, Michael Llodra and Arnaud Clement, but I put Richard Gasquet in the group because for a meeting of this importance it seems essential to prepare five players,” Forget told French sports daily L’Equipe.

In the semi-final, which France won 5-0, the opening singles rubbers were played by Monfils and Llodra, who teamed up with Clement for the doubles. The dead-rubber singles were played by Simon and Clement. In Serbia, France will be going for their 10th title and their first since 2001.

20
Nov
10

“My biggest goal is to win the Davis Cup,” Djokovic says.

Novak Djokovic is trying his best to keep his mind on the upcoming ATP World Tour Finals in London. The No. 3-ranked Serb is preparing for his fourth straight appearance at the eight-man tournament beginning Sunday, but is finding himself distracted by another upcoming task. In two weeks, Djokovic will lead his country in its first ever appearance in the Davis Cup final in front of a sellout home crowd in Belgrade.

“Honestly my biggest goal is to win the Davis Cup,” Djokovic said Friday. “I have had opportunities to be part of this event before and hopefully in the future I will be a part of it again, but the Davis Cup final at home, maybe it’s only one time. “Who knows if we’re going to have this opportunity again? That’s why I’m very excited about it emotionally and very motivated. But I still need to try to do my best here and then think about Belgrade.”

Serbia has beaten the USA, Croatia and the Czech Republic to earn a final against nine-time Davis Cup champion France. Djokovic has led the way by winning all five of the singles matches he has played, and will once again be under pressure to deliver two wins in the final beginning Dec. 3. The 23-year-old right-hander has struggled with allergies and breathing problems in several matches this year, but said he is not worried about his health despite a busy schedule. “You have to readjust, to prepare yourself for an exhausting two weeks,” he said. “Any match you play at the World Tour Finals, you have to put a big effort in to win. Then the Davis Cup is a unique competition which takes mentally more out of you than any individual tournament. “But I’m looking forward because I have qualified here for the fourth time. Just being part of this tournament is a great success for me. Any match I win here is going to be satisfying.” Djokovic begins his campaign against Tomas Berdych on Monday. Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick make up the rest of Group A.

03
Nov
10

Tsonga is done for 2010! Luckily for France they have lots of players to choose from.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has pulled out of the Davis Cup final because of a recurring knee problem. The world number 13 was set to be named in the French team to take on Serbia in Belgrade next month. Tsonga only returned to action last month after surgery on his left knee, but aggravated the problem at last week’s ATP tournament in Montpellier. Confirming he will be out for the remainder of the season, the 25-year-old said: “My tendon snapped again.”

The injury will force the 2008 Australian Open finalist to miss next week’s Paris Masters – a tournament where he would have been hoping for a strong showing in order to force his way into the eight qualification places for the ATP World Tour Finals, which will be held at London’s O2 Arena later this month. And his absence will also be a huge blow for the French team as they seek a fourth Davis Cup title and first since 2001. Gael Monfils will probably be their lead singles player, with Michael Llodra, Richard Gasquet and Gilles Simon fighting it out for the second spot. Serbia, led by world number three Novak Djokovic, will be bidding to lift the trophy for the first time when the final gets under way on 3 December.

27
Oct
10

Jim Courier a perfect choice for Davis Cup Captain!

Jim Courier will take over as coach of the United States Davis Cup team.

The 40-year-old will replace Patrick McEnroe, who resigned last month after 10 years in the post, and will take charge for the first round match against Chile in March. Courier was a two-time winner of both the US Open and the French Open while also reaching the final at Wimbledon and in the Australian Open, ending 1992 as the top ranked player. He also helped the United States win the Davis Cup in 1992 and 1995, and finished with a 16-10 record in singles, 1-0 in doubles. Courier, who has spent much of the last decade building a career in the media, immediately put his name forward for consideration for the captaincy role following McEnroe’s sudden decision to step down during this year’s US Open. “I definitely thought that being the captain would be something that I’d enjoy, and now I get to see if I will,” he said. “We’re certainly going to have a test down there, there’s no doubt about that, playing in South America, likely to be on clay.

“There’s been a great camaraderie amongst the guys playing for Patrick over the past decade, and if we can keep that same spirit, I think we’ll have a great chance to win. “There’s a lot of diversity on the squad. You’ve got the veteran players, with Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, the Bryans, and hopefully James Blake can get back in the conversation.”




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