The week following the 2013 US Open featured the Davis Cup Semifinals in Prague and Belgrade, plus WTA events in Canada and Uzbekistan.
In Prague, the Czech Republic dominated Argentina, winning the first three rubbers and making day-three of the Tie an exhibition. In Friday’s first rubber, 2013 US Open Doubles Champion Radek Stepanek defeated Juan Monaco in straight-sets 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-2. Tomas Berdych then took-out Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. In Saturday’s doubles match, the two Czechs completed the sweep with an easy three-set win over Carlos Berlocq and Horacio Zeballos 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Last year’s Davis Cup Champions, the Czech Republic, will now look to repeat on the road in Serbia.
Meanwhile in Belgrade, it was an epic Davis Cup battle between Serbia and Canada. In routine fashion, Novak Djokovic won Friday’s first rubber 6-2, 6-0, 6-4 over Vasek Pospisil; but then came the fireworks. Milos Raonic outlasted Janko Tipsarevic in a five-set thriller: 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 10-8. On Saturday Canada did it again, winning abother exhausting five-setter in doubles. Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil took-down Ilija Bzoljac and Nenad Zimonjic (the team that defeated the Bryan Brothers 15-13 in Boise): 6-7(6), 6-4, 3-6, 7-5(5), 10-8. Down 1-2 going into the final Sunday, Djokovic and Tipsarevic came out firing. Nole defeated Raonic 7-6(1), 6-2, 6-2, leveling the Tie; then Tipsarevic finally delivered for the Serbians: 7-6(3), 6-2, 7-6(6) over Vasek Pospisil.
Davis Cup competition began in 1900 with the United States and Great Britain. The Brits haven’t been in the World Group since losing to Argentina in 2008’s first round. On Wednesday, the 2014 Davis Cup Draw delivered the historic match up – Great Britain vs. Team USA in the United States January 31st through February 2nd. The two teams last played in Birmingham, Great Britain back in 1999. Check out the scoreline from that first round Tie:
- US Jim Courier def. Tim Henman 7-6(2), 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-7(10), 7-5
- US Todd Martin def. Greg Rusedski 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
- GB Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski def. Todd Martin and Alex O’Brien 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3
- GB Tim Henman def. Todd Martin 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6(4)
- US Jim Courier def. Greg Rusedski 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-3, 1-6, 8-6
The other 2014 first-round Davis Cup Ties: Netherlands in Czech Republic, Switzerland in Serbia, Belgium in Kazakhstan, Italy in Argentina, Australia in France, Spain in Germany, and Canada in Japan.
Following Serena Williams’ championship repeat at the 2013 US Open, the ladies flew-off to Quebec or Tashkent, Uzbekistan…
While American Christina McHale managed a semifinal berth in Canada, New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic dropped her in straight-sets. Erakovic would go-on to lose in the final 4-6, 3-6 to Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic. It was Safarova’s fifth career title and first since 2008. In doubles, US Open Champs Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka continued to win, reaching the final; but lost in straight sets to Russians Anastasia Rodionova and Alla Kudryavtseva 6-4, 6-3.
On the other side of the globe in Tashkent, it was all about the #1-seeds. Serbia’s Bojana Jovanovski won her second career WTA title in a three-hour match over Olga Govortsova from Belarus. Down 2-4 in the third-set, Jovanovski battled back to win the final 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(3). In doubles, the top-seeds Yaroslava Shvedova and Timea Babos crushed every opponent. They didn’t lose a single set all week, taking out Olga Govortsova and Luxembourg’s Mandy Minella in the final 6-3, 6-3.
This week, the ATP World Tour plays in Metz, France and St. Petersburg, Russia…while the WTA Tour launches its Asian-swing in Seoul, Korea and Li Na’s hometown of Guangzhou, China.