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Russia vs Czech Republic? Who will make DC semis?

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Discussion Starter #1
This is probably the most open tie of the lot, there are a lot of interesting combinations that could be played here.

Russia : Davydenko, Youzhny, Andreev, Tursunov and Safin

Czech Republic: Berdych, Stepanek, Dlouhy, Vizner

Davydenko isn't likely to play on Day 1 coming from Miami and also he doesn't have the best record in surface transition. He will come in and play Berdych in the 4th match and he has a 6-0 H2H record, at the same time strange things happens in Davis Cup.

Will Navratil play Berdman and Stepanek on all 3 days, or will he use the doubles combo of Dlouhy/Vizner this time around?

Andreev would be favoured over Stepanek if it comes down to a live 5th match.
 

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One can never be sure with Tarpischev but I think that on Sunday if the tie is open he would go for Davydenko-Berdych and Andreev-Stepanek. If he wants to see Berdych-Andreev on Friday, he may go with Youzhny-Stepanek. For the Czechs, the question is whether they will use Berdych-Stepanek for doubles or opt for Dlouhy-Vizner.

Russia 3-2.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
You'd think on Day 1, it would be.

Berdych vs. Andreev : Berdych got the win over him last time, but Igor has won all 4 matches on clay. Both like the DC environment, though Berdych did manage to lose to Roddick indoors and on clay.

Youzhny vs. Stepanek: They are 2-2 as well, and they have already played Davis Cup on clay which Youznhy won 3-6 7-6(8) 6-7(6) 6-2 6-3
 

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^That would be my guess, then going with Youzhny/Safin or Tursunov for doubles and having Davydenko and Andreev for Sunday. I think the best hope for the Czechs is to take a 2-0 lead and then close the match by a doubles win before Sunday.
 

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I see upset Czech to win 3-2
 

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Russia has got a propensity of taking the ties down to the wire - suspense to the very end. I think Andreev is the strongest link on clay, Davydenko's motivation for the team (even if he were fully recovered after Miami) tends to be suspect & he struggles inexplicably, Youzhny is quite solid & dependable. Safin, if he is included in the team, can be counted on to step up another inspired gear in Davis Cup - given his current shaky form, he could be more effective playing doubles with Tursunov; good synergy between these two.

The Czechs have great singles and doubles players in their team and will put up a good fight. I would predict 3-2 win for Russia.
 

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Well, it's clear where my sympathies lie, but this one may be tough for us. Andreev is the first choice in singles, but a lot will depend oh how quickly Kolya can adjust. I think he's arriving from Miami today. The weekend will be the toughest time for him, jetlag-wise.
And there of course you have Marat who amazingly almost never folds playing for his country as he does playing for himself. =/ What a chap.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Discussion Starter #10

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I don't think Russia has lost a home DC tie since 1995. This will be a difficult one. They need a big weekend from Igor.
 

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I think the Czech's have a very good chance to cause an upset here.
 

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I think Russia will win this one. Tomas will probably win one match, but Radek won't.
 

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I see the Russians winning 3-2.

Berdych looks quite tired in his practice pictures from Moscow and I don't see Stepanek or Dlouhy taking the advantage over the Russians at home. Safin is working with Marc Rosset for the clay season, so his participation in the doubles should be positive. I see Andreev-Stepanek and Davydenko-Berdych as the singles. The only thing we won't see is a Youzhny-Tursunov pairing since Safin wants to play (they lost I think against the Serbs but won against the Germans)!! That being said, I'm really curious to see how things will turn out and who will be selected. :)
 

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Another 50-50 tie. I give the Czechs the edge in the doubles and Andreev in the singles. The others are all too close to call, especially considering Davydenko's problems adapting to new surfaces.
 

