Davis Cup 2014: Federer wins against Gasquet. Switzerland are the Champions - UBITENNIS
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Davis Cup 2014: Federer wins against Gasquet. Switzerland are the Champions

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TENNIS – Roger Federer sealed the first Swiss Davis Cup triumph with a 6-4 6-2 6-2 in one hour and 42 minutes win over Richard Gasquet who replaced injured Jo Wilfred Tsonga in the first reverse rubber match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille in front of 27.448 spectators, which broke a new world record attendance for a tennis match. Federer won a one-sided match where he did not face any break point chances. Diego Sampaolo

 

Twenty-two years after their first final against the USA in Fort Worth where a star-studded US team beat Switzerland 3-1, the red-crossed team has become the 14th country to clinch the Davis Cup Trophy in the 115-year-old history of this event.

Roger Federer has finally fulfilled his dream to lift the Davis Cup Trophy, one of the very few titles missing from his trophy cabinet

Federer led 12-2 in his previous head-to-head matches against Gasquet. The Frenchman won their only previous two matches on clay but this time Federer was unstoppable. He was in full control of the match from the first set against Richard Gasquet who replaced Jo Wilfred Tsonga who was sidelined by an elbow injury.

Gasquet held serve to 15 in the first game. Federer won the second game to 15 on his serve before breaking serve for the first time in the match in the third game of the opening set for 2-1 with a half-volley forehand winner and a forehand passing shot.The Swiss Maestro rallied from 0-30 to back up the break in the next game. Gasquet saved one break point at 2-4 30-40 with two backhand volleys. In the seventh game Federer recovered from 0-40 on Gasquet’s serve and earned a break point chance but the Frenchman managed to hold his serve. Gasquet saved three set points at 3-5 15-40 but Federer wrapped the first set with 6-4 on the next game. He held three consecutive serves to love and won 21 of his 25 service points. In the whole first set Federer dropped just four points on his serve.

Federer broke serve in the opening game of the second set as Gasquet hit a backhand into the net. Federer made two forehand unforced errors to trail 15-30 but he saved it with his serve before taking another break in the seventh game. Federer hit a backhand return to take a 0-30 lead on Gasquet’s return before bringing up three break points with his forehand. Gasquet saved the first but Federer converted on his second opportunity. Federer served for the second set at 5-2. He hit two aces before closing it out on his first set point with a spectacular backhand drop-shot.

Gasquet saved four break point chances at the start of the third set. Federer did not face any break point chances and got two breaks for 3-2 and 5-2. He held serve to love before sealing the win with a drop-shot on the first match point. He fell on his knees before hugging Swiss Captain Severin Luthi and Stan Wawrinka, Michael Lammer and Marco Chiudinelli.

Federer, who made his debut in the Davis Cup in 1999, helped Switzerland reach the semifinal in 2003 when the red-crossed team lost to Australia.

Federer scored the 73th win in 85 singles matches this year. He lost the second singles against Gael Monfils in his first match since he was sidelined by a back injury which forced hime to withdraw from the ATP Finals title match against Novak Djokovic. Yesterday Federer teamed up with Stan Wawrinka to put Switzerland into a 2-1 lead with a straight-set win in the doubles over Richard Gasquet and Julien Benneteau.

“I have been playing in this competition for almost 15 years and I have never been as close as in the past weekend. I am happy that I was able to stay calm and play a good match. I am really happy for the guys in the team. Everybody worked incredibly hard to get me match ready. Stan has put in so much effort over the years and played an unbelievable weekend that gave me the opportunity today. I am very much aware of that. This is one for the boys. It’s not for me. I have already won enough in my career and did not need to tick any empty boxes. I am just happy for everybody else. I am happy we could live a great historic moment in our country. I am happy with the way I played. I expected Jo on the other side of the net but I was able understand the change and I had one hour to get ready. I played aggressive tennis and it paid off. It’s been a long week, but one of the best weeks we have had overall as a team.Many team members have been on the team for almost 10 years, so we know each other very well”, said Federer.

Federer was asked to describe the difference between winning the Davis Cup and the Grand Slams and the Olympics.

“Everything feels a bit slightly different but at the end it’s a tennis match. You feel great emotions and you are unbelievably happy and relieved. We wanted incredibly badly, especially being up 2-1. Seeing Stan out there and rest of the team supporting me, I pushed extra. It was one of the best feelings in my career. It is so much nicer to celebrate it all together. It’s an amazing day for sports in our country. We are a small country. We don’t win big events every other week. I hope it can create great things for the future and inspire a generation and other people to inspire into sport. We have a fantastic team and that’s something that people see and appreciate.

