davis cup: swiss take on italy, czech take on france while usa fights slovakia for next year

It’s Davis Cup weekend and the USA is taking on Slovakia to ensure a spot in the 2015 Davis Cup tournament. Captain Jim Courier has selected John Isner, the top ranked US player who was the last player to exit the US Open 2014.  Sam Querrey, who recently defeated Guillermo Garcia-Lopez to reach the semi’s at  Winston-Salem for the third year in a row only to be defeated by Jerzy Janowicz and they are both joined by tennis twins  Mike and Bob Bryan, who are widely considered to be the best men’s doubles team of all time. The Bryans bros won the US Open 2014 which marked their 16th Grand Slam win and 100th title.

The USA hopes to uphold their unbeaten record versus Slovakia but their last victories already dated from the 2002 and 2003 season.  The 2014 US Davis Cup team shows parallels with the 2003 when the team took on Slovakia at the same stage in Bratislava and beat the Slovaks with an epic 3-2 victory. In order for the USA to compete in the Davis Cup 2015 they must beat Slovakia this coming weekend.

If Slovakia wins then they will be the ones who will compete in the 2015 Davis Cup.  The Slovakia Davis Cup team is captained by Miloslav Mecir and features Martin Klizan, Lukas Lacko, Norbert Gombos and Michal Mertinak.

Meanwhile Roger Federer leads Swiss’ Davis Cup challenge as they take on Italy in the semi’s of the tournament. Swiss is captained by Severin Luthi and the team consists of Roger Federer, winner of 17 Grand Slam tournaments, Stanislas Wawrinka, winner of the Australian Open 2014 and is completed by Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer.  The Italian team consists of Andreas Seppi and Fabio Fognini.

Federer considers Swiss to be the favorite in this encounter.

“We obviously are favorites,” the third-ranked Federer said. “We have a formidable team. We are playing at home and we chose the surface. We can do it.”

Swiss captain told the press that having Federer and Wawrinka with the team has greatly improved the preparation for the upcoming weekend.

“We could train together as soon as Tuesday, which was not the case in our opening two rounds,” Luthi said, referring to the tight 3-2 wins over Serbia and Kazakhstan.

If the Swiss win they will take on the winner of the match between France and the Czech Republic.

France takes on the Czech Republic who have proved themselves to be great cupfighters as they have won the Davis Cup twice in a row.  France’ team consists of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils, both players who are currently in top form. Tsonga recently won the Rogers Cup in Toronto while Gael Monfils reached the fourth round of the US Open 2014 where he lost to Federer in an epic five set match where he failed to convert two match points.

France coach Arnaud Clement called the Czech team “the best team in the world” and is looking try to stop the impressive winning streak of the Czechs.

“This is the best team in the world,” France captain Arnaud Clement said of the Czechs. “One can’t win the Davis Cup twice in a row by chance. We’ll be trying to put their amazing run to an end.”

The Czech team consists of Radek Stepanek, Tomas Berdych and is completed by Lukas Rosol and Jiri Vesely.

Stepanek is looking forward to playing at Roland Garros and even more so when he found out that Roland Garros was originally built to host Davis Cup matches.

“It’s special when you come here for a Grand Slam tournament and it’s definitely even more special for us to play here and play for our country. It’s even more special to play here in the semifinals.”

Make your predictions for the upcoming Davis Cup weekend matches and check if it is a good bet with the best tennis betting online sites.

davis cup: semifinal coverage by tennis channel

Davis Cup logo

Tennis Channel will provide exclusive, live “bounce style” coverage from both Davis Cup semifinals in Belgrade, Serbia, and Prague, Czech Republic, this weekend, with live and same-day, “Instant Encore” replays Friday through Sunday, as telecast windows overlap. Serbia will host Canada while the Czech Republic will welcome Argentina. Top-ranked Canadian Milos Raonic and 2013 US Open finalist and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic have never faced each other in competitive play, nor have the two nations met in Davis Cup competition. Tennis Channel’s coverage gets underway at 9 a.m. ET, Friday, Sept. 13; 8:30 a.m. ET, Saturday, Sept. 14; and 8 a.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 15.

