Thursday, September 15, 2011

Davis Cup Semifinal - The Draw

(canchallena.com)



















Today, the court at the Belgrade Arena not only functioned as training site for both teams. It was also right there, on the court, that the draw ceremony took place. And here's what came out of it:

Friday (play starts 3pm local)
Novak Djokovic vs David Nalbandian
Janko Tipsarevic vs Juan Martin Del Potro

Saturday (play starts 3pm local)
Janko Tipsarevic & Nenad Zimonjic vs Juan Ignacio Chela & Juan Monaco

Sunday (play starts 2pm local)
Novak Djokovic vs Juan Martin Del Potro
Janko Tipsarevic vs David Nalbandian

The first thing that catches the eye is of course Djokovic's name next to David's for the first match on Friday. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that Djokovic will actually play tomorrow. Serbia's captain Obradovic still has the chance, up until the very last minute basically, to replace him with Viktor Troicki, in case Djokovic doesn't feel ready to play the match, after all. A decision that he will make tomorrow (and he could still play on the other days if he pulls out of this match). So it's actually not clear yet who will be David's opponent. Still, here's a look at Friday's matches.

Novak Djokovic or Viktor Troicki vs David Nalbandian
There's been one occasion where David was able to beat Djokovic. And not surprisingly perhaps, that was at the Madrid Masters, back in 2007. The other four times they've met, however, it was Djokovic who prevailed, and convincingly so. But although it's usually David whose physical condition is in doubt, with this match it's different. After winning the US Open on Monday, Djokovic only arrived at Belgrade today and has had practically no time to recuperate, adjust or prepare. And if he plays tomorrow - that would be David's chance. Against an otherwise almost invincible Djokovic, who's also a bad match-up for him (with his excellent defense, return game and also a serve that David had his problems with in the past).
Against Viktor Troicki on the other hand, David has a positive match record, having won three of their four encounters so far (the most recent one took place at Miami last year). This season, Troicki has moved up higher in the rankings than ever before in his career (currently #16) but except for the quarterfinal he made at Washington his results haven't been too good of late. And apart from that, he's not as experienced as the rest of his team when it comes to playing Davis Cup.

Janko Tipsarevic vs Juan Martin Del Potro
The match record favours Del Potro, they've met twice so far (most recently in this year's final at Delray Beach) and both times Del Potro won in straights. The current form, however, favours Tipsarevic, whose results during the US hardcourt swing have propelled him to #13, higher than he's ever been ranked before. Apart from that, Tipsarevic (who trained without any apparent difficulties this week, after retiring at the US Open) is the far more experienced Davis Cup player (48 matches to Del Potro's 9). In the past, Del Potro had little difficulty with Tipsarevic and with his serve and his forehand he possesses the much bigger weapons. But under the circumstances, against an in-form Tipsarevic playing in front of his home crowd, he will need to put those weapons to good and above all consistent use.

Finally, after the draw ceremony David talked to TyC Sports, the Argentine TV channel that broadcasts the Davis Cup. Here's the clip:


And here's a brief summary of what he says in it:
He knows both of them (Djokovic and Troicki) and it's not going to change anything about his preparations or his way of thinking about the match, he has to be ready to deal with either of the two. They (the Argentine team) have to try and focus on themselves. After the tie they'll do a review of everything on Monday. He thinks there's a fair chance that Djokovic won't play. And if he plays that he's going to be tired and then it'll be about trying to exploit that. All five points will be extremely tough, they'll have a chance in all of the matches as they have a strong team. They have to fight in every match and win the tie
He feels good, better. He feels that he has improved during the week. They thought the surface would be faster but he's fine with it, the way it is. It's a court that meets the requirements set by the ITF and it was always going to be a tough tie, no matter on what kind of surface. Each of them has to try and win their points, to do the best they can from Friday through to Sunday.

