Federer’s First ATP Match Victory

Today, September 30, 1998, is a fascinating anniversary in the career of Roger Federer, as outlined by Randy Walker, author of the book ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY (www.TennisHistoryBook.com)

September 30, 1998: Seventeen-year-old Roger Federer defeats Guillaume Raoux of France 6-2, 6-2 in the first round in Toulouse for his first ATP singles match victory. Rene Stauffer, in his book Roger Federer: Quest for Perfection, summarizes Federer’s achievement, “Yet, before the chase for the year-end No. 1 junior ranking reached its decisive phase, the unexpected happened. Federer achieved his first great breakthrough on the ATP Tour. With a ranking of No. 878, he traveled to Toulouse, France at the end of September and, to his own surprise, advanced through the qualifying rounds to progress into the main draw of the tournament. In only his second ATP tournament, the 17-year-old registered an upset victory over No. 45-ranked Guillaume Raoux of France—his first ATP match victory—allowing the Frenchman just four games. In the next round, Federer proved this win was not a fluke by defeating former Australian Davis Cup star Richard Fromberg 6-1, 7-6 (5). In the quarterfinals—his sixth match of the tournament including matches in the qualifying rounds—Federer lost to Jan Siemerink 7-6 (5), 6-2, with a throbbing thigh injury hampering him during the match. The Dutchman was ranked No. 20 and went on to win the tournament two days later, but Federer was also handsomely rewarded. He received a prize money check for $10,800 and passed 482 players in the world rankings in one tournament—moving to No. 396.”

Seeds announced for 2013 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Draw

Spain and Czech Republic head the seeds for the Draw for the World Group of the 2013 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, which takes place at the BNP Paribas offices in London on Wednesday 19 September at 11:00 local time (10:00 GMT).

The draws for 2013 Americas Zone Groups I and II, Asia/Oceania Zone Group II and Europe/Africa Zone Group I will also take place in London. The draws for Asia/Oceania Zone Group I and Europe/Africa Zone Group II will be held following the remaining 2012 Davis Cup play-off ties on 19-21 October.

Any media wishing to attend the Draw should email the ITF Communications department at communications@itftennis.com.

According to the Davis Cup Regulations, the two finalist nations are seeded No. 1 and No. 2 in the World Group for the following year, and will be drawn in opposite halves. Seeds 3-8 are in accordance with the latest ITF Davis Cup Nations Ranking of 17 September.

World Group

1. Spain
2. Czech Republic
3. Argentina
4. Serbia
5. France
6. USA
7. Croatia
8. Kazakhstan

The seeded nations will be drawn against the remaining World Group nations: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, Switzerland.

Seeds for the Zone Group I and Group II competitions are also based on the latest Davis Cup Nations Ranking.

Americas Zone Group I

1. Chile
2. Colombia

Remaining Nations: Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Uruguay.

Europe/Africa Zone Group I

1. Russia
2. Sweden
3. South Africa
4. Netherlands

Remaining Nations: Denmark or Finland, Great Britain, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Ukraine.

Americas Zone Group II

1. Mexico
2. Peru
3. Venezuela
4. El Salvador

Remaining Nations: Barbados, Haiti, Guatemala, Puerto Rico.

Asia/Oceania Zone Group II

1. Chinese Taipei or New Zealand
2. Philippines
3. Thailand
4. Pakistan

Remaining Nations: Kuwait, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Syria.

Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the largest annual international team competition in sport with 130 nations entered in 2013. The title sponsor is BNP Paribas, the Official Bank of Davis Cup. International sponsors are HP (Official Technology Sponsor), Rolex (Official Timekeeper) Hugo Boss (Official Men’s Fashion Clothing Sponsor), Adecco (Official HR Sponsor) and NH Hoteles (Official Hotel). Wilson Sporting Goods (Official Ball) is an international partner. The 100th Davis Cup Final will take place on 16-18 November at the start of the ITF centenary celebrations in 2013. Follow all the action on www.daviscup.com and www.copadavis.com.

Davis Cup on Tennis Channel

LOS ANGELES, September 13, 2012 -Tennis Channel will provide exclusive coverage of the United States semifinal competition against defending champion Spain in Gijon, Spain, this weekend, with live telecasts of each match and same-day, “Instant Encore” replays. Highlighting the competition, American John Isner will face US Open semifinalist and World No. 5 David Ferrer for the first time since the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris last fall, when Isner defeated the Spaniard during the quarterfinals. However, Ferrer has the career upper hand, holding a 3-1 record against the 6-foot-9-inch American. Rounding out the United States team is Sam Querrery and the 2012 US Open doubles champions, twins Bob and Mike Bryan.

If the United States claims victory over Spain this weekend, the Americans will face either Argentina or the Czech Republic in the final. In addition to televising the United States and Spain’s matches each morning, Tennis Channel will cover semifinal competition between 2011 Davis Cup runner-up Argentina and Czech Republic in Buenos Aires, Argentina, each evening.