Live, “bounce style” coverage from Belgrade Arena in Belgrade, Serbia, and O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic (all times ET):

Friday, Sept. 13:
9 a.m. – Live Singles #1 Czech Republic vs. Argentina (Serbia vs. Canada underway at 10 a.m.)
1 p.m. – Live Singles #2 Czech Republic vs. Argentina and Canada vs. Serbia
{8 p.m. – Instant Encore Singles #1 Czech Republic vs. Argentina and Canada vs. Serbia}
{12 a.m. – Instant Encore Singles #2 Czech Republic vs. Argentina and Canada vs. Serbia}

Saturday, Sept. 14:
8:30 a.m. – Live Doubles Czech Republic vs. Argentina (Serbia vs. Canada underway at 10 a.m.)

Sunday, Sept. 15:
8 a.m. – Live Singles #1 Czech Republic vs. Argentina and Canada vs. Serbia
11 a.m. – Live Singles #2 Czech Republic vs. Argentina and Canada vs. Serbia

Canada and Serbia have never faced each other in Davis Cup play. Serbia defeated France 3-2 in the 2010 Davis Cup finals at Belgrade Arena to win its sole title. The Serbian team enters this weekend’s matchup after a 3-1 victory over the United States in Boise, Idaho. Serbia is captained by Bogdan Obradovic and features Djokovic, Janko Tipsarevic, Dusan Lajovic, and Nenad Zimonjic.

Canada enters this weekend after defeating Italy 3-1 to reach the semifinals for the first time since 1913 and only the second time in the nation’s history. The Canadian team achieved its best Davis Cup results to date by defeating both Spain and Italy and is bidding to win its first Davis Cup title. The squad is captained by Martin Laurendeau and features the same players who beat Italy in the quarterfinal: Raonic, Vasek Pospisil, Frank Dancevic, and Daniel Nestor.

The Czech Republic holds a 4-1 advantage over Argentina in Davis Cup competition, most recently winning last year’s semifinal 3-2 in Argentina. Argentina’s sole victory over the Czech Republic came in 2005 in Buenos Aires. The team enters this weekend’s match after defeating Kazakhstan 3-1 in the quarterfinals. The Czech Republic clinched its first Davis Cup trophy as an independent nation last year, when it defeated Spain 3-2 in Prague. In 1980,it captured its first Davis Cup title while competing under the flag of Czechoslovakia. Coached by Jaroslav Navratil, the team consists of Tomas Berdych, Radek Stepanek, Lukas Rosol, and Jiri Vesely.

Argentina has finished runner-up on four occasions: in 1981, 2006, 2008 and 2011. The Argentine team is captained by Martin Jaite and features Juan Monaco, Carlos Berlocq, Horacio Zeballos, and Leonardo Mayer.

trophy watch: paris & pattaya + dc rubbers

Mona Barthel wins the 2013 Open GDF Suez in Paris over Sara Errani

Paris: German Mona Barthel took out top seed Sara Errani 7-5, 7-6(4) to win her second career title — and first at a Premier-level event. She is now 2-1 in finals, with her other title coming at Hobart in 2012. Russian Elena Vesnina stopped Barthel from taking the title this year, knocking out the defending champion in the final.

“When I came here [to Paris] I wasn’t expecting to win the title at all,” said Barthel, who is the second German to win the title in the past two years (Kerber chose not to defend). “I was just taking it round by round, hoping to win the first round, then hoping to win the second round, and so on. When I got to the final I knew it would be tough, because Sara had such an amazing year last year and is playing so well – she just doesn’t give anything away.”

Errani did not leave empty-handed, teaming with Roberta Vinci to take the doubles trophy over the team of Hlavackova and Huber. The 6-1, 6-1 victory gave the Italian duo their 15th career title as a team.