23 comments:

  1. Looks like hes not playing.http://www.danas.rs/danasrs/sport/tenis/bez_novaka_prvog_dana_dejvis_kupa.76.html?news_id=223746
    Its in Serbian,google translate can do the job i suppose.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It says it's "almost certain" that he won't play. And yeah, I've read about that, Tipsarevic talking about himself "and Viktor" playing on Friday.
    Still, it's not official yet. And I guess the Serbian team will wait until tomorrow, maybe even until the last minute.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thinking about it,maybe a very tired and fatigued Djokovic is a easier opponent than a fresh Troicki?And if they dont use Nole on Friday,can they use him only for the 4 rubber or can he maybe play the 5 instead of the 4?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Maybe. But then that's why he probably won't play.
    I've had a look at the DC rules and I can't find anything that says Nole would have to play the fourth rubber and not the fifth. But I also can't recall any DC tie where the (ranking-based) order of singles players was overturned. Last year for example, Nole played Saturday and then the fourth rubber on Sunday, not the fifth.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wait, it does say that the highest-ranked player of the team has to play the fourth rubber.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good that he cant play a possible 5th rubber.To win the tie I really feel Delpo and David have to win tomorrow,more so than Serbia.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yeah, they need a good start.

    Vázquez got asked by the Serbian press today about David and Delpo's relationship. His reply: They kiss but only at night.

    ReplyDelete
  8. HAHAHAHHA what does that supposed to mean ?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hahaha,funny guy this Vasquez.The surface is I think the same they use at ATP Zagreb.I remember they advertise it as the fastest surface in the world or something like that.Its a kind of weird surface with a very low bounce.Hopefully it will suit David.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't know if it's the same as in Zagreb, only that it's much slower than what David and the team were expecting. The part where he laughs etc in the interview clip - that's where he talks about the surface.

    Anyway, yep, nice one by Tito. And a good way of saying something without actually saying something. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  11. looks like the Serbs thought that if Djokovic played, Argentina would probably throw in Juan Monaco as a sacrificial lamb against the year's standout player. Now they said it's nalbandian with whoever he plays. So djoko knows its david

    ReplyDelete
  12. Can't wait to watch these matches!! Good weekend coming up with lots of beer and tennis :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ya, am here in my rented apartment in Beirut, i swear all i have in my fridge is beer and some cheese lol

    ReplyDelete
  14. hahaha, I have only beer and mayonaise in my fridge :D

    ReplyDelete
  15. Not that it's any great surprise, but LiveScoreHunter and SportLemon both list live streams for Friday's matches. Looks like beer is the beverage of choice for the tie. Sounds good to me. Noubar and Andvari, you guys need to get some more food in your fridges.

    ReplyDelete
  16. hahaha Noubar, cheese as comfort food? lol
    My fridge is full of coca-cola, that's bad I know lol.
    so happy I've planned nothing this weekend, all about Team Argentina :)

    The "they kiss but only at night" quote is funny! many ways to interpret that haha.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Beer and cheese, sounds better than beer and mayonnaise.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Indeed krystle, i donno wut andvari is doing with the mayonaise.
    So cheese and beer it is. I did a double shift today so i can get off early today. Am writing this from the aub surgeon's resting room, there is a computer that says for professional use only , atp is for professionals lol

    ReplyDelete
  19. And of course that must count! ;)
    I have neither beer, nor cheese, nor mayonnaise in my fridge. Nor anything else, really. Still have to get supplies for this weekend. But I'll go for wine, rather than beer. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. "They kiss but only at night"...ha ha!!! Translated: they don't dwell on their differences. Good title for a book, btw!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'd say it translates as - no need for you to dwell on their differences.

    ReplyDelete
  22. According to this tweet : http://twitter.com/#!/WeAreTennis/status/114665212107427840

    "AND Djokovic withdraws from #daviscup rubber v @nalbandiandavid with lower back. Replaced by Viktor Troicki"

    oh....
    Come on David, whoever he plays!!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow! Very interesting news. Doesn't surprise me though. Maybe, just maybe, we can go up 2-0 today.

    ReplyDelete