TENNIS DAVIS CUP – The Italian team formed by Fognini and Bolelli fought back from 1-2 down to beat Wawrinka and Chiudinelli in the doubles match with 7-5 3-6 5-7 6-3 6-2 in front of 18500 spectators who packed the Palaexpo in Geneva. The Italian has closed the gap to 1-2 to keep their hopes alive to qualify for the Davis Cup final. In Paris Tsonga and Gasquet beat Stepanek and Berdych to secure the decisive third point for “Les Bleus” who return to the Davis Cup for the first time since 2010. Diego Sampaolo
Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli recovered from a 1-2 deficit to take a dramatic win in the semifinal of the Davis Cup in Geneva to the disappointment of the home crowd who was hoping to seal the win and qualify in advance for the final of the 2014 Davis Cup.
Swiss captain Severin Luthi decided to rest Roger Federer who was replaced by his close friend Marco Chiudinelli. It was the third time that Chiudinelli teamed up with Wawrinka in the Davis Cup. In one of these two matches Chiudinelli and Wawrinka lost an epic match at the Palaexpo in Geneva in 2013 against Tomas Berdych and Lukas Rosol with an incredible 24-22 in the fifth set after 7 hours and 2 minutes setting a record for a doubles match in the Davis Cup)
After losing the first set with 5-7, the Swiss team bounced back by breaking serve for 4-2 in the second set. The home team saved a break-back point chance and sealed the win in the second set with 6-3.
The third set went on serve until the eleventh game when Chiudinelli and Wawrinka got the break to take the 6-5 lead before holding serve to go up 2-1 on sets.
The Swiss team looked in control of the match until Fognini and Bolelli broke serve in the sixth game of the fourth set to take the 4-2 lead before sealing the set to force the match to the fifth set.
Chiudinelli and Wawrinka were broken in the third game of the fifth set to trail 1-2. The Italians held serve in the next game and got a second break lead before clinching the fifth set on the third match point.
The home team is still favourite to qualify for their second Davis Cup final as they need one win on Sunday to seal the third point. In the opening match of the reverse rubber matches Federer will take on Fognini. In 1992 a Swiss team featuring Jakob Hlasek and Marc Rosset lost the only previous Davis Cup final for this country against a star-studded US team led by John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Pete Sampras and André Agassi.
Richard Gasquet and Jo Wilfred Tsonga sealed the decisive third point for the French team by beating Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych in a spectacular four- set match with 6-7 6-4 7-6 6-1 after three hours and thirty-five minutes in front of the enthusiastic home crowd who packed the famous Phillippe Chatrier at the Roland Garros in Paris on a sunny afternoon. The French win put an end to the two-year domination of the Czech team who won the last two editions of the Davis Cup
Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek, who boasted a proud record of 15 wins in 16 matches in the doubles matches at the Davis Cup before today, trailed 1-4 after going down a break down but they broke back and managed to draw level to 4-4 after France failed to convert three break point chances. The first set came down to the tie-break where Czech Republic rallied from 2-4 down by winning five points in a row to take the first set with 7-4.
Berdych and Stepanek missed seven break point chances between the second and the fourth games in the second set. On the contrary Tsonga and Gasquet converted the only break point chance in the fifth game to draw level on sets with a 6-4 win in the second set.
France got a double break to go up 3-0. The home team was looking to cruise to a easy win in the third set but Czech Republic broke back twice in the fourth game and then in the eighth game to love at 3-4. Czech Republic took the 4-2 lead but France raised the game winning four points in a row for 6-4. The Czech team saved the first set point but Gasquet secure the decisive point with a spectacular backhand pass down the line to seal the win in the tie-break. France broke in the fourth game of the fourth set before saving a break-back point chance to secure an emphatic with with 6-1
France returns to the Davis Cup Final four years after losing 2-3 against Serbia in Belgrade in 2010. It will the 19th final in the history for France with nine wins and nine defeats in the previous final appearances. Their last triumph dates back to 2001 when the French team beat Australian in Melbourne.
If Swiss beats Italy, the final is expected to be held on French soil in Lille at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium indoors on the 21st-23rd November weekend.
Spain to face Russia and Ecuador in Davis Cup Finals next November
The draw of the 2020 Davis Cup Finals in Madrid took place at the ITF offices in London on 12th March. The Davis Cup Finals will begin in Madrid on 23rd November 2020.
Defending champions Spain has been drawn in the Group A against Russia and Ecuador. Last year Rafael Nadal guided the Spanish team to the triumph in the final against Canada at the Caja Magica.
This year’s ATP Cup champions Serbia will face Germany and Austria in a Group A, which features three top 10 players Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev. Djokovic beat Thiem in this year’s final of the Australian Open.
