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Argentina Into Top 5, France Stays Top of ITF Davis Cup Nations Ranking
Argentina has moved up two places in the first ITF Davis Cup Nations Ranking for 2003 after a convincing 5-0 victory over Germany in the opening round of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group. Argentina is now ranked five, moving ahead of Sweden and the USA. France, Russia, Australia and Spain - all first round winners - have maintained their places in the top four.

For the full updated rankings list, please see the Current Rankings page of the Ranking section on this website.

Other big movers include Switzerland and Croatia, who both moved up four places to break into the top 10, while Brazil has dropped three places to 11 after their narrow loss to Sweden.

www.daviscup.com

Go Argentina!!!

:bounce:

I am expecting Russia coming to Buenos Aires and face our players on clay:D :cool:
 

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I'm looking forward to that tie :)

Looks like that might be the cream of the quarterfinals. Potentially, that is.

It will likely come down to the doubles. After the last thrilling doubles match between these two nations, it will be great to see if David and Lucas can keep their winning streak alive (I'm assuming that these two will play doubles again), or if the Russians will exact some doubles revenge.

Overall I'm hoping for Argentina to exact some revenge!
 

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go Argentina!!!!!!!!!!! :bounce:
 

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It will likely come down to the doubles. After the last thrilling doubles match between these two nations, it will be great to see if David and Lucas can keep their winning streak alive (I'm assuming that these two will play doubles again), or if the Russians will exact some doubles revenge.
It's much more interesting than that. Consider that all Russians are likely to be healthy. It means, that there is one certainty - Kafelnikov won't play singles - especially on clay. which most likely means that, comparing to Moscow tie, he will be very fresh for doubles. Besides, doubles on clay is his best. Better than singles. Better than doubles on any other surfaces. And to add to that, given that Youzhnyi played well with him against Czechs and the doubles combination can be declared as late as Saturday, Russia is likely to pair Kafelnikov with the fresher one from Safin and Youzhnyi(i.e. the one who had easier singles match ), who, as clay is the best surface for both of them, will surely play opening singles. In other words, Russia will have much fresher doubles team, and much fresher players on reverse singles days ( really, having good bench is really good ). It is likely that Davydenko,the latest hero, will sit out the whole tie, and probably will play a dead rubber, which will be played after Safin clinched the tie for Russia on the third day 3:1..:), :p
 

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It's much more interesting than that. Consider that all Russians are likely to be healthy. It means, that there is one certainty - Kafelnikov won't play singles - especially on clay. which most likely means that, comparing to Moscow tie, he will be very fresh for doubles.
True, I hadn't thought about that. But who will be his partner? Mikahil? Marat?


Besides, doubles on clay is his best. Better than singles. Better than doubles on any other surfaces. And to add to that, given that Youzhnyi played well with him against Czechs and the doubles combination can be declared as late as Saturday, Russia is likely to pair Kafelnikov with the fresher one from Safin and Youzhnyi(i.e. the one who had easier singles match ), who, as clay is the best surface for both of them, will surely play opening singles.
This answers my question from above. Of course you are making the assumption that one of them will have an "easy" singles match in order for the doubles team to be "fresh".

For what it's worth, I'll examine the head to heads.

Marat, as Russias top ranked player, is likely to play Gaudio on day one. Regardless, he's likely to play him at some point. Their head to head is tied at 2 a piece, ALL on clay. It's worth noting that these were played from 1999-2001. Thus, Marat's best period to date falls in that time range. Gaudio's doesn't (his best period to date would have been last year). For what it's worth, Gaudio won the two matches at bigger events.

1999-08-02 Amsterdam Clay R16 Marat Safin (RUS) 6-4 7-6(4)
2000-04-17 Monte Carlo Clay R64 Gaston Gaudio (ARG) 7-6(5) 6-0
2000-04-24 Barcelona Clay R16 Marat Safin (RUS) 6-4 4-6 6-4
2001-05-14 Hamburg Clay R32 Gaston Gaudio (ARG) 6-0 7-6(0)

Unfortunately we don't have a 5 set match between them, as that would be a far better guage.

