Thursday, September 12, 2013

Davis Cup Semifinal - The Draw

(Danny Miche)

So here it is, the draw for the semifinal weekend. As you can see the journalists' impressions turned out to be correct - Jaite and Zabaleta have picked Leo Mayer as Argentina's second singles player while Charly and Horacio will contest the doubles rubber on Saturday - though not against Rosol and Vesely.
Here's a look at the match-ups and the schedule for the weekend:

Friday (3pm local)
Radek Stepanek vs Juan Monaco
Pico won two of their six encounters. The one time they met on clay and two years ago at the US Open when Stepanek had to retire. All other matches, all on faster surfaces, were won by the Czech.

Tomas Berdych vs Leonardo Mayer
On the Argentine team Leo has the best record against Berdych - for the sole reason that he has never played him before. The others all have but without any success (Pico 0-6, Charly 0-3, Horacio 0-2).

Saturday (2.30pm local)
Lukas Rosol & Jiri Vesely vs Carlos Berlocq & Horacio Zeballos
That's the theoretical version (and a little game the Czechs like to play). On court Charly and Horacio will be up against Berdych and Stepanek, a doubles team that can be summed up by a single stat - 91.7%. Their winning percentage in Davis Cup. Also with David this would've been an exceptionally difficult match.

Sunday (2pm local)
Tomas Berdych vs Juan Monaco
As mentioned above it's not exactly a promising record that Pico has against Berdych. But those two occasions where he managed to get close and take Berdych to five sets both took place in Davis Cup.

Radek Stepanek vs Leonardo Mayer
If this tie is really going to end with a live fifth rubber remains to be seen. In any case, as far as the match record goes Leo and Stepanek are tied at 1-1.

For Czech Davis Cup heroes Berdych and Stepanek this will be their homecoming - it's the team's first home tie since their triumph over Spain in last year's final. They're the reigning champions and the clear favourites to win this tie. On a surface that suits them - but not their opponents.
Will Pico, Leo, Charly and Horacio be able to rain on their parade? Will there be a miracle?
We'll find out this weekend.

(AP Photo)


  1. I think there was no surprise in Argentina team. David is still recovering from surgery.

    The man to beat is called Berdych. Stepanek is not playing very well.

    Leo is a very good choice indeed. He has a powerful serve and plays well on fast courts. However, it is a doubt if he will have enough stamina to resist to a long match.

    David didn't make any oficial statement about a possible retirement in the end of the year. It would be cool to see David playing for one more year.



  2. Berdych... Who's he? ;)

    I haven't taken a lot of notice of how Stepanek's singles play has been going lately, but didn't think it was that bad. And his doubles play has been pretty damn good!

    I think I agree that Leo is a good choice, he is more versatile on faster courts than his team-mates (not counting two significant absentees, of course).

    I'm not too hopeful about the outcome, but looking forward to seeing what the boys can do, anyway.

    1. Argentina has to guarantee both victories against Stepanek and win the doubles.

      Berdych, number 5 of the world and an expert on fast courts. He will play to win the 2 matches, just like Tsonga did. According to the post, Stepanek is not going to play the doubles, which is unexpected. The guy just won Us Open doubles. Stepanek's retrospect on singles this year is 12-14.

      A victory against Czech Rep. on their home will be heroic. On the other side, the Canadians don't have a chance against the serbians.

    2. According to my post Stepanek (and Berdych) will play the doubles.

    3. Absolutely!

      The Czechs always initially list their "other players" for the doubles, but on the day it's Berdych & Stepanek. That's the little game Julia was referring to in the post.

      Just got home to see Leo has taken a set. Vamos Leo!!!

  3. There are no such things as lost causes, or so I'd like to believe. But wow, this is really a tall order the boys have to face. I remember a previous Davis Cup and the Heroes Walk to Parque Roque which lead to a victory. I thought at the time the music to the march should be the theme to "Chariots of Fire." So let's get a little inspiration and play it again. Are you listening Senor Jaite?