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mm..tricky..

it all comes down to Stepanek and Berdych playing superbly..they must overplay themselves..

if they dont, then goodbye DC tie
 

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I love the Russian team and I think I want them to win but I also want to see a closely contested SF with Argentina. I just think the Czechs stand a better chance playing at home on wood or an ice rink. Russia would need Davydenko to show up and Andreev to find his confidence again.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Discussion Starter #19
http://www.daviscup.com/news/newsarticle.asp?articleid=14558


Berdych and Stepanek seek new glory

It’s hard to believe that a proud nation such as the Czech Republic has only once been in a Davis Cup semifinal. True, it has only been in existence since 1993, and its predecessor nation Czechoslovakia was a powerhouse in the first two decades of ‘open tennis’, winning the cup in 1980. But apart from Petr Korda and Daniel Vacek’s run to the semis in 1996, when they beat the USA but then lost at home to Sweden, the Czechs haven’t made the last four.

Could that be about to change? Certainly the Czechs take their strongest side since 1996 to Moscow, with Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek likely to play on all three days of their Davis Cup by BNP Paribas quarterfinal against Russia, but ask the two players about it, and you get the same answer: “Tough!”

No argument about that. Russia has not lost a Davis Cup tie at home since Pete Sampras engineered a historic victory at the vast Olympic indoor stadium in 1995, despite being dragged off the court with cramps at the end of one his opening day’s singles. This tie will be played at the much smaller Luzhniki Stadium which only holds 6480 spectators on a clay court which will test the adjustment of the players involved, all of whom are coming from the hard courts of the ATP Masters Series tournament in Miami.

Nikolay Davydenko seems a shoo-in to play, having won the Miami title beating Rafael Nadal in a straight sets final, but Davydenko knows better than to assume his dazzling recent form will automatically earn him a singles berth. Nineteen months ago, Russia’s captain Shamil Tarpischev dropped Davydenko to the bench for a semifinal against the USA because the player had just flown in from Beijing. As he made a poor adjustment from hard to clay in last year’s quarterfinal, losing in the same Luzhniki arena to France’s Paul-Henri Mathieu, his place could well go to Igor Andreev, one of the best claycourters on today’s circuit.

Berdych, for his part, was involved in the Miami semifinal and spoke afterwards about the difficulty of adjusting from one continent to another. “It’s going to be really tough,” said the softly spoken 22-year-old. “Especially for me to get from here to home in Europe and then on to Russia, it’s not going to be easy. The atmosphere is going to be different, too. It’s going to be a team match, so I’m looking forward to that. I like all Davis Cup ties.”

Berdych immediately picked up on the difference between the two squads. “They have a lot of options,” he said. “For us, we have just two really good singles players and then it depends on the doubles. But they can put four or five players into their team, and whoever is feeling better, has better form, he can play.” Russia’s players also have relatively good records against Berdych and Stepanek.

Stepanek broke off from a cosy encounter with his girlfriend Nicole Vaidisova on a couch in the players’ lounge at Key Biscayne to concentrate briefly on Davis Cup matters. “Yes, of course, it’s going to be tough,” he said. “Our record against them is not so good. But we are a united team – I would not be playing if we were not – and we will give it our best shot.”

Stepanek was still seven years away from being born when the most unforgettable encounter between the two teams’ predecessors, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, took place in 1971 at the tennis club in Prague.

Apart from one ice hockey match, it had been the first time since Soviet tanks had rolled into Prague in 1968 that the Czechoslovak people had been able, legally, to vent their anger at their oppressors – and they made the most of it. The venue was overflowing with Czechs yelling abuse at poor Alex Metreveli and his colleagues. Trains, which passed on an elevated railway right at the back of the Centre Court, stopped momentarily, the drivers blowing their whistles and the passengers hanging out of the windows with clenched fists. Asked if he knew about it, Stepanek replied: “Yes, people have told me about it, it must have been incredible.”

It was. And if Metreveli and his colleagues found it hard to take – they were laughed at and spat upon.

The Czechoslovak No 1, Jan Kodes, was under pressure of a different kind. Kodes had won Roland Garros the week before and was physically and mentally exhausted. “But I have to win,” he said. “For the nation, I just have to win both my singles – I cannot possibly lose. They will kill me.” Kodes won, the Czechoslovak team won, and the Soviets crept home with their tails between their legs.

That was one of four victories for the Czechs against either the Soviet Union or Russia but they have lost four, too, so this upcoming duel will break the tie one way or the other. It might lack the political overtones of that encounter 37 years ago – and will be no the worse for that – but it should produce some fascinating clay court tennis.
 
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