The Rafa-less Armada is in France awaiting their Davis Cup tie. I don't think they have tennis on the brain quite yet.
So cute. Tip of the cap to you, Spain. You were the better team.
No word on whether Rafa's going to hop a plane for the final. But you'd be an idiot to bet against it. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity. That said, it'd be kind of a dick move considering the rest of the Armada can't go and the only reason Rafa could go is that he's skipping the tie.
So this is news.
Justine suffered a tear in her elbow in her match against Kim and is out for the next few months. So no JuJu at the US Open. She'll also be replaced by Serena in that Best of Belgium exo thingamabob.
This leaves France without both Jo and Rick in their Davis Cup tie against the Rafa-less but oh so tanned and beachy Armada.
Davis Cup once again did not disappoint. There was drama, there was passion, and there was national pride. But most importantly there were hot sweaty dudes rubbing up on each other. Like all over the world. On behalf of all the women in the world who are currently celebrating Woman's Herstory Month (see what I did there?), I say "thank you."
A blockbuster tie on paper, except that, well, it wasn't really. Spain played without Rafa, Fer, Feli, and JCF, and Switzerland claimed they were short a player. I don't know what they're talking about but the Switz were heaping their hopes on the spittle-strewn shoulders of newly daddied Stan.
In the end it was a true team effort as Daveed won his first rubber, Marcel and Tommy teamed up to take the doubles, and Daveed came back on Sunday to take his second rubber. Vamos, Spain.
France v Germany 4 - 1
Look at that. That is the definition of teamy. All the Frenchies were on hand to support each other as France demolished Germany 4-1, clinching the tie with the doubles win on Saturday. Ok, not all the Frenchies were there. But I don't think Guy wanted Jeremy's bad mojo anyway, so thanks for staying away, Jerms.
Russia v India 3 - 2
Russia's into the quarters over India as Mischa clinched it in the fourth rubber. Tough couple of days for Somdev, who couldn't convert either of his matches. That was a pretty monumental task anyway.
Sweden v Argentina 2 - 3
Well done to you, Argies and welcome back Nalby! What a way to make a splash. Dude saved the Baby Blues by helping with the doubles win and then winning the decisive 5th tie. Thank god he did. I'd much rather see Nalby/Elf in the DC quarters than Sod and his merry band of Swedes.
Croatia v Ecuador 5 - 0Complete mismatch, really. Marin and Ivo vs. The Brothers Lappentti in Croatia? Move along, Croats.
Way to make it interesting, guys. One of the BryBros gets food poisoning from some chicken curry, has to pull out of doubles, eyebrows are raised, and then Nole and Halpert play a 4+ hour five setter, which Nole wins to clinch the tie. Huge win for Nole and the Serbs, but for me, the star of this tie was Johnny Isner. In his first DC tie the kid jumps in to play doubles with the non-tummy-afflicted BryBro to beat Nenad and Janko. Then he comes back the next day and battles on clay, his worst surface, in front of a hostile crowd to force the world #2 into a five setter that Nole narrowly wins, 6-4.
So yes, congrats to Serbia. Seriously, you know how stoked I am for you guys. But can I please get a standing slow-clap for Halpert? He showed so much heart this weekend.
Belgium v Czech Republic 1 - 4
This one goes into the Croatia/Ecuador category. Moving on.
This one's still going with Chile one win away from clinching the tie after they dropped the doubles today. Go get it, Gonzo. And God bless.
