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.

fila rises to davis cup challenge

Kudos to Fila for stepping up to the challenge of dressing their athletes in some festive clothing as they compete in this weekend’s Davis Cup ties. Janko Tipsarevic, currently embroiled in a close match against Tomas Berdych (the Serb is up in the match two sets to one; they’re on serve in the fourth), wears a crew with the country crest on the chest. In the tie’s first rubber, Radek Stepanek took out Troicki in four. (Follow: Tie info and live scores available here.)

In Sweden, Italian Fabio Fognini had a bright blue canvas on which to showcase his country’s red/white/green flag. He lost his singles rubber to Robin Soderling, putting them at 1-1 against the Swedes (Potito Starace won the other match against Vinciguerra).

No word yet from Fila about whether Janko’s Davis Cup crew is for sale (much like how they did it for Marin Cilic‘s Croatia shirt).

Update: Checked with the Fila folks and they said Janko’s shirt will be eventually on sale at TW.

(images via Getty Images)

if marat safin and fabio fognini made babies…

…this is what they’d spawn. (La Monf or Grigor Dimitrov could be in the picture, too, with equal results!) Nick Lindahl, an Australian up-and-comer, has snagged a wildcard spot at this year’s Australian Open with a hard-earned win — 6-7 (6), 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (8), 6-3 — over Bernard Tomic.

More: A few more pics after the cut