Jeremy Chardy takes on Borna Coric in the first match of the Davis Cup Final in Lille - UBITENNIS
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Jeremy Chardy takes on Borna Coric in the first match of the Davis Cup Final in Lille

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Jeremy Chardy will face world number 12 Borna Coric in the first match of this weekend’s Davis Cup final on Friday at the Pierre Mauroy in Villenueve d’Asq on the outskirts in Lille. Jo Wilfried Tsonga will play against Marin Cilic in the second rubber match of the opening day.

 

This year’s ATP Finals Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut will meet Mate Pavic and Ivan Dodig in Saturday’s doubles match.

France will be bidding to win the 11th title in Davis Cup history and the second consecutive trophy after beating Belgium 3-2 last year. Croatia will aim at winning their second title and their first Davis Cup title since 2005. Two years ago Croatia lost 3-2 against Argentina in Zagreb in their previous final.

Surprisingly French captain Yannick Noah omitted Lucas Pouille from singles nominations and included Jo Wilfried Tsonga, who has played just five matches since he returned to the tour after seven months of absence after undergoing knee surgery last April.

“For the last two months I was looking at so many ways, so many options, so many players. I had to decide whether I was putting first their spirit, their involvement with the team, their recent results, their health, so there were a lot of things coming into play. After looking every day at what was happening, their reactions, the sets we played, I thought that the best thing for the team was to start on Friday with these two players”,said Yannick Noah.

France carry its major hopes on the doubles team formed by this year’s French Open and Rotterdam champions Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, who lost the title match against Jack Sock and Mike Bryan in the ATP Finals in London last week in London.

Croatia starts as slight favourite, especially because it features Marin Cilic and Mate Pavic played in the ATP Finals in London and Borna Coric was alternate in the British capital. Richard Gasquet, Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon will miss this weekend’s tournament. France won their last six home ties.

Cilic qualified for his third consecutive ATP Finals in London, where he scored one win against John Isner but he lost against Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev. He finished 2018 ranked inside the top 10 for the third consecutive year, won the Queen’s final beating Novak Djokovic and lost the Australian Open final against Roger Federer.

Borna Coric started the year ranked world number 48 and made a huge step forward climbing to a career-high ranking of world number 12.  He won his second title in Halle beating Roger Federer in the final and reached his maiden Masters 1000 final in Shanghai where he lost to Novak Djokovic. He fought back from two sets down to beat Frances Tiafoe in the fifth rubber match Davis Cup semifinal.

Yannick Noah will captain the French team for the last time this weekend, before Amelie Mauresmo takes charge in 2019.

“Playing here is special. It’s the best indoor tennis venue that we can have in France. It’s a weekend that for many reasons is going to be historic”, said Noah.

This year’s final will be the last time the Davis Cup will be played in its 118-year-old home and away format before the new event will be played in a week-long competition featuring 18 teams at the end of November in Madrid.

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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