Davis Cup Semi Final Preview: World Group

It’s hotting up in the Davis Cup with some great ties for the semifinals. It’s the business end of the tournament with some important World Group Play-offs as well to consider.

Let’s break it down:

Serbia vs. Argentina  

Team Serbia: Novak Djokovic, Viktor Troicki, Janko Tipsarevic and Nenad Zimonjic
Team Argentina:
Juan Martin Del Potro, David Nalbandian, Juan Monaco, Juan Ignacio Chela

PREDICTION: Serbia at Home will be a big ask for the Argentines. The 3 Juans join a resurgent Nalbandian so I anticipate a great tie if Djokovic and Tipsarevic are jet-lagged from their US Open exertions. Doubles behemoth Zimonjic should be the deciding factor so I give Serbia a 3-2 win.

Spain vs. France

Team Spain: Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano López
Team France: 
 Jo- Wilfried Tsonga, Gilles Simon and Richard Gasquet

Pound for pound the 2 best nations in the competition. France will be without Monfils, but that still leaves a pretty impressive French team to go to bat. This one should be very close and I give the French the edge if Llodra plays in their doubles rubber. France to win 3-2


World Group Play-Offs:

Australia vs. Switzerland

Team Australia: Lleyton Hewitt, Bernard Tomic, Chris Guccione and Marinko Matosevic
Team Switzerland:
Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, Marco Chiudinelli and Stefan Bohli

If some of the fighting spirit rubs off Hewitt onto Tomic, then we have a game. Otherwise, with the Roger and Stan doubles Olympic Gold winning combo, that should do enough to win this tie, so long as Roger is not too tired after the US Open and he has to get to Australia! Switzerland to win 3-2

South Africa vs. Croatia

Team S.Africa: Kevin Anderson, Rik De Voest, Izak De Merwe, Raven Klaasen
Team Croatia: Marin Cilic, Ivan Dodig, Antonio Veic, Nikola Mektic

Ivo ‘The Lottery’ Karlovic withdrew, so this provides the Saffers with a shot. Anderson has been deadly this season, so he could win both his rubbers, but I still fancy the Croats to get the job done. Croatia to win 3-2

Japan vs. India

Team India: Somdev Devvarman, Rohan Bopana, Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi
Team Japan:
Kei Nishikori, Tatsuma Ito, Go Soeda, Yuichi Sugita.

Two emerging nations with pretty tidy teams right now. India bring more experience with Paes and Bhupati, which should be the deciding factor. India to win 3-2

Romania vs. Czech Republic

Team Romania: Adrian Ungur, Victor Crivoi, Horia Tecau, Marius Copil
Team Czech: 
Tomas Berdych, Radek Stepanek, Lukáš Rosol  & Jan Hájek

A depleted Romanian team with Hanescu bailing should allow the Czechs an easy 5-0 win.

Russia vs. Brazil

Team Russia: Mikhail Youzhny, Dmitry Tursunov, Igor Kunitsyn and Igor Andreev
Team Brazil:
Thomaz Bellucci, Ricardo Mello, Bruno Soares, Marcelo Melo

Mad Michael Youzhny returns to bolster the Russians and they look good with both Igors in form too. Russia to win 4-1

Israel vs. Canada

Team Israel: Dudi Sela, Amir Weintraub, Jonathan Erlich, Andy Ram
Team Canada:
Milos Raonic, Vasek Pospisil, Peter Polansky and Daniel Nestor

This is a sleeper hit. The doubles will be key with loads of experience on both sides in Erlich, Ram and Nestor. Raonic if fit could be the x-factor and I see a Canada win 3-2

Chile vs. Italy

Team Chile: Paul Capdeville, Jorge Aguilar, Fernando Gonzalez and Nicolas Massu
Team Italy: 
Fabio Fognini, Potito Starace, Simone Bolelli, Daniele Bracciali

A few years ago seeing Massu and Gonzalez in the team would a tough assignment, but these days their powers have waned and Italy’s have strengthened. Fognini especailly is having a great year and doubles specialist Bracciali should seal the deal for a 4-1 Italy win.

Belgium vs. Austria

Team Belgium: Xavier Malisse, Olivier Rochus, Steve Darcis, Ruben Bemelmans
Team Austria:
Jurgen Melzer, Andreas Haider-Maurer, Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya

A competitive tie. Austria bring a better doubles team but I like Rochus and Malisse especially as they are at home. I’ll take the Belgians in a 3-2 win

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