Davis Cup: Great Britain one step from history, after thriller doubles victory - UBITENNIS
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Davis Cup: Great Britain one step from history, after thriller doubles victory

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Andy and Jamie Murray (image via The Mirror)

Great Britain emerges victorious from a doubles drama in Glasgow and are now very close to a historical Davis Cup final, as the Murray brothers won an incredible five-setter against the Aussies 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-7(6) 6-4.

 

The Aussies had served well, but the Brits have returned better, and too many missed chances, too many unforced errors at the net by the Australian team made the difference.

The tie started in the best way for the Brits on Friday, with Murray demolishing Kokkinakis in straight sets, including a bagel in set two in under 2 hours. Tomic then squared the tie winning against no.300 Evans (who has won the only previous match between the two at 2013 US Open). As expected, the doubles rubber became a must win match for both teams.

A soccer like sounding crowd – wearing blue “GoTheBrits” T-shirts – at Emirates Arena greeted the Murray brothers (Andy with brother Jamie, a US Open doubles runner-up last week) in their first appearance in Scotland as a doubles team; on the other side of the net a returning machine – Lleyton Hewitt and a serving machine Sam Groth, who has developed into something more than just a big serve. Just for the records, Hewitt’s first appearance in the Davis Cup was in 1999 – when Kokkinakis was 3 years old.

Left hander Jamie Murray served first: it’s break point straight away for the Aussies, but the Brits hold. Australia held their serve with Groth. There is a lot of communication, but also misunderstanding between the Murray brothers, who often play in formation, left open corridors for the Aussies. Hewitt looked very tense but Groth is on fire, with great serves, returns and passing shots. The Aussies break Jamie Murray (Hewitt risking an injury after chest bump with massive Groth) and then comfortably hold. When Groth serves for the set he definitely feels the pressure and commits double fault followed by an easy volley in the net, giving double break point to Great Britain to level up, which he saves with 2 great serves. After saving a third break point, the Aussies get a set point and take the set 6-4.

In the second set both teams easily held serve till 2-2, when Andy holds a tough game, and then obtain a break point on Groth which is converted, thus turning the tide of the match:4-2 followed by a love hold by brother Jamie. The percentage of first serve is lower for both teams, but the difference is in the return, where the Brits do much better. Groth is now visibly in discomfort, the crowd gets louder and louder as the Brits convert the first of the three consecutive set points, taking the second set 6-3 and squaring the match.

The Aussies reacted very well and, after holding a tough serve with Groth, they broke Andy’s serve, and held to love to lead 3-0.The match surges in intensity, with some incredibly long rallies with all players at the net. This is great tennis to watch. At 4-1 Australia, the Murrays turn the set around breaking Hewitt, love holding serve and then breaking again the Aussies with a forehand smash by Jamie Murray after a great return by Andy. The Brits then close the set at the first attempt, with a crosscourt backhand in the net by Hewitt: 6-4 and 2 sets to 1 for the Brits.

The key of the match so far was that the Aussies are not deep enough and cannot not finalize their overheads, let alone their volleys, whereas the Brits return very well, deep with Andy and often lobbing with Jamie.

The fourth set looked like a photocopy of the third with the Australians jumping ahead 2-0; this time the Brits broke back straight away. The Aussies still struggle to convert their volleys (it takes up to 5 overheads by them before converting the point, and often they end up being passed) while Jamie Murray in particular looks much more reactive on the net. His brother Andy shows his world no.3 class and places a number of amazing first serves and great returns, especially crosscourt backhands. It was a point to point set till the 5-4, where the Aussies got 3 consecutive set points, thanks to a great inside-out backhand passing shot by Groth, an amazing backhand return by Hewitt, followed by another backhand return by Groth which dies on Andy Murray’s racquet. Too many missed chances for the Aussies, though, whereas the Brits are good to convert theirs: 6-5 for the Brits and Andy Murray serving for the match and for history. He delivers an ace to start with and a forehand volley by Hewitt in the net brings the Brits to 2 points from the win. It’s not over though: some great returns by the Aussies turn the game around one more time, to take the fourth set to the tie break.

The Brits are playing with Groth, who alternates from great shots to unforced errors. At 4-4 in the tie break Jamie Murray at the net converts a volley which gives a mini break, but then puts out an easy volley in the following point. The Brits get to a match point on 6-5: Hewitt serves on Andy Murray to save the match. Great return by Andy, but Sam Groth impersonates Gandalf and (mentally) shouting “Thou Shalt Not Pass” levels the tie break. Another turn of tide and it’s set point Australia: a cross court backhand by Hewitt makes the Brit racquets clash together and brings Australia to the decider, after 3h 15m.

It was total drama and a battle of the nerves, as the Brits looked more in control. Andy held comfortably, while Groth gives 3 consecutive break points. With a partial score of 12 points to 1, Great Britain flies up 3-0. But this match is far from over and looks like “street-fighter tennis“: nerves are in absolute tatters, and the Australians show their fighting spirit equaling the match at 3 all, after saving 4 break points, with a number of incredible points and questionable shot choices, including a backhand top spin drive volley by Groth: the pressure is as high as the stakes now.

The match is now 5-4 for Great Britain, with Groth serving to keep the Aussies alive. It’s the moment where talent and experience emerge and can be summarised by two points: Groth leaving a return which lands good 10 cm in the court, Andy Murray returning splendidly on the line:15-40 and two match points for Great Britain. The first one is enough, with a volley by Groth landing long. 6-4 and the Davis Cup final is now within toughing distance for Great Britain.