Davis Cup draws are completed (kinda). So here we go:
Friday’s singles: Nicolas Almagro vs. Stanislas Wawrinka; David Ferrer vs. Marco Chiudinelli
Saturday’s doubles: Marcel Granollers and Tommy Robredo vs. Yves Allegro and Stanislas Wawrinka
Sunday’s reverse singles: David Ferrer vs. Stanislas Wawrinka; Nicolas Almagro vs. Marco Chiudinelli
Friday’s singles: Gael Monfils vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber; Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Benjamin Becker
Saturday’s doubles: Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra vs. Christopher Kas and Philipp Kohlschreiber
Sunday’s reverse singles: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Philipp Kohlscheiber; Gael Monfils vs. Benjamin Becker
Friday’s singles: Igor Andreev vs. Somdev Devvarman; Mikhail Youzhny vs. Rohan Bopanna
Saturday’s doubles: Teimuraz Gabashvili and Igor Kunitsyn vs. Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes
Sunday’s reverse singles: Mikhail Youzhny vs. Somdev Devvarman; Igor Andreev vs. Rohan Bopanna
Friday’s singles: Robin Soderling vs. Eduardo Schwank; Joachim Johansson vs. Leonardo Mayer
Saturday’s doubles: Robert Lindstedt and Robin Soderling vs. Leonardo Mayer* and Horacio Zeballos
Sunday’s reverse singles: Robin Soderling vs. Leonardo Mayer; Joachim Johansson vs. Eduardo Schwank
Friday’s singles: Ivo Karlovic vs. Nicolas Lapentti; Marin Cilic vs. Giovanni Lapentti
Saturday’s doubles: Igor Dodig and Antonio Veic vs. Giovanni Lapentti and Nicolas Lapentti
Sunday’s reverse singles: Marin Cilic vs. Nicolas Lapentti; Ivo Karlovic vs. Giovanni Lapentti
Friday’s singles: Viktor Troicki vs. John Isner; Novak Djokovic vs. Sam Querrey
Saturday’s doubles: Janko Tipsarevic and Nenad Zimonjic vs. Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan
Sunday’s reverse singles: Novak Djokovic vs. John Isner; Viktor Troicki vs. Sam Querrey
Friday’s singles: Oliver Rochus vs. Tomas Berdych; Xavier Malisse vs. Radek Stepanek
Saturday’s doubles: Steve Darcis and Oliver Rochus vs. Lukas Dlouhy and Jan Hajek
Sunday’s reverse singles: Oliver Rochus vs. Radek Stepanek; Xavier Malisse vs. Tomas Berdych
Chile vs. Israel
The tie has been delayed one day so it'll start on Saturday. No matchups released yet.
As I mentioned, the first round of Davis Cup is this weekend. Most of the big stars are out but as we all know, this is a HoYay! buffet. It'll be good no matter what.
World Group Ties:
Spain v Switzerland
Plaza de Toros de la Ribera, Logrono, Spain
Spain: David Ferrer, Nicolas Almagro, Tommy Robredo, Marcel Granollers
Captain: Albert Costa
Switzerland: Stanislas Wawrinka, Marco Chiudinelli, Michael Lammer, Yves Allego
Captain: Severin Luthi
France v Germany
Palais des Sports – Toulon, France
France: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils, Michael Llodra, Julien Benneteau
Captain: Guy Forget
Germany: Philipp Kohlschreiber, Benjamin Becker, Simon Greul, Christopher Kas
Captain: Patrick Kuhnen
Russia v India
Small Sports Arena “Luzhniki” – Moscow, Russia
Russia: Nikolay Davydenko, Mikhail Youzhny, Teimuraz Gabashvili, Igor Kunitsyn
Captain: Shamil Tarpischev
India: Somdev Devvarman, Rohan Bopanna, Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi
Captain: Shiv-Prakash Misra
Sweden v Argentina
Kungliga Tennishallen – Stockholm, Sweden
Sweden: Robin Soderling, Andreas Vinciguerra, Simon Aspelin, Robert Lindstedt
Captain: Mats Wilander
Argentina: Leonardo Mayer, Horacio Zeballos, Eduardo Schwank, Federico Del Bonis
Captain: Tito Vazquez
Croatia v Ecuador
Gradska Sportska Dvorana Varazdin – Varazdin, Croatia
Croatia: Marin Cilic, Ivo Karlovic, Ivan Dodig, Antonio Veic
Captain: Goran Prpic
Ecuador: Nicolas Lapentti, Giovanni Lapentti, Ivan Endara, Julio-Cesar Campozano
Captain: Raul Viver
Serbia v United States
Belgrade Arena, Belgrade, Serbia
Serbia: Novak Djokovic, Viktor Troicki, Janko Tipsarevic, Nenad Zimonjic
Captain: Bogdan Obradovic
United States: John Isner, Sam Querrey, Mike Bryan, Bob Bryan
Captain: Patrick McEnroe
Chile v Israel
Enjoy Tennis Center – Coquimbo, Chile
Chile: Fernando Gonzalez, Nicolas Massu, Paul Capdeville, Jorge Aguilar
Captain: Hans Gildermeister
Israel: Dudi Sela, Harel Levy, Jonathan Erlich, Andy Ram
Captain: Eyal Ran
Belgium v Czech Republic
Expodroom Bree – Bree, Belgium
Belgium: Olivier Rochus, Xavier Malisse, Steve Darcis, Christophe Rochus
Captain: Reginald Willems
Czech Republic: Tomas Berdych, Radek Stepanek, Jan Hajek, Lukas Dlouhy
Captain: Jaroslav Navratil
From Gonzo's site:
I was watching TV and I found out about the earthquake. I’m so sad for the victims and families. I’m at Mexico City. This nght I’ll fly to Lima to try to get a new flight to Santiago.
