Roddick, USA Host Nadal-Less Spain in Davis Cup; Djokovic, Serbia Head to Sweden
The Davis Cup World Group quarterfinals are already underway in Argentina and will begin in three other cities tomorrow. Here in the U.S., the American team will host the Spaniards in Austin, Texas. Wimbledon runner-up Rafael Nadal did not make the trip but Austin native Andy Roddick and fellow Top 10er Mardy Fish will lead Team USA against David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco.
Courtesy of the ITF, here are the quarterfinal capsules:
USA v SPAIN – Austin, Texas, USA – hard (indoors)
Head-to-head: USA leads 5-4
In 9 previous meetings between these 2 former champions only once has the away team won – when USA defeated Spain 3-2 in 1972 thanks to a decisive 5th rubber victory for Stan Smith over Juan Gisbert. USA will be hoping home advantage helps them to reach their first semifinal since 2008.
USA is playing its 275th tie – the most for any nation – in its 97th year of Davis Cup competition.
USA jointly holds the record for most World Group appearances (30) with Czech Republic and Sweden. All 3 nations have played in the World Group every year but one since its inception in 1981. USA was absent from the World Group in 1988 and has the longest unbroken streak of World Group appearances (23).
USA defeated Chile 4-1 in the first round in Santiago to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2009. It was the Americans’ 4th consecutive away tie and 4th tie in a row on clay.
USA is on a 6-match winning streak on home soil. The last time USA lost at home was in 2005 against eventual champions Croatia.
Last year, USA lost in the 1st round for the first time since 2005 against Serbia in Belgrade. USA kept its place in the World Group after Mardy Fish became the first American man since Pete Sampras in 1995 to win all three rubbers to help defeat Colombia 3-1.
USA won its 32nd Davis Cup title in 2007, defeating Russia 4-1 in Portland, Oregon. USA and France are the only two nations to win a Davis Cup Final on all four surfaces (grass, clay, hard and carpet).
USA’s triumph in 2007 came 12 years after its previous title, the longest gap between USA Davis Cup successes.
This is Jim Courier’s first year as USA’s Davis Cup captain. He took over from Patrick McEnroe, who retired after 10 years in charge of the American team.
If USA wins this weekend, it will face an away tie against the winner of Germany v France in September’s semifinals.
SPAIN is making its 15th consecutive World Group appearance.
Spain reached the quarterfinals for the 5th consecutive year after defeating Belgium 4-1 in the first round in Charleroi.
Last year, Spain lost 5-0 to France in the quarterfinals in Clermont-Ferrand. It was only the 2nd time that the defending champion had been whitewashed since the formation of the World Group in 1981 and it was Spain’s first loss to France in 87 years. Spain won its 19th consecutive tie at home when it defeated Switzerland 4-1 in the 2010 1st round, setting a new World Group record for the longest run of wins by a nation at home.
Spain has won 5 of its last 6 ties away from home – its only loss during this time came against France in last year’s quarterfinals.
Spain has been crowned Davis Cup champion 4 times since 2000, having never previously won the title. It lifted the trophy in 2000 (d. Australia 3-1 on indoor clay), 2004 (d. USA 3-2 on indoor clay), 2008 (d. Argentina 3-1 on indoor hard) and 2009 (d. Czech Republic 5-0 on indoor clay).
If Spain wins this weekend, it will have an away tie against Germany or a home tie against France in the semifinals.
Spain is currently No. 1 in the Davis Cup Nations Ranking and is one of 5 nations to rank No. 1 since the rankings were introduced in 2001 (alongside Australia, Croatia, France and Russia). Spain was ranked No. 1 between September 2004 and September 2005, and has also held the top spot since July 2009.
R1: Mardy Fish (USA) v Feliciano Lopez (ESP)
R2: Andy Roddick (USA) v David Ferrer (ESP)
R3: Bob Bryan / Mike Bryan (USA) v Feliciano Lopez / Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
R4: Mardy Fish (USA) v David Ferrer (ESP)
R5: Andy Roddick (USA) v Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
TV: Tennis Channel will air live daily coverage, with live coverage starting at 3 p.m. ET all three days. Tennis Channel will rebroadcast matches at 6 a.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday morning, and 11 p.m. ET on Sunday night.