In the Group E the USA will take on Italy in a re-match of last year’s late round-robin match. These two teams were drawn against Colombia.Last year’s finalists Canada will meet Sweden and Kazakhstan.
Three former Davis Cup champions France, Great Britain and Czech Republic have been drawn in Group C.
Croatia will clash against Australia and Hungary in Group D.
John Millman Praises ‘Special’ Atmosphere After Australia’s Davis Cup Triumph
John Millman praised the ‘special’ Davis Cup atmosphere in Adelaide after their 3-1 win over Brazil.
John Millman praised the ‘special’ Davis Cup atmosphere in Adelaide this weekend after Australia booked their spot in the Davis Cup Finals.
As Australia headed into the second day with a 2-0 advantage, many people expected a comfortable 3-0 win for the hosts but that turned out not to be the case.
Marcelo Demoliner and Felipe Meligini Rodrigues Alves gave Brazil hope after an epic 2 hour and 54 minute win over James Duckworth and John Peers.
A 5-7 7-5 7-6(6) victory for the Brazilians saw the tie taken into a fourth rubber as John Millman knew he had to step up to seal victory for the Aussies.
Another sensational match as Millman battled past Thiago Monteiro 6-7(6) 7-6(3) 7-6(3) to secure a thrilling win and Australia’s place in November’s Davis Cup Finals.
After sealing the win, Millman praised the special atmosphere in Adelaide over the two days, “To have an experience like this, that’s better than just about any experience I’ve had,” Millman told Tennis Australia.
“It was something pretty special this weekend. I enjoyed every second of it. It was so much fun. It was an emotional rollercoaster and we’re so happy to get through. To do it with these boys, it’s been a really special week.”
As for captain Lleyton Hewitt, this win typified what he loves about the home and away format that the Davis Cup Qualifiers shows, “There were ebbs and flows in all the matches. It could have gone either way,” Hewitt said.
“That is what Davis Cup is about and that’s why I love the home and away format. To have the atmosphere and the crowd involvement, it was a lot of fun for us to be out there.
“For these guys to play in front of their home fans again, they don’t get to do it throughout the year that often. I’m just thrilled for them that they get to enjoy it and be part of it. It is something really special.”
Next for Hewitt and his Australian team will be the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid, where they will join last year’s semi-finalists Spain, Canada, Great Britain and Russia as well as wildcards Serbia and France.
Also qualifying for November’s showpiece were Ecuador and Kazakhstan after their respective wins over Japan and the Netherlands.
Kei Nishikori Out Of Davis Cup In Latest Blow To Japan
More bad news for fans of the injury-stricken player.
Former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori has hinted that he may not be able to return to the tour until the clay season after withdrawing from his country’s upcoming Davis Cup tie against Ecuador.
Nishikori, who is currently ranked 31st in the world, had been in Miki training ahead of his country’s clash in the team competition. Raising hopes that he will be making a return this weekend. However, he has now confirmed that he is not fully at the level he needs to be to play. The 30-year-old hasn’t played a competitive match since September after undergoing surgery on his right elbow.
“Physically I’m not at my max.” AFP news quoted Nishikori as saying on Thursday.
“I want to return to competition after I improve my strength and become fully confident.
“It might be after Miami or during the clay season,” he added.
Japan will now enter their tie without their two top ranked players on the tour. Another notable absentee is world No.48 Yoshihito Nishioka, who has pulled out of the competition over coronavirus concerns. Yesterday the country recorded it’s 1000th infection of the illness, which is also known as Covid-19. The outbreak has affected many public events in Japan, but officials are confident that this year’s Olympic Games will go ahead as planned.
As a result of the outbreak, the Davis Cup clash will take place behind closed doors. The decision was jointly made between the ITF, Japanese Tennis Association and the country’s government. Baseball matches in the country have also been played without a crowd and the football J-League has been postponed.
“I am grateful just to be held while many sports are being cancelled.” Yasutaka Uchiyama told reporters.
“I want to get results firmly for the fans who support me in front of the TV. ”
Uchiyama and Go Soeda will be the two players who are playing singles in the tie against Ecuador instead of Nishikori and Nishioka.
Another Davis Cup tie affected by the Coronavirus is Italy’s home tie with South Korea. The government announced on Wednesday that all sporting fixtures will be played behind closed doors until April 3rd. Italy is the worst affected country in Europe with more than 3000 cases.
During a recent interview with Ubitennis, the ITF has said that are monitoring the threat posed by Covid-19 to their tournaments on a ‘case by case’ basis and are liaising with the relevant authorities. The ITF is the body which runs the Davis Cup.
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