Nadal-Less Spain Host U.S. In Davis Cup SFs; Czechs Travel To Argentina
by Staff | September 13th, 2012, 10:48 pm
  • 61 Comments

The World Group Davis Cup final four will be played this weekend and once again clay reigns. Playing on home on dirt, Spain hosts Team USA while down in South America Czech Republic makes the long trip to Argentina.

Spain will of course be without kingpin Rafael Nadal who remains on the sidelines rehabbing his ailing left knee. Taking his place are veterans David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro. With Andy Roddick retired and Mardy Fish suffering from continued issues related to his heart, John Isner will again lead the American squad along with Sam Querrey and the Bryans who will meet Marcel Granollers and Feliciano Lopez on Saturday.

The U.S. already upset a Swiss team with Roger Federer, and that gives captain Jim Courier plenty of hope as heavy underdogs against Spain.

“The semifinals going to be, well it’s hard to say it’s your biggest challenge yet when we’ve played so many great teams on the road, but this is a team in Spain that hasn’t lost in many, many years when they’ve played at home,” Courier said. “For us this is probably the biggest test in Davis Cup tennis, perhaps for any country to come to Spain and beat them on clay.

“But we like our chances. We don’t feel like we’re the favorites, but we feel like we have a chance and that’s the attitude we’ll take to the court.”

In South America, US Open semifinalist Tomas Berdych will command the Czechs against Juan Martin Del Potro and Juan Monaco. Berdych will be joined by Radek Stepanek and Nadal-killer Lukas Rosol.

“I have the experience from a couple of years ago when I experienced one of the toughest crowds in tennis so we will be ready but probably nothing changed in that time and we expect it to be really loud but that’s how it is, it is a part of Davis Cup,” said Berdych.

Berdych will play Del Potro on Sunday if needed, and the Argentine #1 is still suffering with his wrist.

“I hope my wrist is okay,” Del Potro said. “Still I am feeling little pain but I will still try to manage the painful and play my best tennis here is Buenos Aires.

““I am playing Davis Cup and sometimes you get more energy to play these kinds of matches and the crowd will be fantastic for me and that will help me to fight.”

Tennis Channel will have coverage of the USA-Spain tie from 6am ET Friday morning.

SPAIN v USA
Venue: Parque Hermanos Castro, Gijon, Spain (clay)
Head-to-head: tied 5-5
In 10 previous meetings between these 2 former champions only twice has the away team won – most recently when Spain defeated USA in the 2011 quarterfinals in Austin, Texas. USA will be hoping to avenge that defeat and reach their first final since 2007.

Defending champion SPAIN won their 5th Davis Cup title by defeating Argentina 3-1 in last year’s final in Seville. It was their 3rd title in the last 4 years.

Spain are looking to reach back-to-back Finals for the 3rd time in their history. They also reached back-to-back finals in 2003-04 and 2008-09.

Spain defeated Kazakhstan 5-0 and Austria 4-1 to book their place in the semifinals for the 4th time in the last 5 years. In their last 6 semifinal appearances Spain have progressed to the Final.

USA are playing in their 278th tie – the most for any nation – in their 98th year of Davis Cup competition.

USA jointly hold the record for most World Group appearances (31) 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 (24).

USA whitewashed Switzerland 5-0 and defeated France 3-2 to reach their first semifinal since 2008. That year they lost to this weekend’s opponents on clay in Spain.

SCHEDULE:
Friday
R1: David Ferrer (ESP) v Sam Querrey (USA)
R2: Nicolas Almagro (ESP) v John Isner (USA)

Saturday
R3: Marcel Granollers / Marc Lopez (ESP) v Bob Bryan / Mike Bryan (USA)

Sunday
R4: David Ferrer (ESP) v John Isner (USA)
R5: Nicolas Almagro (ESP) v Sam Querrey (USA)

ARGENTINA v CZECH REPUBLIC
Venue: Parque Roca, Buenos Aires, Argentina (clay)
Head-to-head: Czech Republic lead 3-1
The 2 teams have met 3 times since the introduction of the World Group, with the home team winning on each of those 3 occasions. Czechoslovakia defeated Argentina on clay in Buenos Aires in an Inter-Zonal semifinal in 1980 that featured a dominant display by Ivan Lendl over Jose-Luis Clerc and Guillermo Vilas.

ARGENTINA are into the semifinals for the 8th time since returning to the World Group in 2002. They have reached the quarterfinals or better every year since 2002. They are looking to reach their 5th final.

Argentina are playing their 3rd consecutive tie this year at Parque Roca in Buenos Aires. They defeated Germany 4-1 and Croatia 4-1 to reach the semifinals.

