PREVIEW: All Set at Kooyong for the first round of 2016 Davis Cup between Australia - USA - UBITENNIS
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PREVIEW: All Set at Kooyong for the first round of 2016 Davis Cup between Australia – USA

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Both teams finally announced their line-ups for this first round clash between two former dominators of the competition. Let’s have a look at the venue and to some stats in preparation for the tie.

 

The heat is on: 40C today in Melbourne. The heat is on also for the Davis Cup as Australia and USA announced the line-ups for their clash in the first round of Davis Cup 2016 in Kooyong.

Led by captain Lleyton Hewitt, Australia will be represented by Hewitt himself, Bernard Tomic, Sam Groth and John Peers (double specialist, at his first Davis Cup appearance). Hewitt stands in as a replacement for the sick Nick Kyrgios. Jim Courier will have John Isner, Jack Sock, and the Bryan brothers.

Let’s have a look at some stats about the venue and the players.

The Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club is internationally renowned as “The Spiritual Home of Australian Tennis” (by the way if you want to join the club you better hurry up, as the waiting period is approximately ten years from application). What a better venue to host “the Davis Cup’s tie of ties“, between two nations which dominated the competition for over 30 years consecutively and won a total of 60 Davis Cups (32 for the USA and 28 for Australia).

For the occasion the centre court has been resurfaced with lawn to give an extra flair to the tie. This will be the 46th time the two nations meet, with the Americans leading the head-to-head 25-20. Last time they met was in the last century – 1999 – with Lleyton Hewitt and Pat Rafter winning their singles to claim a 4-1 victory over Jim Courier’s USA. Both Hewitt and Courier are now team’s captains.

The venue and its history

Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club

The Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, known as the Lawn Tennis Association of Victoria, was established in 1892 in the posh suburb of Kooyong (median house price is Aus $3.4 million, a real bargain). Between 1946 and 2006, Australia hosted ten Davis Cup ties in this world famous venue, winning all of them apart from the first one.

  1. In 1946 Australia lost the World Group Challenge Round Final 5-0 to the Americans Jack Kramer and Ted Schroeder. Despite the final score, excitement was high for the first Davis Cup match in over 25 years.
  2. 1953 is considered the most epic one, when teenagers, Lew Hoad and Ken Rosewall defeated the USA Tony Trabert and Vic Seixas with a final score of 3-2 after trailing 1-2 after the doubles.
  3. 1957 was another 3-2 victory over the USA in Challenge Round.
  4. In 1961, during Challenge Round, Australia defeated Italy 5-0 with Roy Emerson and Rod Laver in singles, and Emerson and Neale Fraser in doubles.
  5. In 1966 Australia disposed of India 4-1 in Challenge Round, despite the upset of Newcombe and Roche in the doubles.
  6. 1973 was an Inter-Zone Final, where an ageing Rod Laver, John Newcombe and Ken Rosewell defeated Czechoslavakia 4-1.
  7. 1983 was somewhat a surprise. In the final, Cash, Fitzgerald, Edmondson and McNamee defeated 3-2 Sweden, led by Mats Wilander.
  8. Another final in 1986: again a victory, again against Sweden, again with Cash, McNamee and Fitzgerald. Pat Cash defeated Edberg and Pernfors (in an epic 5-setter after being down 2-0) to set up a 3-2 triumph for Australia.
  9. In 1993 in the first round Australia trashed USA 4-1, with Wally Masur and Mark Woodforde winning their singles, and the Woodies (Woodford-Woodbridge) sealing the victory in doubles.
  10. 2006 was the only tie played on rebound ace rather than grass; Lleyton Hewitt, Chris Guccione, Wayne Arthurs and Paul Hanley won 5-0 over Belarus 5-0

Kooyong has also been home of the Australian Open between 1972 and 1983, when the Grand Slam was moved to Melbourne Park, hosting the event since. Some of the champions on that centre court were Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert-Lloyd in the women’s singles. Men’s champions included Ken Rosewall, John Newcombe, Mark Edmondson, Jimmy Connors, Roscoe Tanner,  Mats Wilander and Stefan Edberg.

