Serbia, France Level in Davis Cup Finale; Will Djokovic Play Doubles?
by Sean Randall | December 3rd, 2010, 10:29 pm
  • 92 Comments

Both favorites breezed on the first day of the Davis Cup final between Serbia and France in Belgrade. Gael Monfils opened the tie with a straight-set victory over Janko Tipsarevic. Then Novak Djokovic got Serbia on the board with a solid three setter over Gilles Simon.

And so far decisions to change their singles No. 2 by both teams look like failures early on. Neither Tipsarevic nor Simon could manage even a set today making me wonder if Michael Llodra and/or Viktor Troicki could have fared better.

Both bencherwarmers, however, are scheduled to get their shot Saturday in a pivotal doubles clash. As of now it’s Nenad Zimonjic teaming with Troicki to face Arnuad Clement and Llodra. But might Serbia substitute Djokovic in?

If I’m Serbian coach Bogdan Obradovic and I detect any wavering or apprehension from either Tipsarevic or Troicki in regards to playing a fifth and deciding rubber Sunday, I’m putting Novak in.

In my mind Clement/Llodra are the favorites to win tomorrow, but that’s against a Novak-less Serbian doubles team. With Djokovic on court with Troicki I give Serbia the edge. But it could come with a price?

If the doubles match goes long might Novak be drained for his singles on Sunday? Perhaps.

So it is decision time Sunday for Serbia: Sub in Novak or stick with Nenad to play with Troicki?

And for France, the doubles Saturday is an absolute must win. A loss and Novak will seal it on Sunday.

“The doubles match will probably be crucial,” said French captain Guy Forget. “We’re going to do everything we can to win it tomorrow and try to play, once again, very consistent tennis.”

If France wins the doubles to pull ahead 2-1, Novak should level things by beating Monfils Sunday – unless he’s completely exhausted from a possible Saturday doubles I do think he’ll beat Monfils.

Then, if necessary, in the finale and with everything on the line it will be some combination of Tipsy or Troicki vs. Llodra or Simon.

With the prospect of facing a deficit on Sunday, Djokovic is already trying to rally the fans.

“We just invite everybody to give us even better support tomorrow and on Sunday because we need that,” Djokovic said.

“This competition depends on crowd support and energy that the crowd gives to the player. That’s why this competition is very unpredictable and unique, especially at the later stages of the Davis Cup where you play top players.”


Also Check Out:
2012 Davis Cup Draw: US Travels to Switzerland, Spain the Favorites Again?
Djokovic, Serbia the Favorites Against France in Davis Cup Final
Djokovic Watches France Win Doubles Rubber; Serbia Looking Tispy Sunday
Davis Cup Playoffs: Serbia Goes To India, Spain Travels To Brazil
2011 Davis Cup Draw: US Must Travel to Chile

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92 Comments for Serbia, France Level in Davis Cup Finale; Will Djokovic Play Doubles?

stu Says:

Huh? You want Djokovic to play doubles instead of Zimonjic? Instead of pairing the two and saving Viktor for the singles? Please explain?


Duro Says:

Troicki after all… Hm… Lets see what will happen. If fifth match needed I only wish for Viktor to play, not Tipsy. Now chances 50:50 officially.


Duro Says:

Troicki impeccable. 5-2 Serbia.


Duro Says:

First set Serbia. An unusual thing happened now in the second. Llodra challenged the call on his own serve because Zimonjić returned it perfectly with a backhand, but Llodra was hopping that he missed his first serve so he could repeat the point and save the lost point, but the hawk eye proved him wrong… Every point matters. Absolutely crucial match today.


scineram Says:

No one gives a shit about Fedal here, go away.

Viktor is better doubles player than Nole, simple as that.


Duro Says:

5 all in the second… Tensed. Viktor is great today, I wopuldn’t say better, but definitely excellent today. Great choice after all. Novak totally saved for tomorrow. Zimonjić worries me. To many errors.


Duro Says:

Sorry, 5:4 France. Set point France.


dari Says:

I want srbija to do this with viktor. And j want them to hold here, let’s go!


Duro Says:

5 all after all :-).


dari Says:

Nenad is such a badass!


Duro Says:

Nenad screwed up in the last match against Czechs too… Strange. I thought he would make a difference today.


gordon Says:

Is there an english video strem?


Duro Says:

Gordon, we are your stream. That’s why we cover it live! 6:5 Serbia. Serbia serving for the second set.


dari Says:

No, no, Duro, nenad ain’t messing up today. And what a volley from viktor to take the set!


Duro Says:

2:0 Serbia. I won’t comment the rest. Absolutely outrages. I have never seen something similar in my life.


margot Says:

gordo: “fromsport”. Not gr8 but better than nowt!


