Wins For Pouille And Chardy Give France 2-0 Lead Over Great Britain In Davis Cup Quarterfinal - UBITENNIS
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Wins For Pouille And Chardy Give France 2-0 Lead Over Great Britain In Davis Cup Quarterfinal

Joshua Coase

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Lucas Pouille

France are in firm control of their Davis Cup World Group quarterfinal tie against Great Britain after wining both opening singles rubbers on day one to take a 2-0 lead in Rouen.

 

Lucas Pouille got France off to the perfect start with a straight sets win over Kyle Edmund 7-5, 7-6(6), 6-2. Both players shared breaks early on in the match before the Frenchman capitalised late on to take the first set. Edmund battled back from a break down in the second set to force a tiebreak and had a commanding 5-2 lead. The world number 17 then attempted an audacious drop shot which clipped the top of the net and went over, had it landed back on the Frenchman’s side he would have been facing four set points against him. Pouille capitalised on that good fortune, reeling off four points in a row to get to set point, the Brit saved the first but could not prevent his opponent from taking a two set lead. With such fine margins separating the two players in the opening two sets, Pouille then took control in the third and put France 1-0 up in the tie.

Jeremy Chardy produced an even more impressive performance as he took full advantage of Dan Evans lack of recent matches on clay, defeating the Brit 6-2, 6-3, 6-3. The Frenchman received a late call up to replace Gilles Simon and justified his selection, racing into a 5-0 lead. Evans managed to hang with Chardy, who was playing his first Davis Cup tie in six years, early on in the second set but not for anywhere near long enough. The Frenchman cruised through his service games and wrapped up both sets two and three with a 6-3 score line to put France 2-0 up.

Pouille Defeats Edmund 7-5, 7-6(6), 6-2

Pouille got the home side off to the perfect start after securing an early break. A double fault from the Brit handed the world number 17 two break points and the Frenchman capitalised on the second with a backhand down the line winner. In the following game the French number one for the tie threw in a poor service game, producing unforced errors to hand the break straight back.

After a series of service holds Edmund came under pressure in the eleventh game as he faced a couple of break points. The Brit hung tough and fired down two aces to keep him in the game but frustratingly fired an attempted forehand cross court winner just wide to relinquish serve. After securing a crucial break, Pouille took full advantage and closed out the set after Edmund’s rallying shot went just long, sealing the set for France 7-5.

Pouille went from strength to strength at the start of the second set, breaking immediately with a forehand down the line winner to take a 1-0 lead. Edmund came under further pressure in the seventh game at 30-30 and deuce on serve but the Brit held on to ask the question of the world number 17.

Surviving in that game proved to a turning point in the Brit’s favour as Edmund broke back following some nervy looking unforced errors from Pouille. After back to back service holds the players found themselves in a tiebreak. A double fault from the Frenchman handed the world number 47 the first mini break. Edmund took full advantage and quickly moved into a 5-2 lead. The tides then turned and the Frenchman reeled off four points in a row to move to set point. The Brit could not deny Pouille on a second occasion as he took a two sets to love lead, winning the tiebreak 7-6(6).

Edmund had two opportunities to break the world number 17’s serve in the fifth game, but both chances past him by. After failing to capitalise the Brit quickly found himself 0-40 down in the next game and despite saving two chances the world number 47 dropped serve. That proved to be the British number three’s last stand as Pouille closed out the set and match 7-5, 7-6(6), 6-2.

Jeremy Chardy

Jeremy Chardy (Photo: Zimbio.com)

Chardy Defeats Evans 7-2, 6-3, 6-3

Chardy followed in his compatriot’s footsteps and made a fast start, breaking immediately and moving 3-0 in front. The fourth game was a real battle as Evans battled to keep his hopes in the set alive. In a game lasting over nine minutes, both players had chances, but it was the Frenchman who came away with the break on his third opportunity after the Brit continued to make unforced errors and he quickly found himself 5-0 down.

Evans got a game on the board in his next service game and managed to pull one of the breaks back, taking his third opportunity. Those couple of games in a row from the world number 44 proved to be a temporary momentum switch as Chardy swiftly moved to set point on Evan’s serve. The Frenchman closed out the set with a backhand return of serve cross court winner.

The second set started out as a close affair, with both players holding their opening two service games. Evans then produced a service game to forget, quickly falling 0-40 down as he struggled to execute his slices effectively enough. Chardy secured the break and went on to secure a two sets to love lead, holding serve, finishing with a inside out forehand cross court winner.

Chardy gained another early break of serve at the start of the third set and victory for the Frenchman looked inevitable as Evans looked to be struggling for ideas out on court, falling 0-40 behind on serve in the fifth game. The Brit did not have too much to shout about throughout the match but he was able to recover in that game and win five points in a row to close the gap to 3-2.

Evans, playing his first competitive match on clay in two years, managed to stave off break points in his following service game but could not make any inroads on Chardy’s serve. The Frenchman produced a flawless performance from start to finish as he secured the straight sets victory 6-2, 6-3, 6-3, justifying his late call up by captain Yannick Noah.

France are certainly in the driving seat in the tie, but there is still a long way to go to decide the outcome of this Davis Cup quarterfinal as the teams prepare for the doubles rubber on Saturday.

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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