More: Kirilenko wins Pattaya and Davis Cup rubbers — after the cut…

ricoh arena named venue for uk davis cup tie

 LTA Announces Ricoh Arena as site for 2013 Davis Cup tie between Team GB and Russia

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has today announced that the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas tie between the Aegon GB Davis Cup team and Russia will take place at the Ricoh Arena in the city of Coventry in the United Kingdom. The top player for Great Britain, reigning U.S. Open champion and 2013 Australian Open finalist Andy Murray, will not be participating in the tie.

The Europe/Africa Zone Group I second round tie will take place April 5-7, 2013, with the winners to compete in the 16-nation World Group Play-offs from September 13-15.  Great Britain secured promotion to Group I during their 2011 campaign and have received an opening round bye in this year’s competition.

Leon Smith, Captain of the Aegon GB Davis Cup Team, said: “We are very excited to be taking Davis Cup to Coventry and taking advantage of strong home support.  It will be tough against Russia, who are arguably the strongest team in our group, but we’ll be giving it our best shot.”

Gavin Fletcher, LTA Tournament Director added: “Both the city of Coventry and the team at the Ricoh Arena have made us very welcome.  It’ll be great bringing the Davis Cup back to the Midlands, where we’ve  enjoyed tremendous support in the past. I know the team is looking forward to playing in front of a very vocal crowd against Russia.”

Jacky Isaac, interim chief executive at the Ricoh Arena, said: “We are thrilled to be bringing world-class tennis to the Midlands by hosting the Davis Cup. We are confident there will be a great crowd at our top-class venue to cheer on Great Britain in their tie against Russia and this is another fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of Coventry on a national and international stage.”

Councillor Phil Townshend, Cabinet Member for Sport, commented: “We have a national reputation for delivering successful events and this will be another high profile one which will attract local residents and people from a wider area who love Tennis.  To host sporting events such as this also sits well alongside our stated aim of building on the legacy from being a co-host city for London 2012 as well as encouraging people to take part in sport and physical activity.”

Although the full Aegon GB Davis Cup team selections haven’t been announced yet, British No. 1 Andy Murray will not be competing in the upcoming tie against Russia. Murray said: “It’s a shame to miss out on the Davis Cup, as I always enjoy playing. I speak to Leon and the team on a regular basis and will definitely be available to play the next Davis Cup tie later this year.”

Aegon Team GB Captain Smith added: “We totally understand Andy’s position. He has worked extremely hard on his game elevating it to another level and we have all seen the fruits of that since Wimbledon. Andy’s success continues to inspire more and more young people to take up the sport and we look forward to welcoming him back into the team in September.”

Tickets for the tie go on general sale on Monday, February 4th via https://www.theticketfactory.com/default/online or on 0844 338 8838.  For group bookings please call 0800 358 0058 and for accessible bookings, call 0844 581 0700. Full price tickets start at £17.

davis cup: are you in yet, juan monaco?

Juan Monaco practices ahead of the Feb 2013 Davis Cup tie against Germany
Practice makes perfect: Our besties at BATennis are all over the Davis Cup tie between Argentina and Germany, being contested in Buenos Aires this weekend. Top Argentine Juan Monaco, who was one of the earliest scalps at the 2013 Australian Open, leads the host team. Loving that practice tee from adidas.

Deets: See the roster for this World Group first round tie.

(Photo Credit: BATennis)

save a tree: fed cup and davis cup media guides go digital

Digital versions of Fed Cup & Davis Cup Media Guides released by ITF
The ITF today launched digital editions of its 2013 Davis Cup and Fed Cup media guides.

The publications will be updated after each round of the competitions to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information for the media. The guides can be downloaded as a PDF and printed in hard copy; the digital version will replace the printed editions distributed to media in prior years.

Browse: Davis Cup Media Guide | Fed Cup Media Guide

(screengrab via ITF)

tsf interview: jim courier on davis cup, escaping nyc and his first year of marriage


That’s no sound stage. Behind that HSBC classic? A grass tennis court — in Manhattan. (TSF photos)

HSBC‘s “Wimbledon 2011 at Rockefeller Plaza” bestowed Manhattan with its only grass tennis court — even if it was just for one week. The yearly event has run this entire week while Wimbledon itself rocks out across the pond, the real-grass playing court sitting nicely between 50th and 51st making the city that hosts the down-and-dirty U.S. Open feel a little dignified for a few days.

