Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

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Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by MrInvisible on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 11:30 pm

Davis Cup back on this weekend, with the World Group 1st round ties. I always think the Davis Cup gets a bit of a raw deal in scheduling, given the post-slam graveyard slots in the calendar, but despite this, I do think it is (just about) keeping the magic, and generates plenty of great tennis matches and compelling storylines. This weekend we do have a few weakened teams and high profile players missing, but there are still plenty of top players in action, and at least a couple of competitive looking ties:

France vs Netherlands - got to favour the defending champions here. Pouille and Gasquet will be in action for the French in the singles, with Haase leading the Dutch.
Japan vs Italy - No Nishikori for the Japanese, whilst Seppi and Fognini will play for the Italians - ought to be comfortable for Italy here.
Spain vs Great Britain - Oh dear, this looks like a rout. Even if GB had Andy Murray and Kyle Edmund the Spaniards would be favourites on clay, but without either player, Norrie and Brady will be lambs to the slaughter - Carreno Busta and Ramos-Vinola in action for Spain who have to be favourites to win the Davis Cup upon their return to the competition this year.
Australia vs Germany - Potentially tie of the round, as we've got Kyrgios and A Zverev in action. Germans should be slight favourites as Struff is stronger than De Minaur, though Aussies have home advantage.

Kazakhstan vs Switzerland - No Federer or Wawrinka for the Swiss, and Kukushkin is only player in top 100 in either team, so not the most compelling match on paper. The Kazakhs ought to win as they have home advantage.
Croatia vs Canada - Cilic is another notable absentee, though the Croats have Coric whilst Shapovalov is in action for the Canadians and both teams have v strong doubles pairings, so this is another attractive looking tie which should go the distance - I'm going for Canada, just, in this one.
Serbia vs USA - With no Djokovic or Troicki, Serbia are pretty depleted, whilst the Americans have a strong line-up with Querrey and Isner. I make the US joint 2nd favourites along with France to win Davis Cup this year.
Belgium vs Hungary - With Goffin playing and home advantage Belgium should go through here despite the Hungarians having Fucsovics who did well at Aus Open.

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by lags72 on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 10:50 am

Very surprised / impressed to see that Alex De Minaur - ranked 139  - was able to push Alex Zverev - ranked 5 - to the full five sets, and actually came close to taking it.

It was another example of the unusual performance levels that so often characterise DC matches.

De Minaur does (not just on back of this match) appear to have serious potential, given that he is still only 18.

Kyrgios then levelled up the tie with a quick straight sets win.

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by MrInvisible on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 1:46 pm

Indeed, Zverev vs De Minaur looks to be the match of the round so far - bodes well for the future of the young Aussie, whilst Germany will be relieved to pick up a crucial point from Zverev's tight win.

Elsewhere, Japan and Italy are 1-1 following two 5 set matches and a big win for Sugita over Seppi, Spain are 1-0 up against GB, though Broady gave a good account of himself and Norrie has broken Bautista Agut early, the Kazaks are seemingly cruising to victory, 2-0 up against the Swiss and its early stages in the other ties.

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by lags72 on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 2:24 pm

I think the best we can hope for out in Spain, against far more experienced players who were virtually born to strut their stuff on clay, is some measure of respectability in the performances over the 3 days. And it’s all good experience of course.

On the Aus v Germany tie ..... saw the (proposed) names for the doubles line-up, and not sure I’ve heard of any of the four involved...... But then I’m pretty confident they won’t have heard of me either Shocked

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by No name Bertie on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 4:25 pm

Cameron Norrie is 22 but only turned pro last year. He has had to do a lot of travelling outside of his comfort zone in his junior playing days and opted to take a university degree in the US and join the college tennis system. So he is quite green in the professional ranks which suggests that despite his age he has a lot of potential.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cameron_Norrie

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by lags72 on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 5:04 pm

After my previous post ....... cannot believe what we’re seeing here from Cameron Norrie.

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by MrInvisible on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 5:06 pm

Well well, Norrie has taken the 4th set and is a break up in 5th set against Bautista Agut. Its still a real tall order to win the tie and realistically I'd be happy for a 4-1 defeat, but good selection from team captain Leon Smith - whatever happens next its a great experience for Norrie and playing opponents of this calibre will really help him develop as a player. Look at how Edmund has used his Davis Cup experiences to progress up to the next level.

