Great Britain has continued their unbeaten run at the Davis Cup Finals with a roller-coaster 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic on Sunday.
Britain, who last won the title in 2015, was given a stern test against an upcoming Czech team whose two singles players in tie were aged under 21. The showdown was a crucial encounter for the Brits who also defeated France 24 hours earlier. Their latest win cements their place at the top of Group C and guarantees them automatic qualification for the quarter-finals of the tournament later this week.
“It’s great. Today was tough, I said that yesterday. You look at the rankings and a lot of people think it is going to be straightforward after you beat a French team but it is never like that. We’ve seen it time and time again in the Davis Cup,” Captain Leon Smith commented.
“The Czech team played really well today. Really good young team.“ He added.
The tie began with a shock triumph for the underdogs as Dan Evans fell 6-2, 7-5, to world No.143 Tomas Machac. A 21-year-old who has only played in a Grand Slam main draw twice in his career and has only ever recorded one win. However, the Czech produced an emphatic display of tennis which was at a substantially higher level than his current ranking suggests he is playing at. During one stage of the match, Evans’ frustration got the better of him as he smashed his racket on the ground out of anger. His mood deteriorated further in the second set when he lost four games in a row whilst boasting a 5-3 lead.
“It was a difficult match. He played well. I didn’t play so well,” said Evans.
“I got myself in a winning position in the second set and didn’t take it. (I was) A bit indecisive really.’
“But the Czech Republic is always very tough in the Davis Cup. They’ve always got a lot of passion, always play well. I knew they were going to be good. I think they had a good win the other day.’
“Machac has been playing some good tennis. He outplayed me in the first set. Second set, I can’t say I should get through it, but I had my chances.”
Tasked with reviving his country’s winning hopes, British No.1 Cameron Norrie was also tested but managed to prevail 6-1, 2-6, 6-1, over Jiri Lehecka to level the tie. Norrie, who won his maiden Masters title and cracked the world’s top 20 for the first time this year, recovered from a lacklustre second set where he produced 14 out of his 20 unforced errors in the match.
“I was feeling good this morning and came out firing, and had a clean first set,” the world No.12 commented during his on-court interview.
“At the start of the second set, he (Lehecka) was playing more aggressive, I went down a break and was a little down on myself but the gang were incredible and got me back up.’
“I played a similar level in the third set again but it’s never easy being favourite and never easy in this situation but I really enjoyed the match and was aggressive with my forehand throughout.
“All credit to him but I managed to come back for a must-win match.”
With a place in the last eight at stake, Britain managed to pull away from their rivals thanks to a dominant victory in the doubles. The experienced duo of Joe Salisbury and Neild Skupski eased their ways to a 6-4, 6-2, win over Machac and Jiri Vesely. A somewhat expected outcome with the British pair currently ranked in the world’s top 20 for doubles.
“Playing for your country, being here (in Austria) and getting the win with Neil is really special. I’m really happy,” said Skupski.
“We just wanted to start very early in the match today. A lot of energy, a lot of positivity. Just tried to play freely and it definitely worked in the end. We had a great end to the first set and the second was very good.” Salisbury later added.
It is the sixth time Britain has reached the quarter-finals of the competition under the reign of Smith. They will next play the winners of Group C which will be either Serbia or Germany. Germany will top their group if they beat Austria on Sunday evening but if they lose Serbia will be at the top.
Russia And Canada Complete ATP Cup Semi-Final Line-Up
Russia and Canada will meet in the ATP Cup semi-finals on Saturday.
Russia and Canada booked their spots in the semi-finals of the ATP Cup on Thursday.
Russia completed their group stage campaign with a 2-1 victory over Italy in Group B.
The match was a winners take all clash with the Italians making the perfect start as Jannik Sinner defeated Roman Safiullin 7-6(8) 6-3.
However world number two Daniil Medvedev levelled the tie in a hard-fought victory over Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini.
