2014 Week-6: Fed Cup and Fognini

FED CUP – World Group First Round Ties

Here in Doha, as we get ready for day one of the Qatar Total Open 2014, we were glued to Fed Cup action over the weekend, knowing several of the players in our draw would be playing severely jet-lagged this week! Take Karin Knapp of Italy and Eugenie Bouchard of Canada, for example. Karin clinched the win over Team USA in Cleveland on Sunday, and is currently in the air hoping to make it to Qatar in time for her first-round match on Tuesday. In Montreal, Eugenie Bouchard delivered the tie for Team Canada over Serbia, and is also making the 14-hour trans-Atlantic trek for her first round match.

Team Canada – Into the Fed Cup World Group Playoffs this April

…and the Fed Cup weekend isn’t over yet! Thanks to rain in Seville, Spain and the Czech Republic continue their World Group Tie on Monday. That affects three other players in the Doha draw: Carla Suarez Navarro, Luice Safarova and Klara Zakopalova. Imagine this…Klara is scheduled to play back-to-back singles rubbers today, simply to complete the Tie by this afternoon. A difficult ask in Seville, and tough for her chances here in Doha.

In the World Group: Italy def. USA (3-1), Germany def. Slovak Republic (3-1) and Australian def. Russia (4-0). In it’s first World Group Semifinal since 1994, Australia will host Germany this April. In the other Semifinal, Italy awaits the winner of the rain-delayed Tie in Seville.

In the World Group II First Round: Canada, Poland, France and Argentina advanced to April’s World Group Playoffs…they’ll face the United States, Slovak Republic, Russia and the loser of the Spain vs., Czech Republic Tie.

In Group I play, Romania, the Netherlands, Thailand and Brazil advanced to the World Group II Playoffs. They’ll face World Group II losers over the weekend: Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland and Japan.

Gael Montfils (PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images)
Gael Montfils (PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images)

ATP WORLD TOUR RESULTS: There were three events on the ATP World Tour over the weekend. Two indoors on hard and one outside on clay…

Montpellier

  • Singles: Gael Monfils def. Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4
  • Nicolay Davydenko and Denis Istomin def Marc Giquel and Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 1-6, 10-7

Gael Monfils is now 12-2 in 2014, after winning his 5th career ATP World Tour singles title in Montpellier. His only losses this year have come to World #1 Rafael Nadal in the Doha Final and in the Australian Open’s third round.

In the Montpellier doubles final, Nicolay Davydenko and Denis Istomin both won their second career ATP World Tour doubles titles with a 6-4, 1-6, 10-7 win over Frenchmen Nicolas Mahut and Marc Giquel.

Zagreb

  • Singles: Marin Cilic def Tommy Haas 6-3, 6-4
  • Doubles: Jean-Julian Rojer and Horia Tecau def Philipp Marx and Michal Mertinak 3-6, 6-4, 10-2

Welcome back from “incautious use of glucose,” Marin Cilic! After an appealed 4-month ban for a failed drug test last year – accusations that led to his early retirement from Wimbledon – Cilic won his first title of 2014 in Zagreb. It’s his 10th career singles title, and fourth in in Zagreb (2009, 2010, 2013, 2014). With a slow start to the year Down Under (QF in Brisbane, R16 in Sydney and 2R of the Australian Open), Cilic appears to have found his stride indoors, close to home.

Jean-Julien Rojer is back to winning, after parting-ways with long-time partner Aisam Ul-Haq Qureshi at the end of last year. The Curacao native earned his 10th career ATP Doubles title with Romania’s Horia Tecau in Zagreb over the weekend. Their opponents in the Final, Philipp Marx and Michal Mertinak, defeated the #1-seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo in the first round.

Great Britain’s Daniel Evans made strides last week in Croatia, making it through to his first ATP World Tour semifinal. Though he lost in the final round of qualification, he earned entry into the main draw after Radek Stepanek’s withdrawal. He defeated Jan Hajek, Michael Berrer and the 3rd-seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, before falling to Tommy Haas in the semifinals.

Vina del Mar

  • Singles: (1) Fabio Fognini def. Leonardo Mayer 6-2, 6-4
  • Doubles: (3) Oliver Marach and Florin Mergea def. (2) Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 6-3, 6-4

Italy’s Fabio Fognini has started off 2014 with a bang. After reaching the Round of 16 in Melbourne, he won two rubbers for his losing Davis Cup Team in Argentina, then captured the Vina del Mar title in Chile over the weekend. He’s 9-2 on the season and now owns three career ATP World Tour titles. Argentine Leonardo Mayer had a great week on the clay, degeating the #2-seed Tommy Robredo on his way to the Final.

In doubles, Austrian Oliver Marach captured his 13th ATP World Tour Doubles title with partner Floran Mergea of Romania – his 3rd career title. The pair defeated the #2-seeds in the final, after knocking-off the #1-seeds Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez in the first round.