Argentina are a 4-time runner-up in Davis Cup: in 1981 (l. USA), 2006 (l. Russia), 2008 (l. Spain) and 2011 (l. Spain). Argentina are the only nation to have lost 4 Davis Cup Finals without winning the title.

CZECH REPUBLIC are looking to reach their second Final since the formation of the World Group in 1981. The Czechs reached the final in 2009, losing to Spain on clay in Barcelona.

Before the nation divided into Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, Czechoslovakia won the Davis Cup in 1980, defeating Italy on carpet in Prague in the final.

Czech Republic are making their 31st World Group appearance, the most for any nation along with Sweden and USA. They have competed in the World Group every year with the exception of 2006.

SCHEDULE:
Friday
R1: Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) v Radek Stepanek (CZE)
R2: Juan Monaco (ARG) v Tomas Berdych (CZE)

Saturday
R3: Carlos Berlocq / Eduardo Schwank (ARG) v Ivo Minar / Lukas Rosol (CZE)

Sunday
R4: Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) v Tomas Berdych (CZE)
R5: Juan Monaco (ARG) v Radek Stepanek (CZE)

(Data from ITF)


Also Check Out:
Davis Cup Wrap: Czechs at Croatia, Israel at Spain in Semis
2013 Davis Cup Draw: Raonic, Canada Host Spain In Opener; Czechs Visit Switzerland
2011 Davis Cup Draw: US Must Travel to Chile
Nadal Leads Spain Against U.S. in Davis Cup; Del Potro, Argentina Host Russia
Spain, Stepanek-led Czech Republic Advance to 2009 Davis Cup Final

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61 Comments for Nadal-Less Spain Host U.S. In Davis Cup SFs; Czechs Travel To Argentina

Steve 27 Says:

Spain and (with a injured Del Potro) Czech Republic to the final.


bstevens Says:

Is Nalbandian injured? He seems to play better when he plays for his country.


MMT Says:

According to this:

http://www.euronews.com/sport/1646376-injured-nalbandian-out-of-argentinas-davis-cup-team/

he still has the same injury that kept him out of the US Open, but even without the injury there are two Argentines ranked in the top 10 ahead of him, and he probably wouldn’t have played singles anyway.

Doubles could be tricky and important if the Czechs get one (or even two) wins in singles today. With Stepanek, you never know what you’re going to get. He can be a world beater or a dog.

Actually, it’s the same with Berdych.


Giles Says:

Spain 2-0 up on USA!


bstevens Says:

Thanks for the Nalbandian update MMT.


jamie Says:

Jizzner is so overrated.


Huh Says:

i hope berdych gets his @$$ handed to him in DC.

go delpo, kill berd!


M Says:

1-1 Argentina-Czech Republic right now.

I think we can expect a change in the Czech doubles lineup.

Vamos, Argentina!


Alok Says:

It looks like the US will have to win 3 in a row to win this tie. If the Bryans should win, maybe that will spur Isner and Querry’s adrenalin into a winning mode. It’s a long shot, but in DC anything can happen.

I’d like to se argentina winthis tie. Nalby has always wanted to win DC for his country, and now it appears that Delpo is of the same mind, especially after winning his Bronze medal.


The Great Davy Says:

Why does the tennis fans always spatulate the matches when this is already fixed?


courtside Says:

Go Argies.


Margot Says:

@skeeze
Some rumours that they’re thinking of changing the “let” rule? Are they trying it out in challenger rounds?
As far as the time rule goes, surely they’d have to relax that a bit, say, for example, if the match goes over like four hours!


Giles Says:

The time violation rule was implemented so that the chair umpire retains some discretion versus putting a “shot clock” on the court which would take away all discretion.


skeezer Says:

Margot & Giles,

This has been a pet peeve for me as a fan. As some complain about being tired of a player or style, there is nothing more tiring or boring as a fan than time waiting/wasting between points.

At least this is a step in the right direction by attempting to change it, that means they know there is a problem. I agree the shot clock is too strict for now, too many variables to consider but who knows that may be where we wind up.

Disclaimer; if Fed was taking too much time I would be complaining just as hard, so others don’t go there.


skeezer Says:

Margot,

The let rule I didn’t read. But if they are attempting to do that to speed up the game, I mean really, does that really matter?


grendel Says:

skeezer – I find the let rule infuriating. A perfectly good serve is nullified for no reason (nobody hears or sees anything, something registers on a machine – please note: machine is invented to serve man, man has not evolved over the aeons to be put in his place by some dubious machine), and we have to go thru the whole serve business again. Of course, if it’s the enemy who is letted, one does admittedly feal a sneaky relief, but more often than one is neutral. And although it’s human nature to feel that it’s your side which is getting the worst of this silly rule – well,true ain’t it? One classic was the first Fed/Nadal Wimby final. Fed won first set 6-0, then at game point in 1st or 2nd game, he aced Nadal. Until, that is, the umpire called out in his kill joying way:”let!”. The man’s a power freak, I remember thinking. Of course, Federer went on to be broken. I rest my case…..


Huh Says:

the sooner the new rules’re enforced the better. the players should be penalised for takin too much time between points/servin. in fact, if it weren’t for nadal-nole takin so much time for each serve in their AO final, the snoozefest would’ve ended earlier, n given fans much needed relief from all the mental tension.

and for all the good tennis right now, it could’ve been so much better if the courts were faster n less bouncy. these borin baselin rallies would be less n aggressiv tennis would be at its splendid display!


Huh Says:

interestinly enough, for all my regret at muzza not bein aggressiv as i would’ve like him to be, i just realised that i am missin the point that he went to spain in his formative years of learnin tennis! shoulda been to switzerland/america instead! ;)


Giles Says:

“No let” serve set for 3 month trial on ATP Challenger Tour in 2013. Am not really in favour of this. Can you imagine the giants like Isner and Delpo etc having a field day. Hopefully they will dispense with this rule after the trial period.


grendel Says:

Giles – why would Isner and co have a field day if no let? Is Isner letted more than others? Surely the whole point against the let is that 9 times out of 10, or perhaps 99 times out of a 100, or possibly even 999 times out of a 1000, the “let” makes absolutely no difference to the actual serve. So what is the point in penalising it? Very occasionally, of course, the serve will make visible, audible and indeed tactile connection with the net, and that’s a bit of luck for the server. But it hardly ever happens so far as I can see, and you can’t altogether avoid luck or chance, even if you wanted to, and come to think of it, I’m not sure that you do….


Giles Says:

Grendel. Would you cheer a dribbler on match point?


Tennisfan Says:

Speed up the matches and Nadal and probably Djokovic become non-factors. Fed would be no 1 for another decade. Bring it on.


Giles Says:

^ Yup. Everything to suit Fed. Oh, and don’t forget the roof!


Huh Says:

others suckin under roof isn’t fed’s fault, n btw nadal already’s benefitted an unreal lot from slowin down of courts, so what’s the problem if courts’re sped up to suit fed’s style! fair, if it happens! why should the courts be suitable only for nadal’s playin style only(as it has been so far)!


grendel Says:

Giles, I thought you were mixing tennis with football for a mo – but yeah,I was a bit slow,I get it, you mean the ball hanging enticingly on top of the net till it finally dribbles over to the other side and the receiver goes into quiet apoplexy?

Forgive me if I think that sounds a bit like the old query about when did you stop beating your wife. Because you see, why SHOULD the ball hang thus at match point? It’s theoretically possible, and it may indeed be true that Hawkins absolutely is beating the living hell out of his wife, or at least was until yesterday when he suddenly stopped – but what are the odds, eh? What are the jolly old odds?


skeezer Says:

grendel,

After reading it, totally agree!

Huh,

So true. The “Roofers” are mostly Nadal fans. But it was “ok” to slow down the courts….


Giles Says:

Grendel. “What are the jolly old odds”. Am not a bookmaker so who knows! Lol


Giles Says:

skewer. Are the Nadal fans disallowed from voicing opinions and comments on this forum? Just asking!


Giles Says:

^ sorry, meant skeezer.


Skeezer Says:

Giles,

No.


Cruise Says:

good thing that ATP is taking up the time violation rule. high time. you see every in the younger generation playing like they were senile.

i mean come on! 25 seconds or 20 seconds is a LOT of time. get out those ass-scratching and OCD rituals out. you are 26 year old not 95 years old.

another rule they should handle is the MTO in the middle of a set. you can call the trainer after the end of the set, but if you do that when your opponent is going to serve for the set or match – you dont deserve that MTO.

a little more rigorous dope-testing would not hurt the sport either. we all know whose fans are the most jumpy about this one. they never ever enter into serious discussion about doping in sports/tennis.

3 guesses which player those fans support!


Cruise Says:

skeezer :

didn’t you get the memo that time violations, on-court coaching, bumping your opponent during change over, medical time-out abuse are all features of a HUMBLE player?

please dont mention them if you are not a humble player fan!