GERMANY v FRANCE – Stuttgart, GER – clay (outdoors)
Head-to-head: France leads 6-2
Germany is looking for its first win against France since 1938. France has won the last 5 meetings between these 2 nations, most recently in the first round last year.
GERMANY is bidding to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2007, when it lost to Russia in Moscow.
Germany advanced to the quarterfinals for the 4th time in the last 5 years after defeating Croatia 3-2 in the first round in Zagreb. Last year, Germany failed to reach the quarterfinals, losing to this weekend’s opponent 4-1 in the 1st round before winning its World Group play-off tie 5-0 against South Africa.
Germany has won 3 Davis Cup titles, the most recent in 1993. It also won the title in 1988-89, one of only 6 successful defences of the Davis Cup since the World Group began in 1981.
German captain Patrik Kuhnen was a member of all 3 winning German Davis Cup teams.
If Germany wins this weekend, it will be at home again to the winner of USA v Spain in the semifinals.
Last year’s runner-up FRANCE is making its 13th consecutive World Group appearance.
France is bidding to reach the semifinals for the 2nd consecutive year. Last year, the French lost 3-2 to Serbia in the Davis Cup Final in Belgrade. The French reached the final without losing a live rubber against Germany (4-1 in Toulon), Spain (5-0 in Clermont-Ferrand) and Argentina (5-0 in Lyon).
France reached the quarterfinals for the 2nd straight year after defeating Austria 3-2 in Vienna. Jeremy Chardy was the hero of the tie, which was played in an airport hangar, winning both of his singles rubbers including a decisive 5th rubber against Martin Fischer.
France has been crowned Davis Cup champion 9 times and is joint-third (with Great Britain) on the list of all-time champions, behind USA and Australia. It has also reached the final a further 6 times. Its last title win came in 2001 when it defeated Australia 3-2 on grass in Melbourne.
Only France and USA have won a Davis Cup Final on all four surfaces (grass, clay, hard and carpet).
France is one of 5 nations to have held the No. 1 ranking, alongside Australia, Croatia, Russia and Spain. France held the top spot between February 2002 and September 2003 and again from April 2004 to July 2004. The Davis Cup Nations Ranking was introduced in 2001 and is updated after each round.
France has only twice been absent from the World Group since its inception in 1981. Its 29 years in the World Group is second only to Czech Republic, Sweden and USA, who have competed in the World Group for 30 of the 31 years.
If France wins this weekend, it will be at home to USA and away to Spain in the semifinals.
R1: Florian Mayer (GER) v Richard Gasquet (FRA)
R2: Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) v Gael Monfils (FRA)
R3: Christopher Kas / Philipp Petzschner (GER) v Michael Llodra / Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)
R4: Florian Mayer (GER) v Gael Monfils (FRA)
R5: Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) v Richard Gasquet (FRA)
SWEDEN v SERBIA – Halmstad, SWE – hard (indoors)
Head-to-head: first meeting (Please note that the head-to-head records between Yugoslavia and Sweden were used to determine choice of ground for this tie. The series was level at 4-4).
SWEDEN jointly holds the record for most World Group appearances (30) with Czech Republic and USA. All 3 nations have played in the World Group every year except one since its inception in 1981. Sweden was absent from the World Group in 2000.
Sweden is looking to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2007, when it lost to eventual champions USA 4-1 in Gothenburg.
Sweden reached the quarterfinals after defeating Russia 3-2 in the first round in Boras. The Swedes are making their first quarterfinal appearance since 2008, when they lost 4-1 to Argentina in Buenos Aires, and their first under the captaincy of Thomas Enqvist.
Sweden won 7 Davis Cup titles between 1975 and 1998. It reached 7 straight finals from 1983 to 1989, a record since the abolition of the Challenge Round in 1972.
Sweden has come back from 0-2 down in a Davis Cup tie more than any other nation, doing so 5 times, most recently in 1998 against Slovak Republic.
If Sweden wins this weekend, it will be at home to Kazakhstan or away to Argentina in September’s semifinals.
Defending champion SERBIA won its first Davis Cup title by defeating France 3-2 in last year’s final in Belgrade. Serbia became the 13th nation to win Davis Cup. It was the 6th time a nation had won the Davis Cup trophy on their debut in the final. Serbia was also the 2nd unseeded nation to win Davis Cup after Croatia in 2005.
