Saturday, November 22, 2008

Davis Cup Finals: Spain Edge into the Lead

Left-handed duo, Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez, grabbed a point for Spain on Saturday, after a hard-fought doubles match against David Nalbandian and Agustin Calleri, to take a 2-1 lead in the Davis Cup final tie.

The Argentines, supported by a wild crowd, captured the first set, before a pumped-up Spanish pair hit back to seal a 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 6-3 victory, and silence the thousands of Argentinean fans, who were out of control.

The highlight of the match was the third set when Argentina pulled back from a 1-5 deficit to force a tie-break. Nalbandian and Calleri then raced to a 5-1 lead in the tie-break but the Spaniards miraculously turned it around and won 6 straight points to win the third set.

Spain are now in a good position to pull off what could be considered an upset, particularly because of the absence of Rafael Nadal, and the fact that they're playing Argentina at home on a fast indoor court.

The Spaniards are just one point away from claiming a third Davis Cup title to their 2000 and 2004 triumphs.

Who said what after the match

Lopez:

"They began to help each other less and less... I was physically down in the third set and Fernando helped me. They did not do that, maybe it's because we know each other better."

"It was unforgettable to play with the crowd singing like this. Even though they were supporting Argentina, it was very enjoyable to play in."


Verdasco:

"It was tough to go 5-1 up and then go to a tiebreak, it was tough mentally but that was the key... After that we played better and much looser."

"They actually motivated me and allowed me to play better and their strategy totally backfired," on the crowd who seemed to be a bit hostile towards him (my guess is, they're jealous cuz he's dating Ivanovic).

Argentina captain, Alberto Mancini:

"The team is logically down but we have to go through that... We have to wait and stay quiet and plan. Maybe the immensity of the event was too much for my players. We still have to fight, there are two more points tomorrow and we know it will be hard."

Spain captain, Emilio Sanchez Vicario:

“The crowd didn’t behave well today, they were using bad words and insulting us... I’m disappointed in the way they behaved but we know now and we’ll be ready for tomorrow."

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