The 2007 Davis Cup Draw, Can Ljubicic and Croatia do it Again?
by Sean Randall | December 16th, 2006, 1:36 pm

With 2006 cup run over, let’s look ahead to the 2007 Davis Cup draw which doesn’t disappoint, offering plenty of tasty first round matchups. Among the Feb 9 first round highlights, defending champion Russia travels to Chile; Croatia visits Germany; the U.S. will go to the Czech Republic; and, Federer and Nadal may square off as Switzerland journeys to Spain. ADHERER

Here’s the complete 16-team field in draw order:
Russia at Chile
Romania at France
Germany at Croatia
Australia at Belgium
USA at Czech Republic
Switzerland at Spain
Sweden at Belarus
Argentina at Austria

Let’s start with my squad, the U.S., which faces a brutal draw. First traveling to the Czech Republic to battle Tomas Berdych and perhaps Mr. Hingis, Radek Stepanek – no easy task on the clay for Andy Roddick and James Blake – and then if they win they’d face either Roger Federer and his Swiss crew on their clay or battle Spain on grass here in the U.S.

I think the U.S. should get by the Czechs – though not easily as Berdych could very well sweep the singles – and then they’ll beat Spain at home on grass to reach the semifinals. Of course if Federer decides to post for D-Cup, then all bets are off, and the Swiss could run the table to the last four.

In the bottom section, Argentina’s looking real good to get through Austria to likely face Sweden, who take on Team Max. Argentina routed Sweden earlier this year at home, so the Swedes will have revenge on their mind in the rematch, this time on their home turf. And with a healthy Pim Pim and Jonas, Sodeling, ToJo, you have to like their chances on the ice rink next September.

In the top half, Russia v. Chile is probably the best match-up of the first round. Chile is simply never ever a good place to go play a Davis Cup match, unless of course you are Chilean. And even then it can be dangerous.

Chile will have its throngs of rabid supporters for Gonzo and Massu and maybe Rios, while Russia will have Davydenko and who knows who else at its disposal. With the first round just 10 days or so after the Australian Open, you have to think some of the Russian boys are not going to want to jet from Australia to Russia and then to Chile for what’s going to be a clay court ambush. That said, I don’t think Marat Safin gets on that plane, especially if he does well in Australia. Youzhy, Tursunov, Andreev, etc are good players, but I like Chile in the hostile environment. Plus, Russia just won so the motivation to win may not quite be all there.

France should blow out Romania, and I like Ljubicic, Ancic and Croatia to beat up on Germany, and Belgium to stun the Aussies. Australia is pretty thin with Hewitt and maybe Flip leading the charge, but against the Rochus bros. and Vliegen on the European clay, Belgium will be too tough to beat.

In the quarters, France will have to travel to Chile, a task just too tough for young Gasquet and co., while Croatia should roll the Belgians.

That means the semis as I see them (assuming Federer does not play), Chile v. Croatia (home soil to be determined by drawing I think) and the U.S. visits Sweden. Both tricky, but I think Crotia prevails regardless of surface/site and the U.S. slips past the Swedes in an indoor shootout. For the final, I’ll take Croatia earning their second D-Cup crown in three years defeating the U.S. 4-1 on the clay in Zagreb! Let’s check back in a year and see how I did.

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8 Comments for The 2007 Davis Cup Draw, Can Ljubicic and Croatia do it Again?

Maria P Says:

I like Russia against Chile. Kolya is good in that kind of environment.
I would bet that Youzhny will be there. Tursunov and Andreev too.
They don’t need Marat on clay.

Ellie Says:

Federer already announced he won’t be playing against Spain so chances are it’ll be USA Vs SPAIN on grass..I give the Americans the just about, remember nadal great run in Wimbledon….

JCF Says:

Croatia will never pick a clay court to host anyone.

And calling the Aussies underdogs against Belgium is pure idiocy. Hewitt may not be a star on clay, but the Belgians have no stars on any surface. He will win both his singles matches (he has beaten clay stars on clay before), and they will likely win the doubles also. The Belgians will beat the Scud or whoever Aust fields as second singles player twice, that is given. But Hewitt isn’t going to lose to the likes of Rochus or Malisse.


“In the quarters, France will have to travel to Chile, a task just too tough for young Gasquet and co.”

I don’t think so! Gasquet can play and kick butt on any surface (whether in Chile or not) and I have the feeling that Baby-Fed will start living up to nickname in 2007! And Monfils will step up, too. Both guys can be dangerous on any surface. Watch out!

Shaun Says:

US on grass against Spain in the second round? Please. The #1 player is Blake, and he shines on hard court and sucks on grass. So why do it on grass? Just because Roddick says so? It is time that they honor Blake as the top player in the USA. Don’t even bother with grass. The boys would not do well on greass. Hard court please.

Now, if US meets Croatia in the semis, or the final, US needs to play on Clay (which they should have done two years ago when they played them. Blame it on P Mac for short sighting.)

JCF Says:

I’m not sure I agree with that Shaun.

Ljubicic made the Semi Finals at Roland Garros this year (losing to the one and only Nadal of course), which is further than any of the US team players is ever going to get. I would wager he is better than the US on clay. It would not be helpful to pick that surface.

Against Spain, Blake would be a safe pick to beat Nadal, so I don’t think they have much to worry about.

sebar Says:

Argentina has many chances against Sweden if they can count on Nalbandian and Guillermo Cañas for the singles.
On the other side I’m not sure Nadal will be playing Davis Cup, so my bet is Argentina will be playing USA on clay in Argentina for semis.

Ljubicic Craps out for Croatia Says:

[…] And that’s the last time I pick him or his country to do anything that matters on a big stage ever again (yeah, i’m bitter!). I figured after when Looby won the Cup for his country in 2005 his game would elevate. I guess it peaked after his first career Slam semi at the French last year, but it’s been all downhill since. […]

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