14th Week – Davis Cup (QF)

World Group – first round

Vancouver (indoor-hard): Canada – Italy 3:1

Canadians were the favorites and their No. 1 player didn’t disappoint: Raonic displayed awesome service performance in both singles rubbers, serving 25 aces against Fognini and 35 (career second best) raonic_vs_italyagainst Seppi – Italians broke him once each. After the first round I wrote that Nestor is too old for long five-setters, I was wrong… In a crucial doubles on Saturday, he survived alongside Pospisil a 4:27 hour battle. In the deciding set, Canadians served eight times to stay in the contest, they were three times two points away from losing on Nestor’s serve, the closest in the 26th game when it was 15/30 – Nestor fired an ace, 1 out of 28 for the team, and Fognini was broken to ’15’ in the following game. “I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to step up in recent ties and I want to perform under that kind of pressure,” Raonic says of earning the deciding point for the second time this year. “It’s a fun experience these Davis Cup weeks. Not just the weekends, but the preparation week is a lot of fun and I think that’s why we’re doing a lot better as well.” Canada has advanced into a first-ever Davis Cup semifinal.

Vasek Pospisil – Andreas Seppi 7-5 6-4 4-6 3-6 3-6
Milos Raonic – Fabio Fognini 6-4 7-6(4) 7-5
Daniel Nestor/Vasek Pospisil – Daniele Bracciali/Fabio Fognini 6-3 6-4 3-6 3-6 15-13
Milos Raonic – Andreas Seppi 6-4 6-4 3-6 7-5
Vasek Pospisil – Fabio Fognini (not played)

Boise (indoor-hard): USA – Serbia 1:3

It was the most electrifying tie of the weekend with three best players in the world gathered in once place: the Bryans and Djokovic. I expected the trio would meet on Saturday, however, Serbian captain Bogdan Obradovic gave a chance to Ilija Bozlojac, a player ranked 1150 in doubles, who plays currently singles tournaments on a Futures level! Bozoljac stunned everyone with his brave bozoljac_dc13performance, it’s not only a matter of good play – he played extremely well under immense pressure, in two tie-breaks and in the marathon 5th set, some of his returns were astonishing, his second serves when he was serving to stay in the match faster than 1st serves of many good players! He was lucky as well, the twin brothers had their best chance to win the match leading 5:4* (30/15) in the decider – Bozoljac played a tentative overhead from the back of the court, but Mike Bryan choked netting a forehand off the slow ball. The Serbs were serving powerfully throughout the match (36 aces together), but they saved the best serves for the final stage (!) – Bozoljac fired 3 aces to level at 13-all, then Zimonjic delivered two aces in a row to save a double break point sering for the win and converted the second match point with an ace too. It seemed that a 4th rubber between Djokovic and Querrey would be a formality, but a drama entered the match as early as 3rd game when the Serb twisted his right ankle. After receiving a treatment he came back on court playing below his standard abilities through two sets, but hung in there, forgot the pain and destroyed the American in the third and fourth sets. “I am happy I managed to play the whole match,” said Djokovic. “If I wasn’t playing for Serbia, if I didn’t have my teammates’ support, I don’t know if I would’ve played. The first half hour it was very painful.” Djokovic ahs won a ‘6-0’ set in the last three meetings with Querrey.

John Isner – Novak Djokovic 6-7(5) 2-6 5-7
Sam Querrey – Viktor Troicki 7-6(1) 3-6 4-6 6-1 6-4
Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan – Ilija Bozoljac/Nenad Zimonjic 6-7(5) 6-7(1) 7-5 6-4 13-15
 Sam Querrey – Novak Djokovic 5-7 7-6(4) 1-6 0-6
John Isner – Viktor Troicki (not played)

Buenos Aires (clay): Argentina – France 3:2

Who could expect that Berlocq would be a man introducing Argentina to the Davis Cup semifinals whenever? The 30-year-old player unexpectedly got his chance in the last year’s semifinals, lost to Berdych, but berlocq_vs_franceMartin Jaite gave him one more chance this year in the first round in regard of Del Potro’s absence and Nalbandian’s physical lability – Berlocq with the help of injury of Kohlschreiber won a pivotal rubber then, this time survived an almost four hour struggle in a decisive rubber to overcome Simon.  “I have no words to say how I feel,” Berlocq said. “You can’t imagine how frightened I was when I took the court to start the match.” He was frightened also leading 5:2* (40/15) in the 4th set. Simon saved a double match point with two winners and broke easily in the 9th game. When French supporters could expect an amazing turnaround, the usually patient Simon started the 10th game with two shocking forehand errors trying to finish the points quickly. He saved another two match points, but on the fifth one, he made another error and sat devastated on his bench while Berlocq celebrated in ecstasy with his teammates.

Carlos Berlocq – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 2-6 3-6 7-5 2-6
Juan Monaco – Gilles Simon 7-6(2) 6-2 6-4
David Nalbandian/Horacio Zeballos – Julien Benneteau/Michael Llodra 3-6 7-6(3) 7-5 6-3
Juan Monaco – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 3-6 3-6 0-6
Carlos Berlocq – Gilles Simon 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-4

Astana (indoor-clay): Kazakhstan – Czech Republic 1:3

rosol&coIt was a magnificent chance for Kazakhstan to make a history reaching first Davis Cup semifinal. Czechs arrived to Astana without their best player (Berdych), with other national hero Stepanek, who was injured lately and prepared only to play doubles. Moreover the Kazakh players had beaten Czechs a couple of years ago in Ostrava. Under these difficult circumstances, Rosol [63] showed that he has something more to offer for the world tennis than beating Nadal at Wimbledon. The third best Czech dealt very well with a new role of a leader and upset Kazakhs in dramatic 4-setters: Golubev (7-0 record in Astana before) coming back from 3:5 in 4th set (saving a set point on return) and Korolev erasing a 3:5 deficit in the 3rd set – in that match Rosol served 31 aces!

Mikhail Kukushkin – Jan Hajek 3-6 2-6 4-6
Andrey Golubev – Lukas Rosol 6-4 4-6 2-6 6-7(6)
Andrey Golubev/Yuriy Schukin – Jan Hajek/Radek Stepanek 7-6(2) 6-4 6-3
Evgeny Korolev – Lukas Rosol 6-7(5) 7-6(2) 6-7(5) 2-6
Andrey Golubev – Jan Hajek (not played)

Group I:
Ecuador d. Chile 3:2, Colombia d. Uruguay 5:0, Australia d. Uzbekistan 3:1, Japan d. Korea 3:2, Great Britain d. Russia 3:2*, Poland d. South Africa 3:1, Netherlands d. Romania 5:0, Ukraine d. Sweden 3:2

* First victory for Great Britain from 0:2 after opening rubbers since 1930!
5 setters: Seppi 13-11, Tursunov 12-8, Troicki 10-10, Tsonga 9-5, Hanescu 8-10, Ward 3-2, Donskoy 2-0, Querrey 2-5, Pospisil & Sijsling 1-1, Evans 1-3
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