On Monday, TSF took the trip down to Rock to check out the set-up, which only begins at the grass court. The Wimbledon experience is in full-force, with a big screen set up to watch the week one action, Prince stringers available to re-tune your racquets, Wii tennis to play and strawberries and cream (but no Pimm’s!) served up by period-dressed Wimbledon fashion folks (see pictures below) to round out the SW19 feel.

While the court will disembark as of Friday, Monday saw Monica Seles and Jim Courier kick off the event with a little hit and giggle together and with ogling fans. Before the two hit the court, TSF (full disclosure: I was there covering the event for TSF and TennisWire.org) caught up with Courier and Seles both.

More: Our off-the-cuff interview with Monica

TSF: The Davis Cup tie against Spain on July 8-10 in Austin is huge for you guys. Tell us what about that.
Jim Courier: 
I’m not going to Wimbledon but I went to the Queen’s Club tournament for three days and I got to see the guys play on the grass there. I’m disappointed that Sam Querrey has an elbow injury that he had to have surgically repaired and he won’t be an option for us. We have five good options, though. We have Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, John Isner and Bob and Mike Bryan. We’ll have four of those five players on the court ready to do battle with the Spaniards.

TSF: Do you guys hope to have a big, raucous crowd there?
JC: 
Tickets sold out in about two and a half hours … 15,000 seats for three nights. 45,000 tickets! We’ll play on a fast indoor court that will meets ITF specifications and it’s going to be high energy and high passion.

TSF: How big is this tie for hometown boy, Andy Roddick.
JC: 
This is probably the only time that Roddick is going to get to play a real Davis Cup match at home.

TSF: You’re a New York City resident. How do you enjoy the summer here?
JC:
I love Central Park. I love getting there when I can. It’s sort of a magical place among the concrete jungle that we live in. I have a car in the city so I’m able to get out into the suburbs and see some different things, play some golf and go to the beach.

TSF: What about tennis? Where do you play?

JC: I play my tennis at Randall’s Island or Long Island City.

TSF: What big plans have you made for your one-year wedding anniversary? [Courier married former tennis player Susanna Lingman in August, 2010.]

JC: Yeah, I don’t [have anything planned]. I haven’t thought too much about it. Hopefully I’ll get a little surprise. [Laughing.]

TSF: You’ll leave the plans to her then?

JC: Yeah, that’s her responsibility. [Smiling.]

TSF: OK, I have to ask: who are your picks for Wimbledon?

JC: I like Rafa assuming that he’s not playing Djokovic in the final. If Djokovic is in the final against Rafa, I like Djokovic.

TSF: And for the ladies? That’s a little more difficult to pick.

JC: The women is a much harder pick. If Serena makes it through to the second week she’s the favorite. Otherwise, I think I like Sharapova this year. The younger, talented players have not proven to us that they can hold their nerve in the moment. They have the talent, but they haven’t proved that they can hold their nerve. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

Check out more shots of “Wimbledon at Rockefeller Plaza” after the jump.

sunday survey: austin on andy's mind

If everything is bigger in Texas, this may as well be one of the biggest moments of Andy Roddick‘s life. The announcement a couple weeks ago that his adopted hometown of Austin, Texas, will host the Davis Cup quarterfinal between the U.S. and Spain on July 8-10 this summer potentially pits Roddick against Rafael Nadal in a showdown that could be one of the highlights of the American’s career.

Roddick and others were buzzing this past week when the USTA pre-sale tickets went on sale (80 percent of the entire venue) for the event at the Erwin Center on the campus of the University of Texas and sold out with two hours – America seems to be pretty pumped, too.

General tickets went on sale yesterday, with prices ranging from $90 to $500 for weekend tickets. Last time these two squads met on American soil it was the U.S. who prevailed – but the Spaniards were without Rafa. So what about this time? Will Roddick pull out an epic win? How important do you think this tie is? Tell us in the comment section!

