Djokovic v Ljubicic Highlight Day 1 of Davis Cup Quarterfinals
by Staff | July 8th, 2010, 8:55 pm

The Davis Cup World Group quarterfinals get underway on Friday. France travels to Spain, Argentina goes to Russia, Croatia hooks up with Serbia and the Czech Republic travels to Chile. ADHEREL

Among the interesting clashes tomorrow include Gael Monfils v. David Ferrer; Nikolay Davydenko v. David Nalbandian; and, Ivan Ljubicic v. Novak Djokovic.

Here are the tie details (notes from ITF).


Head-to-head: Spain leads 5-1
Surface: Hard (Resin) – Indoors
France’s sole defeat of Spain happened back in the 1923 Europe Final in Deauville when Jean-Francois Blanchy, Jacques Brugnon, Henri Cochet and Rene Lacoste were in the squad.

All six previous meetings between the two nations have been on clay. This is their first on hard court and also their first indoor clash.

Their most recent encounter was in the 2004 World Group semifinals in Alicante where Spain won 4-1 and later that year won its second Davis Cup title.

Gael Monfils (FRA) v David Ferrer (ESP)
Michael Llodra (FRA) v Fernando Verdasco (ESP)

Julien Benneteau / Michael Llodra (FRA) v Feliciano Lopez / Fernando Verdasco (ESP)

Gael Monfils (FRA) v Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
Michael Llodra (FRA) v David Ferrer (ESP)


Head-to-head: Russia leads Argentina 3-2
Surface: Hard (Acrylic) – Indoors
Russia and Argentina have shared the spoils in their last four meetings, with Argentina coming out on top most recently in the 2008 World Group semifinals in Buenos Aires.

They have met before at the Olympic Stadium – in the 2006 Final, when Russia prevailed 3-2 after Marat Safin won a thrilling decisive fifth rubber 63 36 63 76 over Jose Acasuso. Both Nikolay Davydenko and Mikhail Youzhny, who are competing for Russia this weekend, also played in that final.

This is the first meeting on hard court between the two nations.

The doubles rubber in the World Group semifinal between Russia and Argentina in 2002, where Lucas Arnold Ker and David Nalbandian defeated Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin 64 64 57 36 1917, is the longest recorded men’s doubles rubber ever at 6 hours 20 minutes.

Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) v David Nalbandian (ARG)
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) v Leonardo Mayer (ARG)

Teimuraz Gabashvili / Igor Kunitsyn (RUS) v David Nalbandian / Horacio Zeballos (ARG)

Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) v Leonardo Mayer (ARG)
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) v David Nalbandian (ARG)


Head-to-head: first meeting
Surface: Hard (RuKortHardTournament MF) – Indoors
This is just the second meeting between two former Yugoslav countries in Davis Cup competition. Prior to this weekend’s tie between Croatia and Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina and FYR Macedonia were the only former Yugoslav nations to meet in Davis Cup, having done so on four previous occasions since they became independent nations in 1992.

Croatian players competed under the Yugoslav flag until 1992 and Serbians until 2003. Yugoslavia was renamed Serbia & Montenegro in 2004 before Serbia became an independent nation in 2007.

Ivan Ljubicic (CRO) v Novak Djokovic (SRB)
Marin Cilic (CRO) v Viktor Troicki (SRB)

Ivan Dodig / Antonio Veic (CRO) v Janko Tipsarevic / Nenad Zimonjic (SRB)

Marin Cilic (CRO) v Novak Djokovic (SRB)
Ivan Ljubicic (CRO) v Viktor Troicki (SRB)


Head-to-head: Chile leads 1-0
Surface: Clay (Red Clay) – Outdoors
This is the first meeting between the two nations since Czechoslovakia came within a set of victory before losing 3-2 to Chile in the 1967 European Zone 1st Round.

