Lucky Loser Norbert Gombos First Man to Reach Round of 16 @CitiOpen, Wasn’t Even in Main Draw This Morning Steve Fogleman in Washington
Norbert Gombos got a good night’s sleep last night. That was a good thing.
“I was here and practicing, and I’d already booked my flight ticket back home for tomorrow,” he said after his upset win against Adrian Mannarino of France at the Citi Open in Washington. “I just woke up and was already set up for a practice with Tsonga, and I signed up for lucky loser.”
He was defeated by American Tim Smyczek in qualifying on Sunday. After he signed up for lucky loser status this morning, he was shortly thereafter informed that Kevin Anderson might be withdrawing (right knee pain), which gave him less than three hours to get ready for his match.
It was, in fact, like winning the lottery. “I’m just happy to play again here, against the top players in the world,” he told me. And the 28-year-old Slovakian will face another surprise in Miomir Kecmanovic, who upset Pierre Hugues Herbert in three sets this afternoon. One of these guys will become a Citi Open quarterfinalist.
In WTA play, American Jesse Pegula was down a set and a break but managed to claw her way back to victory over Iga Sweitak of Poland.
FED CUP BY BNP PARIBAS DRAW SET FOR CANADA VS. SERBIA THIS WEEKEND
Montreal, February 7, 2014 – The official draw for the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II first round tie between Canada and Serbia was held Friday to determine the match ups for the weekend. The tie will be played on February 8 and 9 on an indoor hard court at the Claude-Robillard Sports Complex in Montreal.
The Canadian Fed Cup team of Eugenie Bouchard (Westmount, QC), Gabriela Dabrowski (Ottawa, ON), Sharon Fichman (Toronto, ON), and Aleksandra Wozniak (Blainville, QC) will play two singles matches on Saturday followed by two singles matches and a doubles match on Sunday. Canadian Fed Cup team captain Sylvain Bruneau will be at the helm this weekend.
Wozniak stunned spectators by dropping McHale in the First Round
Today’s draw produced the following weekend match-ups:
1st Singles Rubber, Saturday 3:00 p.m. ET Aleksandra Wozniak Vesna Dolonc
2nd Singles Rubber, Saturday Eugenie Bouchard Jovana Jaksic
3rd Singles Rubber, Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET Eugenie Bouchard Vesna Dolonc
4th Singles Rubber, Sunday Aleksandra Wozniak Jovana Jaksic
Doubles Rubber, Sunday Gabriela Dabrowski Aleksandra Krunic
Sharon Fichman Nina Stojanovic
“We’re pleased with the draw but really, no matter what the order, we’re just excited to get started and play some great tennis,” said Bruneau. “The team has worked extremely hard this week and there has been great support from everyone here in Montreal so we’re ready to go. We know the building will be loud and the fans will be behind us and the girls are going to go out there and do everything they can to win.”
A win over Serbia will advance the Canadian squad to a World Group I play-off in April. The last time Canada found itself among the top eight nations in the world was in 1994. The losing country will play a World Group II play-off in April to maintain their place in World Group II in 2015.
Play will begin at 3:00 ET on Saturday, February 8 with two singles matches. The two reverse singles matches will played on Sunday, February 9 starting at 1:00 ET followed by the doubles rubber.
Germany Upsets Spain, Britain Topples USA, Switzerland Smashes Serbia: 2014 Davis Cup WG Round 1 Review
World Group Round 1:
Czech Republic d. Netherlands 3-2
Robin Haase upset Radek Stepanek to give the Dutch a 1-0 start on Friday, but Tomas Berdych was the pace setter for the Czech Republic, as he destroyed Igor Sijsling to level the tie at 1-1. He then teamed up with Radek Stepanek to beat Haase/Jean-Julien Rojer in the Saturday doubles for a 2-1 lead, and finished the tie with another demolition, this time of Thiemo De Bakker for a 3-1 win.
Sijsling beat Lukas Rosol in the dead rubber to end it 3-2, but really not much in question in this tie.
