Davis Cup Final: Wawrinka and Monfils set the score at 1-1 after the first day - UBITENNIS
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Davis Cup

Davis Cup Final: Wawrinka and Monfils set the score at 1-1 after the first day

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TENNIS – Stan Wawrinka got Switzerland to a winning start with a convincing 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-2 win over Jo Wilfred Tsonga in the opening match of the eagerly-awaited Davis Cup Final between France and Switzerland at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Villenueve d’Asq near Lille. Gael Monfils played one of his best matches of his career to win over Roger Federer in three sets with 6-1 6-3 6-4 keeping the French hopes alive at the end of the first day. Diego Sampaolo

 

Ubaldo Scanagatta asks Severin Luthi if there is more chance of winning the doubles or the singles point with Roger Federer in these conditions.

Wawrinka d. Tsonga 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

In the opening match 2014 Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka hit 61 winners to take his third win in five clay-court head-to-head matches against Jo Wilfred Tsonga with 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-2 in front of 27.432 spectators,which represents a record-breaking attendance for the Davis Cup.

In the second game of the first set Wawrinka earned a break point but Tsonga saved it with his serve. The Lausanne player converted his second break point in the fourth game for 3-1 and held serve to love in the next game. Tsonga made two unforced errors to go down 0-40 in the sixth game. He saved the first break point but Wawrinka converted the second to take a 5-1 lead. Wawrinka served for the first set but he faced the first break point of the match. Tsonga sent a passing shot wide to waste the break point. Wawrinka hit a forehand passing shot before wrapping up the first set with a service winner in just 26 minutes.

Tsonga faced a break point in the opening game of the second set but he held his serve after a 12-point first game. Tsonga held serve without facing any break points in the third game for 2-1.

The Frenchman broke serve in the fourth game of the second set for 3-1 when Wawrinka hit a double fault and backed up the break holding serve in the next game for 4-1.

Tsonga clinched the second set with 6-3 with a service winner to the delight of the enthusiastic French crowd. The Frenchman hit 16 winners and clinched six of his eight points at the net to draw level to 1-1.

The third set went on serve until the sixth games when Wawrinka broke serve to take a 4-2 lead in the third set, as Tsonga hit his forehand wide. Tsonga saved two set points to claw his way back for 3-5.

Tsonga went 30-0 when Wawrinka was serving for the set. but Wawrinka earned a third set point with two service winners and a down-the-line backhand. Wawrinka made a double fault but he earned a fourth set point with a forehand winner. Wawrinka clinched the third set with 6-3 after 1 hour and 51 minutes dropping just seven of his service points.

Wawrinka got an early break at the start of the fourth set and held serve in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. The Lausanne player got a second break in the seventh before sealing the win on the match point at 5-2 40-30 with a forehand volley after two hours and 24 minutes.

“I was feeling good since Thursday night. You know that you have a lot of pressure when you play a Davis Cup final. With everything that happened this week with Roger’s back, there is more pressure on me but I have a good team around me. I know how to play these matches. I did so many good matches this year. It’s important to show them that I am there. They maybe focused on Roger and maybe they forgot me. I thought that I would have more difficulties because I did not play a lot on clay. We had less time to prepare on clay than the French team. They were playing on this surface for a long time already. I just went on court prepared to do simple things. I think playing as well as I did in the Masters was the best preparation. I was confident”

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Monfils d. Federer 6-1 6-3 6-4

Gael Monfils played one of his best matches to take a three-set win over Roger Federer with 6-1 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 46 minutes to draw France level to 1-1. The Frenchman took a re-match against Federer who beat him in five sets after losing the first two sets in the quarter final at this year’s US Open.

The back problem which forced Federer to withdraw from the ATP World Tour Final last Sunday affected the Swiss legend in the first set when Monfils recovered from 15-30 to win three consecutive points and get his first break in the fourth game as Federer hit a forehand into the net. Federer earned two break back points in the next game but he failed to convert them. Monfils got a double break for 5-1. Monfils did not convert his first two set points after two double faults but he closed out with 6-1 the opening set on the their set point in 30 minutes with two consecutive aces.

Monfils did not convert on two break point chances but he broke serve on his third chance in the third game of the second set and held serve in the next game. A break was enough to take a 2-0 lead.

The Frenchman took a 4-2 lead with a break in the sixth game before getting another break for 5-3 to claim his first ever straight-set win over Federer who was affected by the injury especially on his backhand. Monfils closed out with his backhand on the first match point. Two days of training on indoor clay after the ATP Finals were not enough to get ready.

“That is one of the top-three matches in my life. I was very nervous at the beginning. When Jo lost, it was an extra pressure because we needed o get back to win the title. I liked the atmosphere and the court. The crowd helped me a lot. They game me a lot of energy. At the end it helped me a lot because I went for my shots which made me serve big and hit big forehands”, said Monfils.

“Gael played a high-quality match. And playing the way he played against Federer in a Davis Cup final is an exceptional performance. Gael is able to play at that level. He already proved that in the past. I am sure he will be able to play another great match this weekend. He is at his best level at one of the most important moments of his career. This is extremely admirable”, said French Davis Cup captain Arnaud Clement.

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Davis Cup

Spain to face Russia and Ecuador in Davis Cup Finals next November

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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.

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Davis Cup

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.

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John Millman and Lleyton Hewitt (@TennisAustralia - Twitter)

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.

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Davis Cup

Kei Nishikori Out Of Davis Cup In Latest Blow To Japan

More bad news for fans of the injury-stricken player.

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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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