Davis Cup set for decisive Doubles weekend

An exciting day of tennis is expected at the Davis Cup as the doubles pairings take to the court to battle it out. And on a day where three of the four ties are level, today’s matches could be crucial in deciding the semi final line-up. Let’s take a look at today’s order of play:

France 1-1 Italy

There was no shortage of drama in yesterday’s singles rubbers, as both Lucas Pouille and Fabio Fognini served up excellent and dramatic victories for their respective countries. Pouille opened up play and almost let a two set lead slip, before sealing a 6-3 6-2 4-6 3-6 6-1 victory over Andreas Seppi.

Fabio Fognini levelled the score after coming from behind to defeat Jeremy Chardy in over three and a half hours. The Italian dug deep to win 6-7 6-2 6-2 6-3 leaving it nicely poised for today’s doubles.

Today’s current line-up sees Simone Bolelli/Paolo Lorenzi take on Nicolas Mahut/Pierre Hugues Herbert, although it wouldn’t be surprising to see Fognini take to the court in the doubles. The French doubles pairing are specialists and should have enough in the locker to see the defending champions take a 2-1 lead into Sunday’s showdown. But then this is the Davis Cup, and with a loud Italian crowd anything can happen.

Prediction: France

Spain 1-1 Germany

Yesterday saw the long-awaited return of Rafael Nadal as he helped his Spain side level up the tie against Germany. Despite serving eight double faults and being a little rusty, Nadal still comfortably defeated Philip Kohlschreiber 6-2 6-2 6-3, after Alexander Zverev took early charge against David Ferrer.

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Today’s doubles could go either way. Spain have the experienced duo of Feliciano and Marc Lopez, whilst Germany can call on Jan-Lennard Struff and Tim Puetz if they require. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a great match and will provide more drama ahead of Sunday’s fourth rubber between Zverev and Nadal.

Prediction: Spain

Croatia 1-1 Kazakhstan

Who saw this scoreline coming after day one? Not me, that’s for sure, but Kazakhstan always seem to find a way in the Davis Cup. Friday opened with an expected dominant display from Marin Cilic, who eased past Dimitry Popko 6-2 6-1 6-2, but what followed was a surprise as Mikhail Kukushkin used his experience to out-manouvre Borna Coric in four sets.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Croatia went for a Cilic/Ivan Dodig pairing, after their dramatic comeback victory over Canada last time out. Kazakhstan’s selection will be the more interesting one. Last time out against Switzerland, they fielded Timur Khabibulin and Aleksandr Nedovyesov in an ultimately successful pairing. With the Croatian backing, it’s hard to look past a home victory, but Kazakhstan will be out to cause an upset.

Prediction: Croatia

USA 2-0 Belgium

As expected, USA had little trouble against Belgium in Nashville. Miami Open champion John Isner overcame Joris de Loore in four, while Sam Querrey backed Isner’s victory up by defeating Ruben Bemelmans in straight sets.

With no David Goffin, it was always going to be tough for the visitors and their task is a whole lot harder as the US send out Jack Sock and Ryan Harrison as their doubles team. Expect to see Belgium send out de Loore and Belemans, who surely hold the key if Belgium are to mount an unlikely comeback.

Prediction: USA

Roland Garros
Passion Leica @ Flickr
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