Japan d. Canada 4-1
Kei Nishikori helped Japan oust team Canada with singles wins over Peter Polansky and Frank Dancevic, all without dropping a set, and a doubles win. He teamed up with Yasutaka Uchiyama over Daniel Nestor/Dancevic. That added up to the 3 rubbers wins Japan needed. Dancevic did beat Go Soeda on Friday, and Soeda won the dead rubber over Polansky on Sunday. This tie was never in much doubt, and Dancevic retired in the 2nd set against Nishikori in the crucial match.
Germany d. Spain 4-1
In the big upset of the week, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Florian Mayer were heroes for team Germany as they beat Spain 3-0 in live rubbers. Kohli crushed Roberto Bautista Agut and Mayer won a tough 5 setter against Feliciano Lopez, fighting through cramps, to give Germany a 2-0 Friday lead. Then, Tommy Haas/Kohlschreiber beat the talented duo of David Marrero/Fernando Verdasco in the Saturday doubles for the clincher.
Spain got a walkover in one of the dead Sunday singles rubbers and Daniel Brands swept RBA in the 5th rubber.
France d. Australia 5-0
It was a learning experience for the Aussies, as Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga schooled Nick Kyrgios and Lleyton Hewitt, all in straight sets on Friday, and then teamed up to oust the Aussies for good beating of Hewitt/Guccione in the doubles on Saturday.
The dead rubbers were handled admirably by Julian Benneteau and Gael Monfils, who beat the young Thanasi Kokkinakis and Kyrgios respectively.
Great Britain d. USA 3-1
Andy Murray and James Ward were the heroes, while Sam Querrey and Donald Young were the zeroes for team USA. Murray destroyed Young in Friday singles before Ward came back from a huge deficit against Querrey to win in 5 sets. The American saw his level of play totally collapse from 2 sets up.
The Bryans beat Colin Fleming/Dominic Inglot in the doubles.
Murray needed 4 sets against Querrey, but he played some exceptional clay court tennis in this tie, and helped Great Britain topple yet another cold streak in their tennis history.
The Union Jack is into the quarterfinals.
Italy d. Argentina 3-1
Carlos Berlocq gave the Argentines hope with an upset of Andreas Seppi in the first rubber, but Fabio Fognini would play the villain. He beat Juan Monaco in the other Friday singles rubber, then teamed with Simone Bolelli to beat Horacio Zeballos and Eduardo Schwank in the doubles rubber, and ousted Berlocq in the fourth rubber to clinch the tie. The 5th was mutually skipped by both teams.
Kazakhstan d. Belgium 3-2
The only tie this weekend to feature a live fifth rubber, Belgium fell short of the comeback on the road. They were down 0-2 after Friday singles with Mikhail Kukushkin beating Ruben Bemelmans, and Andrey Golubev surviving a barrage against David Goffin to win 12-10 in the 5th (saving multiple match points in that one).
Bemelmans and Olivier Rochus would help the Belgians keep the tie alive, winning the doubles over Kukushkin and Evgeny Korolev. On Sunday, Goffin beat Kukushkin in 5 sets, but Andrey Golubev shut the door on this tie, handling Bemelmans in straights to send the Kazakhs into the quarters and the Belgians into the World Group playoffs.
Switzerland d. Serbia 3-2
The Swiss mauled Serbia and won the live rubbers 3-0.
Roger Federer straight-setted Ilija Bozoljac, Stan Wawrinka beat Dusan Lajovic in 4, and Marco Chiudinelli/Michael Lammer got together to beat Nenad Zimonjic/Filip Krajinovic in the doubles.
Lajovic and Krajinovic would beat Lammer and Chiudinelli respectively in the 2 dead rubbers, but this tie was never close at all.
Action outside the World Group:
Yuki Bhambri and India whitewashed Taiwan in Asia-Oceania Group 1 action 5-0.
In Europe/Africa group 1 action, Jerzy Janowicz and Poland beat Russia 3-1 on live rubbers and 3-2 overall.
Blaz Kavcic and Slovenia beat Portugal 3-1.
Sergiy Stakhovsky and Ukraine beat Romania 3-1 and Martin Klizan and Slovakia whitewashed Latvia 5-0.
In Europe/Africa group 2, Freddie Nielsen and Denmark beat Cyprus 3-0 on live rubbers and 4-1 overall.
