Davis Cup Australia vs USA day 1: a lethargic Tomic prevails over Sock to square the tie - UBITENNIS
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Davis Cup

Davis Cup Australia vs USA day 1: a lethargic Tomic prevails over Sock to square the tie

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In the heat of Melbourne Bernard Tomic takes an early afternoon siesta, but wakes up right on time to level up the rubber between Australia and USA

 

Bernard_Tomic_Wimbledon

At 1:30PM the temperature is over 30C: in these hot conditions Bernard Tomic and Jack Sock start the second rubber on Kooyong’s grass. The match is completely different from the previous rubber between Isner and Groth, with both players on the baseline and long(ish) rallies, usually ended by a trivial unforced error, with a framed ball landing meters off court (the statistics say 35 forced and 35 unforced errors for Tomic and 29 unforced and 53 forced for Sock, but the scoring person has been very generous rating some errors as forced). And so the first set goes to the tie break without too many emotions, which Tomic easily takes with some good winners and a forehand return by Sock landing out: 7-6(2).

Something then happens in the second set: it’s 3-2 Sock when Tomic starts pushing more, alternating his sliced backhand (3/4 court but very low on which Sock cannot hit his forehand) to a flat one, deep on Sock’s backhand. With 16 points to 3 Tomic flies to 5-3 and then takes the set with a return on the line which Sock then frames: 6-3.

It looks like Tomic is cruising now and takes the first game of the third set. Then the Aussie literally falls asleep, losing mobility, losing intensity, letting Sock control the game and making a plethora of unforced errors: 4 unforced errors in the third game count more than 2 winning serves and Tomic is broken a first time. Regardless the Fanatics’ effort to keep Bernie alert with a high dose of loud sound, Tomic appears lethargic, while Sock’s forehand is as effective as ugly to watch. On 5-3 the American gets 2 set points: Tomic sends an easy forehand in the net and the US re-open the match.
Nothing changes in the fourth set till 4-4 when Tomic appears to slowly wake up. In the next game a good defense and Sock sending an overhead out, and an inside out forehand winner (a total of 22 for him and 30 for Sock) give Tomic 2 break points: he converts the second with a forehand in the net by Sock. Tomic is now serving for the match and delivers: a couple of winners and an unforced by Sock give him 3 match points: the first one is enough with Sock sending out the return: 7-6(2), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. Australia 1 – USA 1 and everybody runs inside just before the thunderstorm.

“The support Hewitt gave me at the change of ends was fundamental. He told me the right things from the start and his support when I was starting having negative thoughts in the third set was fundamental” said Tomic at the press conference. “Winning today was very important to build confidence. I’ve never won in the two previous matches with Sock, as I have not won in the previous match with Isner, but this is the surface [grass] where I can win. I have to return well, I am serving well, and will play my chances.

Tomorrow at 12PM Groth and Peers will try to upset the Bryan Bros, unless Lleyton Hewitt is setting up a surprise …

From Melbourne: Robbie Cappuccio

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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