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
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
In total, 13 nations have won the Davis Cup.
France, Great Britain 9
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.
The most tiebreaks in a Davis Cup tie is 11 (Croatia d. Brazil 4-1, 2008 World Group play-off).
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
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
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
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
Smith/Van Dillen (USA) d. Cornejo/Fillol (CHI), 1973 American Zone Final
Most Games in a Set (singles)
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
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.