Nicolas Massu (CHI) v Ivo Minar (CZE)
Paul Capdeville (CHI) v Jan Hajek (CZE)

Jorge Aguilar/Paul Capdeville (CHI) v Frantisek Cermak/Lukas Dlouhy (CZE)

Nicolas Massu (CHI) v Jan Hajek (CZE)
Paul Capdeville (CHI) v Ivo Minar (CZE)

In Europe/Africa Zone Group II, Grigor Dimitrov could improve his perfect 9-0 singles record when Bulgaria takes on Slovenia. Only one player in Davis Cup history has a better ‘perfect performance’ in singles (USA’s Tut Bartzen with 15-0). (For more details see Davis Cup Media Guide p.159.)

Opponents Estonia and Bosnia/Herzegovina are both enjoying their best run in Davis Cup, having reached this weekend’s Europe/Africa Zone Group II 2nd round for the first time in their nation’s histories. Bosnia/Herzegovina played and won its first ever Group II tie in March, defeating FYR Macedonia 3-2, while Estonia won its first ever Group II tie on its 7th attempt (defeating Hungary 4-1).

Great Britain is on the brink of its worst ever performance in Davis Cup. It must defeat Turkey in this weekend’s Europe/Africa Group II play-off to avoid being relegated to Group III, the lowest rung of the ladder.

Paraguay, Indonesia, New Zealand and Pakistan are all hoping to make long-awaited returns to Group I of their respective zone competitions. Paraguay last competed in Americas Zone Group I in 2005 and Indonesia has been waiting just as long to return to Group I of the Asia/Oceania Zone. New Zealand takes on Pakistan with both nations bidding to return to Asia/Oceania Zone Group I, New Zealand for the first time since 2004, and Pakistan for the first time since 2006.

Aisam Qureshi goes into Pakistan’s tie against New Zealand on an 11-match winning streak, having not lost a rubber since 2006. He has played in Davis Cup every year bar one since making his debut in 1998. He is Pakistan’s most successful Davis Cup player in history with a 44-16 win-loss record.

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68 Comments for Djokovic v Ljubicic Highlight Day 1 of Davis Cup Quarterfinals

skeezerweezer Says:

As usual, Tennis X rules. Thanks for being on top of the latest tennis stuff, even after a major like Wimby. Informative article on Davis Cup. Thanks! Tennis – X, #1!

stu Says:

Djokovic looks lackluster again. Lame.

Polo Says:

Djokovic is what you’d call stunted growth in tennis. It looks like it could be due to both physical and mental factors. The mental frailty may be an offshoot of his physical problem. I think his breathing problem is his answer to Nadal’s knees.

stu Says:

he hit 17 winners and 25 unforced errors, and still won the match in straights. i have no idea how that’s possible.

Duro Says:

stu, did you watch the match?

stu Says:

parts of the second set, Duro. why, were you impressed? :)

Duro Says:

I missed the first one, but saw the whole second and third. Didn’t look bad to me. Especially the third. Novak won 6:1 that one. Nice, crisp shots, variety, some nice winners and drop shots… Not bad overall.

sar Says:

Bravo Nole.

jane Says:

Troicki was serving for the second set and blew his lead; now it’s likely that Cilic will go up 2-0. Good thing Nole won the first tie.

Great win for Monfils over Ferrer in five. There could be an upset in this one – Verdasco won the first set over Llodra, but Llodra is up a break in the second.

Chille v. Czech are level, as are Russia v. Argentina.

sar Says:

I think Nole can beat Cilic but can Troicki beat Ljub?

jane Says:

I don’t know sar; it may come down to the doubles to split things. Zimonjic/Tipsy, I’d think, gives Serbia an edge in the doubles. But I don’t know the Croatian doubles team.

stu Says:

The Llodra-Nando first set was close too..that would be an interesting upset because both teams are without their star players!

Don’t know about Djoko-Cilic, but the way Ljubo was playing today I think Viktor has a shot. And I really don’t see Serbia losing the doubles.

I wish they could both go thru. I like the Croatian team too!

jane Says:

stu, I think the Djoko v Cilic match could go either way: Cilic serve is generally more steady than Nole’s but Nole has the much better return. Cilic is also prone to hitting too many UEs, but then again, so is Nole at times. So it could be a nail-biter. The last time they played I think (?) was when both were playing really well last Fall, and they played a tight final in Bejing.

jane Says:

Oops – was wrong about Chille v Czech tie – Czech lead 1-0 and are up 2-0 sets in the second tie.

Meanwhile, Llodra is up 2-1 sets v. Verdasco. I think France may upset the defending champions of Spain??

Fot Says:

France is looking impressive. It does take “a team” to win in Davis Cup. France is deep, even without Tsonga playing. Spain is deep too, even without Nadal. Djokovic has to play for the Serbs to even have a chance. Is Gonzo still out with injuries?

sar Says:

They wanted Nole to be killed!I don’t understand this prehistoric level of thinking by Croats. Karma, where are you?

Croatia’s fans booed and jeered and refused to stand when Serbia’s national anthem was played, and some chanted “Kill the Serb” and other abuse at Djokovic.

Kimmi Says:

Good to see la monf winning a 5 set match against ferrer, especially after being 2 sets to love up. When he lost the 3rd then 4th set i thought here we go again, shades of that horrible match he played against fognini (?) that had to be suspended because of darkness at rolandgarros.

great win by la monf. well done.

hotsauce is going downhill again, losing close matches..where is the fire? but i have to say great win by llodra, since he started to work with mauresmo, has shown some great results. keep it up.

kimberly Says:

I wonder why spain didn’t play almagro. Would have seemed like a wiser choice given the surface and frankly how almagro has been recently playing with the exception of wimbledon.

dari Says:

Awwww, kimmi! I’m just watching the match of monfils/ferrer now, its shaping into a nice set and you spilled the results! Just kidding, the ticker at the bottom on tennis channel ruined it for me already! So far its fire cracker tennis from these two!

Kimmi Says:

hey dari! enjoy the match. did not watch it live just followed live score now and then. I am a big monfils fan but you know how disappointing he is to follow.

I am happy for this win vs ferrer. GO FRANCE. Now they need to win doubles.

Jake Willens Says:

I think France might take the whole thing!

margot Says:

Lawks! GB in grave danger of winning a round…

Polo Says:

Davis Cup must be the only Cup in professional sport that does not generate that much interest. I love tennis and even I can’t make myself interested in it? Why? Is there another Cup that is scattered all over the calendar year and in so many different places as the Davis Cup?

Kimmi Says:

spain coming back in this match!

Kimmi Says:

double fault verdasco. bad moment

Kimmi Says:

3 match points for france to win the tie

Kimmi Says:

one match point left on france serve this time

Kimmi Says:

spain are out. congrats to france. great win to beat the giants of davis cup. well done.

Fot Says:

Yes, great win for France. They (like Spain) are a very deep team.

jane Says:

Congrats to France. They’ve taken out the defenders. They do have a shot to win it all, as someone mentioned.

Jake Willens Says:

I am surprised Monfils beat Ferrer in 5 I would expect David to be the better competitor!

funches Says:

Jake, you feel that way because there’s a bizarre worldwide misconception that Ferrer is a clutch player.

He plays hard, but don’t mistake effort for achievement. He’s blown numerous matches he should have won at Roland Garros and was incredibly shaky in two consecutive five-setters at Wimbledon this year, barely escaping one before going down to an out-of-form Soderling.

guy Says:

if delpotro gets back argentina should win. nalbandian plays best at davis cup usually. someone should tell him the grandslams are for national glory too.

Huh Says:

La Monfils Hop Hop!! :D

skeezerweezer Says:

RE: Monfils

I think we have discuss this guy and his potential before. Can break out at anytime once he figures out OFFENSE. Needs a coach? I have always thought the next generation of tennis players that will break through to the next level would have the body of a basketball player, not a body builder. Monfil’s body type IMO is of this nature. Now, converting it into a High Octane Tennis Pro, uh, can anyone say “Coach”?

Kimmi Says:

Agree with you skeezer.