Rik De Voest and South Africa beat Monaco 3-1 on live rubbers and 4-1 overall.
Ricardas Berankis and Lithuania blanked Norway 5-0.
Jarkko Nieminen and Finland beat Bulgaria 3-1 on live rubbers and 4-1 overall.
Damir Dzumhur and Bosnia beat Greece 3-1. Belarus beat Ireland 4-1. Moldova beat Egypt 4-1 and Luxembourg beat Morocco 3-2.
2013 Davis Cup Final: Serbia vs. Czech Republic Preview, Predictions
The 2010 and 2012 Davis Cup Champions battle it out starting today to crown the 2013 Davis Cup champion. Serbia, led by Novak Djokovic, will face the Czech Republic led by the duo of Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych. This one is expected to be close and both teams are deserving of the DC final as they are teams with talent, chemistry and desire.
The final will be played in Belgrade on indoor hard courts.
For team Serbia, they have Novak Djokovic, who is undefeated this fall as their number 1. He should be a near lock to win his 2 singles rubbers tentatively scheduled to be against Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych. Those wins would put the Serbs within one win of the tie and they would need to win just 1 of the 3 other matches.
However, they do have cause for concern as their normal number 2 and 3 players, Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki are both out of this tie. Tipsarevic intended to play, though he has had a very poor season but withdrew in favor of Dusan Lajovic, a young player close to breaking into the top 100.
Troicki is out with a controversial doping ban.
The Serbian doubles tandem will be Nenad Zimonjic/Ilija Bozoljac who have played well so far this Davis Cup.
For the Czech Republic, they have relied on the chemistry and passion of Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych to carry them both this year and last and it has served them well. However, Stepanek has dealt with some injury issues and his ranking and level of play has dropped a little, while Berdych was so-so this fall.
Their doubles team will be Jan Hajek/Lukas Rosol. Hajek isn’t great indoors or in great form, but Rosol is a solid player indoors and his game seems to be improving from a severe slump for part of this season.
The doubles rubber will be key and if Serbia can win it, they should be home free barring a massive upset by Berdych or Stepanek over a top form and seemingly healthy Djokovic. Though he has played a lot of tennis this fall, Djokovic has gotten a few days off since the World Tour Finals, which also probably helped prep him for this indoor DC final.
However, if the Czechs win the doubles rubber Berdych and Stepanek will both need to beat Lajovic, which is doable, in order to win the tie for them.
In the end I’m going to pick Serbia as they should win 3-1 with a dead 5th rubber (2 Djokovic singles wins and a doubles win).
Serbia, Czech Republic to Meet in Davis Cup Final; Netherlands, Britain, Australia Join World Group
World Group Semis:
Serbia d. Canada 3-2
Serbia got a pair of singles wins from Novak Djokovic and came from behind as Janko Tipsarevic won the decisive 5th rubber in straight sets over Vasek Pospisil, sending the home team into the final.
Canada’s Milos Raonic grabbed a singles win, and Canada won the doubles but it wasn’t enough as they lost twice on Sunday.
Czech Republic d. Argentina 3-2
The Czechs clinched on Saturday and they will have a shot to repeat as DC champions. Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek went 2-0 on Friday against Juan Monaco and Leo Mayer, then won the doubles over Berlocq/Zeballos to clinch 3-0. Horacio Zeballos and Leo Mayer won the 2 dead rubbers on Sunday over Lukas Rosol and Jiri Vesely.
World Group Playoffs
Spain d. Ukraine 5-0
Spain blanked Ukraine, with Fernando Verdasco and Rafael Nadal winning their singles rubbers, and Nadal/Marc Lopez winning the Saturday doubles to seal it.
Alex Dolgopolov and Sergiy Stakhovsky just couldn’t get it done for the away team and Lopez/Verdasco won the two dead singles rubbers.
Netherlands d. Austria 5-0
The Dutch make the big show as Robin Haase grabbed a singles win over replacement player Oliver Marach, along with a Saturday doubles victory with Jean-Julien Rojer over Julian Knowle and Marach to clinch.