Coverage from Parque Hermanos Castro in Spain and Parque Roca in Argentina (all times ET):
Friday, Sept. 14:
6 a.m. – Live Singles #1 Spain vs. USA
9 a.m. – Live Singles #2 Spain vs. USA
{12 p.m. – Instant Encore Singles #1 Spain vs. USA}
{3 p.m. – Instant Encore Singles #2 Spain vs. USA}
8 p.m. – Singles #1 Czech Republic vs. Argentina
11 p.m. – Singles #2 Czech vs. Argentina

Saturday, Sept. 15:
8 a.m. – Live Doubles Spain vs. USA
{5 p.m. – Instant Encore Doubles Spain vs. USA}
8 p.m. – Doubles Czech Republic vs. Argentina
{11 p.m. – Instant Encore Singles #2 Czech Republic vs. Argentina}

Sunday, Sept. 16:
6 a.m. – Live Singles #1 Spain vs. USA
9 a.m. – Live Singles #2 Spain vs. USA
{12 p.m. – Instant Encore Singles #1 Spain vs. USA}
{3 p.m. – Instant Encore Singles #2 Spain vs. USA}
8 p.m. – Singles #1 Czech Republic vs. Argentina
11 p.m. – Singles #2 Czech Republic vs. Argentina

The United States and Spain have faced each other ten times in Davis Cup play, with the nations tied at five wins apiece. The Americans’ last victory against the Spaniards came in 2007 when they won 4-1 in the quarterfinal in Winston-Salem, N.C. However, Spain has won the last two meetings against the United States, winning last year’s quarterfinal competition in Austin, Texas, and the 2008 semifinal in Spain. The United States has not defeated Spain on away soil since 1972. The Americans enter this weekend’s match after their second clay-court victory of the year against France in the quarterfinal. The United States leads all nations in Davis Cup championships, winning its 32nd title in 2007 with a 4-1 win against Russia.

Spain has dominated the past decade with five Davis Cup championships since 2000, the most recent in 2011 when it beat Argentina 3-1 in Seville, Spain. The Spanish team is captained by former star Alex Corretja and features the same players who beat Austria 4-1 in the quarterfinal: Ferrer, Nicolas Almagro, Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez.

The Czech Republic holds a 3-1 advantage over Argentina in Davis Cup competition, most recently winning a 2009 quarterfinal in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Argentina’s sole victory over the Czech Republic came in 2005 in Buenos Aires. The Czech Republic enters this weekend’s match after defeating Serbia 4-1 in the quarterfinals. The Czech nation clinched its only Davis Cup trophy in 1980, when it defeated Italy in Prague while competing under the flag of Czechoslovakia.

The Argentine team is bidding to reach the Davis Cup championship round for its second- consecutive year and has finished runner-up in 1981, 2006 and 2008. Argentina’s team is captained by Martin Jaite and features World No. 8 Juan Martin Del Potro, Juan Monaco, Carlos Berlocq and Eduardo Schwank.

Tennis Channel (www.tennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle. A hybrid of comprehensive sports, health, fitness, pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle and travel programming, the network is home to every aspect of the wide-ranging, worldwide tennis community. It also has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television, with telecast rights to the US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), Australian Open, Emirates Airline US Open Series, ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, top-tier WTA competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hyundai Hopman Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by nine of the top 10 video providers.
# # #

Top Seeds Move On At Claremont USTA Pro Circuit Futures Event

CLAREMONT, Calif., (Sept. 14, 2012) – A five-week layoff because of an ailing back didn’t seem to bother top-seeded Alex Bogdanovic of Great Britain, who beat a determined Mark Verryth of Australia in a tough three-set match on Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals at the 17th annual Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Pro Classic, a $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit men’s event being played this week at the Claremont Club.

 

Bogdanovic downed Verryth, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3, in the second round of play, and the current world No. 311-ranked player said afterward that he’s set to play the three SoCal Futures events in Claremont, Costa Mesa and Irvine before playing USTA Pro Circuit events in Sacramento and Tiburon.

 

“We’ll see how the body reacts,” Bogdanovic said.

 

Bogdanovic will play qualifier and former UCLA standout Haythem Abid of Tunisia in the quarterfinals on Friday. Abid, now 27 and recovering from wrist surgery on his left hand, beat fellow American and No. 7-seeded Reid Carleton, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

 

Abid, who played Davis Cup matches for Tunisia this year, is driving 45 miles back and forth each day from his home in West Los Angeles. He is currently training at the Weil Tennis Academy and hoping for a full 2013 tour campaign.

 

A fellow Bruin alum, No. 2-seeded Daniel Kosakowski, also won his match on Thursday and will next face fellow Southern Californian Jason Jung, who beat wild card – and yet another Bruin – Dennis Novikov in straight sets on Thursday.

 

“I’ve never face Jason but he’s playing well,” said Kosakowski, who beat American Ryan Rowe, 6-4, 7-6 (4). Kosakowski said he’s been working out with Taylor Dent and some others in Orange County recently.