Thank God I could talk with my family after the earthquake. I watched TV all the time and I’m so sad with the news. It’s tough I can’t be in Chile. I’m praying. I would like to help with the reconstruction of my country.
I hope to see them again as soon as possible.
A big hug for everyone and ¡Fuerza Chile!
In other Chile-related news, the ITF wants the Davis Cup tie against Israel, which is being hosted in Chile, to go forward.
Um, seriously, ITF? Are you *that* big of assholes? Not only are we talking about a logistical nightmare of even hosting the tie, what about the logistics of getting the athletes into and out of the country? What about how absolutely inappropriate a sporting event seems in light of the tragedy? Hell, when we had the 6.8 in the Bay Area during the 1989 World Series, games were suspended for 10 days. Chile just had an 8.8 three days ago.
The first round of Davis Cup is next week and the teams have announced their rosters. No Fed, Rafa, FeVer, Feli, A-Rod, JMDP, Nalby, Blah, or Haasi.
Spain vs. Switerland: In Spain
Spain: Juan Carlos Ferrero, David Ferrer, Tommy Robredo, and Marcel Granollers
Switzerland: Stanislas Wawrinka, Marco Chiudinelli, Michael Lammer, and Yves Allegro
France vs. Germany: In France
France: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils, Michael Llodra, and Julien Benneteau
Germany: Philipp Kohlschreiber, Benjamin Becker, Simon Greul, and Christopher Kas
Russia vs. India: In Russia
Russia: Nikolay Davydenko, Mikhail Youzhny, Teimuraz Gabashvili, and Igor Kunitsyn
India: Somdev Devvarman, Rohan Bopanna, Leander Paes, and Mahesh Bhupathi
Sweden vs. Argentina: In Sweden
Sweden: Robin Soderling, Andreas Vinciguerra, Simon Aspelin, and Robert Lindstedt
Argentina: Juan Monaco, Horacio Zeballos, Leonardo Mayer, and Eduardo Schwank
Croatia vs. Ecuador: In Croatia
Croatia: Marin Cilic, Ivo Karlovic, Ivan Dodig, and Antonio Veic
Ecuador: Nicholas Lapentti, Giovanni Lapentti, Ivan Endara, and Julio-Ceser Campozano
Serbia vs. United States: In Serbia
Serbia: Novak Djokoivc, Viktor Troikci, Janko Tipsarevic, and Nenad Zimonjic
United States: John Isner, Sam Querrey, Mike and Bob Bryan
Chile vs. Israel: In Chile
Chile: Fernando Gonzalez, Nicolas Massu, Paul Capdeville, and Jorge Arguilar
Israel: Dudi Sela, Harel Levy, Jonathan Erlich, and Andy Ram
Belgium vs. Czech Repubic: In Belgium
Belgium: Christophe Rochus, Oliver Rochus, Steve Darcis, and Xavier Malisse
Czech Rebublic: Tomas Berdych, Radek Stepanek, Jan Hajek, and Lukas Dlouhy
I'm still a bit surprised that P-Mac finally cut the old guard loose. And by "surprised", I mean relieved.
Uh, Atomic's been named to the Australia Davis Cup team, making the 17 year old the youngest to play for the team.
"As a young player he's already showed us that he handles big courts, big situations well so if he gets the opportunity to play a live match here I've no doubt that he'll handle that pretty well," he said.
Psst! Taiwan! Two words for you: late matches. Also, if you want to play them on Rod Laver, I'm sure that can be arranged.
Call me skeptical, but this proposal to replace Davis Cup with a "tennis World Cup" just makes me roll my eyes.
This video must be watched. Feli and Fer are the cutest and most romantic couple in tennis.
Thanks to rafadoc for posting!
This video can be summed in the following:
Fernando: Hey, a flag, yay!
Feli: You should wear it like a cape.
Fernando: That's lame.
Feli: Fine, I will.
All: OH NOES CHAMPAGNE!!!
Lock up your women, sons, sheep, and lawns, people of Barcelona.