Thiemo De Bakker beat Jurgen Melzer on Friday in the other singles, and the shutout was completed on Sunday as Jesse Huta Galung and De Bakker added wins.
Great Britain d. Croatia 4-1
Andy Murray got 2 singles wins and took part in a doubles win (with Colin Fleming) to almost singlehandedly take out a weakened Croatian team and send the Union Jack into the World Group, where Murray says he will participate.
Ivan Dodig did beat Dan Evans on Friday to even things at 1-1, but fell to Murray in the first singles rubber on Sunday and that was that.
Switzerland d. Ecuador 4-1
Stan Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli got the hosts off to a 2-0 start Friday before Wawrinka and Michael Lammer clinched the doubles point to secure their continued participation in the World Group.
Lammer got one of the dead rubber singles wins but Gonzalo Escobar got the other one to guarantee Ecuador got on the board.
Germany d. Brazil 4-1
Phillip Kohlschreiber and Florian Mayer got the hosts off to a 2-0 start, but Brazil kept the tie alive by winning the doubles point with Melo/Soares.
Daniel Brands beat Thomaz Bellucci in the first Sunday match to seal the result, however, and Mayer finished things off with a dead rubber win.
Australia d. Poland 4-1
Lleyton Hewitt and Bernie Tomic did a double punch to give the green and gold a 2-0 lead on Friday.
Poland pulled within 1-2 winning the doubles point, but Tomic beat Lukasz Kubot to clinch the result and send the Aussies back to the main group.
Belgium d. Israel 3-2
One of the more exciting ties this weekend, Steve Darcis was the key for Belgium as he beat Dudi Sela on Thursday and Amir Weintraub in the 5th rubber to clinch the tie.
Ruben Bemelmans went 1-1 in singles for the Belgians, losing on Thursday to Weintraub but beating Dudi Sela in the 4th rubber. Erlich/Ram won the doubles point for Israel.
Japan d. Colombia 3-2
Go Soeda beat Alejandro Falla in 4 sets to clinch a comeback victory for Japan. Kei Nishikori beat both Fall and Santiago Giraldo, while Soeda lost to Giraldo on Friday and Cabal/Farah won the doubles point for Colombia. This was close but Japan had more fight this time.
Czech Republic, Argentina, Serbia and Canada Roll into Davis Cup Semis
Czech Republic d. Kazahkstan 3-1
No Berdych, no problem for the Czech Republic, as Lukas Rosol and Jan Hajek led their team to a confident victory over Kazakhstan on the road. The Czechs won all 3 singles rubbers, including a pair of 4 set wins by Rosol over Andrey Golubev and Evgeny Korolev. Hajek won the 1st rubber over Mikhail Kukushkin but the Kazaks were able to extend the tie into Sunday by winning the saturday doubles rubber with Yuriy Schukin and Golubev over Radek Stepanek and Hajek. A dead 5th rubber was not played.
Argentina d. France 3-2
Argentina stepped up big to upset France with it all coming down to a 5th rubber. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga got the French off to a good start with a win over Carlos Berlocq in 5 close sets, but Juan Monaco fired back with a straight sets win over a hobbled Gilles Simon. In the 3rd doubles rubber, David Nalbandian and Horacio Zeballos teamed up to take out Julian Benneteau and Michael Llodra (who produced some Google worthy antics of his own). On Sunday, Tsonga rolled over Monaco to keep the French in it, but it was Berlocq who would come up big clinching the tie over Gilles Simon in 4 sets.
Argentina will meet the defending champs the Czech Republic next round.
Serbia d. USA 3-1
The US DC team just didn’t have enough to beat Serbia this time. Novak Djokovic got a pair of wins, the first over John Isner and the latter a tie-clinching 4th rubber win over Sam Querrey. Against Querrey, Djokovic rolled on his ankle very early in the 1st set and was hobbled considerably throughout the match, but still dispatched a collapsing Querrey easily enough. Querrey did beat Viktor Troicki in 5 sets in the 2nd rubber.
The real key may well have been the doubles rubber as Nenad Zimonjic and the unheralded Illija Bozoljac toppled the Bryan Brothers 15-13 in the 5th set in a record setting US DC doubles match. A dead 5th rubber was not played.
