Djokovic Leads Serbia to Davis Cup Victory Over Spain

Maybe playing Davis Cup was not such a bad idea for Djokovic after all. On Friday he won his singles match against Ramos-Vinolas 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 and had a good serving day. Ramos-Vinolas is currently at a career high ranking of 24 after having some good results on the South-American clay court swing this year.

The match was played on indoor hard which doesn’t suit the Spaniard’s game but the fact that it was Davis Cup will give Djokovic a boost I think. I didn’t think it made much sense for him to play this weekend with his chronic elbow problem especially since it was on hard courts just before the clay court season.

But since Troicki won his singles match against Carreno Busta and his doubles match with Zimonjic today as well it means Serbia won the rubber 3-0 and Djokovic doesn’t have to play another singles match tomorrow.

He is written in to play the second singles on the Davis Cup website but according to his own website, his next match will be in Monte Carlo. And according to a Nole fan on Twitter, his personal website is always up to date so I’m gonna assume he made the right decision.

We will only know for sure whether the risk was worth taking if Djokovic stays injury free for at least the clay and grass court season but historically Djokovic has had some good results after winning in Davis Cup.

None less so than in 2010 when Serbia won the Davis Cup which triggered Djokovic’s 43-match winning streak in 2011 which put him 5th on the open era list and still ahead of any of the big four as far as winning streaks go.

I think he took a risk by playing Davis Cup just like he took a risk by playing Acapulco but things fell into place in the sense that he only had to play one singles match and after the match, he sounded optimistic:

“Overall, I’m very happy with my performance and it’s very encouraging because I now know I am on the right path to rediscovering my best form,” Djokovic told a news conference.

“It is no secret that I haven’t been at my best in the last few months. I have lost my momentum but today’s display has convinced me that I can get back to winning ways.

“I served really well against an opponent who can be awkward if given time to tee himself up for his shots. So I tried not to give him any.”

Djokovic also has another week before Monte Carlo now in which he can train on clay and rest his elbow some more. Maybe Davis Cup came at an opportune moment for him just before a very important clay court season because he seems to draw inspiration from it.

It’s been nothing short of a depressing season for him and his fans where nothing is going his way. He needs something to get his season kickstarted and change his luck. Maybe this was it. Time will tell…

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Del Potro Defeats Murray to Help Argentina Into Davis Cup Final

After successful runs at the Olympics and US Open, Del Potro went on to defeat the world number two Murray 6-4, 5-7, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 in one of the year’s best matches which lasted 5 hours and 7 minutes.

This comes after that Olympics final loss where Del Potro lost in four sets to Murray after some tough matches especially that semi-final against Nadal. This time, Del Potro was much better rested which makes you wonder who is currently the better player of the two.

Del Potro was serving for the third set at 5-4 but Murray saved a set point with an unbelievable lob and went on to win the tiebreak 7-5. At that point, I went to the gym and thought Del Potro had probably missed his chance.

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When I came back he had won the third set 6-3 and it was ‘match on’ again. At 3-3 in the fifth set, Murray went down 0-40 on his serve but saved the first two break points. Del Potro needed to capitalize and he did so on the last break point with a blistering forehand pass after some terrific anticipation.

That turned out to be the big moment because Del Potro didn’t falter the second time when he was serving for the set at 5-4 as he held to 15 with an ace to win the rubber. Probably the biggest win for Del Potro since his most recent comeback.

He got revenge for that Olympics final loss and in the process helped his team to make the Davis Cup final. So who is better when Murray and Del Potro is equally rested? It may just be Del Potro which is astonishing as he is only ranked 64 after playing only 10 events so far this year.

Del Potro is obviously a great player and tennis needs him.

  • Del Potro Opts Not to Play Reverse Singles

After Friday Argentina was 2-0 up against Great Britain after Pella defeated Edmund in four sets. Strangely enough, Del Potro decided to play doubles the next day with Mayer against the Murray brothers, which they lost in four sets.

This meant Del Potro would not play in the reverse singles which put Argentina at serious risk of losing the tie. Murray was always going to defeat Pella which he easily did in straight sets. So it was down to Mayer vs Evans in the deciding rubber.

Fortunately for Del Potro and Argentina, Mayer won the match 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. You would think Del Potro would sit the doubles out to rest which Argentina was going to lose anyway and come back to play the last singles, but Mayer did a good job in the end.

Argentina will play Croatia in the Davis Cup final who defeated France 3-1 with Cilic winning both his singles matches and the doubles with Dodig. It should be an interesting final with those two big hitters Cilic and Del Potro going up against each other.