Elsewhere, the Dutch took an unexpected 1-0 lead in the tie, as De Bakker beat last minute replacement Mannarino in straight sets but Gasquet is on track in his rubber, 2 sets up against Haase and the Belgians are up 1-0 against Hungary, with Goffin also leading in his match.

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by lags72 on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 5:18 pm

Too soon to say we have the makings of a potential star ....... chin

This match is in Spain ...... on clay ...... against a seriously solid, well-established player. OMG !

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by sirfredperry on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 5:23 pm

Amazing DC win in his debut match by Cameron Norrie against RBA after being two sets down. GB now 1-1 with Spain and back in with a chance, particularly if Edmund can play.

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by lags72 on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 5:36 pm

Perhaps (?) there may have been - but I myself cannot recall a more impressive - AND wholly-unexpected - DC debut by a Brit in an away tie, with a comeback from 0-2 sets scoreline. On a surface that SO suits the opposition. Just incredible.

Doubles tomorrow is suddenly looking very tasty indeed (as opposed to almost-meaningless ...... which is how it was looking before Norrie’s awesome win).

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by No name Bertie on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 5:39 pm

Agut picked up some sort of injury that limited his mobility from the fourth set onwards.  Not sure how serious it was, but Cameron Norrie was able to capitalise on it and win in five sets.  That was Cameron Norrie's first professional match on clay and his first professional match that went five sets.  He turned professional June 2017.
http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/players/cameron-norrie/n771/rankings-breakdown

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by No name Bertie on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 5:45 pm

I still think Spain will win this tie and that Kyle Edmund shouldn't be rushed back into action, but what is hopeful is that Britain might have another male tennis player that could be destined for the top thirty.

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by lags72 on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 6:04 pm

I hear that Spain are so desperate to rescue things (and avoid the mother-of-all-upsets) that they have been given special permission to fly in a late substitution.

Rafa is on his way as I write ........ Very Happy

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 03 Feb 2018, 9:58 am

A cracking win for Cameron Norrie no doubt. Clues have been on the horizon that his stock is rising in the sport. In the past year he has risen from around 300 in the world and almost qualified for the Australian Open. Post Aussie Open his ranking had seen him (briefly) break into the top 100. So the signs were there but not seen by many. However, to pull off that win was superb given to the circumstances. It was his Davis Cup debut and first match on clay in Spain and was two sets down to a player consistently in the world top 20 of late. Despite having never played a five set match before he dug in and came back to win in five. His temperament is obviously excellent as is his fitness - exciting times ahead for him I reckon.
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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by MrInvisible on Sat 03 Feb 2018, 10:24 am

Great win for Norrie - agreed that has to be one of the most impressive Davis Cup debuts in a long while. As he's hovering around the top 100 he should be able to qualify into a few ATP tournaments this year. Potentially the doubles today looks like going the distance - Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot up against Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez.

The Germans have taken the doubles in a 5 setter with Struff and Puetz prevailing over Ebden and Peers, setting up a tantalising clash between Kyrgios and Zverev tomorrow. I'm going for Nick to win that one to send it to a deciding 5th rubber.

Elsewhere the Italians won the doubles in Japan, and ought to win this tie now, and Kazakhstan are closing in on victory over the Swiss.

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by Just John on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 12:04 pm

Incredible stuff from Norrie again today. Wins the second set, and really could of taken the first set. Is Edmund available or is it still Broady for a potential decider? Shame if it’s the latter, as this would all be worthless in all honesty from Norrie.

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 12:05 pm

Just John wrote:Incredible stuff from Norrie again today. Is Edmund available or is it still Broady for a potential decider? Shame if it’s the latter, as this would all be worthless in all honesty from Norrie.

Depends on this match I would say. If Norrie wins it to keep the match alive I do believe Edmund could play. If Norrie loses though and it is a dead rubber then Broady will play.
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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by lags72 on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 12:28 pm

CC - I believe under newly-agreed rules, they don’t actually bother playing dead rubbers at all now (unless both teams really want to ....?)

Certainly that happened earlier today when Germany took the famously-termed ‘unassailable’ 3-1 lead over Australia. Final rubber was simply cancelled.

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 12:30 pm

lags72 wrote:CC - I believe under newly-agreed rules, they don’t actually bother playing dead rubbers at all now (unless both teams really want to ....?)

Certainly that happened earlier today when Germany took the famously-termed ‘unassailable’ 3-1 lead over Australia. Final rubber was simply cancelled.