Medvedev needed 2 hours and 40 minutes to edge out Berrettini 6-2 6-7(5) 6-4 to put Russia level with Italy.
Then all four singles players returned for the doubles which the Russians won 5-7 6-4 10-5 in a tense contest.
This saw Russia book a place in the last four and after the match Medvedev spoke about the importance of his win over Berrettini, “The first set I was in control and it’s tricky because you think that things will continue to go your way but that’s not the case when you’re up against a Top 10 player,” Medvedev told the ATP Cup website.
“I made some bad decisions in the second set so I tried to learn from that in the third. I served well throughout the match and that helped me.”
Russia will now face Canada in the last four on Saturday after Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime both secured singles wins over Germany.
Shapovalov edged out Struff in three sets to give Canada the lead and then Felix Auger-Aliassime scored a huge victory over Olympic champion Alexander Zverev 6-4 4-6 6-3.
This meant that Canada denied Great Britain a place in the semis after the Brits beat USA 2-1 earlier in the day. The other result saw Australia beat France 2-1.
Russia and Canada will meet in Sydney on Saturday while tomorrow Poland will face Spain.
Canada gets first win at ATP Cup after comeback victory over Great Britain
Felix Auger-Aliassime inspired Canada to victory against Great Britain at the ATP Cup.
Team Canada got its first win of the tournament when they beat Team Great Britain 2-1 and it all came down to the doubles match.
Evans eases by Shapovalov
Dan Evans got the first point of the tie as he had no issues getting by Denis Shapovalov beating him in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 23 minutes serving four aces and winning 88% of his first-serve points.
The first six games of the opening set stayed on serve and it was the Brit who earned the first breakpoint of the match and broke the Canadian and that one break of serve proved crucial as he took the first set,
Evans carried the momentum into the second set and it looked like the Canadian was still easing his way into his game and he broke him early in the set to take an early 2-1 lead.
Again that one break of serve was all the Brit needed to serve out the set and the match and give the first point to Team Great Britan.
Auger Aliassime responds for Canada
Felix Auger Aliassime responded for Canada beating Cameron Norrie in straight sets 7-6 (4), 6-3 in two hours serving eight aces, and winning 85% of his points on his first serve.
The first set was a battle as these two players know each other well and the last time they met was a three-set marathon match in Vienna with the Canadian getting the win.
The Montreal native got the first chance to break at 4-3 and took it for a 5-3 lead and a chance to serve out the first set. When serving for it the Canadian got tight and Norrie made him pay by breaking him right back.
The first set was decided by a tiebreaker and the world number 11 won the first six points of the breaker and took the first set.
Winning the first set gave the Canadian the momentum he needed and he broke the Britt early in the second set in the second game and that one break of serve was enough for him to serve out the match.
This meant the doubles match was going to decide the winner of the tie.
Canada wins deciding doubles
With the tie level at 1-1, the winner was decided by the third and final doubles match and it was Auger Aliassime and Shapovalov beating the British duo of Jamie Murray and Joe Salsbury.
A 6-4, 6-1 win in one hour and 10 minutes with the Canadians serving seven aces and winning 83% of their points off the first served ensured that all teams in the group now have a record of 1-1.
Davis Cup Champions Russia Banned From Hosting Ties In 2022
The newly crowned champions will not be allowed the opportunity to potentially play some of their matches next year at home due to a ruling by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
The bidding process for host cities of the 2022 Davis Cup Finals will get underway in the coming weeks but Russia will not be allowed to take part.
Last week Daniil Medvedev led his country to victory over Croatia in the final to give Russia, who were playing under the name of the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF), only their third title in the prestigious team event which was founded back in 1900. In this year’s finals, they also beat Germany, Sweden, Ecuador and Spain en route to the title.
