Sunday, February 12, 2012

Davis Cup review: Nextwavers edition

World Group:

-Andreas Haider-Maurer is a 24-year old but someone who still hasn’t established himself at the ATP level. He notched a very clutch win over a top-40 player like Alex Bogomolov on Day 1. That allowed Jurgen Melzer to take care of business (winning both of his singles matches), resulting in Austria advancing. The play Spain up next but at this point Austria can’t get too picky.

-Kei Nishikori (’89) was Japan’s best chance at upsetting Croatia. And after Go Soeda upset Ivan Dodig in the first rubber, all Nishikori had to do was take care of both of his singles or help out in the doubles. It turned out to be easier said than done as Ivo Karlovic took him out in Day 1 and ended up winning all 3 points so Croatia could move on to face Argentina. Nishikori did keep it alive with a win over Dodig but Soeda couldn’t do much against Dr. Ivo on the deciding match.

-Milos Raonic (’91) took care of business on Day 1, defeating Julien Benneteau in straight sets. With the tie 1-1, he and David Nestor failed to win the doubles, setting up a crucial rubber between Raonic and Tsonga on Sunday. However, Raonic had to pull out with a knee injury and Tsonga smoked Frank Dancevic to close it out.

-Vasek Pospisil (’90) was very instrumental in getting Canada to the World Group last year. He couldn’t do much against Tsonga on Day 1 and was replaced in the doubles by Raonic. However, if Raonic would’ve been able to take out Tsonga and send the series to a 5th and defining match, I would’ve liked Pospisil’s chances at home against Benneteau (and maybe even vs. Monfils).

-Ryan Harrison (‘92/USA) and Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (‘90/GER) both won their dead rubber matches. Harrison beat veteran Swiss Michael Lammer to make it 5-0, while Stebe took out Argentinean Eduardo Schwank to get the only point for his country. Although both matches were only for statistics, it’s always good to log DC matches and to win them. Serbian Dusan Lajovic (’90) did the same thing, defeating Filip Prpic of Sweden after Janko Tipsarevic clinched the series in the previous rubber.

Group I:

-Daniel Evans (‘90/GBR) was without a doubt the hero of the weekend. The ever promising young Brit defeated Lukas Lacko of Slovakia, who’s having a tremendous season himself. And he did in straight sets. Not content with that, he had to play Martin Klizan (’89) in the 5th rubber and stepped up again, winning a 5 set thriller. I doubt he’ll ever forget this weekend.

-South Koreans Yong-Kyu Lim  (’91) and Suk-Young Jeong (’93) were extremely clutch at home, winning a potentially complicated series 5-0 against superior competition. Lim came back from 2 sets down to defeat 28-year old veteran Ti Chen and then clinched the series with a win in doubles. Jeong upset Tsung-Hua Yang (’91) in arguably the best win of his career (Yang wound up losing to unranked Min Hyeok Cho in a dead rubber, prompting questions about an injury). Amazing victory by the Koreans who play Australia next (I know, bummer).

-Peruvian Duilio Beretta (’92) had a very disappointing series. Uruguay defeated them 3-1 despite not playing their top guy, Pablo Cuevas. Despite playing away, Beretta should’ve been able to defeat Martin Cuevas (’92) in Day 1. He did win the only point for his country in doubles (with Sergio Galdos), but it was too late, seeing that the experienced Marcel Felder was expecting him in the 4th rubber. Felder took him out in 4 sets, clinching the series.

Group II:

-Marton Fucsovics (’92) helped Hungary advance to the next round with an impressive 5-set win over Ireland’s top man Conor Niland on Day. That, along with Attila Balazs winning the doubles rubber and his own singles one on Sunday was enough to advance 3-2. Fucsovics then lost his dead rubber to Sam Barry (’92) in straight sets.

 -Jerzy Janowicz (’90) won both of his singles rubbers to help Poland win 5-0 against Madagascar in one of the most lopsided ties.

-Christopher Rungkat (’90) won all 3 of his points to give Indonesia a 3-2 win over Hong Kong

-Jeson Patrombon (’93) won both of his singles rubbers in the Philippines’ 5-0 win over Pacific Oceania.

-Kittiphong Wachiramanowong (’90) won his singles rubber on Day 1 to help Thailand advance with a 4-1 win over Sri Lanka

-Ricardo Rodriguez (’93) won both of his singles rubbers to help Venezuela defeat Puerto Rico 5-0

-Darian King (’92) helped Barbados clinch the win over Paraguay 3-2 by Day 2. He won his singles and the doubles rubber with Haydn Lewis.

-Cesar Ramirez (’90) won his singles rubber on Day 1 and the doubles (with veteran Santiago Gonzalez) to help Mexico win 5-0 over El Salvador. Manuel Sanchez (’91) won the 5th rubber.  


  1. Interesting piece. Was very impressed with Dan Evans - while Lacko was off form and seemingly perturbed by the rowdy crowd, I thought Evans showed great composure.

    I'd love to see him crack the top 50, just not sure whether he has quite the weight of shot necessary. Whenever Lacko turned on the pace and found his range it was quite noticeable he had a far greater weight of shot than Evans

  2. Thanks! Lacko is way more experienced and 3 years older, so he was the clear favorite. Especially because Dan Evans hasn't been able to crack into the challenger level. Hopefully this will give him confidence to make that leap

  3. I will definitely be keeping track of this blog, it's an excellent idea as there are blogs on the challenger circuit and other specifics of tennis but none like this for young guns. In particular I'd love to hear more about the games of Giannessi, Jack Sock and Alex Clayton.

    Please do check out my blog @ and see if it tickles your fancy - it's not focused on young players but I did write up a feature on my predictions for Tomic going into 2012:


  4. I'm gonna to to Indian Wells so I'll definitely get a good look at Sock (I'm sure he'll get a WC). About Giannessi he trained in Argentina and has played a few qualies but has struggled a bit this year. And Clayton has been out of the pro ranks for a while now. He did college tennis