(Image by Kevin813 via Flickr; Screengrab via Twitter)

short balls: serena's out, 3d's in and mac's prodigy

By Benjamin Snyder

You know behind those smiles that they’re actually pissed on how their outfits clash.

The WTA’s number one saga continues as Caroline Wozniacki and Kim Clijsters head to the BNP Paribas Open. But, get this: The not-so-intense rivalry between the two smile-y blondes started much earlier than people imagined, reports Matt Cronin. In fact, it was Kim’s late dad who first picked up on Caro’s “sunny disposition,” reminding him of his daughter’s own. Okay, so maybe that does not a rivalry make, and it’s more corny than anything. We can still hope for some drama between the two, can’t we? We’re ready for those pink dresses to get a little dirty.

The ATP doesn’t have any dirty pink dresses (well, at least not that we know of… ) but there’s plenty of controversy swirling around the boys these days. Davis Cup sparked quite enough juicy, male drama, especially from France’s Gilles Simon. He recently called out French Captain Guy Forget‘s coaching style, saying, “Guy has a vision for action and I play more in response. Guy was an attacking player. He won the Davis Cup and Bercy with aggression. That’s how he sees the game and I respect that, but it does not stick at all to my game.”

For more, check out FootFault‘s take here. Our thoughts? Simmer down, Simon. You might want to keep your mouth shut until you actually get a W out of a big-time Davis Cup match. But otherwise, how’s your kid, Gilles? Hopefully he’s as cute as you.

Serena Williams, as we all know by now, isn’t returning to court any time soon, although she’s raring to get back to hitting. She recently thanked us, the little people, on her website. And here we were convinced Serena thought only she existed in the world… “I am overwhelmed, and teary eyed by all the love and support from everyone. I am so blessed to have caring love from everyone.” Yes, guys, feel special. It’s the first time Serena has written something over 140 characters since her failed screenplay.

In Fenville, Michicgan, the tragic death of a high school basketball player has rocked the small town. Wes Leonard, 16, passed away shortly after securing a 65-64 win and a perfect, 20-0 season for the Black Hawks. For a moving tribute, read this powerful piece from ESPN.com’s LZ Granderson on Wes’ wisdom beyond his years.

In the wake of these heartbreaking stories, some pretty cool, uplifting ones are on the radar in the tennis world, too. There’s Wimbledon‘s move to stream the finals in 3D around the world. It’s time to exchange the strawberries and cream for popcorn and soda. Then there’s the tale of an up-and-coming John McEnroe prodigy in the form of a 12-year old girl. This girl, Ingrid Neel, is the real deal – according to McEnroe.  “The way she played, the look in her eye, made me think that maybe it was the 2011 version of what I would look like now, only a girl,” he says.  We’re ready when you are, Ingrid. The juniors could certainly use some tiny, pre-teen drama.

that's a wrap: re-hashing davis cup

By Benjamin Snyder

Good job, team America. Andy “The Closer” Roddick pulled through against Chile under the guidance of new Davis Cup captain Jim “The Rock” Courier. And a new American frat squad has been born.

The real story, however, lies in the following five moments that mattered most. Sorry, Judy Murray, this weekend’s high intensity was a far cry from your beef with a future tie being in “Eazzzztbourne.”


Step aside Gilles, you aren’t French Davis Cup’s winner this week — actually far from it. Instead, Jeremy Chardy came out on top (and without drama), winning the deciding fifth match against Austria’s Martin Fischer 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-3. Chardy can now say he not only helped France advance (although Tsonga, Monfils and Gasquet had to be hurt to give him the chance) but he also won in an airplane hangar: number three to be exact.

How about some Serbian success? Ilija Bozoljac, who tested Federer at Wimbledon last year, backed up his funky game — he plays two-handed on both wings — with a big win in a four-set doubles thriller against India with partner Nenad Zimonjic. Plus, he looked really good doing it.

Seriously, we can’t make this stuff up. (via ilija-bozoljac.net)

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