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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stay, don’t go

By Jonathan Scott

Another brand of March Madness is upon us: With the unisex goodness that is the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells tournament, the 2011 pro tennis campaign kick-starts into high gear. This 1-2 punch of Cali and Miami makes for a full month of top-notch tennis. Indeed, spring’s done sprung.

Now a curious trend seeped into tennis again in 2010: jumpy observers of the sport seeking to retire players -– good, even great stars who reaped some solid results -– before they themselves are ready to hang up their racquets. The guilty parties: too many tennis writers and other observers and “personalities” involved to various degrees. Their victims? Among them, Andy Roddick, Venus Williams, and even Roger Federer, proving that not a single star is exempt from these hasty calls to exit.

But Roddick won Memphis last month, dousing the ballyhooed, raging fire that is young Milos Raonic and coming up with possibly the best championship-point winner ever. He also ignited his fellow Americans’ effort on the Chilean clay in Davis Cup, punctuating his clinching win with a scissor kick (Video: here) that would make Sally O’Malley salivate. Too many quickly forgot that Venus seized some early 2010 titles and vaulted to no. 2 in the world before injuries in part derailed both her autumnal and 2011 Aussie exploits. (Oddly, she’s now singing 311 karaoke on a MIA-to-Turks cruiseship and showing off some fly dance moves for someone with chronic knee issues.). Fed himself ran the table at the London year-end championships in December, outdoing even Rafael Nadal in the final, and snagged an early 2011 title before a taking-all-comers Novak Djokovic rolled over him in Melbourne.

Still, retirement happens. It’s inevitable. Justine Henin’s departure has itself turned into a piece of music with multiple movements, the strings swelling and falling at different points. Henin has been like that lover who breaks it off and then loiters for attention: Mercy. And merci.

All of the brouhaha catalyzed a thought: Who or what in the sport truly needs to go?

Without further ado, a few items –- persons, peccadillos, and other pesky minutiae –- that best get gone. Now. Conversely, some other talents and trends are welcome to get comfy. So there it is: Stay, or Go.

GO: Foremost, let’s be done with the freak injuries. Some stars are making the maladies on TV hospital dramas seem realistic: Victoria Azarenka scarily passed out on court after bopping her head during a warm-up run, and then Anna Chakvetadze did her best Vika impression. Meanwhile Andy Murray strained his hand by playing video games excessively (okay, that one proved a fib). It seems a few players just need to be grounded.

Granted, Serena’s recent pulmonary embolism/hematoma scare is more than legit. Anyone who relishes compelling tennis, even if no fan of hers, whether onlooker or media, can only hope she makes it back into the mix again. Tennis needs her fight and her bite. Not every player needs to be Mama Kim Clijsters, portrait of civility.

Speaking of, GO: Can we just be done with all the talk about Clijsters’ motherhood? Cute turned to precious in a hurry there, and not in a good way.

GO: That hand-strain hoax aside, Murray might want to consider tempering his video gaming: Girlfriend Kim Sears reportedly already broke up with him once over the habit. Word to the wise, young gun: the lady has you on watch.

Judy Murray, we heart thee.

GO. STAY. Good dog: Not to pick on the Murray familia too much (see below), but what of these tweets from the family’s resident cur, this Maggie? So let it be written, so let it be done: No more Murray mutt tweets, at least not until Andy bags that virgin Major. It’s no less lame to put your pet on Twitter than it is to fashion a Facebook profile for it.

STAY: Judy Murray, British tennis coach and mom to Andy and Jamie. Yes, she advises her son. She also isn’t afraid to shoot a witty retort at a former player who yaps about her spawn’s chances at winning big with her on board.

GO: Boris Becker. Just let it be, Boorish. You were a fine player, a flame-maned, serve-and-volley stud on grass. Then you knocked Murray and his mum for his underperforming at Slams, chiding him for his closeness to Judy and (good grief!) for standing by his girl at age 23. So a former player cheats on his pregnant wife with a Russian model (in a closet), resulting in a lust child, and then doles out unsolicited relational advice? Laughable. Not content to merely stand by his statements from the fall, BB waxed on again after Murray’s mopey, one-sided loss to Nole in the Aussie final. Sigh. Everyone’s a Carillo. Click to read more, kids. You don’t want to miss these musings.

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