Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Davis Cup 1st Round Review

Hi All.

Davis Cup tonight, but we shall be back to normal soon enough.

*Davis Cup 1st Rd.*
CAN def. ESP 3-2
...Spain are in trouble. Ferrer will be retiring soon and is not as strong as he was, though the difference is barely noticeable. Almagro pulled out and Nadal is in the midst of a comeback. When those three are not all present and correct, Spain struggle. Raonic came through a tight four setter to beat Ramos to give Canada the lead. Dancevic then played the match of his life against the noisy Granollers and dropped just five games. The Spaniards took the doubles in a five setter, but Raonic was too strong for Garcia-Lopez and Ramos beating Dancevic was of little consolation. Canada will play Italia in the quarters and I think they could go far in this competition.

ITA def. CRO 3-2
...These two have played in Soccer with Croatia leading 3-1 with three draws. They have met in the '02 World Cup with the Croats coming out the winners 2-1. In any case, they were led by Marin Cilic. The big guy with the small game is the Croat's 'star' player. He struggled past Lorenzi in five long sets. Clearly being forty places above the Italian didn't mean much here. Seppi edged out Dodig in four sets, breaking serve multiple times in the process. Bolelli/Fognini proceeded to take out Dodig/Cilic in the doubles to give the Italians a critical advantage. Cilic then played an excellent match against Seppi to restore balance to the tie. However Fognini was too good for Dodig and the Italians have a big match up next. They will play the Canucks in what should be an excellent match.

SRB def. BEL 3-2
...After Troicki came back from two sets to none down to win in five, you knew that the Belgians were in trouble. And so it was. Serbia swept through after that. Djokovic thrashed Rochus and Zimonjic/Troicki sealed it by beating Darcis/Bemelmans in four. Tougher challenges are ahead but this was pretty simple once Troicki won that tiebreaker.

USA def. BRA 3-2
...When Roddick retired, the Americans realised they had a problem. Luckily, they do have a great new batch coming in and actually a couple of guys who have been around for a bit now. Isrey and the Bryans are a great combo in most every way. Querrey set things off by seeing off Bellucci in three straight sets. He was barely troubled. Isner was very comfortable in putting away Alves. Once the USA get to 2-0, the Bryans usually finish it, but not this time. They were upset in five sets by Melo/Soares.Then -- yet again -- Isner crumbled in a fifth set. Also, in that match there was some push and shove between Isner and the crowd. He said afterward he needs to work on his performance in five setters. Luckily, Querrey was on form and came through to win in a fourth set breaker against Alves. Next up for them is fourth seeds Serbia. That will be a good watch, too.

FRA def. ISR 5-0
...It is not enough to have one good player, you need depth in this competition. France have depth in spades. They are also a team which can play on any surface. Top tip for France, though, is this: play more ties on grass. Please, please do it. Both Gasuqet and Tsonga are great on the stuff. I think France might win this year. Tsonga lost a set to Weintraub but still won in four. Gasquet dropped just seven games against Sela and Benny/Llodra thrashed Erlich/Sela to make it 3-0 to France. Llodra beat Okun and Gasquet beat Weintraub to ensure it finished 5-0.

ARG def. GER 5-0
...Berlocq ripping off his shirt in celebration after his opponent retired is not so good. Still, it only got worse for the Germans after that. Monaco beat Mayer in four and Nalbandian/Zeballos beat Kamke/Kas in four to complete German misery. This was a bit of a dud in the end. They have a poor record against France and, like I said before, there is no surface they are weak on. I think that will be an excellent tie.

KAZ def. AUT 3-1
...Hang your head in shame, Austria. Kazakhstan. Firstly, why are the Kazakhs seeded eighth? Secondly, Austria should have won this. Melzer lost to Korolev. He was thrashed, in fact. He crumbled to Golubev, too. When Haider-Maurer is your second, you have to win all your matches. Peya/Knowle did win the doubles in straight sets. Overall, though, it was poor from Austria and it is probably just as well they decided to abandon the fifth rubber.

CZE def. SUI 3-2
...Federer decided to recover from a taxing Aussie Open. Wawrinka did play awesome tennis, though. He put away Rosol comfortably. He very nearly beat Berdych, too. But where this match was lost was when the Czechs beat the Swiss 24-22 in a doubles rubber. Apparently, Vavsy cried afterwards in an interview. I would, too. Anyway, the Czech's have a winnable tie against the Kazakhs but will then face a very stiff test after that.

Gasquet d. Davydenko
Simon d. Tipsarevic
Gasquet d. Simon

...Berdych pulled out with a wrist injury, which leaves the field wide open. Gasquet is in amazing form now, so I think he should win here. Monfils/Gasquet should be a classic though.

Baghdatis d. Karlovic
Seppi d. Lacko
Seppi d. Baghdatis

..I am rubbish at picking. This is well known. Going on form and stuff, I think that Seppi and Baghdatis will play a high quality final.

Nadal d. Robredo
Monaco d. Andujar
Nadal d. Monaco

...It is Nadal on clay.

Righteo. Night-night all. See you on Sunday, one hopes.

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