Fair enough butr same situation stands. Norrie wins then Edmund plays but if Norrie loses he won't play.
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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by lags72 on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 12:44 pm

Yep, let’s hope we get to see Edmund. Because that would mean Norrie had actually got the vital point to level the rubber.

Can he actually weave some more incredible magic, as he did on Friday ...... ??

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 12:49 pm

lags72 wrote:Yep, let’s hope we get to see Edmund. Because that would mean Norrie had actually got the vital point to level the rubber.

Can he actually weave some more incredible magic, as he did on Friday ...... ??

If Norrie wins this match it will be an even more impressive feat than on Friday as this guy is a true clay court specialist plus the hype/pressure is much greater today on Norrie as expectations have risen insurmountably.
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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by lags72 on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 12:57 pm

It’s already been a spectacularly good DC debut by Norrie, regardless of todsy’s eventual outcome....... thumbsup thumbsup

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by MrInvisible on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 12:59 pm

The 3rd set has turned into a real nervy tense dogfight. Norrie's playing some nice all-court tennis, though surely you'd expect his opponent's claycourt nous to come through here.

The tie has the feel of an FA cup tie between a big name club and an underdog team, where the favourites are being held to a draw for long stretches but where you have a gut instinct they will somehow ultimately prevail despite the heroics of the underdogs. Whatever happens from here though, this is invaluable experience in best of 5 set matches for Norrie. It also highlights to me the importance of GB staying in the world group if possible, as Davis Cup has helped develop our players so much over last few years. So if this is tie is lost, I'd anticipate a real all-out effort on winning the play-off match in the Autumn (envisaging Andy Murray playing it if fit).

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by No name Bertie on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 1:15 pm

Spain will win this tie (3-1 or 3-2) and it won't be worthless for either Great Britain Davis Cup nor for Cameron Norrie nor Liam Broady.  Whatever happens GB has unearthed a diamond in the rough with Cameron Norrie - and he should go from strength to strength following this tie - as long as he can keep healthy we should have someone who could become a top thirty player.   Good experience for Liam Broady also whose progress in the professional ranks seems to have hit a ceiling.  Good experience for Leon Smith as captain.  In my view Leon Smith is doing great things for British Tennis in his mentoring and organisation.

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by lags72 on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 1:19 pm

Norrie is putting in a tremendous effort, acquitting himself so well against a guy who has beaten Roger Federer (and on a hardcourt, too).

Think that’s the match - and tie - done there, after Spain go 2-1 in sets.

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by Just John on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 1:20 pm

Inexperience at key points in a tie-break costing Norrie. Tremendous performance though to push his opponent this hard.

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by No name Bertie on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 1:27 pm

Anyone who thought that Britain had a chance against Spain in Spain and on Clay, without Andy Murray, without Kyle Edmund, without Dan Evans - playing two Davis Cup novices and against low twenty world ranked experienced opponents brought up on clay tennis, should have their heads examined.  But Cameron Norrie has been a true find and has given Britain a smidgen of hope where there was none.

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by lags72 on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 1:35 pm

It’s true that GB never had a chance, given the whole scenario.

But it’s also true that Spain would have been very confident of their clay experts dispatching in three quick sets a player ranked 114, virtually unseen on the main tour - and almost as unknown even in Britain as he is in Spain. And that has definitely not happened - either Friday, or today.

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by lags72 on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 1:54 pm

Sometimes there really can be an element of glory in defeat.

Cameron Norrie clap clap clap

And well done Spain too thumbsup

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by MrInvisible on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 2:12 pm

Elsewhere, the Kyrgios v Zverev match turned out to be bit of a damp squib as Kyrgios was hampered by an injury, 5 set specialist Fognini prevailed in a tough encounter to send Italy through, Goffin's closing on victory over Fucsovics to take Belgium through, and there's an intriguing match-up between youngsters Coric and Shapovalov in the Croatia v Canada tie.

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by lags72 on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 2:36 pm

With several of the biggest names unavailable, for one reason or another (nothing new there, of course, where DC is concerned !), there has actually been an unexpected interest element to some of these ties.

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

Post by Mochyn du on Mon 05 Feb 2018, 5:38 pm

I hope Belgium do it this year. Gotta feel for David Goffin, gives it everything but doesn't have the back up.

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Re: Davis Cup World Group 1st round ties - 2nd-4th Feb

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