 

In the doubles final on Friday scheduled for 4 p.m., Devin Britton and Reid Carleton of the United States will face fellow former collegiate standouts Jeff Dadamo and Kyle McMorrow.

 

For more information, check on the web at:www.procircuit.usta.com, www.claremontclub.com; Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Claremont-Club/236147226396

 

Thursday’s Second-Round Singles Results

WC: Wild card; Q: Qualifier

Dennis Lajola, U.S. (4), def. Boris Bakalov, Bulgaria, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4

Daniel Nguyen, U.S. (q), def. Chris Wettengel, U.S., 6-2, 6-3

Haythem Abid, Tunisia (q), def. Reid Carleton, U.S. (7), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

Prakash Amritraj, India, def. Devin Britton, U.S. (3), 6-4, 7-6 (4)

Jason Jung, U.S. (6), def. Dennis Novikov, U.S. (wc), 6-0, 7-6 (3)

Daniel Kosakowski, U.S. (2), def. Ryan Rowe, U.S., 6-4, 7-6 (4)

Jeff Dadamo, U.S. (5), def. Finn Tearney, New Zealand (wc), 6-2, 6-0

Alex Bogdanovic, Great Britain (1), def. Mark Verryth, Australia, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3

 

Thursday’s Semifinal Doubles Results

Devin Britton, U.S.-Reid Carleton, U.S. (1), def. Daniel Nguyen, U.S.-Ryan Rowe, U.S. (3), 7-5, 4-6, 10-6

Jeff Dadamo, U.S.-Kyle McMorrow, U.S. (2), def. Nicholas John Andrews, U.S.-Dennis Nevolo, U.S., 6-4, 5-7, 10-7

Note: Doubles final will take place on Friday at 4 p.m.

 

 

Recent Claremont Champions

Year   Singles Winner              Singles Runner-up            Doubles Champions

2011   Steve Johnson               Darian King                        Alexandre Lacroix-Sanam Singh

2010   Gary Sacks                    Devin Britton                      Taylor Fogleman-Chris Kearney

2009   Matej Bocko                   Bradley Klahn                    Brett Joelson-Ashwin Kumar

2008   Tigran Martirosyan          Adriano Biasello                 Marcus Fugate-Nima Roshan

2007   Carsten Ball                    Robert Yim                        Nikita Kryvonos-Michael McClune

2006   Dudi Sela                       Sascha Kloer                     Ryler DeHeart-Dennis Zivkovic

2005   Benedikt Dorsch             Tyler Cleveland                  K.C. Corkery-James Pade

2004   Bobby Reynolds            Huntley Montgomery          Nick Rainey-Brian Wilson

2003   Glenn Weiner                  Jimy Szymanski                 K.C. Corkery-James Pade

2002   Dmitry Tursunov             Raven Klaasen                   Chris Magyary-Mirko Pehar

 

 

 

Points, Prize Money for $10,000 Futures Tournaments

Singles                         Doubles

Points               Prize $              Points               Prize $

Winner                                   17                     $1,300              17                     $630

Finalist                                   9                         $900                9                    $330

Semifinalist                5                         $480                5                    $260

Quarterfinalist             2                         $290                2                    $180

Round of 16               1                         $200                1                    ——

Round of 32               0                         $117.50            –                     ——

 

USTA Pro Circuit

With approximately 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The USTA launched its Pro Circuit 33 years ago to provide players with the opportunity to gain professional ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, offering nearly $3 million in prize money. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed in cities nationwide. Mardy Fish, Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, Caroline Wozniacki, John Isner, Victoria Azarenka and Andy Murray are among today’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.

Davis Cup Preview

WORLD GROUP SEMIFINALS

Spain (s) v USA (s) Parque Hermanos Castro, Gijon (clay – outdoors)

Argentina (s) v Czech Republic (s) Parque Roca, Buenos Aires (clay – outdoors)
(s) = seed

BACK-TO-BACK FINALS…
Both Argentina and Spain are looking to reach back-to-back finals. If both teams win this weekend, it will be the first time since 1989 that the same two nations have contested back-to-back finals. Sweden and West Germany reached the Final in both 1988 and 1989.

RETAINING THE TITLE…
Since the formation of the World Group in 1981, there have been 5 successful title defences by 4 different nations. Reigning champions Spain were the last nation to successfully defend their title in 2009. The successful title defences in World Group history are: USA 1981-82; Sweden 1984-85; West Germany 1988-89; Sweden 1997-98; and Spain 2008-09.

SPAIN LOOK TO PRESERVE WINNING STREAK…
Spain hold the record for the longest run of wins at home in Davis Cup World Group history. The Spanish have won their last 23 home ties. The last team to defeat Spain at home was Brazil in the 1999 World Group first round. Gustavo Kuerten was the hero of that tie winning all of Brazil’s points as the visitors won 3-2. Italy hold the all-time record with 28 wins at home from 1949 through 1964.

ALL FOUR SEEDS…
For the second consecutive year all 4 semifinalist nations are seeded and it might be good news for Argentina. Four seeds progressed to the semifinals in 2006, 2008 and 2011, with Argentina making it through to the final on all those occasions.

WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS

(s) Kazakhstan v Uzbekistan National Tennis Centre, Astana (clay – indoors)

(s) Germany v Australia Rothenbaum Stadium, Hamburg (clay – outdoors)

Japan v Israel (s) Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo (hard – outdoors)

Belgium v Sweden (s) Royal Primerose Tennis Club, Brussels (clay – outdoors)

(s) Canada v South Africa Uniprix Stadium Montreal (hard – outdoors)

Brazil v Russia (s) Harmonia Tenis Clube, Sao Jose do Rio Preto (clay – outdoors)

(s) Italy v Chile Tennis Club Napoli, Naples (clay – outdoors)

Netherlands v Switzerland (s) Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam (clay – outdoors)
(s) = seed

• Uzbekistan are looking to qualify for the World Group for the first time. They face local rivals Kazakhstan, who are bidding to maintain their position in the top tier for the third successive year.

• There is a battle of 2 Davis Cup former champions in Hamburg as 3-time winners Germany take on 28-time champion Australia. The Germans have been in the World Group every year since 2006, while the Australians have been in Zone Group competition for the last 5 years.

• Japan, who fought their way back into the World Group for the first time in 26 years by defeating India at the same stage of the competition last year, are aiming to maintain their place among the Davis Cup elite. They play Israel, who defeated Portugal in Europe/Africa Zone Group I in April to book their place in this year’s play-offs.

• Sweden jointly hold the record for most World Group appearances (31) with Czech Republic and USA. That record is at risk as they take on Belgium in Brussels this weekend.

• South Africa, who have lost their last 5 World Group play-off matches, have not been in the top tier since 1998. They play Canada, who returned to the World Group this year for the first time since 2004.

• Brazil and Russia face off in the World Group play-offs for a second successive year. The Russians have played in the World Group every year since 1993 and the 2002 and 2006 champions will be looking to continue that streak. Brazil are bidding to return to the World Group for the first time since 2003. They have lost at this stage of the competition for the last 6 years.

• The Italians maintained their perfect record against Chile with victory at this stage of the competition last year. Italy defeated the South American team to claim their only Davis Cup title in 1976. Chile are looking to bounce straight back to the World Group and are no strangers to the play-offs, having featured in them for 7 of the last 9 years.

• Switzerland were relegated from the World Group by Kazakhstan in 2010. They lost to USA 5-0 in the first round this year and now face the Netherlands, who are trying to gain promotion to the World Group for the first time since 2009.

CHOICE OF GROUND – WORLD GROUP FINAL

The Davis Cup Final will take place on 16-18 November. Below is the choice of ground for all potential match-ups. The venue details are due to be submitted to the ITF by the beginning of October.

Possible Final Venue
SPAIN v ARGENTINA ARG
SPAIN v CZECH REPUBLIC CZE
USA v ARGENTINA ARG
USA v CZECH REPUBLIC USA

PAST CHAMPIONS

In total, 13 nations have won the Davis Cup.

­ USA 32
­ Australia 28
­ France, Great Britain 9
­ Sweden 7
­ Spain 5
­ Germany 3
­ Russia 2
­ Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Serbia, South Africa 1

ALL FIVE TO FIVE…
Only twice have all 5 rubbers of a Davis Cup tie gone to 5 sets: 1946 European Zone semifinal, Yugoslavia defeated France 3-2 and 2003 World Group play-off, Romania defeated Ecuador 3-2.

COMEBACKS FROM 0-2 DOWN…
There have been just 7 comebacks from 0-2 down in World Group ties. Sweden has produced 4 of these comebacks including the most recent one in 1998 (Sweden d. Slovak Republic 3-2, first round). In the Davis Cup overall there have been 47 since the competition began in 1900.

TOP TIEBREAKS…
The most tiebreaks in a Davis Cup tie is 11 (Croatia d. Brazil 4-1, 2008 World Group play-off).

PARTICIPATING NATIONS…
123 nations entered the 2012 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas.

DAVIS CUP NATIONS RANKING…
The ITF Davis Cup Nations Ranking was launched at the end of 2001. It is published following every tie weekend and measures success over the preceding 4-year period, with recent performances weighted more heavily. It is the sole criteria for seeding at all levels of Davis Cup competition.

Latest Davis Cup Nations Ranking (9 April 2012)

1 Spain 11 Israel
2 Argentina 12 Sweden
3 Serbia 13 Canada
4 Czech Republic 14 Russia
5 France 15 Italy
6 USA 16 Switzerland
7 Croatia 17 Chile
8 Austria 18 Belgium
9 Kazakhstan 19 Japan
10 Germany 20 Australia

DAVIS CUP RECORDS^

World Group Davis Cup
Most Games in a Tie (post-tiebreak*) 275:
France d. Switzerland 3-2, 2001 Quarterfinal 281:
Romania d. Ecuador 3-2, 2003 WG Play-off
Most Games in a Tie (pre-tiebreak*) 281:
Paraguay d. France 3-2, 1985 First Round 327:
India d. Australia 3-2, 1974 Eastern Zone Final