Duro Says:

Hey, Margot! Lucky you;your Andy improved his tennis at least 50% from the period when he was 20 and my Novak absolutely stayed on the same level or even deteriorated his game (more likely).

Nevertheless, I’m expecting a title tomorrow! In Novak I trust!


scineram Says:

What was that in the tiebreak? Did Molina call a very late let? It was nice to see Tipsarevic step up to the crowd.


i am it Says:

Duro, as a Serbian by heart, I am often right about my nation. you see my boy is not playing doubles?
We win today; we win the title. And we are winning.

Is the bet still on, for future that Djoko won’t ever beat the Llodra-Clemant, by pairing with anyone and in less than a week’s practice?


scineram Says:

Of course. Nole is not a great doubles player. His volleys are lacking somewhat.


Duro Says:

i am it, Viktor is a real surprise of this match. The is always on, but it never meant to be… I still believe that Serbia would win with Novak as well, and overall with Novak tomorrow against Monfills. But I idmit it, it’s better this way, cause Novak will be fresh tomorrow and Viktor is doing the job for now, but it’s not over yet…

About your analysis? Great as always.


Duro Says:

The bet is always on…


margot Says:

duro: Hi to you! Nole and Andy fans must keep cheerful! The best is yet to come :) Good luck to your man in his match(es?) too!


Duro Says:

4:3 Serbia in the fourth… Tricky, tricky… Very tensed.


jane Says:

Missed chances there for the Serbs; this is the the tensest doubles match.


Duro Says:

4 all… Serbia squandered two break points on Clement’s serve. There were chances in every set always when he was serving. Phew…


jane Says:

They must hold then break; likely they don’t want another tiebreak followed by a potentially even tenser 5th set.


jane Says:

Tables are turned … France with the break… Arrrgh. Loooks like a 5th set decider. Edge to?


Swiss Maestro Says:

fedal kicks davis cup @$$ any day and 3 times on friday, 5times on saturday and 10times on sunday. davis cup sux.


Duro Says:

Jane, where have you been! Things are getting complicated. France about to level.


dari Says:

Holy balls a fifth set.
This is prob the only doubles match I’ve watched in full, and it sure is something!


Duro Says:

And the edge goes to… Oh boy…


scineram Says:

This is getting epic. Clement on a roll, the lob on break point was brilliant. The better team can indeed win now.


jane Says:

I’ve been watching since the middle of the second set, just keeping it low key. I was surprised Serbia did so well to start, but now they are under mega pressure. I can’t believe they missed that chance to break; that might sink the ship. Momentum certainly swung after that to the French guys. We’ll see how it goes. Fingers crossed for a strong finish to match the strong start.


Kimmi Says:

ah, who is supporting france today? omg this doubles match is going to the decider.

I didnt know france have already won 9 or is it 10 davis cup? that is too many.

Though my fave is la monf. Serbia could do with 1 davis cup title.


jane Says:

First blood to France… not looking good for Nenad & Victor. The French really seized momentum here.


Sean Randall Says:

An hour ago this tie was OVER. Now…???


i am it Says:

Now the 5th set decides the trophy? Serbia in trouble? It breaks my heart. Keeping hope.


jane Says:

Sorry – but an aside as catharsis – margot did you read about Murray’s 6:00 am drug test yesterday before he could leave for his charity event?


dari Says:

BREAK BACK, SRBIJA!


dari Says:

CLEMENT is serving so well today!


margot Says:

jane: did u read his twitter about it? V. funny :)
The lucky lad is now in the Bahamas…wish I were there….;)


i am it Says:

Can only hope for some miracle tomorrow. Everything depends on Tipsy now. Can he do it again, like in the semi?


Kimmi Says:

WOW! what a come back by france. unbelivable. 3 match points now..


jane Says:

So sad for Serbia. I don’t think they can come back from this. Maybe, but it’s a slim chance.

Yes, margot “there ought to be a law against that!” ;)


Kimmi Says:

two match points gone..are seeing another comeback?


Kimmi Says:

congrats to france for winning doubles the tough way…

now serbia have to win both matches..they could, not over till the fat lady sings.! like duro said, they were 1-2 down in the semi, still came back to win it.


i am it Says:

If somebody is to take blame, blame it on Z-man, who was off the mark again today when it mattered most, on those two separate games when Serbia had double break points.
Winners 49-49
UEs: 118-114 (Serbia-France)
Difference: 4 points.


Duro Says:

What a match… Llodra is the best S&V and doubles player in the world! Best doubles match I’ve ever seen, too.

