Davis Cup Wrap: Czechs at Croatia, Israel at Spain in Semis
Czech Republic d. Argentina 3-2
Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro evened the tie on Sunday with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over Tomas Berdych, setting the stage for Radek “The Worm” Stepanek to become the hero. Stepanek, who was a doubles-only insert over the weekend due to an injured knee, nonetheless replaced Ivo Minar and propelled the Czechs into the semifinals with a 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-2 win over Juan Monaco. The Czechs will travel in September to face Croatia.
Croatia d. U.S. 3-1
The Bryan brothers drew the U.S. to within a match on Saturday after they lost both the opening singles, but Marin Cilic proved too strong for James Blake in the opening singles on Sunday, defeating the American 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. Blake and Fish lost both of the opening matches on Friday in five sets. The absence of the injured Andy Roddick proved costly as Blake drops to 1-6 in live Davis Cup singles matches on clay. Maybe time to introduce Sam Querrey into the U.S. Davis Cup on-clay mix?
Israel d. Russia 4-1
Israel had clinched by Saturday after Harel Levy defeated Igor Andreev and Dudi Sela decimated Mikhail Youzhny in the singles, and the standout doubles tandem of Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram edged Igor Kunitsyn and former No. 1 Marat Safin in five in Safin’s final Davis Cup appearance.
Spain d. Germany 3-2
Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber earned a gutsy 8-6 in the fifth win over Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco in the first singles on Sunday to draw the tie to a fifth and deciding singles match. Unfortunately Germany did not have the depth of bench of the Spaniards, and former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero became the clincher for the homecountry team, defeating Germany’s Andreas Beck 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. The defending champion Spaniards will host Israel in the semifinals in September.
Also Check Out:
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Spain, Stepanek-led Czech Republic Advance to 2009 Davis Cup Final
Davis Cup Doubles: Israel Upsets Powerhouse Russia, U.S. Alive
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Djokovic, Nalbandian Heroics: Davis Cup Wrap