Davis Cup play-off: Australia maintains Davis Cup World Group status after winning the doubles over Slovakia - UBITENNIS
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Davis Cup

Davis Cup play-off: Australia maintains Davis Cup World Group status after winning the doubles over Slovakia

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From Sydney Robbie Cappuccio

 
Both Groth and Peers displayed power and touch in today's rubber

Both Groth and Peers displayed power and touch in today’s rubber

 

Australia closes the Slovakian file winning the doubles in four sets 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(3), 7-6(2), thus maintaining its  status in the World Group. Peers e Groth could not close the match in the third set lost momentum, but played then a perfect tie break to seal a 3-0 victory.

Another nice and sunny day in Sydney, where the grass – or what’s left of it – of the Ken Rosewall Arena hosts the doubles match, which in Davis Cup could be the decider or a totally irrelevant match: given the easy victories of  Kyrgios and Tomic in day one, we are definitely in the second scenario.

It’s 1 PM when the match starts, with Slovakian Andrej Martin and Igor Zelenay (both ranked around 80th position in ATP doubles) desperately trying to keep the tie alive. Australia starts at a good pace, with Groth serving often at 220 km/h, with top speed of 233 and returning really well, especially with the backhand along the line from deuce side. Peers is a doubles specialist, n.26 of doubles ranking, tactically very savvy, serving precisely and with a soft touch and great reflexes at the net. Out of the four, Martin has by far the weakest serve, lacking fluidity and power, the first serve travelling at 17 km/h. He has to face two consecutive break points straight away, but holds. Australia holds serve to love a few times (both Groth and Peers will lose 3 points on their serve in 5 rounds), but cannot convert break points (0/4) until 5-4. With Zelenay on serve, Peers first plays a great point at the net, then hits a winner backhand return. Also Groth returns a 200 km/h serve with a backhand winner and Australia is up 0-40 with 3 consecutive set points. At the third attempt Peers and Groth take the first set 6-4 and are in control.

It takes 24 minutes only to the Aussies to take the second set, breaking Zelenay on 2-1 and then on 5-2 when the Slovakian hits two consecutive double faults. It looks like the Aussies are cruising, and in control. “They played well, but we were the one creating all the opportunities” said Groth in the press conference. It was actually a great game by the Australian pair, serving well (Groth looking for the bomb, Peers alternating kick, slice and topspin and acing on second serve at 149 km/h) returning well, taking the net, displaying both power and soft touch.

Then something happen. Slovakia changes their position on return “I went to the deuce side and Andrej on the ad side and we did a better job”, says Igor Zelaney at the press conference. The Aussies cannot put the foot down, the Slovakians start reading Groth’s serve and so the Aussies are taken to the tie-break, despite having a match point at 6-5, which Martin saves with a good serve. The tie-break is played superbly by the Slovakian, especially by Martin: a stop volley gives them 4 consecutive set points. The first one is saved by Groth’s serve, but then Zelaney seals the set: 7-6(3) and the match is re-opened.

As the sky changes and becomes cloudy, so does the momentum of match. The Australians now have to work more to hold serve, whereas the Slovakian win a number of love games on theirs. Groth’s return is not effective anymore and he looks a little bit slow on his feet especially at the net. The Australian are behind in the score, even if not broken, and kept afloat by John Peers, to me the best on court, (both when defending  from the baseline and at the net), to reach the tie-break.

As it often happens in tennis, here comes another momentum swing. First Martin put an easy forehand volley wide, then Groth finds focus and return, Peers keeps on returning well and Australia is up 5-0 and then 6-1.The first point was really unlucky then Groth hit a great serve and then we had a misunderstanding, a little bit of bad luck again” comments Martin. Slovakia saves the first match point, then another great return by Groth gives Peers the opportunity to poach in and seal the victory with a backhand volley.

“[Staying in the World Group] was a goal after the loss to US in march [..] we put a lot of work into this ties, you know, the boys came to prepare early and did all the right things. Having a grass court here in Sydney as well, which I thing played to our hands.[…] we did absolutely everything to reach this outcome.” says captain LLeyton Hewitt. “Today the boys put in a really solid performance. They did not drop serve, did not face a break point in the match”

The final day will probably see one rubber only played  at best of 3 tiebreak sets. Possibly Groth against Gombos, in what can be called an exhibition game.

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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