Chances for tomorrow? Again 50:50 probably…

I am it, maybe my choice was better after all, but we’ll never know.

The match goes on.


Gregoire Gentil Says:

Allez la France !!!


dari Says:

No way, francee!
man, poor viktor/nenad. Could not convert those break points :/
srbija must win. both matches tomorrow, then. tuff stuff.
Can’t say I don’t love llodra, though. He made sure there would be no issues on that last game.


sar Says:

Oh well, it’s up to Nole again.


i am it Says:

Sar, how so?
Nole can play and win only one more rubber, not two.


scineram Says:

Clement served brilliantly, but Llodra ws great too. The better team won after all.

Nole must win now.


Duro Says:

dari, Nenad screwed up again. He lost both his matches and played below par in both ties against Czechs and now French. He did mess up again!


dari Says:

Didn’t think it was possible for nenad to do that twice :/
Viktor wasn’t so hot towards the end , either!
It ain’t over, yet! Pressure is on Serbia. Geeze can you imagine?!


i am it Says:

On Davis Cup radio, I just heard that Tipsy is already heading to a practice court and camera is following him.


sar Says:

I am it
Nole has to do the hard work by beating Monfils while France is on a high.

Rubber 5, anything can happen.


Duro Says:

Tipsy is nutcase. He could win it tomorrow with ease, but he could screw up again badly. It didn’t start well for him, so I don’t believe he’s gonna be unbelievable tomorrow as well. If Viktor didn’t play until now I would choose him to try tomorrow, but overall it doesn’t look that promising.

It’s simply unbelievable how many tennis players France has in a first place! Look at the bench. It’s loaded!!! It’s very hard when you have just one ore two players to depend on… I don’t count Troicky and Tipsy as a tennis force at all. Just average players. France has “tons” of them in that same caliber.

Since I’m down at the moment, my estimation about chances are 51:49 for France now. In Novak and only Novak and all about Novak I trust. I don’t give a damn about anyone else. I don’t even care about Serbia. Novak is all that matters.


Duro Says:

Sar, forgive me.


scineram Says:

Well, Simon was crushed, but was better than Tipsarevic. Llodra is in form, but might be tired. It will be a tough choice for France too. Troicki must be down and also tired, Tipsarevic looks better now.


i am it Says:

“Novak is all that matters”?
So, Duro, does that mean it is fine with you if Nole wins tomorrow and Tipsy/Serbia loses the 5th rubber and, with that, the title?
Even if you only care about Nole, he won’t get Team Bonus Points (75) unless Tipsy wins.
As I take Nole’s win as given, no matter which Monfils shows up, Tipsy is all that I care (= am concerned) about for tomorrow as it is going to hinge everything on him.
Go Tipsy !


sar Says:

Go Nole and take this then we will see what happens after that.


jane Says:

First of all, Nole has to defeat a free-swinging Monfils; that will not be easy. Then, Tipsy – whose nickname seems somehow symbolic at the moment, lol – has to find the hero inside of him for a second time, and tip the scales in Serbia’s favour. Tipsy likes a big match but he didn’t show up for the first one, that’s for sure. The second one will be tighter (Simon beat Tipsy in their only match; however it was very close at 7-6, 7-6), but edge has to go to Simon who has been top ten caliber, whereas Tipsy has never scaled those heights. He needs to get in the zone. I remain optimistic for a holiday miracle, but the realist in me says this is France’s championship to lose now.


El Flaco Says:

Something got caught in Troicki’s trachea on that break point.


Andrew Miller Says:

Serbia under pressure! I think Novak will pull it out – but what about the 5th rubber?


Duro Says:

i am it, of course it’s not fine with me, but what to do?

“Novak is all that matters” line wasn’t connected with a final outcome of the tie; just my statement (comforting one) after today’s situation.

To be completely clear: I want Novak’s head shaved in the end! But, if not, I’ll try not to suffer to much because of Serbia and focus my affection only towards my champ. He comes first, no matter what.


sar Says:

Jane will Monfils be free swinging? Maybe he will be nervous because he doesn’t want this to go to the 5th rubber. Nole has his work cut out for him tomorrow but maybe pride will help him.


i am it Says:

Let me say this again that I’ve zero concern about Nole’s chances to win tomorrow, and I say this in cool temper, not faith based or out of the delirium of my optimism.
It would take Tipsy to bring out his appetite for big-match show to confront and subdue Simon (or Llodra). Uncertain but one can hope he will, based on his track record of rising to big occasions, but then the reality that he was flat yesterday against Monfils does not promise much.
I’d be really sad for Serbia for their missed opportunity, if they fail tomorrow.
Go Srbija !!!


i am it Says:

Duro, thanks for clarifying your position. I remain steadfast to mine.
Hope all goes well and we both can smile.


