Rafael Nadal, who aims to lift his record ninth title in Barcelona, defeated Fabio Fognini in straight sets 6-2 7-6 to advance to the semifinal. With a win in the final on Sunday, he would equalize Guillermo Vilas record of 49 clay-court titles.
Photo credit: Banco Sadabell
Andy Murray: “A fantastic challenge I’m looking forward to in 2014 is representing Great Britain in the World Group of Davis Cup. We played a great match in Umag, Croatia, in September to gain promotion. There is a great sense of togetherness in the British camp. A lot of good people work for the game in this country at so many different levels and the Davis Cup is an opportunity for us all to show what it means to represent Britain. The sense is different from when you are out there on your own. I know I have the support from my box – that’s a given – but this is right there, in your face, the whole time.”
1st round: GREAT BRITAIN – USA 3-1, San Diego, clay
After Andy Murray‘s routine win over Donald Young, British number 2 James Ward caused a big surprise by defeating former top 20 Sam Querrey in five sets. Bob and Mike Bryan kept the US hope alive, but Murray finished the job to put Great Britain into the quarterfinals for the first time since 1986. It is also the first time Britain have beaten the USA since 1935!
Andy Murray defeats Donald Young 6-1 6-2 6-3
James Ward defeats Sam Querrey 1-6 7-6 3-6 6-4 6-1
Bob and Mike Bryan defeat Colin Fleming/Dominic Inglot 6-2 6-3 3-6 6-1
Andy Murray defeats Sam Querrey 7-6 6-7 6-1 6-3
I spent a few days in Paris last week for the BNP Paribas Masters, the ninth and final Masters 1000 event of the season. Novak Djokovic captured the title, dispatching Andy Murray 6-2 6-4 in the final. Enjoy my pictures and recaps of day 1 to day 4.
I’m in Paris until Thursday for the BNP Paribas Masters (aka Bercy Masters). There’s usually plenty at stake in the ninth and final Masters 1000 event of the year: the race for world number one ranking or the battle for a place in the season-ending London finals. But this year, the eight players who have secured their spots are already known: Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, Rafael Nadal, Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer and Kei Nishikori.
I have however big expectations for this tournament:
– I’m eager to see the “new” Bercy arena: the POPB that hosts the Bercy Masters has been completely renovated (read more about the modernization project)
– I didn’t manage to get tickets for the Davis Cup final, so I would like to see the clash between Andy Murray and David Goffin in the third round. I also would like to see Rafa Nadal and Kei Nishikori.
My first impressions about the renovated arena: everything looks so … grey: the court, the seats, the hallway. It’s quite depressing! The food is expensive, as usual: €8 for a pizza slice, €4 for a 50cl Coke bottle! If you plan to attend the Bercy Masters next year, bring your own food. There’s also a bakery just in front of the arena where you can buy good sandwiches. On the plus side: free wifi is now available in the arena, and the seats are much more comfortable!
For the first time in his career, Rafael Nadal wasted a two sets to love lead and lost to Fabio Fognini 3-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-4. He will finish the year without a Grand Slam win for the first time since 2004.
Nadal has struggled since his return from injury last year and has only won 3 minor tournaments (Buenos Aires, Stuttgart and Hamburg), and suffered early exits at Wimbledon and the US Open. Do you think he will bounce back and win a Slam next year? Please share your thoughts.
As for Fognini, he is the first Italian to reach the last 16 since Davide Sanguinetti 10 years. He will face another Spaniard, Feliciano Lopez who defeated Milos Raonic.
Great Britain was looking to reach the semifinals for the first time since 1981 but Italy rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win the tie 3-2.
Andy Murray was totally overplayed by Fabio Fognini who levelled the tie at 2-2, and Andreas Seppi secured Italy’s victory in the fifth and decisive rubber with a straight sets win against James Ward.
Italy will face Switzerland who beat Kazakhstan 3-2 thanks to victories from Stanislas Wawrinka and Roger Federer in their final singles rubbers.
Fabio Fognini def James Ward 6-4 2-6 6-4 6-1
Andy Murray def Andreas Seppi 6-4 7-5 6-3
Colin Fleming/Andy Murray def Simone Bolelli/Fabio Fognini 6-3 6-2 3-6 7-5
Fabio Fognini def Andy Murray 6-3 6-3 6-4
Andreas Seppi def James Ward 6-4 6-3 6-4
Thanks to Andrea for his great pictures of the Fleming/Murray win over Bolelli/Fognini:
Which team will win the Davis Cup this year?
- Switzerland (67%, 31 Votes)
- France (20%, 9 Votes)
- Czech Republic (7%, 3 Votes)
- Great Britain (4%, 2 Votes)
- Italy (2%, 1 Votes)
- Germany (0%, 0 Votes)
- Japan (0%, 0 Votes)
- Kazakhstan (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 46