The boys have won and they're ready to celebrate.
There's so much amazing in this pic I don't know where to begin. SuperFeli to the rescue!
All I can think when I see these two is this.
"Me and You and You and Me, no matter how they toss the dice, it's meant to be."
These two are so this I can't even deal.
Is difficult to stay in the right colm, no?
"I love that Davis Cup so much...
...I want to take it out behind the school...
...and get it pregnant."
Glad these guys made the final. Hell of a job, Czechies.
Manual Photoshopping, by Fernando Verdasco. See? He gets it.
And so Spain clinches the Davis Cup for the second straight year with a 76(7) 75 62 win over Steps and Tomas.
It was a compete and clean kill for the Spaniards, as Feli's serve was booming and Fernando's forehand was adjective-similar-to-booming-but-I-can't-use-booming-twice-in-one-sentence.
And now, for the celebration pics:
I love this pic. Primarily because it reminded me of this scene in New Moon (shut up. I'm going to keep bringing it up until it's out of my system).
"You smell like french fries. I'll be your hot mustard."
"Is it raining? I hadn't noticed."
Fer's cute and all, but I cannot stop looking at Feli's amazing receding hairline.
Like whoa, y'all.
I miss Emilio.
Can't wait for tomorrow's award ceremony.
Let's be real, I did *not* think he had it in him. Hobbling into Davis Cup, playing a streaking Steps, I just...really...didn't think he had a change here. He was already a shock pick by Costa to play this second rubber, which I chalked up to Costa feeding him to the wolves, assuming the loss, in order to rest Fer for tomorrow and possibly Sunday. And that's what it looked like after the first two sets, when Daveed was simply outclassed by Steps in the order of a 61 62 drubbing.
But Spain would not be denied. Steps started to play too cute and Daveed picked up his game. After he was able to take the third set, it really looked like it was going to turn around. And did it ever.
Daveed would gut out the next three sets, 64 64 86, after 4 hours. It was awesome. He needed this win in a major way.
Save the Cheerleader. Save the World.
So FeVer is going to sport Spain's national team kit for football during Davis Cup. But that's not the story. He's also going to be wearing personalized mi Adidas shoes that say "Tabasco" on the heel.
Here's a preview of his kit:
I honestly don't know who I'm rooting for here but I think it's Spain, if for no other reason than that I want Rafa to end his season on a high note. Speaking of high notes...what's up with Feli's hair? Or Fer's for that matter.
Spain comes into Davis Cup severely hobbled, both emotionally and physically. We all know Rafa's struggling, but Fernando also expended a crapload of energy at in London, and he's now injured. So much so that Costa has swapped in Daveed for singles, who we last saw withdraw from a match due to a hamstring injury. That's...disconcerting, though Costa has indicated that Fer might be tapped to play Sunday if needed. And have I mentioned Feli's hair?
The Czechs on the other hand come in very relaxed and high in confidence. Well, at least Steps is feeling confident. He had a great run to end the regular season. As for Tomas, you never know what you're going to get with him but I have to think he's going to be pretty relaxed here, which is worrisome if you're on Team Spain. If this tie were played in the Czech Republic, I'd be more worried for Tomas. But playing away in Spain? Something tells me the Czechs totally buy into the underdog mentality here.
As per usual in Davis Cup, doubles will be the key here. Rafa can't do this all himself. Despite the fact that Dlouhy/Hajek were officially tapped for the Czechs, unless they find themselves up 2-0 after the first day, expect Tomas and Steps to play dubs against Fer/Feli. I expect it'll be 1-1 after Friday, so whoever wins dubs will clearly be in the driving seat.
The 2010 Davis Cup draw came out this morning and while everyone is understandably buzzing about the 1st round tie between Spain and Switzerland, I'm way more pumped for the USA vs. Serbia tie. Why?
Because it's in Serbia.
If you think about when Nole's career started to take a weird turn, you have to look back at Sarsapalooza 08, when Andy called out Nole for being injury prone, Nole got mad, New York got mad, and as a result, Nole's brain melted. I swear it was as though Andy somehow lobotomized him. The guy has been lost ever since.
So excuse me if I look forward to Nole finally playing Andy on pro-Nole territory. When they can finally have a match where Nole should feel comfortable letting the Falcon out. Who knows what will happen, but a Nole win would go a long way for his confidence and at least get Andy out of his head.
Because seriously? Of all the players to have in your head, does it really have to be A-Rod? Come on.