Canada d. Italy 3-1
Canada rode their rocket Milos Raonic to the Davis Cup semis with Raonic winning both his singles rubbers, including the clinching 4th rubber over Andreas Seppi. This was preceded by a win over Fabio Fognini on Friday. Also coming up big were Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil who won the doubles rubber over Daniele Bracciali and Fognini 15-13 in the 5th. Pospisil fell to Seppi in 5 sets in the 1st rubber, Seppi coming back from 2 sets to love down.
In other action outside the world group, into the world group playoffs are Great Britain, who shocked Russia 3-2 and came back from 0-2 down after Friday singles. They needed a massive performance from futures level player Dan Evans, who has a noted history of showing up big in Davis Cup. Evans won the key 5th rubber after losing a 5 set 1st rubber against Dmitry Tursunov. James Ward also helped the comeback with a 5 set win over Dmitry Tursunov in the 4th rubber after losing his 1st singles match against Evgeny Donskoy in 5 sets.
Poland beat South Africa 3-1, while Ukraine had a bit of trouble against a pesky Swedish team but did manage to get the job done 3-2. The Netherlands also blanked Romania 5-0.
Japan beat Korea 3-2, Australia got past Uzbekistan 3-1, Colombia whitewashed Uruguay 5-0, and Ecuador toppled Chile 3-2. All those winning teams will also be in the playoffs against the various losing teams of the World Group 1st round.
As for the DC dream team of the week, Evans, Bozolijac, Nestor and Berlocq with Rosol and Raonic as alternates would make quite a formidable DC team.
Del Po defends Estoril title, Kohlschreiber takes Munich, Seppi wins 2nd career title in Belgrade
By Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
Juan Martin Del Potro successfully defended his title in Estoril, taking out 2 seed Richard Gasquet in the final, 6-4 6-2.
Del Potro cruised through his week in Estoril taking out Rui Machado, Albert Montanes and Stanislas Wawrinka in succession before finishing off Gasquet, who had beaten Paolo Lorenzi, Daniel Munoz-De La Nava and Albert Ramos to reach the final.
Aisam Qureshi of Pakistan and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands took the doubles title over Austrian Julian Knowle and Spaniard David Marrero, 7-5 7-5.
Phillip Kohlschreiber captured the 2nd Munich title of his career (the other being in 2007) taking out Marin Cilic, 7-6 6-3. Kohlschreiber, the 4 seed and one of the home favorites, took out Ernest Gulbis, Marinko Matosevic and Feliciano Lopez, the 2 seed in 3 sets, to reach the final.
Cilic, the 3 seed, who continues to improve in his comeback efforts, took out ATP Bucharest semi-finalist Matthias Bachinger, Mikhail Youzhny and surprise semi-finalist Tommy Haas. Haas brought back memories of the past in his upset of top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga earlier in the week, along with a victory over Marcos Baghadatis and a 1st round drubbing of countryman Michael Berrer.
Top seeds Frantisek Cermak and Filip Polasek, of the Czech Republic and Slovakia respectively, won the doubles title over Xaiver Malisse and Dick Norman of Belgium, 6-4 7-5.
Andreas Seppi won his 2nd career ATP World Tour title with a 6-3 6-2 victory over surprise finalist Benoit Paire of France. The Italian, Seppi, who was seeded 2nd, took out Ivan Dodig, Gilles Muller and 4 seed David Nalbandian in 3 sets to reach the final.
Paire upset 6 seed and ATP Bucharest finalist Fabio Fognini in the 1st round and followed it up with 3 set victories over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 3 seed Jarkko Niemenen and top seed Pablo Andujar to reach the final.
Israeli Danger Duo Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram won the Belgrade doubles title over Martin Emmrich and Andreas Siljestrom.
The Spanish Armada started off hot and finished strong, crushing the men in red with Nicolas Almagro notching a straight sets win over Austrian workhorse Jurgen Melzer and David Ferrer also taking out Austrian no. 2 Andreas Haider-Maurer in straights on Friday.