The best match I have seen monfils ever played, was when he beat nadal in Doha 2009. It was only 2 sets but monfils was attack and defence all the way..this match happened just few months after he hired Roger Rasheed. i thought Roger Rasheed is the answer to this guy BUT not to be. he went back to his defensive ways, giving up too quickly, what to do with this guy?

jane Says:

Nice to hear about Safin’s work for Russian tennis in general:

guy Says:

yeah monfils could be pretty dangerous if he was more offensive.

but people overestimate his athleticism because he’s black.

he’s no faster than nadal,davydenko,federer, tons of guys. and those guys have much better footwork and balance, which are two of the most important things. because tennis is so much about timing. it doesn’t matter if you can scramble around and dive and jump etc., if you can’t move efficiently and nail the timing, you can’t do much damage, just retrieve balls.

sure monfils is taller so even if he was just as fast he should supposedly have an advantage. but he doesn’t convert that height into added power like soderling or delpotro etc., so it doesn’t really matter in the end.

also monfils is mentally weak and let’s face it that’s basically the difference between so many top players. to be at the very top, you have to be able to focus not just for a few games or sets, but for the whole match.

i think he’d be a nightmare to coach. and just as soon as you fix his game, he’ll just get injured again…

meanwhile, youzhny nalbandian live 5th rubber. could be a great match

jane Says:

Nole played pretty nicely this match, neutralizing Cilic’s potential advantages: serve, crowd, etc. But Cilic has helped with too many UEs. It was great to see Novak so focused as well – VERY little negativity today, just head down and all business. Serbia is through to the semis!! Congrats to them.

jane Says:

So Serbia, Czech and France are through. But Russia vs. Argentina are locked 2-2 so it’s down to the final deciding match between Nalbandian and Youz!

Duro Says:

Hip, hip, Hurray!!! 6:3, 6:3, 6:2.

Kimmi Says:

congrats to serbia, they have a strong team too.

nalbandian took the first set vs youzhny 7-6

nalbandian plays well in davis cup. good win against davydenko and now a set up over youz.

go nalby – finish them.

guy Says:

i think i saw nalbandian blow his nose into the towel then sort of rub the towel together as if it would go away…

Annie Says:

Good luck to all the teams. It was a little disappointing to see the terrible way the fans in the Croatia, Serbia games, behaved. Ljubicic commented that he was not happy and distracted by it also. It is natural to have partisan support for your team, but to show such hostility towards the other team is unsportsmanship at it’s worst. Let’s hope the rest of the games are more civil and these two factions caution their fans with expulsion for rude behavior.

Kimmi Says:

yeah nalbandian. second set in the bag.

he was aggresive on second serve returns. deserve it. one more to go..go nalby

@guy 9:37am. a lot of players does that. not nice to see.

guy Says:

croatians and serbians always cause trouble at the oz open

nalbandian will do some damage during the indoor season if he keeps this form up.

Kimmi Says:

guy, he is ranked 153 at the moment. no one would want to draw him in the first round.

early break in the third, this could seal the match and the tie.

Kimmi Says:

argentina are thru. congrats to nalbandian. i really hope he wins davis cup for his country one day.

guy Says:

yeah impressive from nalbandian, to beat davydenko and youzhny in moscow. even though davydenko is still coming back from injury, but then so is nalbandian.

hm, true some seeds will get a rough draw with him. indoors he can beat anyone.

it was fun when he demolished the field out of nowhere in paris,madrid few years ago. i think he might have won the masters cup that year too, but missed out by one place i think

grendel Says:

trouble is, Annie, tennis isn’t an oasis. remember Ivanesevic slagging off Seles simply because she was a Serb? Change the world, and expect tennis to reflect the changes….

