Tennis-X Davis Cup Wrap, Notes

Posted on February 11, 2008

Davis Cup Wrap: Djokovic Drama, Bjorkman Plays Hero

Russia d. Serbia 3-2
The tie hinged on the ill Djokovic who pulled from the opening-day singles, then mustered-up a win in the Saturday doubles, but retired during his Sunday singles against Nikolay Davydenko, stopping play leading two sets to one with dizziness and flu-like symptoms. "I tried hard to play at my best from the beginning but Djokovic was really good," Davydenko said. "He played solid base-line tennis and it was a surprise for me. But later on after more than two hours of playing he looked tired. It was okay for me, but Djokovic probably did not feel good after flu." Russia will next host the Czech Republic in April.

Czech Republic d. Belgium 3-2
The formidable team of Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek beat Kristof Vliegen and Steve Darcis respectively in straight sets on the opening day, then Berdych-Stepanek completed the sweep with a five-set doubles win over Vliegen and Olivier Rochus.

Argentina d. Britain 5-0
No chance for the Brits after Andy Murray blew off the tie, with Jamie Baker and Alex Bogdanovic going down in straights sets to David Nalbandian and Agustin Calleri on the Buenos Aires red clay. Nalbandian and Jose Acasuso clinched the sweep on the Saturday doubles, bageling Ross Hutchins and Jamie Murray to end the tie. "Our goal is to win Davis Cup. Our hope is to get to the final and win it," said Argentine captain Alberto Mancini, whose team will be the favorite in the next round, home against Sweden.

Sweden d. Israel 3-2
Jonas Bjorkman played the hero for Sweden Sunday, making up for an opening-day loss with a decisive fifth-match win over Harel Levy, coming back from a 6-0 loss in the first set. Bjorkman lost his opening singles to Dudi Sela, and Swede was down 1-2 going into Sunday as Simon Aspelin and Robert Lindstedt lost to Australian Open champs Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram. Sweden's Thomas Johansson didn't drop a set during the weekend, earning the Swedes a trip to Argentina.

Germany d. Korea 3-1
Philipp Kohlschreiber clinched the tie for the Germans in the first singles on Sunday, defeating Hyung-Taik Lee in a fourth-set tiebreak. Lee kept Korea in the match with a win in his opening singles over Florian Mayer.

Spain d. Peru 3-0
Host Peru failed to win a set against powerhouse Spain in live play as the Spanish squad of Tommy Robredo and Nicolas Almagro overwhelmed Ivan Miranda and Matias Silva. It was Peru's first appearance in the Davis Cup World Group, and Spain advances to a quarterfinal meeting at Germany.

France d. Romania 5-0
Richard Gasquet and Australian Open runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga handled the singles duties for France, and Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra the doubles as the French swept the Romanians to set up a quarterfinal meeting at the U.S.

U.S. d. Austria 3-0
The Austrian red clay didn't hinder Andy Roddick and James Blake, but it wasn't as easy as the scores indicated. On the opening Friday, Roddick toughed out a five-setter against Jurgen Melzer, and Blake came back from a set and a break down to defeat Stefan Koubek in four sets. On Saturday the Bryan brothers had little trouble in closing out a tired Melzer and Julian Knowle in straight sets. The defending Davis Cup champions will next host France in April in Winston-Salem, NC.

The draws for the 2008 Fed Cup World Group and World Group II play-offs have been announced, to be held the weekend of April 26-27 alongside the World Group semifinals: Ukraine at Italy, France at Japan, Germany at Argentina, Czech Republic at Israel. The four winning nations will qualify for the 2009 World Group....

Serena Williams followed up her withdrawal from Paris with a pull from the WTA stop in Antwerp...

Cyprus Davis Cup captain Yiannos Hadjigeorgiou has stepped down as Marcos Baghdatis' personal coach, citing personal family reasons...

India's Leander Paes on compatriot Sania Mirza announcing she was skipping the WTA Bangalore Open due to avoid further controversy and criticism in her homeland: "Look at every celebrity, who does not have controversies? We all have adversities," Paes was quoted in Sify. "Every celebrity have adversities in their lives. It's how dignified and honest you are. It's about how you project yourself and how you handle them," Paes said, adding no individual was greater than the game."...

Jamie Murray was surprised to learn that brother Andy was blowing off Britian's Davis Cup tie against Argentina, citing a knee problem: "It kind of affects the way we feel about him. I think it's disappointing he chose not to come. From what I have been reading he hasn't come out and said he's injured, it's more a prevention thing. I think if he had really wanted to push himself he could have come here for the match. It was a shock for me and for the team. I was not aware he had a problem."