“It’s an exceptional year for me. I have been dreaming the Davis Cup for years. I have been trying everything to win it. With Severin, with Roger, with Marco and Michael we have had many experiences together during the past years. This was the ideal year. It started off well in Serbia and it ends up well here in France”, said Wawrinka.

French captain Arnaud Clement expressed his disappointment after the 3-1 defeat but admitted that the home team did their best this weekend.

“I believe we tried everything. We did everything well, especially in the preparation for the matches, in the way we approached the final.We have preparing for it for weeks. However, I need to be better in the future. For the time being the first feeling is that Switzerland was better than we were during the whole weekend. I decided yesterday that Richard Gasquet would be playing today. Jo felt pain in his arm. On Saturday morning he made a test to see if he was able to play the doubles. It was not the case”, said Clement

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Davis Cup

Former Grand Slam Champion Hits Out At ‘Abysmal’ Davis Cup

Australia’s most successful doubles player in Davis Cup history isn’t happy about the changes made to team event.

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Former world No.1 Doubles player Todd Woodbridge has taken a fresh swipe at the revamped Davis Cup and their allocation of wild cards for the 2020 finals.

 

The 48-year-old has blasted the format of the historic team event following major changes that was made this year. Last month was the first time the finals took place over a week with 18 teams participating in one location in Madrid. At the event there was a few blips with the scheduling being at times problematic. Highlighted by the tie between the USA and Italy that went on until 4am.

Despite the issues, there were also positives to be taken away from the event, which was won by Spain. However, Woodbridge remains a critic. The Australian is his country’s most successful doubles player in the history of the Davis Cup with 25 wins under his belt. Overall, he played in 32 ties over a 14-year period (1991-2005).

“The tennis itself has been brilliant, the organisation has been abysmal,” Woodbridge said on Australian programme Sports Sunday.
“Everything from IT issues, to playing matches that finish at 4am, and then today the ITF go, ‘Well we’re going to put in more wild cards.”

It is the wild cards decision that has irritated the 16-time grand slam champion the most. Recently it was announced that Serbia and France has been handed passes into the finals next November. Meaning that will not have to go through the play-off ties. Woodbridge has suggested the move was deliberately made in order to persuade Novak Djokovic to play in the event again.

“They’ve given wild cards this week, for 12 months’ time. You’ve got to ask the question, how can you do that? It looks like they’re guaranteeing Novak Djokovic a spot for next year … ‘We want you back so we’re going to guarantee you can be there, you don’t have to play the qualifying match earlier in the year,” he said.
“And then France have also been put in, so you’ve got to ask the question, the President of the ITF is also French and I’m sure he’s had a big influence in that discussion. They’ve got so many things to fix if it’s going to be a success next year.
“The biggest issue was crowd. We (Australia) played our first match with about 400 people watching, and that’s a great disappointment.”

Gerard Pique if the founder of Kosmos, whose investment has enabled the transformation of the Davis cup. In a recent interview with Spanish media, he said the allocation of a wild card to France was done so the country ‘feel part of the competition because the format will continue like this.’

“We’re delighted with how everything went and above all with the final, which Spain won,” he told Onda Cero about the 2019 Davis Cup finals. “There are things which need to be improved, like the times of the games, which has an easy solution in the form of adding another court and changing the times a little bit.”

The 2020 Davis Cup qualifying rounds will get underway in March.

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Davis Cup

Roberto Bautista Agut: ‘My Father Would Have Given Me An Earful If I Had Stayed At Home’

The Spaniard opens up about his decision to return to the Davis Cup following the death of his father.

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MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 17: Roberto Bautista of Spain during a training session of Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals 2019 at Caja Magica on November 17, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Diego Souto / Kosmos Tennis)

Throughout the Davis Cup finals player’s have illustrated their commitment to their country in the competition, but Roberto Bautista Agut took it to another level.

 

The world No.9 was hit with personal tragedy half-way through the event in Madrid. On November 21st Bautista Agut left the competition to return home after receiving the news that his father’s health had taken a turn for the worse. Ximo Bautista had a serious domestic accident three years ago, which caused serious health issues. He passed away shortly after his son returned home.

Grieving for the loss of his father, 18 months after his mother died, Bautista Agut attended his funeral on Saturday. 24 hours after that he was back playing in the Davis Cup once again representing Spain.

“I made the decision to go home on Thursday and I was lucky to be with my father the last minutes of his life and say goodbye to him.” Bautista Agut told reporters. “My father would have given me an earful if I had stayed at home.”

The unexpected and admirable return of the 31-year-old brought glory to his team on Sunday. In the first tie of the final, Bautista Agut disposed of Felix Auger-Aliassime in straight sets to hand the hosts the lead. Victory was then sealed in the following match after Rafael Nadal defeated Denis Shapovalov.

