Weekend Wrap: Davis Cup; Fish, Szavay, Rezai Win Titles
Davis Cup — World Group Quarterfinals
France d. Spain 3-0
The slick hard resin indoor hardcourt proved the Spaniards’ undoing in the doubles as the visiting defending champions lost for the second day in a row, exiting the Davis Cup competition in 2010. France’s Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra were the heroes in the clinching doubles, defeating Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco in four sets. France jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Friday when France’s Gael Monfils outlasted David Ferrer in five sets, and Llodra serve-and-volleyed past Verdasco in four sets.
“The surface helped us a lot,” said French captain Guy Forget. “When you play the Spanish guys, they are going to give their best all the way to the end. The last time they beat us in Alicante and this makes me really happy — since 1923 finally we get to beat Spain in Davis Cup.”
Czech Republic d. Chile 3-0
Even on their home clay, the Gonzo-less Chileans were easy pickings for a Czech squad that was without both the injured Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych. Czechs Ivo Minar and Jan Hajek were the unlikely heroes on the opening Friday, easily defeating Nicolas Massu and Paul Capdeville respectively in straight sets. Massu looked to redeem himself in the Saturday doubles, teaming with Jorge Aguilar, but Hajek and Czech teammate Lukas Dlouhy sealed the tie with a four-set victory.
“We never thought this was going to be so easy, but after winning the first two matches, we thought we could make it,” Dlouhy said. “It’s good to know that these guys can deliver in case Radek (Stepanek) and Tomas (Berdych) cannot be with us.”
Argentina d. Russia 3-2
Argentina’s David Nalbandian is once again the hero, in the fifth and deciding singles match rolling past Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny in straight sets.
“I played great, much better than Friday,” said Nalbandian, who has been sidelined lately with injury. “I said I had to keep improving my game, and that is what I did today. We won so I’m so happy to be in the semifinals again.” Nikolay Davydenko forced the fifth and deciding match by defeating Eduardo Schwank in four sets earlier on Sunday. Argentina will next travel to France for the semifinals.
Serbia d. Croatia 4-1
Novak Djokovic topped Marin Cilic in straight sets in the first singles on Sunday to put Serbia into their first Davis Cup semifinals, and will host the Czechs in September.
“Personally, I had a lot of responsibility with the package that I carried on my back before this tie, but right now I feel so relieved that we won,” said Djokovic. “We won in one of the toughest atmospheres against a team that has a lot of success in this competition.”
Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships
Newport, R.I., USA
Mardy Fish raised his career record in finals to 4-11 Sunday, defeating Olivier Rochus 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 to raise the Newport trophy, his first career title on grass. “It means a lot to win now on every surface in my career — indoor, outdoor, hard, clay and grass,” Fish said. “I’ve certainly lost a lot of heartbreak finals, and it feels good to win one.”
GDF Suez Grand Prix
Surface: red clay
In a repeat of last year’s final, Hungarian No. 7 seed Agnes Szavay again captured the Budapest title, defeating unseeded Swiss Patty Schnyder 6-2, 6-4.
“It was a tough match, especially because of the weather — it was really hot. We also both had long matches yesterday, so we were both pretty tired. But we tried to do our best,” Szavay said. “I think mentally it was better for me today.” It was the fourth career title for Szavay. Timea Bacsinszky and Tathiana Garbin won the doubles title, defeating No. 1 seeds Sorana Cirstea and Anabel Medina Garrigues.
Collector Swedish Open Women
Surface: red clay
Aravane Rezai ended a two-match losing streak against Gisela Dulko, capturing the Swedish Open title after a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory.
“It was a very difficult match but at the end I showed I could win these matches and these tournaments,” Rezai said. “Gisela kept fighting and showed she can run anything down. She had her tactics, I had my tactics, and it was a great match. I was just trying to show my best tennis.” Dulko drops to 3-4 in career finals. Dulko and Flavia Pennetta won the doubles title.
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