The first round of the 2015 Davis Cup gets underway this weekend with a some of the biggest names in tennis support their home countries. While defending champion Switzerland will be minus their two stars Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Milos Raonic, Gilles Simon, Gael Monfils and Kei Nishikori are among the top names in action.
Djokovic begins Serbia’s quest for a second Davis Cup title against Mate Delic. Murray meets the improving Donald Young who makes his second start for the U.S., both against Great Britain.
“I am playing for my country, not for myself against Andy Murray in his home,” Young said. “It is going to be tough for sure. The crowd is going to be amazing and hopefully I can enjoy it.”
Here’s a breakdown of the matches this weekend (via ITF).
Germany v France – Frankfurt, GER – hard (indoors)
Head-to-head: France leads 8-2
France heads into this Davis Cup by BNP Paribas first round tie having won the last 7 meetings between the two teams. Germany has not defeated France since recording a 3-2 victory in 1938 and has lost their last three meetings on German soil.
This is the 2nd straight year these two nations have met in the competition. France recorded the 8th 0-2 comeback in World Group history to defeat Germany 3-2 in the 2014 quarterfinals in Nancy.
Frenchman Gael Monfils and Germany’s Andre Begemann are the only 2 players who played in that quarterfinal tie to have been nominated for this tie.
France has never lost to Germany on a hard court, with this their fourth meeting on the surface.
R1 – Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) v Gilles Simon (FRA)
R2 – Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) v Gael Monfils (FRA)
R3 – Benjamin Becker/Andre Begemann (GER) v Julien Benneteau/Nicolas Mahut (FRA)
R4 – Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) v Gilles Simon (FRA)
R5 – Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) v Gael Monfils (FRA)
Great Britain v USA – Glasgow, GBR – hard (indoors)
Head-to-head: USA leads 11-8
Great Britain ended a 4-match losing streak against USA in last year’s first round in San Diego.
Great Britain is bidding to defeat USA on home soil for the first time since 1935, when it won 5-0 on Centre Court at Wimbledon in the Challenge Round Final to win the Davis Cup.
If Andy Murray/Jamie Murray and Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan play against each other in Saturday’s doubles, it would be only the 6th brothers v brothers doubles encounter in Davis Cup history. The last time two brothers played against each other in Davis Cup was in 2007, when Henry Estella/Victor Estrella (DOM) defeated Marcelo Arevalo/Rafael Arevalo (ESA) in the Americas Zone Group II first round.
R1 – Andy Murray (GBR) v Donald Young (USA)
R2 – James Ward (GBR) v John Isner (USA)
R3 – Dominic Inglot / Jamie Murray (GBR) v Bob Bryan / Mike Bryan (USA)
R4 – Andy Murray (GBR) v John Isner (USA)
R5 – James Ward (GBR) v Donald Young (USA)
Czech Republic v Australia – Ostrava, CZE – hard (indoors)
Head-to-head: Australia leads 6-1
A first meeting between these two nations since 1997, when Australia recorded a 5-0 whitewash on grass in the World Group quarterfinals in Adelaide.
The Czechs’ only victory against Australia came under the flag of Czechoslovakia in 1975, when Jan Kodes defeated Tony Roche in the decisive fourth rubber to seal a 3-1 triumph in their Inter-Zonal semifinal.
R1 – Lukas Rosol (CZE) v Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)
R2 – Jiri Vesely (CZE) v Bernard Tomic (AUS)
R3 – Jan Mertl / Adam Pavlasek (CZE) v Lleyton Hewitt / Samuel Groth (AUS)
R4 – Lukas Rosol (CZE) v Bernard Tomic (AUS)
R5 – Jiri Vesely (CZE) v Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)
Kazakhstan v Italy – Astana, KAZ – hard (indoors)
Head-to-head: first meeting
R1 – Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) v Simone Bolelli (ITA)
R2 – Andrey Golubev (KAZ) v Andreas Seppi (ITA)
R3 – Andrey Golubev / Aleksandr Nedovyesov (KAZ) v Fabio Fognini / Paolo Lorenzi (ITA)
R4 – Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) v Andreas Seppi (ITA)
R5 – Andrey Golubev (KAZ) v Simone Bolelli (ITA)
Argentina v Brazil – Buenos Aires, BRA – clay (outdoors)
Head-to-head: Argentina leads 5-2
A first meeting since 1980 for these 2 nations. Brazil is looking to end a 4-match losing streak against Argentina, having not defeated its neighbours since 1975. The Brazilians have never won on Argentine soil.
R1 – Carlos Berlocq (ARG) v Joao Souza (BRA)
R2 – Leonardo Mayer (ARG) v Thomaz Bellucci (BRA)
R3 – Federico Delbonis / Diego Sebastian Schwartzman (ARG) v Marcelo Melo / Bruno Soares (BRA)
R4 – Leonardo Mayer (ARG) v Joao Souza (BRA)
R5 – Carlos Berlocq (ARG) v Thomaz Bellucci (BRA)
Serbia v Croatia – Kraljevo, SRB – hard (indoors)
Head-to-head: Serbia leads 1-0
A 2nd Davis Cup derby between these 2 young nations, whose only previous meeting came in the quarterfinals in 2010 – the year Serbia went on to win its first title – and proved a fairly one-sided affair. Marin Cilic recorded the only victory for the hosts in Split, defeating Viktor Troicki in the second rubber, as two wins for Novak Djokovic and a doubles triumph for Janko Tipsarevic and Nenad Zimonjic carried the Serbs to victory.
R1 – Novak Djokovic (SRB) v Mate Delic (CRO)
R2 – Viktor Troicki (SRB) v Borna Coric (CRO)
R3 – Viktor Troicki / Nenad Zimonjic (SRB) v Marin Draganja / Franko Skugor (CRO)
R4 – Novak Djokovic (SRB) v Borna Coric (CRO)
R5 – Viktor Troicki (SRB) v Mate Delic (CRO)
Canada v Japan – Vancouver, Canada – hard (indoors)
Head-to-head: Japan leads 6-0
Japan and Canada go head-to-head in a repeat of last year’s first round clash, which saw Japan prevail 4-1 in Tokyo to extend its perfect record against Canada to 6-0. Kei Nishikori won both of his singles and the doubles rubber alongside Yuichi Sugita in last year’s encounter to punish a Canadian team missing its talisman Milos Raonic.
This is the 6th meeting between the two nations on Canadian soil – and just their 2nd clash since 1938.
R1 – Milos Raonic (CAN) v Tatsuma Ito (JPN)
R2 – Vasek Pospisil (CAN) v Kei Nishikori (JPN)
R3 – Daniel Nestor / Vasek Pospisil (CAN) v Go Soeda / Yasutaka Uchiyama (JPN)
R4 – Milos Raonic (CAN) v Kei Nishikori (JPN)
R5 – Vasek Pospisil (CAN) v Tatsuma Ito (JPN)
Belgium v Switzerland – Liege, BEL – hard (indoors)
Head-to-head: Switzerland leads 4-3
An 8th meeting between these two nations, whose last clash came in the World Group play-offs in 2008 when Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka won the decisive doubles rubber.
Switzerland has not won on Belgian soil since the first meeting between the two nations in 1932.
R1 – Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) v Henri Laaksonen (SUI)
R2 – Steve Darcis (BEL) v Michael Lammer (SUI)
R3 – Ruben Bemelmans/Neils Desein (BEL) v Adrien Bossel/Michael Lammer (SUI)
R4 – Steve Darcis (BEL) v Henri Laaksonen (SUI)
R5 – Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) v Michael Lammer (SUI)
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