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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rafael Nadal, Roberto Bautista Agut Guide Spain To Davis Cup Glory
Spain has ended their eight-year title drought at the newly revamped competition.
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.”
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.”
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.
Fabio Fognini sets up final against Danil Medvedev at the Diriyah Tennis Cup in Ryadh
The WTA announces the winners of the 2019 WTA Players of the Year Award
Ashleigh Barty’s coach Craig Tyzzer wins the WTA Coach of the Year Award
EXCLUSIVE: Daniil Medvedev On His Saudi Arabian Debut, No.1 Dreams And Russia’s Olympic Ban
Danil Medvedev and David Goffin reach the semifinal at Diriyah Cup in Ryadh
At His Best Novak Djokovic Is Better Than Federer And Nadal, Says Mouratoglou
Rafael Nadal To Play For ‘A Few More Years,’ Says Former Coach
Roger Federer Outlines Schedule For Next Year With Open Mind Of Playing In His 40s
Andy Murray Opens Up On How The Dunblane Massacre Affected His Childhood
The 10 Highest Prize Money Earners Of 2019 In Tennis
(VIDEO) Davis Cup Round-Up: Rafael Nadal Leads Spain To Victory
(VIDEO) Davis Cup Day 2: Historic Day For Canada As Spain Prevail In Late-Night Thriller
(VIDEO) Roger Federer, Alexander Zverev Guide Europe To Laver Cup Glory
(VIDEO) US Open Day 14: Rafael Nadal Ends The Tournament With An Extraordinary Win
(VIDEO) US Open Day 12: Bianca Andreescu Is The Queen Of New York
Draw/Entry List3 days ago
Entry List For The Australian Open Announced
ATP3 days ago
REPORT: Grigor Dimitrov Appoints New Coach
Latest news3 days ago
Late Replacement Tomljanovic To Face Maria Sharapova In Abu Dhabi
Focus3 days ago
The 2019 ATP Tour Review
Hot Topics3 days ago
Marcos Baghdatis Lands First Coaching Role With Top 10 Player
Hot Topics2 days ago
An Idiots Guide To Saudi Arabia’s Extravagant Diriyah Tennis Cup
Latest news3 days ago
Dominic Thiem signs up to defend his Barcelona title
Latest news2 days ago
The ATP announces nominees for the Coach of the Year Award