Most Games in a Singles Rubber
(post-tiebreak*) 82:
Radek Stepanek (CZE) d. Ivo Karkovic (CRO) 2009 Semifinal 82:
Richard Ashby (BAR) d. Jose Medrano (BOL) 1991 Americas II, First Round
Most Games in a Singles Rubber
(pre-tiebreak*) 85:
Michael Westphal (FRG) d. Tomas Smid (TCH) 1985 Semifinal 100:
Harry Fritz (CAN) d. Jorge Andrew (VEN)
1982 Americas Zone Semifinal
Most Games in a Doubles Rubber
(post-tiebreak*) 77:
Arnold-Ker/Nalbandian (ARG) d. Kafelnikov/Safin (RUS), 2002 Semifinal 78:
Di Laura/Noriega (PER) d. Menezes/Roese (BRA), 1991 Americas I First Round

Most Games in a Doubles Rubber
(pre-tiebreak*) 77 (twice):
Annacone/Flach (USA) d. Cash/Fitzgerald (AUS) 1986 Semifinal
Casal/Sanchez (ESP) d. Gonzalez/Pecci (PAR) 1987 Quarterfinal
122:
Smith/Van Dillen (USA) d. Cornejo/Fillol (CHI), 1973 American Zone Final

Most Games in a Set (singles)
40 (21-19):
Carlos Kirmayr (BRA) v Uli Pinner (FRG)
1981 Relegation Tie
46 (24-22 twice):
Alvaro Betancur (COL) v Dale Power (CAN) 1976 American Zone
Andrei Chesnokov (URS) v Michiel Schapers (NED), 1987 European Zone

Most Games in a Set (doubles) 40 (21-19):
Edberg/Jarryd (SWE) v Amritraj/Amritraj (IND) 1985 Quarterfinal 76 (39-37):
Cornejo/ Fillol (CHI) v Smith/Van Dillen (USA) 1973 American Zone Final

Longest Fifth Set (Singles) 17-15 (twice):
Michael Westphal (FRG) v Tomas Smid (TCH) 1985 Semifinal
Dmitry Tursunov (RUS) v Andy Roddick (USA) 2006 Semifinal 20-18 (twice):
Richard Ashby (BAR) v Jose Medrano (BOL), 1991 Americas II, First Round.
Nuno Marques (POR) v Nenad Zimonjic (SRB)
1998 Europe/Africa II, Second Round
Longest Fifth Set (Doubles) 19-17:
Arnold-Ker/Nalbandian (ARG) v Kafelnikov/Safin (RUS), 2002 Semifinal 23-21:
Fernandes/Vieira (BRA) v Avidan-Weiss /Davidman (ISR), 1957 American Zone Semifinal

Longest recorded
playing-time (tie) 21 hours, 2 minutes:
France d. Switzerland 3-2, 2001 Quarterfinal 21 hours, 37 minutes:
Romania d. Ecuador 3-2, 2003 WG Play-off
Longest singles rubber 6 hours, 22 minutes:
John McEnroe (USA) d.
Mats Wilander (SWE), 1982 Quarterfinal see World Group
Longest doubles rubber 6 hours, 20 minutes:
Arnold-Ker/Nalbandian (ARG) d. Kafelnikov/Safin (RUS), 2002 Semifinal see World Group

Fewest number of games conceded in a tie 26:
Germany d. Indonesia 5-0, 1989 First Round 6:
Sri Lanka d. Syria – 1991 Asia/Oceania II, First Round
Longest tiebreak* 15-13:
Patrick Rafter (AUS) d. David Rikl (CZE),
1997 First Round 19-17:
Young-Jun Kim (KOR) d. Aqeel Khan (PAK),
2003 Asia/Oceania Zone Group I
*the tiebreak was introduced in Davis Cup in 1989; ^for further details see 2012 Davis Cup Media Guide, General Records, p. 164-70

SPAIN v USA

Head-to-head: tied 5-5
In 10 previous meetings between these 2 former champions only twice has the away team won – most recently when Spain defeated USA in the 2011 quarterfinals in Austin, Texas. USA will be hoping to avenge that defeat and reach their first final since 2007.

SPAIN v USA

1 Current DC Nations Ranking 6
Champion 5 times Best Result Champion 32 times
1921 First year played 1900
77 Years played (incl 2012) 98
28 Years in World Group (incl 2012) 31
191 Ties played 277
121-70 Ties Win-Loss 212-65
0 Comebacks from 0-2 down 1

• Defending champion SPAIN won their 5th Davis Cup title by defeating Argentina 3-1 in last year’s final in Seville. It was their 3rd title in the last 4 years.

• Spain are looking to reach back-to-back Finals for the 3rd time in their history. They also reached back-to-back finals in 2003-04 and 2008-09.

• Spain defeated Kazakhstan 5-0 and Austria 4-1 to book their place in the semifinals for the 4th time in the last 5 years. In their last 6 semifinal appearances Spain have progressed to the Final.

