Spain have been sufficiently kept real. No Davis Cup threepeat for them. One tennis journalist wrote that while the defeat wasn't necessarily surprising, the 3-0 blowout was. I agree totally. Any nation is at risk against the hyper-talented France, but I would have expected Spain to have at least won one of the first three rubbers.
Nando Verdasco is going to wear this back home and no mistake. All the previous Davis Cup heroics will be forgotten in the face of his new found bunny status. I guess he'll just be hoping that Spain is too focused on the World Cup to care (which, to be fair, is probably true).
The Czech Republic are also through - without Berdych and Stepanek, which is a massive result for them - but the real battles going on are the two that are still alive, Russia vs Argentina and Croatia vs Serbia. They're both technically anyone-can-win, but you really have to like the team that took the doubles rubber in both situations.
In the former, that is Argentina. A lot is going to rest on Nikolay Davydenko, and he doesn't sound incredibly optimistic. He was phenomenally disappointing against David Nalbandian in the first singles rubber. I mean, sure, Nalbandian is awesome and all and he always brings it at Davis Cup, but Kolya was totally under par. Very disappointing. I'd be putting my faith in Mikhail Youzhny if I were the Russian Davis Cup captain - he seems like Russia's best bet for an equaliser.
And for Croatia, who are down one rubber to two, it's all on the shoulders of mighty Marin Cilic. He is certainly capable of taking out Novak Djokovic, but Djokovic is coming off a great Wimbledon and Cilic has not been in great form of late. However, if he brings it, if he throws the kitchen sink at Djokovic, he definitely has a chance. I thought Davydenko/Nalbandian was going to be the match of the weekend and it was totally disappointing. Maybe Cilic/Djokovic will be the one to remember instead...
3 weeks ago