Giles Says:

Cruise. I think you deserve a place on the ATP Council, President even. Or maybe on the main Board of Directors. You certainly know it all!


alison Says:

(YAWN )we all know whose fans are the most jumpy,yeah all us Rafa fans are so jumpy about the dope testing lol,the bloody subject has been disscused at nausium till we are all blue in the face,for the gazillionth time yeah nobody knows Rafa aint doping,but nobody can stake their lives on the notion that Fed,Novak,Andy and any one of the others are not doing the same bloody thing FFS,the suject is getting so old and boring nobody has any proof either way,the haters will not let it lie.


alison Says:

Anyway aside from the doping discussion that no one has any proof about(sigh),as a Rafa fan hell yeah i have to say he does say and do things that get up my nose from time to time,i think the officials should crack down on MTOs,and tell players to get a move on between points,but Nadal aint the only player at fault on either count,the on court coaching should be banned,but again Nadal aint the only player at fault,ok the Lucas Rosol incident was bang out of order no argument there from me on that one,OK Nadals no angel,SO THERE YOU GO CRUISE A SERIOUS DISCUSSION FROM A SO CALLED JUMPY RAFA FAN.


Huh Says:

alison

imho nadal doesn’t dope, period! the day actually it is proved that some player is dopin, i’d believe it! until then, i won’t be a joker here n accuse any player of dopin!

skeezer

some of these non fed fans’re now gettin desperat n if it was possibl on their part, they’d let a match be played throughout the rainy season with one game played each day, cumulatin with either of the guys catchin cold/fever or even dying after fallin in sleepery court than actually have a roof n play safe n sound n quality tennis! ;)


alison Says:

Huh thanks and exactly my point too.


JimboJones Says:

Spain could put Emilio Sanchez out there on clay and have a chance vs. the US


Dan Martin Says:

http://tennisabides.com/2012/09/15/andy-roddick-in-retrospect/ I put up a few thoughts about Andy Roddick’s career. I will do the same for Juan Carlos Ferrero. The New Balls Generation is warming up for Jim Courier’s seniors tour? I still think Fed should play a few events this fall to be simultaneously #1 on the ATP Tour and the Outback Champions Tour.


Wog boy Says:

DelPo withdrew with wrist injury, Czech is 2:1 up and has open road to final. They might even win DC this year!


Alok Says:

@Jimbo Jones, 10:27pm.

Very funny, but so true,LOL. US is in bad shape, except for the Bryans. Isner and Querrey can’t seem to play well when they have to take charge and come up with the goods. Too bad Mardy is not well.


Alok Says:

Poor Nalby, there goes his DC dreams for Argentina. I guess some things are not meant to be. I only hope JMDP is not side-lined for a lengthy period of time.


Kimberly Says:

So much for USA. Isner serve just didn’t even bother Ferrer. But it was a great year with a terrible draw. Maybe with a better draw and some home matches we can take it further.


skeezer Says:

^ugh :(


Margot Says:

Amazing strength in depth, Spain has.
Says she, casting envious eyes across the water..;)


Giles Says:

Looks like Czechs are going to come through. They will play Spain – does anybody know whether it will be Spain at home or away?


Alok Says:

Too bad US and Argentina both lost. I knew it would have been tough for the US, but Argie had a fighting chance.

Spain gets to play too many matches at home.


Alok Says:

Fed has got to be the only top player that has to play both singles and doubles for DC. He should just refuse to play DC like Murray does and concentrate on his ATP tour matches.


skeezer Says:

@Alok,

Spain has Ferrer, Rafa, and a host of others. The swiss have Fed and who? Maybe Wawa depending on form but it is a lost cause. Kudos to Fed for at least participating.


Alok Says:

@skeezer, that’s what I’m saying, Fed is like a one-man team for Switzerland, because stan is not a certainty for a win. It’s not like Fed could relax and rest up after he plays the first day. He has to play 3 days in a row. That’s way too much for any player to do, especially after the USO. It’s unfortunate that he’s criticized so much for not playing more ties.

Spain will most probably keep winning the titles until some other country can step up and beat them, but the odds of this happening are not great.


Cruise Says:

what is spain’s record on hardcourts/grass? if there is one-thing more one-dimensional than rafa, it is the spannish davis cup.


Wog boy Says:

Federer didn’t play for nothing, he earned 15 points for playing DC:) He is better of this week for 15 point compare to last week. To be patriotic doesn’t mean not to be pragmatic, particulary if you are Swiss. Every point counts in the race to London.


sienna Says:

Wog boy Says:
Federer didn’t play for nothing, he earned 15 points for playing DC:) He is better of this week for 15 point compare to last week. To be patriotic doesn’t mean not to be pragmatic, particulary if you are Swiss. Every point counts in the race to London.

