Re: Random Davis Cup info
an article from the DC site:
Title Is Slipping Away From the Spaniards
Spain's defence of the Davis Cup has got off to the worst possible start as the Slovak Republic leads 2-0 after the first day of play in Bratislava.
The 2004 champions went 0-2 down in their first round tie, Karol Beck defeating Feliciano Lopez 64 75 63 in the first rubber to give the hosts the early lead. In the second rubber Dominik Hrbaty proved too strong for the Spanish freshman Fernando Verdasco, the hometown hero winning 63 64 67(7) 63 to bring his country a huge advantage heading into day two.
In the second match Hrbaty, a quarterfinalist at this year’s Australian Open, lived up to the high expectations of the crowd with a strong performance against Verdasco, who was playing his first singles Davis Cup match. Hrbaty broke the Spaniard early in the first set and held his serve successfully to win it 63.
In the second set Hrbaty went 1-4 down, but managed to come back from behind, winning five consecutive games before taking the set. There were no breaks of serve in the third set, which was decided in tiebreak. Hrbaty was two points away from the match leading at 5-2, but the Spanish rookie managed to turn the breaker around, winning 9-7.
The fourth set started with one break of serve on each side, but in the eighth game Hrbaty broke once again. Even the medical treatment the Spaniard took didn’t deter the Slovak as he finished up the match, and completed a famous victory.
Dominik Hrbaty had a big smile over his face: “This was a completely different story than in two previous matches I played against Fernando Verdasco. The faster surface suits me better and I was able to take the advantage. I am very happy with the way the first day went for us.”
The Spaniards came to the press conference with more serious faces. “Dominik played very well the whole match. I tried my best but he was a better man on the court,” said Verdasco.
The Spanish title defence now hangs by a thread and they need to win the doubles rubbber on Saturday to keep themselves in this tie, and their dream of retaining the trophy alive. For the time being, that task has been assigned to Rafael Nadal and veteran Albert Costa, who are scheduled to face Hrbaty and Michal Mertinak.
Slovak captain Miroslav Mecir was happy but cautious : “I didn’t expect that we will be leading 2:0 after the first day. With the high quality of the Spanish players I was even a little bit worried that it could be the other way around. But fortunately my guys proved me wrong with their strong performances and we are in the best possible possition after the first two matches. But we are completely aware that we need three points and I haven’t forgotten the tie against Sweden in which we also took the lead and finally lost. So the work is far from being done yet.”
“We were expecting that it is going to be all square after the first day. But Slovaks showed very solid performances while my players played a little bit bellow their standards. Especially Feliciano Lopez was not at his best and besides that he had some bad luck in the second set where he had three consecutive break points. Our chances are pretty bad after the first day but we are still alive. I think we have a good chance to win doubles match on Saturday and then we will see,” was the opinion of the Spanish captain Jordi Arrese.