“When I took the car to come (back to the Davis Cup), the last thing on my mind was to play,” he said.
“But in the final, my head wanted to face that game, and luckily it went well.’
“I didn’t know if I could measure up, but I left everything there. The moment has been very beautiful and unrepeatable.”

World No.1 Nadal has described his rival as an ‘inspiration’ for showing his commitment to the Davis Cup. Bautista Agut played a total of three matches in the seven-day event, winning two of those. His victory over Auger-Aliassime made him only the 10th Spanish player in history to have won a match in a Davis Cup final.

“What Roberto did today (Sunday) is something out of this planet,” Nadal said. “Roberto has been an inspiration to all of us.
“Whatever happens this cannot be a climax for someone who has lost his father this week.”

The Davis Cup triumph caps off what has been a strong season for Bautista Agut, who has cracked the year-end top 10 for the first time in his career. His only title took place back in January where he won the Qatar Open. At Wimbledon he reached his first-ever grand slam semi-final. Overall, Bautista Agut achieved a win-loss of 42-22.

The Spanish No.2 will marry his longtime girlfriend next weekend.

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Rafael Nadal, Roberto Bautista Agut Guide Spain To Davis Cup Glory

Spain has ended their eight-year title drought at the newly revamped competition.

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Rafael Nadal (image via Image via Kosmos Tennis)

World No.1 Rafael Nadal has clinched the Davis Cup title for Spain after defeating Denis Shapovalov in straight sets to give his country an unassailable lead in their clash against Canada.

 

Nadal, who hasn’t lost a match throughout the entire week in Madrid, overcame some spirited play from across the court to prevail 6-3, 7-6(7). Sealing the trophy for his country for the first time since 2011.

During his clash with Shapovalov, the 16-time grand slam champion broke once during the opening set, but was tested thoroughly in the second. Fighting his way through some lengthy service games with one of those lasting almost 10 minutes.

It would be a dramatic tiebreaker where he sealed the victory. It looked as if Nadal would be strolling to the win after hitting an ace to claim two match points at 6-4. However, both of those were saved by forehand winners from Shapovalov who drew level once again.  It would be third time lucky for Nadal after a shot from across the court slammed into the net. Prompting him to drop to the ground in tears of joy.

“I could not be happier. It has been an unforgettable moment in this amazing stadium (Caja Magica).” Said Nadal.
“Our team spirit prevailed. We fought hard.” He added.

The Spanish team got off to a solid start in the tie thanks to Roberto Bautista Agut’s admirable return to the competition. 31-year-old Agut left the event half-way through the week due to his seriously ill father who sadly passed away. However, he came back to Madrid and got the hosts their first point after disposing of an error-stricken Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(3), 6-3. The 19-year-old, who was playing his first match in the seven-day competition, committed 45 unforced errors.

“It was a very special feeling on the court,” Agut told Eurosport after.
“I just could go out and try my best, give my best.
“I am very happy I could win the first point for Spain.”

Image via Kosmos Tennis

The Spanish team were unbeaten on home soil this week. Scoring wins over Russia, Croatia, Argentina and Great Britain. Making them the first ever winners of the revamped Davis Cup, which featured a total of 18 teams in finale.

“It has been an amazing week. There have been a lot of things we went through.” Nadal reflected.
“The father of Roberto passed away, Marcel (Granollers) yesterday was stiff with his lower back and Pablo (Carreno-Busta) getting injured in the singles. A lot of things happened.”

Captain’s tribute

Nadal’s commitment to the competition has been hailed by captain Sergi Bruguera. Who described the world No.1 as being ‘out of this world.’ He has played in eight matches with five of those being in the singles competition. Overall, he dropped only one set in his doubles match against Russia.

“Rafa, I don’t know if he is out of this world.” Said Bruguera.
“Throughout this week I don’t think there was one day we went to sleep before 3am. One day, I think it was Friday, he went to sleep at 5:10am and then he was playing singles and doubles again (the next day).”

Although Nadal was a key figure in the triumph, it wasn’t just him that guided his country to victory. It is the sixth time in History Spain has won the event. Historically, there are now ten Spanish men who have won a match in a Davis Cup final.

“The truth is when you have this kind of moment it is difficult to describe in words because there are so many feelings. So many emotions I have never felt before.” Their captain explained.
“I have no words for this. Roberto was at his father’s funeral yesterday and now he was here (in Madrid) giving everything.’
“The mentality, spirit and concentration of the team I have no idea how to describe.”

Spain has a chance to defend their title on home soil next year with Madrid being the chosen host of the 2020 finals.

Image via Kosmos Tennis

 

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