Monday, March 9, 2009

Davis Cup Update: Croatia, Argentina whitewash their opponents, Tursunov takes Russia to quarters

Mario Ancic and Marin Cilic sealed the win for Croatia over Chile, by winning the first 3 points of the tie without the help of anyone else from the team, however their teammates, Roko Karanusic and Ivo Karlovic, made statements of their own by clinching the 2 dead rubbers on Sunday to give Croatia a 5-0 win over the Chileans, who were definitely ruing the absence of their star, Fernando Gonzalez. Croatia will host the United States in the quarters. That's a tie am truly looking forward to watch!

Juan Ignacio Chela and Juan Monaco secured the first 2 points for Argentina against the Netherlands, before Lucas Arnold Ker and Martin Vassallo Arguello sealed the tie in the doubles rubber earning Argentina a 3-0 unassailable lead. The whitewash didn't stop there as the Argentines won both dead singles rubbers on Sunday to end the tie 5-0 for Argentina, who next fly to the Czech Republic for the quarters.

Russian captain, Shamil Tarpischev, opted to put Dmitry Tursunov in Sunday's first singles rubber instead of Mikhail Youzhny and Tursunov eventually pulled through as he fought from 2 sets down to defeat Romania's Victor Hanescu, 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2, and gave Russia a 3-1 lead over Romania. The dead rubber went to Russia as well, who face Israel next in the quarters.

The real surprise (at least for me) in the Davis Cup first round, was the Czech Republic's victory over a very strong French squad. The French had Richard Gasquet, Gilles Simon, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra, with Gael Monfils cheering on the sidelines yet still managed to lose the tie. Hats off to Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek who both could have been considered underdogs in their matches against world number 8, Gilles Simon, but they pulled it off and the Czechs are through with a 3-2 win.

It was definitely a very disappointing weekend for Simon!

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