Other interesting Davis Cup match-ups...
with most of the attention concentrated in Paris and Moscow, some interesting match-ups in the World Group Qualifying Round have been relegated to a mere blimp in the radar...
In Turku, Finland, the Netherlands took a 2-0 lead over the home country after Sjeng Schalken defeated Finland's number 2 , Tuomas Ketola, in three sets...More worrisome for the Finns was the relatively easy way in which their main player, Jarkko Nieminen fell to Raemon Sluiter, of US Open fame...
Australian No.2 Wayne Arthurs buried some Davis Cup demons when he defeated India's Leander Paes in four sets on Day One of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Qualifying Round at Memorial Drive, Adelaide.
Arthurs, 31, nailed the tenacious Paes 64 36 63 64 to put the Australian side ahead 2-0 after No.1 Lleyton Hewitt's earlier victory over Harsh Mankad 61 76(2) 61. While the player's world rankings have suggested a great chasm between the two nations for this promotion/relegation tie, Arthurs was always going to be the most vulnerable competitor for the home team. Ranked No.53 against Paes' No.980 world singles ranking, Arthurs has been rehabilitating from a debilitating World Group Final last year, when he lost the deciding fifth rubber to France's Nicolas Escude at Melbourne Park.
Paradorn Srichaphan got Thailand on the scoreboard in the promotion/relegation tie against Great Britain in Birmingham. Srichaphan wasted little time in beating Britain’s No.2 player Martin Lee 6-0, 7-6(7-2) 6-2 to level the tie up at 1-1 after Tim Henman had beaten Thai No.2 Danai Udomchoke in the opening rubber.
Canada will have to work some magic in Rio de Janeiro if it hopes to move on to the World Group after Gustavo Kuerten defeated Daniel Nestor 64 76(10) 60 in the second rubber of the day to give Brazil a solid 2-0 lead on Friday.
Switzerland's Roger Federer has defeated home hope Hicham Arazi 63 62 61 to bring his country level at 1-all in their crucial Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Qualifying Round tie here in Casablanca.
Earlier the experienced Younes El Aynaoui had given Morocco a great start, out rallying Switzerland's Michel Kratochvil 75 62 62 to secure the opening singles.
Olivier Rochus secured the second rubber in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Qualifying Round between Zimbabwe and Belgium in a tight thriller at the City Sports Stadium in Harare. One’s heart goes out to Black, Zimbabwe’s proudest servant since 1987 and this tie probably puts the lights out on a highly successful Davis Cup career that included wins over Australia (in Australia), a narrow 32 loss to John McEnroe and Andre Agassi and countless other memorable matches.