September 17th, 2012 at 12:58 am

LOL.

Actually this could be true. The difference is know within 1000 points and the turnoverdifference between losing semi finalist and the winner of WTC is 900 points.
So either men is looking to stay atleast within 900 points. Preferably 500 till WTF.

SO if the difference is 500 points it all can be decided in a 1off final. That would make the year stand out for the biggest race year ever.


sienna Says:

Alok Says:
@skeezer, that’s what I’m saying, Fed is like a one-man team for Switzerland, because stan is not a certainty for a win. It’s not like Fed could relax and rest up after he plays the first day. He has to play 3 days in a row. That’s way too much for any player to do, especially after the USO. It’s unfortunate that he’s criticized so much for not playing more ties.

Spain will most probably keep winning the titles until some other country can step up and beat them, but the odds of this happening are not great.

September 17th, 2012 at 12:12 am

Stan is a great player and no thats right not a certainty. But Stan is not the problem the double is and the players just ranked below Stan. They are just to fragile with only two good players.

Serbia have three relative good players and a good double. S in order for the suiise to win Davis Cup they need to get some good luck and both Fed and Stan will need to make it a priority.


Alok Says:

@Wog Boy, I didn’t know that only 15 points were allotted for a DC win to enter into the world group. Thanks for the info. The 15 points could make a difference for Fed to retain the No.. 1 ranking considering how many points he neds to defend.

@Sienna: Yes, I know that Stan is a good player, but for some reason he seems to get nervous in DC. It must be difficult for a player to have to carry their country’s hopes. Some people are not that strong. some enjoy it while others find it a burden.

If they had a good doubles team like the Bryans, then I think Stan might not feel so pressured.

Fed stated after the win, (read it in Bleacher) that he’s wounded and tired, and needs a vacation.


Wog boy Says:

Alok,

I don’t think Federer was given 15 points for this DC match only. If you compare top10 points for this week and week before you will see that only players that didn’t play DC matches are on the same points (Nole, Rafa, Andy, Janko and Tsonga), all the others gain some points or lost some. Strangly enough some of them won there matches but they are worst off than last week, don’t ask me why. I know that DC matches can be used as one of six tournaments or (replacemant) that top30 have to play (2×250 and 4×500) same as olympics. For example Federer played already 2×250, 2×500 this year, he is going to play Basel as third one so the fourth one will DC matches combined, that is probably why he opted not to play Beijing or Tokyo because he wouldn’t gain anything IMO. On the other hand Nole played only one 500 (no 250 ones) so he has to play Beijing, Basel and he will use Olympic games points as fourth obligatory 500 since he didn’t play any DC matches. It is something like this, I was trying to work it out myself reading the rules on ATP SITE since nobody answered my question from the other thread about this matter, they ignored me, that is OK I am used to it:)


Alok Says:

Wog Boy: thanks for this information. Now I’m even more confused, but I’ll eventually figure out the allocation of the points. I know this for a certainty that Fed will have to defend all of his points to hold on to the No. 1 ranking, and going by his comments after playing DC, I don’t see this happening.I think your man will again be No. 1, and that should make you very happy. Yes?

“I was trying to work it out myself reading the rules on ATP SITE since nobody answered my question from the other thread about this matter, they ignored me, that is OK I am used to it:)”

I get ya. I know how that feels. Perhaps, no one knows the answer and it’s why you didn’t receive a response. I’m learning that on blogs you have to develop a very different type of mentality to survive, i.e., a tough skin. ha ha.


Alok Says:

@Wog Boy, FYI, I just checked the ATP rankings and it shows Djokovic at No.1, leading Fed by 90 points.


Wog boy Says:

Alok,

I wiil try to put it this way, Federer had a choice of having his DC matches points (whatever they are) included as fourth 500 tournament (Rotterdam, Dubai plus coming Basel) or risking playing Beijing or Tokyo 4-5 matches and getting worst of depend on result because he would have to give away his DC matches points. That is my understanding. I said before and I mean it, Federer is very pragmatic person, he worked out that is safer bet to play DC and less hustle, instead of playing another 500 tournament against top players, IMO.
Please correct me if somebody thinks that I am wrong.


Wog boy Says:

I missed to say that Nole did’t/ doesn’t have that choice since he didn’t play any DC matches nor enough 500 tournaments so he has to play Bejing and Basel, but I am pretty sure that was his choice since he wanted FO and olympic gold badly but it wasn’t to be:( Now it is backfireing, but he will be OK:)

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