We have ourselves a Davis Cup final - the Czech Republic vs Spain.
Spain I expected - there really was no way Israel were ever going to come through them, though I confess I expected a bit more of Erlich and Ram in the doubles - but I'm surprised the Czechs have come through. I expected a close tie, and it has been close - the 3-0 lead that the Czechs have totally belies the closeness of this tie - but I really thought the Croats would have it.
It would be unfair to dedicate this post to anyone other than that Czech pairing, Berdych and Stepanek. Seriously, they deserve a tickertape parade - and I hope they get one, when they're back in the Czech Republic. Both played five sets yesterday, which I discussed - that match from Stepanek in particular was insanely long. Like, INSANELY. And then to come out and play doubles... it really begs the question whether the Czechs have any players besides these two. It was a bit of a gamble - if Berdych and Stepanek had played today, come out and lost, then odds are they would have been so exhausted that Cilic and Karlovic would roll them over tomorrow. I guess they just wanted to clinch it, and it paid off. So well done, Czech Republic.
I don't know how well this method will work on Spain, however, because Spain have SO MUCH DEPTH it's not funny. They're currently playing their second-string team - can you imagine what a force to be reckoned with they'll be when Nadal and Verdasco slot back into place? That is pretty mighty.
But the final is ages away. For today, there is only congratulations.
Davis Cup (semi finals)
Czech Republic 3, Croatia 0
Berdych/Stepanek def. Cilic/Zovko, 6-1 6-3 6-4
Spain 3, Israel 0
Lopez/Robredo def. Erlich/Ram, 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 6-2
Bell Challenge (Quebec City)
Lucie Safarova def. Julia Goerges, 6-3 6-2
China GDD Guangzhou International Women's Open (Guangzhou)
Shahar Peer def. Peng Shuai, 6-4 1-0 retired
Alberta Brianti def. Ayumi Morita, 6-3 7-5
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago