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06 September 2013

Kohlschreiber confident ahead of Brazil showdown


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Photo: Paul ZimmerPhilipp Kohlschreiber (GER)

Philipp Kohlschreiber is feeling confident ahead of Germany’s Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-off tie against Brazil, which takes place in Ulm/Neu-Ulm on 13-15 September.

“We are a little bit in the favourite role and we know we have good chances to make three points at the weekend,” said the world No. 25. “It’s also good that we play at home - we could choose the court which will favour our players. We had to go to Argentina last time so another big flight wouldn’t be that nice.”

Kohlschreiber, who will be playing in his 12th tie for Germany, will lead the quartet.

“I will be the No. 1 player so I will try to do my best for team as the leader. I will help the team as best as I can and hopefully we will do well. At the weekend everyone has to do their best and we will see what the results will be.”

The Germans will be hoping to avoid the kind of result they experienced the last time they faced a South American team – when they suffered a 5-0 hammering against Argentina in the first round this year. At least that meeting has given them an inkling as to what to expect against Brazil.

“It’s going to always be tough especially against teams from South America as they always stick together and they have good team spirit. They will fight until the last point is over,” he said.

Kohlschreiber is right to be wary of Brazil after they pushed USA all the way in their first round meeting in Jacksonville in February this year. The hosts established a 2-0 lead after the opening day but an inspired doubles victory for Bruno Soares and Marcelo Melo over the Bryan brothers ignited Brazil and created a momentum which Thomaz Bellucci was able to prolong with a five-set win over John Isner on Sunday.

With the scores level at two-all it was up to Thiago Alves to try and create one of the biggest upsets in Davis Cup history. Unfortunately, despite securing the opening set of the final rubber against Sam Querrey, he couldn’t produce the goods and USA triumphed.

“They have a strong doubles team, maybe stronger than ours because they continually played in the past together and have had great success but we have two or three very good singles players,” admitted Kohlschreiber. “Bellucci is the best player they have in singles. He has had very good results, maybe he has struggled this year a little bit, he has dropped his ranking but overall he is a good quality player.”

Kohlschreiber was forced to retire with a left hamstring injury during the first rubber of the first round against Argentina while embroiled in a five-set tussle with Carlos Berlocq and is hoping for a more positive Davis Cup showing this time.

“My last Davis Cup tie wasn’t great – getting injured, but it’s nice to play for your country,” he said. “On the other hand you have tension but I really enjoy it. I have had great moments with Davis Cup, with the team, so I am really looking forward to the tie.”

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