Although I don't put *too* much stock into head to heads, I do believe it would be somewhat foolish to take Gaudio lightly. Surely Marat won't.

As for David - Marat totally owns the head to head. But one of the matches was rather close, notabley that match was on clay. Although I would pick Marat over David on clay at full health, I wouldn't pick a straight set "easy" match. David is much better than he was at Roland Garros.

2002-04-15 Monte Carlo Clay R16 Marat Safin (RUS) 6-1 6-7(5) 6-2
2002-05-27 Roland Garros Clay R32 Marat Safin (RUS) 6-3 6-3 3-6 6-4
2002-09-20 Davis Cup (WG-SF) ARG vs. RUS Indoor Carpet RR Marat Safin (RUS) 7-6(3) 6-7(5) 6-0 6-3
2002-10-28 Paris Indoor Carpet R32 Marat Safin (RUS) 6-3 6-2


Versus Canas (who I suspect will be playing if he's healthy), Marat is trailing the head to head 1-2. He hasn't taken a set off Canas since 1999, when he won their first encounter. None of their matches were on clay, mind you.

1999-02-08 St. Petersburg Indoor Carpet R32 Marat Safin (RUS) 6-2 6-3
2001-08-06 Cincinnati Hardcourt R64 Guillermo Canas (ARG) 6-3 6-3
2002-07-29 Toronto Hardcourt QF Guillermo Canas (ARG) 7-5 6-3


Now Youzhny is the one with interesting head to heads vs these guys. He an Canas have played once - a 5 set encounter on clay, in the finals of Stuttgart - Mikhails first title. From 1-2 sets down.

He's never played David, but has played Gaudio twice. Gaudio and Mikhail are 1-1. It's worth noting that Gaudio won the clay match, and took Mikhail to 5 at Wimbledon.

2002-06-24 Wimbledon Grass R64 Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) 6-0 1-6 7-6(2) 5-7 6-4
2002-07-08 Gstaad Clay R16 Gaston Gaudio (ARG) 7-6(3) 6-4


I could go on and compare with Chela and Coria, but I've written enough already. That, and I don't think that they will get to play over Canas, Gaudio, or David. Unless of course, they kick some major butt from now until April.



In other words, Russia will have much fresher doubles team, and much fresher players on reverse singles days ( really, having good bench is really good ). It is likely that Davydenko,the latest hero, will sit out the whole tie, and probably will play a dead rubber, which will be played after Safin clinched the tie for Russia on the third day 3:1..:), :p
You are assuming of course, that David will play doubles AND singles. I don't think that he will. If Canas is healthy, your looking at Canas and Gaudio on day one. David will likely play the doubles with Lucas, and if maybe play day 3.

I assume that David and Lucas will play again, going on the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" theory. Until they lose, why break them up? I do think that they should play together in a couple tournaments to warm up for this, but we'll see if that happens or not.

If my theory pans out, the Argentine pair NOT the Russian pair, will be the freshest.

Davydenko might be sitting out, but when you consider that Argentina will have top 30 players who didn't even make the bench, that doesn't sound so impressive ;)

You also have to factor in that not only are the Russians playing Argentina. Not only are they playing Argentina on clay. They are playing Argentina IN Argentina. That is huge, and it will sway in favour of the Argentine squad. Gaudio has never lost a match at home.

If I was a betting woman, I'd say right now that it will be 3-2 Argentina, with Gaudio the hero ;)
 

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This answers my question from above. Of course you are making the assumption that one of them will have an "easy" singles match in order for the doubles team to be "fresh".
I didn't say "fresh". I said "fresher". At least Russians will have a choice from two players. Besides, remember, in Moscow Argentinian team was very rested, neither of them played singles, while Russians had tough matches on Friday - especially injured Kafelnikov, who had a fivesetter. And, needless to deny, that played a role in 30-something-th games of the fifth set in doubles.