Duro Says:

There’s a problem with Tipsy in general. He has never won a title before. Always, but once (last tie) insecure when it matters the most. I hope he spent his dosage of nervousness in the first match. Monfills was right, though… Big big pressure. I fear Novak lost some of his optimism after today’s outcome, especially now when the final outcome doesn’t depend only on him anymore. There will be no nice dreams tonight for Serbia team…


jane Says:

sar, maybe Monfils will feel pressure, but I don’t know. I think he might feel relaxed because even if he loses to Nole, the odds are stacked against Tipsy winning, methinks. But he may do it, as I said above; I am not ruling out the possibility that he can channel the player who beat Andy Roddick at the USO. He will likely be given a second chance, a chance at redemption, presuming Nole subdues Gael. And in that case, wouldn’t it be lovely to see Tipsy deliver? Then his Dostoevsky tattoo “Beauty will save the world” would really be poignant. :)


sar Says:

Monfills was right, though… Big big pressure

Duro, you mean he knows from experience? Like losing two years in a row at Bercy?


Duro Says:

Sar, he knows it from personal experience, but he knows Janko too. He got it right. Provocation successful.

Everything is opened for tomorrow. French think probably that they finished the job. Very dangerous attitude some times. Lets see who will be mobilized more for tomorrow.

Overall, I think that everyone could agree that this final tie is more than exciting and dramatic. Surely helps DC concept a lot, considering that it’s not very appreciated and respected globally in the tennis world. Am I right?


sar Says:

Obradovic said he will decide at the last minute who to play tomorrow. Let’s hope he makes the right decision. I think after Nole beats Monfils, Nole should play again. It would be his last match for the year. He could do it or is it against the rules?


Duro Says:

Sar, ha ha ha!!! That was great! Can you imagine Nole in two three-setters in a row? That would be a real winner! And by the way, it’s not against the rule.


sar Says:

NOLE to play twice tomorrow!! BRAVO NOLE!!


Kimmi Says:

la monf confidence is running high since he was able to beat Muzza and federer. I think he believes he can beat the top guys. this match will be very interesting. hope i get a chance to watch it..


Polo Says:

There is too much pressure on Nole. He has felt that since Serbia made it to the finals. He has very little safety net after they lost the doubles. He will buckle. Monfils has started to show maturity on court which could only help. Simon (if he plays) will lose to whoever he plays but by then, it won’t really matter anymore.


Duro Says:

Sar, I’m with you there.

Kimmi, you’re from Canada. You’re allowed to root for France since you asked if anyone does.


jane Says:

Polo “He will buckle.” Wow. You say this with such certainty.

I’d say the match is 50/50 or maybe 55/45 to Nole because he will know how important the occasion is, and he will fight hard for that reason. But he’s definitely at his best as a front runner, so if Monfils takes the first set, it will be more difficult. Still, Berdych took the first set, I think, in the semis, but Nole still won. And Fed took the first set at the USO, and Nole still won. So I will not count him out, that’s for sure.


Duro Says:

Polo, Polo, Federolo…


Polo Says:

Hehehe!


Kimmi Says:

Duro – i could not see anyone rooting for france when i was reading the posts. not many favorites on tennis-x i guess. My fave player is la monf in this davis cup tie. if he can win tomorrow, well and good, will be very happy for him. could be the start of some great things for him. (see verdasco in dec 2008)

But it would be nice for serbia to get their first davis cup. france has 10 already. i was rooting for argentina to go the final but they dissapoint again..

ah nalbandian, maybe he will not win davis cup..


jane Says:

I think conty is a fan of many of the French players, but I may be mistaken. I also think a number of players really like Monfils but have been a little frustrated with his inconsistency. So anyhow, people do like the French here, but typically not many people pay much attention to Davis Cup. I remember even when the Americans played there weren’t too many on here commenting or rooting them on. After the WTF fans take a holiday with the players. ;) I know I need one … right after this is over.


jane Says:

Oops, I mean a number of posters really like la Monf.


Kimmi Says:

yap, many fans go away after WTF. you are right jane. havent seen conty for a while. i dont think she even commented on federer winning WTF..i remember she was “afraid”.

best of luck to everyones fave tomorrow. CRUNCH TIME, CRUNCH TIME!!


Skeezerweezer Says:

Scuse me? Da Skeez never left. Been enjoying the DC reads. Go Nole!!


sar Says:

I like Monfils and a lot of the French players in other tourneys, just not enough for them to lift number 10 tomorrow.


scineram Says:

Troicki – Llodra is on.

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