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Switzerland Wins First Davis Cup Title

Komm jetza! Davis Cup in the bag baby! With this title the GOAT ticks yet another box off in his already very complete resume. There will always be more to achieve but as far as ticking off the boxes go there is now hardly anything left to achieve. You can say he hasn’t won Rome and Monte Carlo, or the Olympic gold in singles. But those are minors as Roger have played finals in Rome and Monte Carlo several times and won a doubles gold at the Olympics. You wouldn’t put it past him to achieve those things but they are not crucial. Congrats to the Swiss on winning their first ever Davis Cup! This is a big deal for Switzerland and tennis in that country, even though it may not be that big a deal for an individual player. With a legend like Roger and a very good second player in Stan it would have been a shame if they couldn’t take the opportunity of winning a Davis Cup.

In the end the Swiss did it relatively comfortably as they won the final 3-1 when Roger defeated Gasquet 6-4, 6-2, 6-2. It sounded like Roger was counting on Stan to win it for the Swiss in the interview after the doubles which I found strange, because I thought Roger would take confidence from what happened in the doubles and his back seemed OK. But Roger was his old self against Gasquet and didn’t show any sings of carrying an injury. So that in itself was very encouraging. He played some clay court tennis which I didn’t know he still had in him looking perfectly at home on the surface. Clearly the fact that he couldn’t start training earlier on clay had a big effect and playing doubles was in the end a stroke of genius almost. That clearly helped Roger to adjust and boosted his confidence. In the end the year ended on the best note possible with Roger in good health, playing well, and a Davis Cup title in the bag!

The big moment for Swiss tennis and their favorite son

It would have been a big anti-climax if Roger missed out on the Davis Cup after having already missed out on Wimby and the World Tour Finals so heartbreakingly, especially if it was because of injury. But in the end he got his big reward for playing a terrific season of tennis and all his well in Federer land again. I’m liking his chances in Australia already after getting a boost from winning the Davis Cup and getting some much needed rest. But of course no expectations as Djokovic will want to win back his favorite slam after what happened this year a and Nadal will be back too. Knowing him he will be in top form from the first ball he strikes and could definitely be a factor in Australia. But with Roger’s new found mental strength I’m not worried about him as much. Then there will be Stan as well who seems to be back to the form that saw him win in Australia this year so there will be no lack of competition that’s for sure.

I just hope the courts are slightly faster like they were this year because that would really help Roger with his new found net game and serve. But let me get back to the Davis Cup. It was nice to see Roger after clinching the tie for the Swiss saying that he has achieved enough for himself and that this win is for the team. The interviewer was intent on asking him what this meant for his personal resume but he would have none of it. I mean he could have tried to take center stage and make this about him after getting the winning point and being the Swiss number one player but he was humble about it. And lets face it it is after all a team competition and he just wouldn’t have been able to do it without Stan at least. Stan was also the best player in the final and his confidence rubbed off on Roger. As for the Davis Cup final itself the atmosphere was amazing and unlike anything you experience on the ATP Tour.

Marco looks pleased

That is the appeal of the Davis Cup and it is not something even Roger have experienced before. The team format of Davis Cup is also special because it is the only notable team competition in tennis. Winning the title obviously meant a huge amount to Roger as he fell the the floor after hitting that sweet final drop shot, and he was in tears as well. In the end it was the perfect end like I said because it means that Roger didn’t lose both his singles matches and fittingly got the winning point for the Swiss. And had he lost there would have been an awful lot of pressure on Stan. Something else that is worth a mention is Clement’s choice of Gasquet as the singles player who had a poor year by his own standards. Benneteau would have been the better choice given how he played in the doubles and the fact that he has given Roger more problems in the past than Gasquet.

Also why did the French not choose Simon over Gasquet? They could have played Simon against Roger which would have been even more difficult for him. That said, he would probably have beaten whoever they put in from of him. He seemed really sharp and it will be interesting to see how he performs in the clay season in 2015. I said clay is now by far his worst surface but I’ll have to take that back after what he showed against Gasquet. I’m sure he has a few things to prove on clay next year too after what happened the last couple of years. He is still an awesome clay courter but Nadal does remain a big obstacle at the French. Well what a fantastic end to another fantastic year as a Fedfan and I hope you all have enjoyed it as much as I did. As always onward and upward and I will try to make some posts in the off season to keep things from getting boring.

Brisbane is just around the corner!

 

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