Davis Cup Finalists Decided

Written By: achangeofends - Sep• 19•11

We’ve come to the end of the weekend, which means the end of the Davis Cup semifinals. In case you missed it, the defending champions Serbia took on Argentina at home while Spain hosted France in a repeat of last year’s quarterfinal.

Juan Martin del Potro celebrates with his teammates. Photo via REUTERS/Novak Djurovic

Argentina def. Serbia 3-2

  • David Nalbandian def. Viktor Troicki 6-4 4-6 6-2 6-3
  • Juan Martin del Potro def. Janko Tipsarevic 7-5 6-3 6-4
  • Viktor Troicki/Nenad Zimonjic def. Juan Ignacio Chela/Juan Monaco 7-6(4) 6-4 6-2
  • Juan Martin del Potro def. Novak Djokovic 7-6(5) 3-0 ret.
  • Janko Tipsarevic def. Juan Monaco 6-2 0-0 ret.
Last year, Argentina was blindsided by France in the semifinals, losing all five rubbers. France went on to lose in the fifth rubber of the finals to Serbia. On paper, Serbia probably had the edge over Argentina this weekend. They have the nearly unbeatable Novak Djokovic, two Top 20 players, and one of the best doubles players in the world. Argentina’s team included only one Top 20 player, but two players in the Top 30, and David Nalbandian who is currently ranked No. 63, but has been as high as No. 3 in the world.
Novak Djokovic may be the tennis version of superman, but even he had trouble winning the US Open on Monday in New York and being ready to play Davis Cup in Belgrade on Friday.

Novak Djokovic retires in tears against Juan Martin del Potro. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

In an effort to give him as much time off as possible, Team Captain Bogdan Obradovic chose Viktor Troicki and Janko Tipsarevic to play singles on Friday. He may not have accounted for the fact that David Nalbandian loves Davis Cup more than anyone. This guy is desperate to take home the very first Davis Cup for Argentina. That means that even in mediocre seasons, Nalbandian often comes up with his best tennis when he’s wearing the Argentinian flag. This weekend was one of these times. Nalbandian fought off Troicki to put Argentina up 1-0. Former world No. 5 followed up with a quick three set victory over recent US Open quarterfinalist Janko Tipsarevic, giving Argentina a solid 2-0 lead going into Day 2. Troicki and Zimonjic managed to keep Serbian hopes alive by winning the crucial doubles rubber on Saturday. However, this meant that the fourth rubber was a must win for Serbia if they were going to stay alive in the tie. Viktor Troicki was supposed to face off against Juan Martin del Potro, but Obradovic felt Djokovic was a safer choice given his current form. However, the back injury that plagued Novak in the US Open final caught up to him on Sunday when he collapsed to the floor in the second set against del Potro and was forced to retire, losing the tie for Serbia.

So, Nalbandian and the other Argentinians will have a shot at the Davis Cup title for only the fourth time. Unfortunately, they will once again be the underdogs, taking on Spain, arguably the strongest team, on Spanish soil.

Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco celebrate their victory over France. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Spain def. France 4-1

  • Rafael Nadal def. Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-0 6-1
  • David Ferrer def. Gilles Simon 6-1 6-4 6-1
  • Michael Llodra/Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Fernando Verdasco/Feliciano Lopez 6-1 6-2 6-0
  • Rafael Nadal def. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-0 6-2 6-4
  • Fernando Verdasco def. Richard Gasquet 6-2 6-1
Last year, France put together a stunning 5-0 victory over Spain; however, they had the choice of venue and the distinct advantage of facing a Rafa-less Spain. Nadal may have been exhausted after making the trip back from New York, but that didn’t stop him from doing his best for Spain. Unlike Djokovic, Nadal took the court first up on Friday, handily¬†dismantling Richard Gasquet. Guy Forget came under some criticism for his decision to sub in Gilles Simon for Jo-Wilfired Tsonga, who has an impressive Davis Cup record on clay. However, he wanted to keep Jo well rested in case he needed to take on Rafa on Sunday. Unfortunately things didn’t go quite as planned. Tsonga and Llodra were very impressive in their defeat of Verdasco and Lopez, but Fernando and Feliciano handed in one of the worst doubles performances of all time. Seriously, it was hard to watch. While Nadal had hoped he would not be needed on Sunday, he stepped in and clinched the tie for Spain, easily defeating Tsonga. Now, he will get some much deserved rest.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2011-2017 A Change of Ends All Rights Reserved -- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright

Theme Customization by Fitr Theme Options