The Tennis Equivalent of The World Cup – The Davis Cup is reaching it’s exciting stages where the teams can almost taste the champagne or in case of Serbia’s 2010 win can sense they are about to lose some hair. It has been going for 114 years and remains the largest annual team competition in world sport, with 122 countries taking part. It can also be a welcome change for the players to take part in a team sport from the often lonely world of individual competition. For the uninitiated here is the format – In the World Group and World Group playoffs, each elimination round, or tie, is contested in a best-of-five match format. Davis Cup play consists of five matches played over three days: two singles games on a Friday, a doubles match the next day and two singles matches Sunday. The first country to win three matches wins the tie.
With that out of the way and the draw for quarter finals already done and dusted – Here’s a brief analysis of the matchups
1 – France vs Czech Republic . Venue – Trinec, Czech Republic.
The 5th seed take on the 3rd seed in this matchup to be played on Hard Courts which was expected considering how their main man Tomas Berdych is most effective on that surface. Partnered by Radek Stepanek who can be called a doubles specialist and youngster Jiri Vesely who recently broke the internet with his win over the seemingly unbeatable Novak Djokovic along with Lukas Rosol whose claim to fame is still THAT win over Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon, The Czechs will be looking to beat a French side which looks much stronger on paper atleast. With the likes of Tsonga, Gasquet, Simon, Monfils etc – The French are almost spoilt for choice (subject to the availability of players). Their backups are pretty decent too – Julien Benneteau, Nicolas Mahut, Benoit Paire, Pierre Herbert (one to watch out for. A future star in my opinion) and others will look to step up to the plate if needed.
Big Match – Has to be Berdych vs Tsonga (if both players play) Probably the match that settles the tie.
Prediction – On paper France definitely has an upper hand but you simply can’t count out the unpredictable Czechs with the home advantage. Still going to stick with France. Merci.