Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Davis Cup: Quarterfinals

This past weekend, the quarterfinals were played for Davis Cup. Here is how it all went down.

Czech Republic d. Argentina

Top 20 players Tomas Berdych (CZE) and Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) won the first two rubbers respectively giving both their countries a win. Berdych then teamed up with Radek Stepanek for doubles to put their country ahead. Del Potro then secured the must-win fourth rubber against Berdych to take it to the deciding rubber where Stepanek was able to claim the win for Czech Republic against Juan Monaco.

Croatia d. United States

Missing Andy Roddick, the USA team had to make due. James Blake (USA) and Mardy Fish were pushed to five sets against Ivo Karlovic (CRO) and Marin Cilic and lost. With the USA down 2-0, it was up to the Bryan Brothers to save face and they did. It was then up to James Blake to win in the fourth rubber to keep the USA alive. Alas, Blake continued his awful few weeks by losing in four sets to Cilic and thus giving Croatia the win. Bob Bryan was able to get another win for the USA in the dead rubber.

Israel d. Russia

It was David and Goliath when powerhouse Russia battled with underdog Israel except when the results came it's as if it was the other way around. Israel shocked the world when Harel Levy (ISR) and Dudi Sela put their country ahead 2-0 and they shocked even more when the clinched the win by beating Marat Safin (RUS) and Igor Kunitsyn in doubles. Russia got its sole win when Sela retired in the fourth rubber. Levy won his second match giving Israel a convincing 4-1 win and a first-time trip to the semifinals.

Spain d. Germany

Even without Nadal, Spain had lots of talented players to pinch hit, but they definitely struggled. Fernando Verdasco (ESP) won the first rubber while Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) won the second. When Spain won the third rubber, it looked like a done deal but Kohlschreiber then defeated Verdasco in the fourth to take it to the deciding final rubber. It was there that a resurgent Juan Carlos Ferrero won in straight sets to claim the win for Spain.

Can Israel continue its dream Davis Cup year having beating former winners Sweden and Russia by beating defending champion Spain? Who will come out in the slugfest between Croatia and Czech Republic? These questions will be answered in September. Stay tuned.

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