TENNIS DAVIS CUP – Federer and Wawrinka over the moon after winning first Davis Cup for their country. Disappointed French team, but no regrets for them.
It could not be an happier ending for the season of the Swiss players, both Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer were aiming at this trophy for long and after the little case of last week, team spirit prevailed and today it won against a fierce France.
After the last dropshot of the world number two closed the decisive last match of this 2014 Davis Cup, happiness flowed unstoppable in the Swiss team and probably will flow until very late tonight.
“It’s amazing feeling,” said Wawrinka. “The best. We all know how it’s great to watch such an amazing player when he’s playing good tennis.
“Yeah, Roger, I still love you,” he added laughing, as to put an end to the unnecessary discussions of the press about the possible feud caused by Mirka Federer in London. “You know, I didn’t watch the beginning. I was watching from the locker room. I knew it was important to be ready in case for the last match. And I was ready.”
For Federer it was one of the few titles to miss in his palmarès, so the importance of this win was even bigger.
“I mean, everything feels a bit slightly different,” he said. “But at the end it’s a tennis match. You feel great emotions. You’re unbelievably happy and relieved.
“We wanted this clearly very badly, especially being up 2‑1. You inch yourself closer and closer. Clearly seeing Stan out there, the rest of the team supporting you, you push extra.
“It was definitely one of the better feelings in my career, no doubt about it.”
But this win was not only a another prize to add to his career, so he added: “I think it’s an amazing day for sports in our country, in Switzerland. We’re a smaller country. We don’t win bigger events every other week. So from that standpoint I think it’s a big day.
“I hope it can create things for the future for sports in general. If tennis, that’s great, but even for other sports, to inspire a generation and other people to invest more into sports.
“For me personally, obviously I’m unbelievably happy because I’ve been playing in this competition for probably almost 15 years now. At the end of the day I wanted it more for the guys and for Severin and Stan, the staff and everybody involved, you know. This is one for the boys.”
A completely different atmosphere featured the press conference of the losing team, who, however, did not look for excuses, nor blamed any of their choices.
Arnaud Clemant, captain of the French team, stood his ground on the decision to play on clay.
“I still think it’s a good choice,” he said. “I believe we tried everything we could. We did everything well, especially in the preparation for the matches, in the way we approached the final.”
He went on explaining why he decided to make Richard Gasquet play rather than Jo-Wilfred Tsonga: “This weekend, after the matches on Friday, Jo felt a pain in his arm. It’s a pain he had recently and came back on this occasion. Saturday morning he made a test to see if he was able to play the doubles. It was not the case.”
When he was asked why he did not reveal that after the doubles’ match, he replied: “I have a lot of friendship with you, but I believe the answer is obvious. We don’t want to give information to the opponents at that particular stage of the weekend.
“I think we have to leave them with some uncertainty until the last minute. Honestly, I don’t like to give you wrong information at some moments during the tie. Maybe some of you were doubting what I was saying, but I couldn’t do otherwise because the goal was to protect the group.
“It might just create an extra doubt in the opponent’s mind if they don’t know who they’re going to face the next morning, and it’s my duty to keep this secret.”
His trick obviously did not play out the way he hoped, as Federer played a superb match against Gasquet, who said to be very disappointed to lose in three sets.
“It’s always difficult, but I tried my best,” he said. “I just need to improve. He played very good, the first time he played that level against me. I think he played the best match against me, I want to say. Of course, he has experience with these kind of matches. It’s a big disappointment for me to lose.
Someone in the press room suggested that he played very well too, but the Swiss was simply unbeatable, but he did not agree.
“No, it’s not true. I made many mistakes in my returns. Sometimes I let him play. This you can’t do. So I did make mistakes.
“I should have hit the ball harder and at a higher level. But it’s extremely difficult to play him. I felt he was extremely experienced. He played dozens of those matches. When you play him, you know he’s not going to make a mistake, he’s not going to give any point away. He has a lot of talent. He always hits the right shot. His shots are of a very high quality. I believe he’s one of the toughest opponents you can have today.”
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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