Although I don't put *too* much stock into head to heads, I do believe it would be somewhat foolish to take Gaudio lightly. Surely Marat won't.
Of course, and that's bad news for Gaudio and Argentina. Marat didn't take the French lightly, look what he's done to them. Yes, Gaudio never lost at home, but looking at the list of his opponents, do you seriously think that anyone of them, except for Ljubicic would have a shot at Gaudio on clay anywhere, not just in Argentine. He never played a claycourt opponent of Safin/Youzhnyi caliber at home, and you don't know how he will respond to pressure. E.g., in 80s then young and unknown Chesnokov won the five set fifth rubber against Argentina in Argentina against much higher ranked opponent..

As for David - Marat totally owns the head to head. But one of the matches was rather close, notabley that match was on clay. Although I would pick Marat over David on clay at full health, I wouldn't pick a straight set "easy" match. David is much better than he was at Roland Garros.
Still, it will be up to Marat. The key word to this tie and all rubbers for Argentina will be "pressure". This generation is yet to play against such a serious and experienced claycourt opposition as Russia at home. Russians are very experienced, untroubled by crowd and won two away matches in a row on clay - that should count for something, don't you think? And in April Russia is likely to have its best ever team selection.

Versus Canas (who I suspect will be playing if he's healthy), Marat is trailing the head to head 1-2. He hasn't taken a set off Canas since 1999, when he won their first encounter. None of their matches were on clay, mind you.
If I knew that we have to face Canas of last summer, I would have considered Argentinians favourites in this tie. But I am quite sure that Canas won't play. He doesn't play Chile. He doesn't play Buenos-Aires, he doesn't play Acapulco. Even if he is "healthy" on paper by then, they won't put a player who played rather badly recently and isn't match tough into live DC rubber. Honestly, I don't even think he will be selected. Gaudio is there. David is there. Arnold is there. Who will be the fourth - I'd bet on someone from Coria, Chela, Squillari or even Puerta, rather than on Canas..
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think the team will be Nalbandian and Gaudio for singles and Canas and Arnold in doubles.

Argentina will win 4-1.

YS you forget about the HOME CROWD, WE ARE TOO POWERFULL TOO. YOU WILL KNOW ABOUT IT ON APRIL;) :D
 

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YS you forget about the HOME CROWD, WE ARE TOO POWERFULL TOO. YOU WILL KNOW ABOUT IT ON APRIL
Have you seen the French home crowd in December?

And remember, experienced opponent won't care about crowd or noise, but if you are inexperienced, your home crowd will triple the pressure that you are going to feel.. I remember DC finals 1994, 1995.. It wasn't experienced Edberg or Sampras who succumbed to the noisiest in the world Russian crowd, it was relatively inexperienced Kafelnikov, who was no able to play at his best, because he succumbed to pressure and didn't perform as expected.

BTW, I really hope it will be played in a big city, and I will check whether I can get tickets for the match. Maybe I'll fly over there to see the tie.. But then, I am not sure that the local crowd is civilised enough for me not to worry about my own safety if I am to cheer for Russia in there.. For France or Czhech Republic, that would be not a question, but I am not sure about Argentina.. What do you think, Lucas?
 

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Oh come on, they aren't going to throw chairs at you - it's not Chile ;) (kidding, kidding - or, am I?)

Although I don't think that the crowd is going to psych out Safin or Kafelnikov, it will be interesting to see how Mikhail copes with it.

I doubt that it will have a negative effect on any of the Argentine players, if that is what you are suggesting ys. They've dealt with it before - it's their home crowd. It will spur them on.
 

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They've dealt with it before - it's their home crowd.
They've never had a tight tie at home, and that's what they are going to have..

I am afraid that this awesome tie could be ruined by some unlucky injuries..
 

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They've never had a tight tie at home, and that's what they are going to have..
True, but I still think that it will work for them, not against them.
We'll see :) Hopefully I'm right ;)


I am afraid that this awesome tie could be ruined by some unlucky injuries..
I had thought about this too. With everybody at full health, this could be the best quarterfinal tie. A couple injuries later and we have Argentina-Germany, or Australia-England :mad:
 

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And it doesn't seem that I am going to there. The only my chance was to go there using Delta Skymiles which I have plenty, but Delta doesn't seem to fly over there, and neither does Aeromexico, so my miles are of no use, and I won't fly for cash..:(
 
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