2015 Davis Cup Round-Up, Murray, Darcis, and Sock Post Key Performances

Missed the Davis Cup? We go through all of the results from the World Group Semi Finals, plus every single tie from the World Group Playoffs.

As a Brit, I think there’s only one place to start with this.

On Sunday, Andy Murray sealed Great Britain’s progression to the Davis Cup Final.

2015 Davis Cup Round-Up, Murray, Darcis, and Sock Post Key Performances

Murray sealed victory with a straight sets win over Bernard Tomic 7-5 6-3 6-2; to the utter delirium of the Glasgow crowd. “Yeah well obviously delighted to get through, we knew this was going to be an incredibly difficult match to win,” said Murray to Annabel Croft court side. “Everyone played their part in the team and glad to finish it off today.” The pivotal doubles rubber had been won the day before, sparking – perhaps prematurely – jubilant celebrations. However there was no such complacency in Andy Murray’s performance. Dan Evans and Thanasi Kokkinakis played out the dead rubber at 3-1, with the Australian providing some consolation triumphing 7-5 6-4 under a shortened best of three sets format.

Meanwhile in the other Semi Final, Belgium took on Argentina. Earlier on in the draw, both countries had profited from the absence of some of the top players – with Argentina defeating a Serbian team with no Djokovic, and Belgium beating Switzerland who were sorely missing the presence of Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka. David Goffin opened proceedings in the Belgians favour, defeating Federico Delbonis in three sets. Argentina levelled up though through Leonardo Mayer, and then snatched the lead with a victory in the doubles. Goffin responded with intent, demolishing Diego Schwartzman 6-3 6-2 6-1 and meaning the tie would be decided by the final singles rubber.

Steve Darcis (the man who you may recall dramatically defeated Rafael Nadal back at Wimbledon 2013) faced Federico Delbonis, in perhaps the biggest match of either’s respective careers. Darcis managed to close it out in four sets, 6-4 2-6 7-5 7-6(3), after flittering away two match points on his own serve at 5-4. The victory means that Belgium will host Great Britain, and on a court of their choice. If clay is chosen as the surface, then Murray could be forced out of the hard court based ATP World Tour Finals, that only finish four days before the tie is scheduled.

And think it’s a long time since Britain appeared in the Davis Cup final? Belgium haven’t been there since 1904!

Most notably in the World Group Playoffs. The Czech Republic defeated India 3-1 to remain in the World Group, with India’s only rubber surprisingly coming from a singles victory – where #164 Somdev Devvarman executed an impressive upset, 7-6(3) 6-4 6-3, over #40 Jiri Vesely – rather than from the doubles, where they boast a formidable pair in Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna. Switzerland also sealed their World Group spot for another year, beating the Netherlands 4-1 in a tie that saw Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka make their Davis Cup return. The latter returned with a tightly contested five set win over Thiemo De Bakker. Federer dispatched both singles opponents with relative ease, but was defeated in the doubles with his partner Marco Chiudinelli, 6-7(7) 6-4 6-4 4-6 1-6 to De Bakker and Matwe Middelkoop.

Italy defeated Russia 4-1, with Fabio Fognini winning three rubbers. Russia earned their spot in the Playoff with a historic comeback win over Spain after trailing 2-0. 17 year old Andrey Rublev completed the win with a remarkably composed performance considering the circumstances, but was not able to repeat such heroics this time around, losing to Fognini 6-7(8) 2-6 2-6. The Italian women may have been receiving the plaudits recently after Vinci and Pennetta’s remarkable runs to the US Open final, but the men look in good stead to launch a genuine Davis cup title challenge next year.

Meanwhile, USA played a potentially tricky tie away in Uzbekistan. And the opening match fulfilled this prophecy, with Denis Istomin edging it out over Steve Johnson in five sets. However Jack Sock, in what was his Davis Cup debut, recovered the 1-0 deficit with a 7-5 6-3 6-2 win over Farrukh Dustov. He then sealed victory for the Americans after Johnson and Querrey eased through the doubles, prevailing over Istomin 6-2 2-6 6-4 6-4. This win made Sock the first American since John McEnroe in the 1978 final to win two live singles matches in a Davis Cup debut. A pretty promising statistic, seeing as McEnroe went on to win the Davis Cup not only that year, but also a further four times. A full American team, featuring John Isner and Sock, also promises much for next year’s Davis Cup campaign.

Kei Nishikori bounced back from his US Open disappointment, leading Japan to victory against Colombia. Nishikori defeated Santiago Giraldo and Alejandro Falla in straight sets, and 22-year-old Taro Daniel dismantled Falla 7-6(3) 6-3 6-2 after edging it out in the opening set, to win the tie 3-2. Germany outplayed the Dominican Republic, winning 4-1 and not dropping a single set after Dustin Brown lost the opening match 4-6 7-5 6-7(3) 6-7(5) against Victor Estrella Burgos. It was the Dominican Republic’s first ever appearance in the World Group Playoffs, and their inexperience was sadly evident.

Despite Marin Cilic’s absence, Croatia upset Brazil 3-1, with Borna Coric winning both his singles rubbers, and Ivan Dodig and Franko Skugor surprisingly battling through to beat Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares 6-0 3-6 7-6(2) 7-6(3), ranked #5 and #21 in the world for doubles. The final match of the World Group Playoffs saw two Group I teams face each other – Slovakia and Poland. In form Martin Klizan took both of his singles rubbers and pegged the Poles back to 2-2. However, Michal Przysiezny routinely defeated higher ranked Norbert Gombos 6-3 6-4 6-4 to promote Poland to the summit of the Davis Cup.

Poland defeated Britain back in 2009 in the Davis Cup, consigning GB to the Europe/Africa Zone Group II. Britain could be facing Poland once again next year, but this time in the World Group and – British tennis fans will be hoping – after a British Davis Cup victory.

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