• This is Spain’s 16th consecutive year in the World Group. They hold the World Group record for the longest run of wins by a nation at home. Spain’s quarterfinal win against Austria was their 23rd consecutive victory at home. Spain’s last home loss was in 1999 (l. Brazil), which was also the last time they lost a Davis Cup tie on clay. They have won 25 straight ties on the surface since that defeat.

• If Spain win this weekend they will close the gap on Italy, who have the longest run of wins at home with 28 wins at home from 1949 through 1964.

• Spain have been crowned Davis Cup champion 5 times since 2000, having never previously won the title. They lifted the trophy in 2000 (d. Australia 3-1), 2004 (d. USA 3-2), 2008 (d. Argentina 3-1), 2009 (d. Czech Republic 5-0) and 2011 (d. Argentina 3-1).

• If Spain win this weekend, they will play away in the Final to either Argentina or Czech Republic.

• Spain is currently No. 1 in the Davis Cup Nations Ranking and is one of 5 nations to rank No. 1 since the rankings were introduced in 2001 (alongside Australia, Croatia, France and Russia). Spain was ranked No. 1 between September 2004 and September 2005, and has also held the top spot since July 2009.

• USA are playing in their 278th tie – the most for any nation – in their 98th year of Davis Cup competition.

• USA jointly hold the record for most World Group appearances (31) with Czech Republic and Sweden. All 3 nations have played in the World Group every year but one since its inception in 1981. USA was absent from the World Group in 1988 and has the longest unbroken streak of World Group appearances (24).

• USA whitewashed Switzerland 5-0 and defeated France 3-2 to reach their first semifinal since 2008. That year they lost to this weekend’s opponents on clay in Spain.

• Both USA’s victories this year have come away from home and on clay. They are looking to reach their first Final since winning their 32nd Davis Cup title in 2007, defeating Russia 4-1 in Portland, Oregon.

• USA’s triumph in 2007 came 12 years after their previous title, the longest gap between USA Davis Cup successes.

• Last year, USA lost to this weekend’s opponents in a quarterfinal tie in Austin, TX. It brought to an end their 6-match winning streak on home soil.

• USA are currently ranked No. 6 in the ITF Davis Cup Nations Ranking. The lowest they have been ranked is No. 8 (from April-September 2003 and again in September 2005) and the highest ranking position they have held is No. 2. The Davis Cup Nations Ranking was introduced in 2001 and is updated after each round.

• If USA win this weekend they will either play away to Argentina or at home to Czech Republic in the Final.

ARGENTINA v CZECH REPUBLIC

Head-to-head: Czech Republic lead 3-1
The 2 teams have met 3 times since the introduction of the World Group, with the home team winning on each of those 3 occasions. Czechoslovakia defeated Argentina on clay in Buenos Aires in an Inter-Zonal semifinal in 1980 that featured a dominant display by Ivan Lendl over Jose-Luis Clerc and Guillermo Vilas.

ARGENTINA v CZECH REPUBLIC

2 Current DC Nations Ranking 4
Runner-up 4 times Best Result Champion 1980
1923 First Year Played 1921
58 Years Played (inc 2012) 79
20 Years in World Group (inc 2012) 31
138 Ties Played 193
79-59 Ties Win-Loss 117-76
0 Comebacks from 0-2 down 0

• ARGENTINA are into the semifinals for the 8th time since returning to the World Group in 2002. They have reached the quarterfinals or better every year since 2002. They are looking to reach their 5th final.

• Argentina are playing their 3rd consecutive tie this year at Parque Roca in Buenos Aires. They defeated Germany 4-1 and Croatia 4-1 to reach the semifinals.

• Argentina are a 4-time runner-up in Davis Cup: in 1981 (l. USA), 2006 (l. Russia), 2008 (l. Spain) and 2011 (l. Spain). Argentina are the only nation to have lost 4 Davis Cup Finals without winning the title.

• Last year, Argentina finished runner-up, losing 3-1 to Spain in Seville.

• The doubles rubber in the World Group semifinal between Russia and Argentina in 2002, featuring Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin against Lucas Arnold-Ker and David Nalbandian, is the longest recorded men’s doubles match in Davis Cup, at 6 hours, 20 minutes.
• The last time Argentina lost a home tie on clay was against Slovak Republic in 1998. They have won 18 of their last 20 Davis Cup ties on the surface. Their only losses in that time both came against Spain, in the 2003 semifinals and in last year’s final.

• If Argentina win this weekend they are guaranteed to have a home Final against the winner of Spain v USA.
• CZECH REPUBLIC are looking to reach their second Final since the formation of the World Group in 1981. The Czechs reached the final in 2009, losing to Spain on clay in Barcelona.

• Before the nation divided into Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, Czechoslovakia won the Davis Cup in 1980, defeating Italy on carpet in Prague in the final.

• Czech Republic are making their 31st World Group appearance, the most for any nation along with Sweden and USA. They have competed in the World Group every year with the exception of 2006.