Also, will 2010 finally be the year when P-Mac gets his head out of his ass and plays Sam instead of Headband and Socks?
As for the Spain/Switzerland tie in Spain, I don't know why but I'll be surprised to see Roger there. And I don't mean that as a slight to him. I just wonder if that early in the season he'll be willing to go from Australian hardcourts, to clay, and back. Though, I guess if he was willing to play last week's relegation tie, he must want to add the Davis Cup to his NetJet. What better way to do it than to beat Rafa.
I love Spain's celebrations because they run around like a bunch of little boys.
Well, four little boys and the older girl that wants to bone them.
I can't really explain it, but I just love the Belgian Boys. They're like a team of blonde hobbits.
Much love to Somdev for singlehandedly saving this tie for India.
Polish guys do it better. Cuz they have poles. Or something.
It took a really long time for me to figure out whether or not some guy attached Massu (plausible) or if Massu was just lying there and reveling in once again being a country hero (plausible, unfortunately). Still not sure.
Hug it out, you cute Ecuadorian bitches.
So it'll be those guys...
Versus these guys...
For this guy.
I love this matchup. At least I did before I realized that the final would be played in Spain, likely on clay court. So...have fun with that Czechies. But really nice win over the Croats. As for Spain, a well-deserved home final after what they pulled off last year in Argentina.
Trust me, I'm still recovering, and thanks for all the well wishes. That was very sweet. I got a good amount of sleep this weekend, primarily by finding streams of the Switzerland tie. That was really helpful. But clearly I ended up in some drug induced daze (or perhaps watching Fed play Davis Cup put me into a uberdeep level of REM sleep that I've never experienced) because I had some crazy wacked out dreams that I can't make heads or tails of.
I found myself mildly attracted to Nicolas "Please put a bag over your face" MasWho.
I vaguely recall something about GB being relegated to Zonal.
I had fits of euphoria as France got all brohuggy to win their tie.
He would not be denied.
And then he tried to rub his junk all over Daveed...
And Tomas was zadorable in the Czech Republic's huge win 3-0 win over Croatia.
And then I woke up...
I want my sleepy back.
World Group Semis
Spain vs. Israel
Friday Day 1: 1200 hrs (1000 hrs GMT)
David Ferrer (ESP) v Harel Levy (ISR)
Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) v Dudi Sela (ISR)
Saturday Day 2: 1500 hrs (1300 hrs GMT)
Feliciano Lopez/Tommy Robredo (ESP) v Jonathan Erlich/Andy Ram (ISR)
Sunday Day 3: 1200 hrs (1000 hrs GMT)
David Ferrer (ESP) v Dudi Sela (ISR)
Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) v Harel Levy (ISR)
Friday Day 1: 1400 hrs (1200 hrs GMT)
Ivo Karlovic (CRO) v Radek Stepanek (CZE)
Marin Cilic (CRO) v Tomas Berdych (CZE)
Saturday Day 2: 1500 hrs (1300 hrs GMT)
Roko Karanusic/Lovro Zovko (CRO) v Lukas Dlouhy/Jan Hajek (CZE)
Sunday Day 3: 1300 hrs (1100 hrs GMT)
Marin Cilic (CRO) v Radek Stepanek (CZE)
Ivo Karlovic (CRO) v Tomas Berdych (CZE)
World Group Playoff ties after the jump.
(I ran a search for "davis cup" and this came up. Obviously I couldn't resist.)
Weird to think Davis Cup is only a week away. Here are the World Group nominations:
CROATIA v CZECH REPUBLIC
Venue: Sportska Dvorana 'Zatika', Porec, Croatia (clay – indoors)
Captain: Goran Prpic
Captain: Jaroslav Navratil
SPAIN v ISRAEL
Venue: Polaris World la Torre Golf Resort, Murcia (clay – outdoors)
Captain: Albert Costa
Captain: Eyal Ran
The Croatia/Czech tie should be really interesting. Hard to pick one there but I'd have to give the edge to the Czech Republic if Steps and Dlouhy play dubs together. As for Spain and Israel, Fernando wanted a break and is obviously struggling with injuries so he's out. Not that they really need him. Have fun on the clay, Israel.
The lineups for the World Group Playoff ties after the jump.
Nice DC write up by Cronin, with some interesting stats about Andy and Blah:
On the other hand, Blake has scored just one live win on clay, over Austria's Stefan Koubek, and only one other singles win away from home in the past eight years. While he's had some spectacular moments playing at home, including during the United States' 2007 title run, Blake has been less than dependable away from the comforts of red, white and blue arenas.
