Davis Cup action began this Friday, with various ties being played in different parts of the world. Notable ones include the World Group semifinals taking place between Croatia and France and between Great Britain and Argentina. Meanwhile, a number of World Group playoffs also took place.
The semifinal match between Argentina and Team GB at Glasgow saw World No.2 Andy Murray and 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro renew their rivalry. Murray won their previous encounter in the Rio Olympic final in what was one of the most memorable matches of the season.
And the match certainly lived up to expectations, with Del Potro coming out on top this time in a grueling five setter. High octane tennis was witnessed and the win handed Argentina a 1-0 lead. Argentine player, Guido Pella, followed it up by winning the second singles rubber, beating Kyle Edmund of GB 6-7, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 which meant that defending champions GB trail Argentina 0-2, heading into the second day.
At the other semifinal in Zadar, Croatia, French player, Richard Gasquet, wasted no time in dispatching home favourite and young gun, Borna Coric, producing a clinical performance, once again reminding the world why he was a Top 10 player. However, Marin Cilic turned down the deficit, beating Frenchman Lucas Pouille in four sets. The tie resulted in 1-1 tie between Croatia and France heading into the semifinals.
The World group playoffs
India hosted Spain in New Delhi, in a bid to get promoted to the World Group. The first singles was scheduled to take place between India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan and Rafael Nadal. However Nadal pulled out of the tie, due to a stomach bug, much to the disappointment of the packed RK Khanna tennis stadium.
Feliciano Lopez replaced Nadal and despite a gritty fight from Ramkumar, Lopez won it 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. But the second result was even more disappointing for India, as World No.137 Saketh Myneni lost to Spaniard David Ferrer, in three crushing sets.
Meanwhile, Day 2 action saw Japan and Australia seal their Playoff ties, routing their opponents Ukraine and Slovakia respectively. Belgium, Canada and Germany lead 2-0 in their ties, while the Uzbekistan vs Switzerland tie stands at one piece each.
There certainly remains more Tennis action in the upcoming weekend, and there is a lot of excitement in store. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top in the semifinals; whether Great Britian would stage a comeback or would Argentina advance, and whether 9 time champions France can knock down Croatia or not.