So what will happen in the 2016 tie?

It is expected the singles rubbers will see Isner and Sock for the USA, and Tomic and Groth for Australia, while in the doubles Peers and Groth will try to upset the Bryan brothers.

Let’s have a look at the year to date performance of the players, and also their record on grass, starting from the hosting nation.

Currently ranked n. 21, Bernard Tomic‘s year to date record is  a win-loss of 8-5, with R32 in Delray Beach, QF in Quito, R16 at the Australian Open, QF in Sydney and SF in Brisbane. On grass he travels with a W/L record of 19/18, 73% first serve points won, 86% service game won,  15% return games won.

It’s expected that Sam Groth (ATP singles 75, doubles 115) will play the singles. He currently has a win-loss record of 12-8 on grass, with 82% first serve points won, 89% service game won and  8% return games won.

Lleyton Hewitt comes in as a late replacement for Kyrgios. The 35-year-old has an outstanding Davis Cup record, winning more matches than any other Australian player in history (42-14). The team Captain enjoyed a strong record on grass during his career. Between 2000- 2014, Hewitt reached ten ATP finals on grass, including his win at the 2002 Wimbledon championships.  Despite only being named as a sub for the upcoming tie, an appearance in the doubles is a strong possibility.

Finally, John Peers is a doubles specialist, currently ranked n.9 in doubles, with 7 titles won in his career (6 of which with Jamie Murray, one this year in Brisbane with Finnish player Henri Kontinen) and two grand slam finals in 2015 (both lost) at Wimbledon and Flashing Meadows. He has defeated the Bryan brothers three times, twice on clay, once on grass (Queen’s 2014) and has a YTD win-loss record 8-3.

USA’s line-up will have big John Isner (ATP 11) who from his 208 cm makes the Aussies (all taller than 190 cm) look like little guys. Isner’s record so far this year is a not-so-exciting Win-loss of 4-4, with R32 Rio, R16 Buenos Aires, R16 at the Australian Open and QF in Auckland. His record on grass is 28/17 and 2 titles. He has got a record of 80% first serve points won, 94% service game won,  8% return games won.

Sock is currently ranked ATP n.23, with a YTD record of 5-3 coming from a R32 in Rio, a R64 at the Australian Open,  and a final in Auckland; on grass he is at 9-6, with (only) 74% first serve points won, 84% service game won,  16% return games won.

The Bryan brothers will play the doubles. Honestly, not much to be said about them, unless you want to write a book. These identical twins, born in 1978, are the most successful duo of all time. Currently ranked ATP n.5 they dominated the doubles for around 10 years,  with 109 and 111 titles for Bob and Mike respectively amongst which one Davis Cup in 2007, 4 World Tour Finals, 16 grand slam titles (3 on grass at Wimbledon in 2006, 2011, 2013), and the Olympics (London 2012).

The head to head sees USA prevailing so far, even if the stats are meagre:

Isner is leading Tomic 1-0 (2012 Delray Beach QF hard) and has never played Groth. Sock has defeated Tomic twice (2014 Shanghai R64 hard, 2013 Stockholm R32 hard) but lost to Groth on grass at Wimbledon.

If you survived the statistics so far, let’s avoid death-by-stats and finish up mentioning the performances on grass in 2015:

Tomic: R32 Halle (Johnson) QF Stuttgart (Nadal) R32 Newport (JP Smith) R32 Wimbledon (Djokovic)

Groth: QF Stuttgart (Troicki) R32 Nottingham (sousa) R32 Wimbledon (Federer)

Isner: QF Queens (Troicki) R32 Newport (Ram) R32 Wimbledon (Cilic)

Sock: SF Newport (Karlovic) R128 Wimbledon (Groth)

The winner of this tie will play the winner of Croatia and Belgium in the quarterfinals.

Edited by Adam Addicott

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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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