"I think it's a great opportunity for James to slide into the No. 1 singles role," McEnroe said before the tie began. "He's always been the No. 2 guy on this team, with Andy playing the role of No. 1 quite well. But James has a lot of experience, and I think it's a nice change for him to be put in that position."
While that might have been the case at home, Blake did not embrace the change abroad.
Perhaps next year, if McEnroe is forced to select a team to play away on clay, he'll try his luck again with Querrey, or young lefthander Wayne Odesnik, who professes a love of dirt and has had some decent results on the surface. Whatever the case, without Roddick in the fold for every tough away tie, the U.S. is going to be a serious underdog.
After the match, Blake admitted that there was a comfort level in playing No. 2 behind Roddick, the de facto team leader with a Davis Cup singles record of 31-11.
"I got a ton of respect for Andy. I really can't see myself having any more respect for him than today," said Blake. "Being in the No. 1 spot, it shows me how hard his job has been for this many years and how outstanding he's really been as a teammate and a leader of this team because he's counted on as the No. 1 to put up two points, and he does it time after time. Davis Cup is always pressure-packed, but being in the No. 2 spot is less pressure-packed than being in that one spot."
So is it fair to assume that there will a bunch of articles written about James calling him out for his pathetic inability to handle pressure situations and perform on big stages?
Nah. Probably not.
That's what Day 3 of Davis Cup is all about: Heroes. And the great thing about Davis Cup is that these heroes often come from nowhere. They're journeymen players who experience the biggest wins of their lives on this stage. And there is something ridiculously awesome about it.
Over in Spain, it was looking like PEHK would be the man of the day. He fended off a strong comeback from Fernando to notch an 8-6 in the 5th win. Who knew the German would knock off Nole and Fer on clay in the span of a month and a half. And if Hero #2 didn't step up in the next match and Germany had taken this tie, I would argue that Techno's win over Fer was the biggest of his career. But alas.
After the Fer's tough loss Spain had to be feeling a bit of pressure. Especially with Beck having taken Fer to five challenging sets a couple days earlier. But in stepped cool as a cucumber JCF, who swashbuckled his way to a fairly businesslike straight set win. And so Spain advances and Germany goes home. Sure, it all shook out the way we expected, but the fun is in the process. Spain will face Israel in their semifinal.
But the thing about heroes is that there's always a goat. And no, I don't mean GOAT, I mean goat. And unfortunately for Argentina, that goat was Pico. Poor guy was unable to notch a singles win during the tie and that's what's why the 2008 finalists are going home. As for Steps, he was able to fight off some knee pain and help bring this one how for the Czechs, who will have an away tie with...
This was a hard fought tie for the Croats. They had that epicly long day on Friday, wherein Ivo and Marin needed 5 sets to take care of Blah and Sockless. But Marin came out and took care of business in four sets, dumping Blah and sending a very clear message to PMac that JAMES BLAKE IS A HORRIBLE TENNIS PLAYER!!! It's time for everyone to accept it. He's clearly in a bad spot. The fact that Querrey CA was left off this team still chaps me. Fuckers.
Once again, Marat couldn't keep it simple. He couldn't just roll over and let Israel easily take the tie by winning the dubs match. No. He had to make it an emotional rollercoaster that ended with him not coming out on top. Because this is what Marat does.
Ram and Ehrlich were up two sets and serving for the match at 5-4. Jonny gets broken and Marat and Consumption proceed to take the next two sets and force a fifth, which, of course, Israel would win 64.
Congrats to Israel for making their first World Group semifinal. As for Russia, maybe it's appropriate that the year Marat retires, they get outclassed by the hungry up and comers.
With the Marat sitting on the bench, Russia dropped both their rubbers today (heh) to Israel, who are one win away from making the World Group semis. Crazy!
The Hotness and Consumption take the court in dubs tomorrow. Yikes.
Spain and Germany ended Day 1 locked in a 1-1 draw after their #1s took care of business. It took Fer 5 SETS to take out Andreas Beck, who just flat our ran out of gas. How do you lose the next two sets 2 and 1 after you just won a tiebreaker to take a 2-1 lead?
Meanwhile, in a pretty impressive result on clay, PEHK beat Tommy in straight sets.
Bring on Team Pretty for dubs!