• This year Czech Republic defeated Italy 4-1 in Ostrava and Serbia 4-1 in Prague to reach the semifinals. Between them the Czech duo of Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek have combined to win all 6 live rubbers.

• Last year, the Czechs lost to Kazakhstan in the first round in Ostrava. They were 2-1 up after the doubles rubber before a stunning Kazakh comeback by Andrey Golubev and Mikhail Kukushkin. The Czechs defeated Romania 5-0 in the World Group play-offs to maintain their place in the top tier.

• If Czech Republic win this weekend, they will be at home to Spain or away to USA in November’s Final.

ITF launches iPhone App for Davis Cup

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) today launched an iPhone App for Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, bringing the excitement and drama of the largest annual international team competition in sport to the mobile devices of tennis fans around the world.

The iPhone App provides fans with live scores, schedules, results, news, photos, rankings, event information, and player and team profiles, and is available for free download on the App Store. Other smartphone users can access a mobile optimised version of the website, equipped with the same features, while an Android App will be available later in the year.

The iPhone App is part of a wider digital offering that provides comprehensive online coverage of Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, including live scores, reports and videos on DavisCup.com, live streaming on DavisCup.tv, and social media conversations on Facebook and Twitter. The launch of the Davis Cup App follows the success of the ITF’s Olympic Tennis App, which had over 67,000 downloads during the recent event at Wimbledon.

“With iPhones and other mobile devices becoming an increasingly popular choice when accessing the Davis Cup website, we are pleased to be able to provide a dedicated smartphone App for iPhone users to enhance their experience of following Davis Cup by BNP Paribas,” said Mat Pemble, ITF Information & Communications Technology Manager.

“With instant updates of live scores, news and results, we hope this dedicated mobile App will provide fast and easy to access information for tennis fans all around the world, bringing to life the excitement of Davis Cup wherever they may be.”

The Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinals and play-offs are taking place this week (14-16 September). The semifinal ties see Spain host USA in Gijon, and Argentina meet Czech Republic in Buenos Aires.

Download the Davis Cup iPhone App on the App Store.

Isner Bulldogs It To The Third

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY- Although John Isner is keeping a watchful eye on the other matchups today after his second round win over fellow American Robbie Ginepri, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4, his biggest concern is tomorrow’s big game.

It’s when his beloved Georgia Bulldogs take on Boise State.

“I’m just getting mentally prepared for that,” he said.  “I don’t watch too much tennis.”

He doesn’t need to keep watching after his strong performance on Armstrong today. The Georgia native has been on top of his game this year. This win will be his seventh in a row and that follows one that was what he thinks is an “eight or nine match” winning streak.

He took the Hall of Fame Tournament in Newport back in July and won in Winston Salem, just a few weeks ago to start his winning streak.

And what’s the secret of his recent success?

Why confidence, of course.

“It’s as high as it’s ever been,” he said. “You know, I don’t like to think too much about it, but, you know, I have won seven matches in a row now, and earlier this summer I won, I think, eight or nine matches in a row:  won Newport, made the finals of Atlanta.

“I’m just winning it a lot of matches and I’m very, very confident and I feel good.  I feel like I’m, you know, moving very well, you know, especially for myself.  I’m getting to balls and able to get a lot more balls back in play because I’m very comfortable out there.”

This is a different from the Isner we all have seen earlier this year, where he lost in French Open in the first round and Wimbledon in the second. He also had a disappointing loss in Chile during the Davis Cup.

“That was probably one of the biggest down points of my year so far, going down there and just not playing well and not really able to contribute to the team,” he said. “You know, I lost to a guy ranked pretty low in Davis Cup, and I just ‑‑ it all started once I got back to the States and started playing tournaments stateside.  Very comfortable over here.  It’s just, you know, once I won a few matches in a row ‑‑ at Newport I started ‑‑ you know, I knew my game was going in the right direction, because the first five months of the year frankly it was a disappointment.”

But the 26 year-old is now back and ready to continue on at the Open. Fortunately he has a the fifth set tie break here and there will be no repeat of his match last year at Wimbledon when he won a fifth set over Nicholas Mahut, 70-68, in a match that lasted 11 hours and five minutes.

“Every slam is different,” he said.  “To me, to be honest, I like the tiebreaker, because if it goes to a fifth set and it happens to go down to a tiebreaker I like my chances, especially with my serve.  You know, I beat Andy a couple years ago in a fifth set tiebreaker.  You know, I do like the system now.

“But, you know, I don’t think anything should change as far as the other tournaments go.  It’s just how the US Open does it.”

But that didn’t happen today – maybe later in the tournament. Right now, though, it doesn’t seem like he cares because his Bulldogs will take conter statge for him tomorrow.

And who is going to win?

“I’m partial to Georgia,” Isner predicted. “I think they’re virtually playing ‑‑ you know, they’re in their backyard playing in the Georgia Dome.  They’ll have the crowd support and it’s gonna be ‑‑ it’s a huge game to start the season, for sure.”

Spoken like a true Georgia alumni.

