This weekend marks the semifinal round of the World Group as well as the World Group Playoffs. Andy Murray leads Great Britain as they host Australia. Argentina travels to Belgium.
The visiting Australian’s will be without Nick Kyrgios, but will rely on Thanasi Kokkinakis.
“It’ll be a tough match against Kokkinakis,” said Murray. “I’ve practised with him and watched him a lot, so I know his game better than I do a lot of the younger guys. He’s a pretty explosive player, but it’ll be a tough one for him as well. The atmosphere would be challenging for them. That’s something they have to deal with and hopefully something that will give us a boost.”
“It should be a great challenge for me,” said Kokkinakis. “He’s a great player and to play him on home ground here in Glasgow will be a huge challenge for me. I’m not sure whether knowing him well helps or hinders. I think he knows my game and I know his, although I’ve seen a bit more of him than he has of me.”
In the playoffs, teams looking to return to the World Group are Switzerland and the USA. John Isner is passing on playing for America while both Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka are on the Swiss squad who take on Netherlands.
Federer is cautious about going from outdoor hardcourt at the US Open to a slick indoor surface.
“People don’t realise,” said Federer, “They think it’s just about the surface [change] or whether it’s indoors or outdoors, but actually the balls play a big part in it. It was the idea of Stan, myself and Severin to decide to play with the same balls as at the US Open.
“Maybe it flies a little bit more here – it’s a bit more altitude than in New York – but the surface speed is kind of similar. It’s indoors but then again the US Open was not windy at all so from that standpoint it isn’t much of a change.”
And Federer’s rival Rafael Nadal is also in action, but at the zonal playoff as he leads a stocked Spanish team against Denmark.
By rule, top players must play Davis Cup in three of four years to be eligible for the Rio Olympics next summer.
WORLD GROUP SEMIFINALS
Great Britain (c) v Australia
Emirates Arena, Glasgow, GBR – hard (indoors)
R1: Andy Murray (GBR) v Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)
R2: Dan Evans (GBR) v Bernard Tomic (AUS)
R3: Dominic Inglot/Jamie Murray (GBR) v Sam Groth/Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)
R4: Andy Murray (GBR) v Bernard Tomic (AUS)
R5: Dan Evans (GBR) v Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)
Belgium (c) v Argentina (s)
Forest National, Brussels, BEL – hard (indoors)
R1: David Goffin (Bel) v Federico Delbonis (Arg)
R2: Steve Darcis (Bel) v Leonardo Mayer (Arg)
R3: Rubens Bemelmans and Kimmer Coppejans (Bel) v Carlos Berlocq and Diego Schwartzman
R4: David Goffin (Bel) v Leonardo Mayer (Arg)
R5: Steve Darcis (Bel) v Federico Delbonis (Arg)
BELGIUM AND GREAT BRITAIN LOOK TO END BARREN RUN…
Belgium and Great Britain are both bidding to end a lengthy wait for a place in the Davis Cup Final. Belgium is looking for its first Final since 1904 when, in its debut year in the competition, it lost to British Isles 5-0, while Great Britain is seeking a place in the Davis Cup Final for the first time since 1978, when it lost 4-1 to USA. By contrast, Argentina last reached the Final in 2011 and Australia won its last appearance in the title decider in 2003.
HISTORY IN THE MAKING?
Australia is in the most familiar territory of the four semifinalists, having won the Davis Cup on 28 occasions, most recently in Melbourne 12 years ago. Though Great Britain has won the title on 9 occasions, it has been 79 years since its last triumph in 1936. Argentina and Belgium have never won the Davis Cup.
GREAT BRITAIN DOMINATING FELLOW GRAND SLAM NATIONS?
Great Britain is bidding to become the first nation to defeat the 3 other Grand Slam nations in consecutive ties since it defeated Australia, USA and France en route to winning the Davis Cup title in 1933. By defeating USA in the first round and France in the quarterfinals to set up a semifinal with Australia, Great Britain has become the first Grand Slam nation to face the 3 other Grand Slam nations in consecutive ties since France faced USA, Australia and Great Britain in back-to-back ties in 1989-1990.
Australia, Belgium and Great Britain have ensured that 3 unseeded nations feature in the World Group semifinals for the first time in World Group history. Croatia (2005) and Serbia (2010) are the only unseeded nations to win the Davis Cup. Two unseeded nations have contested the Final on 2 occasions – in 2005 (Croatia d. Slovak Republic) and 2010 (Serbia d. France).
WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS
India (c) v Czech Republic (s)
R.K. Khanna Tennis Stadium, New Delhi, IND (hard – outdoors)
R1: Yuki Bhambri (IND) v Lukas Rosol (CZE)
R2: Somdev Devvarman (IND) v Jiri Vesely (CZE)
R3: Rohan Bopanna / Leander Paes (IND) v Adam Pavlasek / Radek Stepanek (CZE)
R4: Yuki Bhambri (IND) v Jiri Vesely (CZE)
R5: Somdev Devvarman (IND) v Lukas Rosol (CZE)
Switzerland (s) (c) v Netherlands
Palexpo, Geneva, SUI (hard – indoors)
R1: Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Thiemo de Bakker (NED)
R2: Roger Federer (SUI) v Jesse Huta Galung (NED)
R3: Roger Federer/Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Matwe Middelkoop/Tim van Rijthoven (NED)
R4: Roger Federer (SUI) v Thiemo de Bakker (NED)
R5: Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Jesse Huta Galung (NED)
Russia (c) v Italy (s)
Sports Palace ‘Baikal-Arena’, Irkutsk, RUS (hard – indoors)
R1: Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) v Simone Bolelli (ITA)
R2: Andrey Rublev (RUS) v Fabio Fognini (ITA)
R3: Evgeny Donskoy/Konstantin Kravchuk (RUS) v Paolo Lorenzi/Andreas Seppi (ITA)
R4: Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) v Fabio Fognini (ITA)
R5: Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) v Simone Bolelli (ITA)
Uzbekistan (c)* v USA (s)
Olympic Tennis School, Tashkent, UZB (clay – outdoors)
R1: Denis Istomin (UZB) v Steve Johnson (USA)
R2: Farrukh Dustov (UZB) v Jack Sock (USA)
R3: Farrukh Dustov/Denis Istomin (UZB) v Steve Johnson/Sam Querrey (USA)
R4: Denis Istomin (UZB) v Jack Sock (USA)
R5: Farrukh Dustov (UZB) v Steve Johnson (USA)
Colombia (c) v Japan (s)
Club Campestre, Pereira, COL (clay – outdoors)
R1: Santiago Giraldo (Col) v Taro Daniel (Jpn)
R2: Alejandro Falla (Col) v Kei Nishikori (Jpn)
R3: Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah (Col) v Yoshihito Nishioka/Yasutaka Uchiyama (Jpn)
R4: Santiago Giraldo (Col) v Kei Nishikori (Jpn)
R5: Alejandro Falla (Col) v Taro Daniel (Jpn)
Dominican Republic (c)* v Germany (s)
Centro Nacional de Tenis Parque del Este, Santo Domingo, DOM (hard – outdoors)
R1: Victor Estrella Burgos (Dom) v Benjamin Becker (Ger)
R2: Jose Hernandez Fernandez (Dom) v Philipp Kohlschreiber (Ger)
R3: Roberto Cid/Jose Olivares (Dom) v Dustin Brown/Philipp Petzschner
R4: Victor Estrella Burgos (Dom) v Philipp Kohlschreiber (Ger)
R5: Jose Hernandez Fernandez (Dom) v Benjamin Becker (Ger)
Brazil (c) v Croatia (s)
Costao do Santinho Resort, Florianopolis, BRA (clay – outdoors)
R1: Thomaz Bellucci (Bra) v Mate Delic (Cro)
R2: Joao Souza (Bra) v Borna Coric (Cro)
R3: Marcelo Melo/Bruno Soares v Ivan Dodig/Franko Skugor
R4: Thomaz Bellucci (Bra) v Borna Coric (Cro)
R5: Joao Souza (Bra) v Mate Delic (Cro)
Poland (c) v Slovakia (s)
Gdynia Arena, Gdynia, POL (hard – indoors)
R1: Michal Przysiezny (POL) v Martin Klizan (SVK)
R2: Jerzy Janowicz (POL) v Norbert Gombos (SVK)
R3: Lukasz Kubot/Marcin Matkowski (POL) v Andrej Martin/Igor Zelenay (SVK)
R4: Jerzy Janowicz (POL) v Martin Klizan (SVK)
R5: Michal Przysiezny (POL) v Norbert Gombos (SVK)
Denmark v Spain
Europe/Africa Group I Play-Off:
R1: Mikael Torpegaard (Den) v Rafael Nadal (Esp)
R2: Frederik Nielsen (Den) v David Ferrer (Esp)
R3: Frederik Nielsen/Thomas Kromann v Roberto Bautista Agut/Fernando Verdasco
R4: Frederik Nielsen (Den) v Rafael Nadal (Esp)
R5: Mikael Torpegaard (Den) v David Ferrer (Esp)
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