Tennis News Wire -
If the Spanish economy didn't need all the help it could get, they probably could just shut down the Spain versus Austria tie and save effort for everyone. It's over.
The first match should have been the interesting one, but it was a pretty complete fizzle. Nicolas Almagro beat Jurgen Melzer 6-2 6-2 6-4 -- which was pretty much the tie right there. But David Ferrer made it even less interesting by beating Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-1 6-3 6-1. The Austrians have a genuine shot at the doubles (although we'd consider the Spanish team slightly better). But what are the odds that they'll win both reverse singles matches?
The tie between the French and Americans is much more complicated, although that may be due more to Gilles Simon's health than anything else. The tie started with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beating Ryan Harrison 7-5 6-2 2-6 6-2. But John Isner levelled things by beating Simon 6-3 6-2 7-5. The Americans, since they have the Bryans, are favored in the doubles. Tsonga really should beat Isner in the reverse singles. So it is likely to come down to fifth match, Harrison versus Simon or whoever replaces Simon. An interesting situation to say the least.
The tie between the Czechs and the Serbs also started routinely: Tomas Berdych beat Viktor Troicki 6-2 6-1 6-2. The second match -- not so routine. Five sets, and Janko Tipsarevic had to save two match points at 6-7 -- but save them he did, and won the next two games to beat Radek Stepanek 5-7 6-4 6-4 4-6 9-7. That levels the tie -- and leaves both teams with some interesting choices. Normally the Czechs would substitute and play Berdych and Stepanek in doubles. But will Stepanek be up for doubles after that? And if he isn't, who plays? The Serbs presumably will not play Tipsarevic, so we would guess their team will be Troicki/Zimonjic.
Going in, it appeared that the Argentines had a huge advantage over Croatia. Then came word that Juan Martin del Potro had a stomach problem. Bad, but still, Argentina had David Nalbandian to open against messed-up Marin Cilic.
Cilic seems a lot less messed up these days, though. He beat Nalbandian 5-7 6-4 4-6 7-6 6-3 in a match that took more than five hours. Which meant that Argentina really had to depend on Del Potro -- or replace him.
For a guy who was supposed to be hurting, Del Potro performed just fine, beating Ivo Karlovic 6-2 7-6 6-1. So that tie is even. The interesting question now is, who plays the doubles for Argentina? Nalbandian is listed as playing with Schwank, but will they want to play Nalbandian after that?