Jake Willens Says:

2 things: 1) I have to respect Djoko for his Davis Cip effort after a dissapointing time in his career 2) I love Nalbo in Davis C! He is a beast.

grendel Says:

“missed out by one place i think”. Yeah, remember that, and thinking what a pity. Wasn’t it Gasquet got the place, and he did nothing? Waste.

jane Says:

Congrats to Nalbandian and Argentina.

guy Says:

yeah , gasquet got the place, nalbandian congratulated him after beating him in one of the indoor masters. sort of like ‘hey i just whipped you , and am about to take out some no.1s and 2s, but good luck in shanghai.’

well nalbandian is one of the most frustrating players to support unless it’s davis cup, then he’s probably the best. the russians were lucky to beat the argies in moscow last time, i believe nalb took out davydenko and safin that tie, but it still wasn’t enough.

guy Says:

there was a lot of anticipation about the nalbandian nadal match during the madrid masters i think. they’d never played. and then nalbandian came out and destroyed nadal.

sar Says:

Grendel, Ivanesevic gave Seles a hard time because she was from Serbia even though she was ethnic Hungarian.

Goran is from Split. In 1992 in an Adelaide tournament he said:
“I wasn’t worried,” he says. “The two policemen, I go to the practicing range with them. They show me how to shoot, just for fun. They let me shoot machine gun. It was tough to control, but, oh, nice feeling. All the bullets coming out. I was thinking it nice to have some Serbs standing in front of me.”

Kimmi Says:

So, spain wins the world!

grendel Says:

Sar – they say civilization is skin deep. And Ivanesevic is a man of great charm, too. That’s the disturbing thing – we’re not talking nutters.

WTF Says:

Spain lost 3-0 but I doubt many Spanish people were watching Spain’s davis cup. All their attention was on the World Cup, and they just won it. DC is nothing in comparison, so they can only be indifferent about losing. Even Nadal’s Wimbledon win is nothing compared to their first ever World cup title. It’s the Holy Grail of the biggest international sport.

Good job to Spain for an excellent year in sports.

grendel Says:

Good job Spain won. Holland played like thugs in the firt half, and it nearly came off – Robbens should certainly have scored. But what lessons would have been learnt? That the hard men always beat the pretty players?

Having said that, there is a certain fascination – in any sport – when you see a battle between tough counterattackers and a team chock full of creative players. This match was precariously poised right into the second half of extra time. Pity we were denied Spain/Brazil – but on the other hand, the good battling away against the dark always carries a certain spice……

Kimmi Says:

so czech won 4-1 against chile without their big man berdych. well, chile is not that strong so berdych could pass this one out I guess.

So, it will be france vs argentina and Czech vs serbia in the semi.

Serbia seem to have strong singles and doubles team, i think they will get to the final. But who will they play with, will it be france or argentina?

johhny Says:

classy novak hero silences the nazzy crowd in split. what a shameful display of hosting davis cup encounter. croatia should become an international protectorate until they prove they are capable of implementing a tolerant, modern democratic system. phew.

sar Says:

Kimmi, will Berdman play in the semis?

guy Says:

if delpotro is back no question argentina. can’t see berdych stopping them without any backup and stepanek isn’t much of a threat to argentina when they’re at their best. france have a team full of injury prone headcases. technically they could win if tsonga,simon,gasquet are all playing top form, but it’s unlikely.

Kimmi Says:

sar – don’t know anything about berdy playing or not. There is still time till they play again. I hope he plays.

i saw a poll on eurosport, a lot of people are giving serbia a chance to take it all. This is due to djoko and the doubles team which has the world #1 zimonjic i guess.

I hope nalbandian wins, though i doubt it.

I agree with you guy. If only delpo was healthy..hmm!

Annie Says:

Seles was born in Novi Sad, in the former Yugoslavia but her parents were Hungerian. Ivanisevic was a character alright, and was very colorful.I admired his on court skills, however, I think he did not act as a gentleman often. I realise the world is not an oasis but there are codes of behavior in sports and these codes are enforceable.Disgusting behavior by some hot headsshould not be encouraged or tolerated.

Jake Willens Says:

I can never understand Lubi.. so much potential, but never quite lived up to it…

Top story: Djokovic Impressed By Sinner's Professionalism