Randy Walker on Wimbledon: The Final That Never Was

Randy Walker of New Chapter Media speaks to Joe McDonald on Wimbledon: The Final That Never Was.

About the Book:

The only time in the history of Wimbledon that the men’s singles final was not played is told in detail by the crowned champion in this illuminating tennis biography. Sidney Wood won the 1931 Wimbledon title by default over Frank Shields—his school buddy, doubles partner, roommate, and Davis Cup teammate—in one of the most curious episodes in sports history. Wood tells the tale of how Shields was ordered by the U.S. Tennis Association not to compete in the championship match so that he could rest his injured knee in preparation for an upcoming Davis Cup match. Three years later the story continues when he and Shields played a match at the Queen’s Club for the Wimbledon trophy. Also included are a compilation of short stories that deliver fascinating anecdotes of the 1930s and a signature document of the play and styles of 20th-century tennis legends.

Lineup For Indian Wells Announced

With the Australian Open concluding this weekend, the next major stop on the tennis calendar will be the BNP Paribas Open, the most-attended tennis tournament outside of the Grand Slams. Once again the tournament, to be held March 7-20 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, will feature hundreds of the best players in the world, including the top three players on both tours – Rafael Nadal and Caroline Wozniacki (No. 1), Roger Federer and Vera Zvonareva (No. 2) and Novak Djokovic and Kim Clijsters (No. 3).

Nadal, who had an incredible season in 2010 capturing three of the four majors, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, will be in search of his third crown in Indian Wells (2007, 2009), and would join Jimmy Connors, Michael Chang and Federer as three-time winners of the BNP Paribas Open. Wozniacki became the 20th World No. 1 in WTA history last year, and captured six titles. A finalist at the 2010 BNP Paribas Open, she is seeking her first Grand Slam title this week at the Australian Open and is into the semifinals.

Federer, who is the only man to ever win the BNP Paribas Open three years in a row (2004-2006), bookended 2010 by winning the sixteenth major of his career in Australia in January and the ATP World Championships in the final week of the season. A win this week would continue to increase his all-time leading major title record. Zvonareva had a fantastic 2010 reaching the finals of Wimbledon and the US Open, and climbing to an all-time high ranking of No. 2 in the world. The 2009 BNP Paribas Open champion has another shot at a major title this week at the Australian Open.

Djokovic had another strong campaign in 2010, and entrenched himself further into the Serbian history books  by helping his country capture its first ever Davis Cup title with a win over France in December. The 2008 BNP Paribas Open champion is trying to capture the second major of his career this week in Australia, with the first coming in 2008 in the land down under. Clijsters, who has three major titles, including the last two US Open’s, will look to become the only woman to ever win the BNP Paribas Open singles title three times (2005, 2003). She is currently in the hunt this weekend for her fourth Grand Slam title and her first at the Australian Open.

In addition to these six stars, the fields will feature a host of others who have captured titles in Indian Wells including the last six women to win the title – defending champion Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic (2008), Daniela Hantuchova (2007, 2002), Southern California resident Maria Sharapova (2006), Zvonareva and Clijsters. On the men’s side, defending champion Ivan Ljubicic and Lleyton Hewitt (2001-2002) join Nadal, Federer and Djokovic as former champions in the draw.

In addition to these champions, numerous other top ten stars such as Robin Soderling (No. 4), Andy Murray (No. 5), Tomas Berdych (No. 6), David Ferrer (No. 7), American Andy Roddick (No. 8), Fernando Verdasco (No. 9), Mikhail Youhzny (No. 10), Samantha Stosur (No. 6), Francesca Schiavone (No. 7) and World No. 9 Victoria Azarenka will also vie for the title. Other American stars that will compete include Mardy Fish, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Sam Querrey, Melanie Oudin, John Isner and the World No. 1 doubles team, Mike and Bob Bryan, who will be seeking to capture one of the few titles that have eluded them in their record-setting career.

One of the new additions for the players and fans this year will be the addition of Hawkeye replay technology and video displays on all match courts. While most tournaments feature Hawkeye replay technology and video displays on one, two, or three courts, none have made it available on eight match courts.

The women’s qualifying draw will take place March 7-8 and the men’s qualifying rounds will be held March 8-9. There will be 48 players in each draw vying for 12 spots in the main draws. First-round play will begin Wednesday, March 9 for the women and Thursday, March 10 for the men. The men’s and women’s singles championship finals will be held on Sunday, March 20. For information or to buy tickets, visit www.bnpparibasopen.com, call the Indian Wells Tennis Garden at 800-999-1585, or visit the box office, 78-200 Miles Avenue, Indian Wells, CA 92210.

Tennis 360 Has Brad Gilbert on Wednesday

Join Andres as he welcomes ESPN analyst Brad Gilbert to “Tennis360″ this Wednesday October 13th. Listen in as Brad discusses his thoughts on the state of the game, the current Davis Cup coaching vacancy, and his friendship with Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. Gilbert, an Olympic Broze Medalist and former coach to Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick & Andy Murray, will join us LIVE this Wednesday. Don’t miss out!

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