The Austrians only victory in the tie was in the doubles rubber where Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya were able to beat Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez in 4 long sets. Any semblance of hope for the Austrians after the doubles win on Saturday was quickly erased by David Ferrer though, who beat Melzer in straights, followed by Almagro beating Peya in the dead rubber, and the Spanish cruise in the semis where they will face the USA at home.
USA d. France 3-2
Isner comes through for the USA
John Isner carried the weekend for the US, taking out Gilles Simon in 3 sets on Friday and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 4 sets today to clinch the tie for the US. The Bryans also came up big for the US, winning the doubles rubber over Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra in straights on Saturday. The only weak link for the Americans was fill in Ryan Harrison, who lost both his matches, first to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who temporarily put the French up 1-0 early on in the tie on Friday, and later to Gilles Simon in the dead 5th rubber today.
It’s another big clay court and Davis Cup win for Isner, who is back in the top 10 again and will certainly be counted on to lead the US against Spain in the semis, which will most certainly be on clay as well. With the way Isner is playing right now, he is being mentioned by many as a possible French Open dark horse as well. It’s another Davis Cup disappointment for the French, though, who lost at home on their preferred surface in what was the final tie for their retiring captain Guy Forget. Jo Wilfried-Tsonga, who is back in the top 5 now, also heads into the Monte Carlo masters in a week disappointed.
Czech Republic d. Serbia 4-1
Tipsarevic and Stepanek got testy on Friday
Tipsy's Too Chill to Get Involved in Anything Like That
The Czechs took out the Serbians in Prague with victories by Tomas Berdych over a slumping Viktor Troicki in straights on Friday, a doubles victory by Berdych and Radek Stepanek on Saturday and a tie clinching victory by Berdych over Serbian no. 1 Janko Tipsarevic In straights today. Lukas Rosol beat Troicki today in straights in the dead rubber as well. This tie also got a lot of attention for what happened on Friday between Radek Stepanek and Janko Tipsarevic. Tipsarevic evened up the tie for a time beating Stepanek in a thrilling 5 sets 5-7 6-4 6-4 4-6 9-7, but it was a very cut throat match and at the end of Tipsarevic and Stepanek looked like they were going to have a physical altercation after an angry Stepanek flipped Tipsarevic the bird and called him a derogatory name. The drama continued into the pressers but it appears things have been sorted out between to the two guys and luckily (or unluckily depending on your disposition) no physical fighting occurred. The Czechs move on to face Argentina in the semis.
Argentina d. Croatia 4-1
Del Potro carries Argentina into the semis
The Argentines recovered from an opening rubber loss by the traditional Davis Cup top performer David Nalbandian to Croatian no. 1 Marin Cilic in a 5+ hours, 5 set, 200+ unforced errors match to beat the Croatians in Buenos Aires. Juan Martin Del Potro notched a straight sets win over fellow hard serving big man Ivo Karlovic in the other match on Friday, while Nalbandian and Eduardo Schwank won the doubles rubber in 5 sets over Cilic and Karlovic. Del Potro closed out the tie for Argentina, beating Cilic in straights while Juan Monaco won the dead rubber over Antonio Vecic with ease.
It was a couple of huge wins for Del Potro to carry his team through, even though he was suffering from severe allergy symptoms on Friday and their were questions as to whether he would be able to play. The Argentines will face the Czechs at home in what is sure to be a blockbuster semi final match up.
In other Davis Cup ties over the weekend, Uzbekistan led by Dennis Istomin beat India 3-2 (winning all the live rubbers but losing the final 2 dead rubbers), Australia, led by Delray finalist Marinko Matosevic and Bernard Tomic swept South Korea 5-0. Israel, led by Dudi Sela, beat Portugal 3-2, a talented Belgium beat a weakened Great Britain 4-1, the Netherlands led by Robin Haase swept Romania who suffered from a player boycott due to the dismissal of former captain Andrei Pavel (you can read more about it here) 5-0 and South Africa beat Blaz Kavic and Slovenia 4-1. All the winning squads mentioned above, in addition to either Chile or Uruguay and Brazil or Colombia (ties which still have live rubbers to play today) will move onto the world group playoffs for a spot in next years Davis Cup world group.