Serbia defeated India 4-1 in the opening round in Novi Sad this year. Viktor Troicki played as No. 1 in the absence of Novak Djokovic and won both his singles rubbers to clinch the tie for his team.
Serbia first competed in Davis Cup in 1995 under the Yugoslav flag. Yugoslavia was renamed Serbia & Montenegro in 2004 before Serbia became an independent nation in 2007. Before 1995, Serbian players represented former Yugoslavia, which reached the World Group semifinals three times in 1988-89 and 1991.
Serbia is on a 6-match winning streak in Davis Cup. The last time the Serbian team lost was away against Spain in the first round in 2009. Only one of Serbia’s last 6 victories has come away from home – in last year’s quarterfinals against Croatia in Split.
At No. 2, Serbia is ranked at its highest position to date in the Davis Cup Nations Ranking.
If Serbia wins, it will be at home in the semifinals against the winner of Argentina v Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan is ranked No. 12 on the ITF Davis Cup Nations Ranking – it is the lowest ranked of the 8 quarterfinalists.
R1: Michael Ryderstedt (SWE) v Viktor Troicki (SRB)
R2: Ervin Eleskovic (SWE) v Novak Djokovic (SRB)
R3: Simon Aspelin / Robert Lindstedt (SWE) v Janko Tipsarevic / Nenad Zimonjic (SRB)
R4: Michael Ryderstedt (SWE) v Novak Djokovic (SRB)
R5: Ervin Eleskovic (SWE) v Viktor Troicki (SRB)
ARGENTINA v KAZAKHSTAN – Buenos Aires, ARG – clay (outdoors)
Head-to-head: first meeting
ARGENTINA is playing in the World Group for the 10th consecutive year.
Argentina is bidding to reach the semifinals for the 2nd consecutive year. Last year, Argentina lost to France in the semifinals after recording its first Davis Cup victory away in Russia in the quarterfinals with a 3-2 win at the Olympic Stadium in Moscow.
By defeating Romania 4-1 in the first round this year, Argentina maintained its record of reaching the quarterfinals or better every year since returning to the World Group in 2002. Prior to that Argentina spent 9 years in zonal competition.
David Nalbandian won his 32nd Davis Cup rubber (singles and doubles) by defeating Adrian Ungur in the first round to put himself in 2nd place on the all-time list of most Davis Cup wins for Argentina. Only Guillermo Vilas (57 wins) has more victories for Argentina.
Argentina is a three-time runner-up in Davis Cup: in 1981 (l. USA), 2006 (l. Russia) and 2008 (l. Spain). Its defeat to Spain in Mar del Plata ended a run of 13 consecutive wins at home. Argentina is one of only 3 nations, along with India and this weekend’s opponent Romania, to contest more than one Davis Cup Final without winning the title.
The last time Argentina lost a home tie on clay was against Slovak Republic in 1998. It has won 16 of its last 17 Davis Cup ties on the surface. Its only loss in that time came against Spain in the 2003 semifinals.
If Argentina wins, it will play Sweden at home and Serbia away in September’s semifinals.
KAZAKHSTAN is making its debut in the World Group this year after a successful zonal campaign in 2010.
Kazakhstan made the perfect start on its debut in the World Group by coming back from 2-1 down to defeat Czech Republic 3-2 in Ostrava. Andrey Golubev won both his singles rubbers to improve his current winning streak in singles to 10 matches and Mikhail Kukushkin won the decisive 5th rubber against Jan Hajek to give Kazakhstan its first World Group win.
Last year, Kazakhstan came through Asia/Oceania Zone Group I and defeated Switzerland 5-0 in the World Group play-offs in Astana to earn its place in the top tier for the first time.
Prior to 1995, players from Kazakhstan represented the Soviet Union.
If Kazakhstan wins this weekend, it faces another away tie in the semifinals against the winner of Sweden v Serbia.
Kazakhstan is ranked No. 12 on the ITF Davis Cup Nations Ranking – it is the lowest ranked of the 8 quarterfinalists.
R1: Juan Monaco (ARG) v Andrey Golubev (KAZ)
R2: Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) v Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ)
R3: Juan Ignacio Chela / Eduardo Schwank (ARG) v Evgeny Korolev / Yuriy Schukin (KAZ)
R4: Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) v Andrey Golubev (KAZ)
R5: Juan Monaco (ARG) v Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ)
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