Next scheduled stop for Andy Murray Express is Bernard Tomic on Sunday afternoon.

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Davis Cup

(VIDEO) Ubaldo Scanagatta On A Week To Remember For Canada At The Davis Cup

The CEO of Ubitennis also shares his view about the format of the tournament and how he thinks it can be improved.

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MALAGA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 27: Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals 2022 at Palacio de Deportes Jose Maria Martin Carpena on November 27, 2022 in Malaga, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Salado/ Quality Sport Images / Kosmos Tennis)

Canada has become the 16th nation to win the Davis Cup after producing a clinical performance against Australia in the final on Sunday. Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime both eased through their matches in straight sets to claim an historic victory for their country.

 

Watching the matches unfold from the sidelines was Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta who gives his verdict on events that has taken place in Malaga over the past week.

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Davis Cup

Canada Says There Are No Clear Favorite To Win Davis Cup After Reaching Final Four 

After suffering a surprise opening defeat, Canada managed to find their footing to keep its chance of winning their first Davis Cup title alive in Malaga. 

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Image via Kosmos media

This year’s Davis Cup champions will be decided with the help of a ‘little bit of luck and execution,’ according to the captain of the Canadian team. 

 

Canada secured their place in the semi-finals on Thursday by edging their way past Germany 2-1 after battling back from behind. The tie began with a shock loss for Denis Shapovalov who fell 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(2), to Jan-Lennard Struff who is currently ranked more than 100 places lower than him in the ATP rankings. However, the North American nation managed to level the tie with the help of Felix Auger-Aliassime who beat Oscar Otte 7-6(1), 6-4. 

With all to play for, the tie was decided by a critical doubles match that saw Shapovalov return to the court alongside Vasek Pospisil. Their opponents were the formidable Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puertz who had an 8-0 record in Davis Cup matches when playing together and had clinched the winning point for their team on seven occasions. The German duo started the stronger before Shapovalov and Pospisil battled back to prevail 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. Sending Canada into the semi-finals of the Davis Cup for the first time since 2019. 

“Today (Thursday) was a perfect example of Davis Cup at its finest,” said Canadian captain Frank Dancevic. 
“It was amazing to watch. They showed so much heart going into the match. At the beginning of the match, it was tough to find the rhythm. But once they found the rhythm and once they got in the groove, they played lights out. They played amazing. Took control of the match.” He added.

Canada made their Davis Cup debut in 1913 but they are yet to win the title, finishing runners-up on two occasions. The last time they reached the final was three years ago when they were beaten by Spain in Madrid. 

Standing in their way of another place in the final this year is Italy who defeated the USA 2-1 in their quarter-final tie on Thursday. The other section of the draw will see Croatia take on Australia. Canada might be the only team in the quartet yet to win the trophy but Dencevic believes there is no clear favourite in this year’s tournament. 

“I don’t think right now everybody is playing incredible tennis, and there is so much that can happen in three matches with singles and doubles and there is so much diversity that I wouldn’t say there is a favourite team right now.” He said. 
“Out of the four teams, everybody is really good. We have to put ourselves in the position to win. Everybody’s going to be in the position to win. It’s just about who is going to execute at certain moments in the matches, and it will come down to a little bit of luck and a little bit of execution, but I think it’s very even throughout the field. We are all amazing teams going into the semis.”

Canada’s Semi-final clash with Italy will take place on Saturday. Croatia will play Australia later today. 

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ATP

Davis Cup Becomes Part Of ATP Calendar In New Partnership

The ATP and Kosmos have collaborated over the Davis Cup ensuring it’s place on the ATP calendar.

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In Tennis First, ATP Joins Kosmos And ITF To Form Strategic Alliance Supporting Davis Cup.

 

The 122-year-old Davis Cup will officially become part of the ATP calendar from 2023 following a historic agreement between two of the sports principle bodies.

The International Tennis Federation, who are the principal organizers of the team event, has reached an agreement with the competitions financial backers Kosmos and the ATP Tour to form a strategic alliance. The aim of the new partnership is to focus on the governance and the evolution of what is the oldest team competition of the sport.

Under the agreement, the ATP will occupy two out of the six seats of the newly formed Davis Cup events committee which also includes Kosmos, ITF, long term investors and promoters. In a press release issued on Monday, organizers say their collaboration is aimed to ‘maximize the success of the historic team competition as the men’s World Cup of Tennis.’

The Davis Cup will become officially part of the ATP Tour calendar from 2023. It will take place during weeks 5, 37 and 47. Similar to an agreement made with the Laver Cup a couple of years ago, there will be an increase in marketing the event among ATP channels.

The announcement also ensures that they are committed to giving players prize money for the finals, offering 15 million dollars to players competing in the Davis Cup Finals.

Speaking in the announcement ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi, ITF president David Haggerty and Kosmos Tennis CEO all were excited about this new collaboration:

“Our focus is always on creating the best possible experiences for our fans and players. Delivering compelling international team competitions that dovetail with the year-round calendar and continue to innovate is a vital part of that,” Gaudenzi said.

“This announcement heralds an important new alliance between the ITF, Kosmos and ATP which further strengthens the importance of team competition and Davis Cup’s unique role in elite men’s professional tennis,” Haggerty added.

“It is a very important agreement for all three parties and especially for the players. In the last three years, the format of the competition has been improved to reach a greater number of fans, generate a greater impact and facilitate the participation of the best players in the world. We look forward to seeing the event grow even further in the coming years,” Rojas commented.

The Davis Cup recorded it’s highest levels of participation in history last year with 137 teams competing in the competition.

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