Next year’s tournament is once again set to be a first in the Davis Cup history after organisers confirmed that the finals will be staged across a total of five cities. During a recent press conference, the International Tennis Federation and investment company Kosmos say they plan to stage each of the four groups in separate cities and a fifth city hosting the knockout stages. The name of those hosts has not been announced but it is widely speculated that the Middle East may hold the knockout stages. The number of teams in the finals will be cut from 18 to 16.
However, Russia will not be allowed to stage a tie in 2022 but will be free to do so from the following year. This is because the country is currently banned from international competition for doping violations. An extensive investigation discovered multiple incidents of illegal doping practices by Russian officials at various Olympic Games but tennis have never been implicated in the scandal. As a result the World Anti-Doping Agency, which the International Tennis Federation is a member of, handed Russia a ban. This is why Medvedev and his team played under their federation name and not their country.
The ITF has confirmed to UbiTennis that the ban is in force until December 16th 2022 which is after the 2022 Finals.
“The ban remains in place for two years and that includes Russia hosting any WADA listed world competitions or world cup tournaments/competition events, and when competing outside of Russia the use of their national name, insignia, emblems and anthem are banned throughout this same period,” an ITF spokesperson told UbiTennis.
Kosmos, who are the main financial driving force behind the Davis Cup, had previously said they hope to select cities on a contract basis lasting ‘three to five years.’ However, they also want to maintain that every host city belongs to a country playing in the Finals which complicates matters somewhat. It is possible that Italy could be selected as a host for a three-year period but if they fail to qualify in one of those years, they may lose their hosting rights.
“It can happen that you have an agreement with a city or country, then the home team is not classified (qualified). That’s why we need to have multi-agreements, plus backup options, for fixing the possibility of not being classified,” Kosmos president Enrique Rojas recently told reporters.
The process for selecting the host cities will begin in January with interested candidates having six weeks to present their proposals. A final decision is then expected to be made round mid-Match.
Jannik Sinner reaches the third round at the Australian Open for the first time in his career
Italian Journalist rates Camila Giorgi, Matteo Berrettini, Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Sonego’s Australian Open hopes
Australian Open Daily Preview: Friday Provides Many Excellent Third Round Matchups
Australian Open: Daniil Medvedev powers past home favourite Nick Kyrgios
Danka Kovinic becomes the first player from Montenegro to reach the third round at a Grand Slam tournament
Novak Djokovic To Be Deported From Australia After Court Appeal Fails
Novak Djokovic ‘Trying’ To Get To The Australian Open, Says Lajovic
Novak Djokovic To Play Australian Open
REPORT: Novak Djokovic Denied Entry Into Australia After Visa Mix-Up
‘An Error Of Judgement’ – Novak Djokovic Admits He Broke Covid-19 Rules To Attend Photoshoot
US Open, Steve Flink: “Djokovic’s loss had more to do with fatigue than pressure”
US Open, Steve Flink on the Murray-Tsitsipas Controversy
(VIDEO) Dominic Thiem, Juan Martin Del Potro Gathering Momentum In Comeback Bids
Steve Flink On Wimbledon: “Bautista Agut would be a tough semifinal test for Djokovic”
Wimbledon, Flink: “Djokovic Will Beat Zverev in the Final”
Grand Slam2 days ago
Tennis Australia To ‘Review’ Handling Of Djokovic Fiasco But Not Until Australian Open Ends
ATP2 days ago
Liam Broady On Why He Wore Rainbow Laces During His Australian Open Match
Hot Topics1 day ago
Australian Open Visa Fiasco Was Preventable, Says Two-Time Champion Azarenka
ATP1 day ago
French Player Tests Positive For COVID-19 Hours After Australian Open Defeat
ATP3 days ago
Australian Open: Pablo Carreno Busta Through But Fabio Fognini Stunned
ATP2 days ago
Grigor Dimitrov downs Jiri Lehecka to begin Australian Open campaign
ATP3 days ago
Casper Ruud Withdraws From Australian Open Due To Ankle Injury
ATP2 days ago
Andy Murray Battles Past Basilashvili In Three Hour Marathon At Australian Open