GROUP I EUROPE/AFRICA 2ND ROUND: GREAT BRITAIN – RUSSIA 3-2, Coventry, hard
It was surprisingly the first time Great Britain and Russia met in Davis Cup and it surely was a tie to remember! Brits overturned a 0-2 deficit for the first time since 1930 to clich an historic 3-2 victory over Russia.
“On the practice court on Sunday morning, there was no doubt in our minds we could do this. I’m so proud of the whole team. James’s was a hell of an effort to come back, then Dan came in and he bossed that match. I think it’s one of the best days I’ve seen in British tennis.”
“Earlier this year against Russia in Coventry, Dan Evans and James Ward recovered from a couple of body-blow defeats on the first day and responded with victories over Dmity Tursunov and Evgeny Donskoy, players who are ranked much higher than them. A lot of this is down to Leon’s sound captaincy. He has this ability to say the right thing at the right time, to quietly analyse a match and he doesn’t complicate things.”
Dmitry Tursunov defeats Dan Evans 6-4 6-7 6-4 5-7 6-4
Evgeny Donskoy defeats James Ward 4-6 4-6 7-5 6-3 8-6
Colin Fleming/Jonathan Marray defeat Victor Baluda/Igor Kunitsyn 6-1 6-4 6-2
James Ward defeats Dmitry Tursunov 6-4 5-7 5-7 6-4 6-4
Dan Evans defeats Evgeny Donskoy 6-4 6-4 6-1
From Andy Murray: tennis ace, by John Murray
All Davis Cup ties are important, but this one particularly so. It would be Henman‘s final match before he retired. Andy was determined to see him off in style.
“I want to play my best. I’m going to fight until the last point,” he said. “I’m not going to want to let the team down or let Tim down. I’d feel terrible if I was the one that was responsible for losing Tim’s last tie.”
He didn’t have anything to worry about giving his boyhood hero a fitting farewell. In fact, at times, it looked like a pumped-up Henman could beat Croatia single-handed.
On the first day, at the grounds where he had given British fans so many happy memories over the years, the veteran cruised to a straight sets win over Roko Karanusic, while Andy proved his fitness with a five-set triumph against Marin Cilic. Then Henman and Jamie Murray completed the job in the doubles on the second day, to the delight of the Wimbledon faithful. The brothers had played a perfect support act as Henman took centre stage one last time.
Amidst all the applause and emotion as the Englishman waved goodbye, it was easy to forget what the result actually meant: GB had qualified for the World Group!
Places in Davis Cup semifinals are up for grab this week-end.
France vs Spain:
France selected a fast indoor hard court to receive 2009 Davis Cup champion Spain. But spanish players proved they can play well on any surface and are confident they can qualify even without their best player, Rafael Nadal.
The recent Wimbledon champion is having a treatment on his right knee, the same treatement he had earlier this year on his left knee, in an effort to make sure the on-going problems he has suffered the last three years are just bad memories.
France will also be without its best player, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who has pulled out this Davis Cup quarterfinal with a left knee injury.. Richard Gasquet, who had been selected as an alternate, has also been ruled out, because of back pain.