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22 February 2011

World Group nominations announced


NEWS ARTICLE

Photo: Srdjan StevanovicMarin Cilic (CRO)

The ITF has announced the team nominations for the upcoming Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group first round ties, taking place on 4-6 March.

SERBIA v INDIA

Venue: Spens Sports Center, Novi Sad, Serbia
Surface: Indoor hard

Serbia begins its title defence against India and, in the absence of Novak Djokovic, is led by Viktor Troicki, who reached hero status at last year’s final when he clinched the deciding point against France. Janko Tipsarevic is also expected to play singles, while doubles specialist Nenad Zimonjic gives the side a well-balanced look.

India is missing the experienced doubles duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, leaving a young line-up to face the difficult task of taking on the reigning champions on away soil. Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna will need to be on top form for the visitors.

Serbia
Novak Djokovic
Viktor Troicki
Janko Tipsarevic
Ilija Bozoljac - replacing Nenad Zimonjic
Nenad Zimonjic
Bogdan Obradovic (captain)

India
Somdev Devvarman
Karan Rastogi - replacing Leander Paes
Yuki Bhambri - replacing Mahesh Bhupathi
Rohan Bopanna
Shiv Prakash Misra (captain)

SWEDEN v RUSSIA

Venue: Borashallen, Boras, Sweden
Surface: Indoor hard

Sweden’s challenge is spearheaded by world No. 4 Robin Soderling, who has become the lynchpin of his nation’s team in recent times. Joachim Johansson will take on the role as second singles player, hoping to put his injury problems to one side and rediscover the form that saw him reach the Top 10 in 2005. Simon Aspelin and Robert Lindstedt provide doubles options for the hosts.

Russia is without its top two players, Nikolay Davydenko and Mikhail Youzhny, handing an opportunity for others to stake a claim for a regular place in the side. A solid looking team includes Teimuraz Gabashvili, Igor Andreev, Igor Kunitsyn and Dmitry Tursunov.

The two nations have met on five occasions and Sweden leads the series 4-1. Russia, however, won the most recent meeting, a 4-1 victory en route to lifting the trophy for the first time in 2002.

Sweden
Robin Soderling
Joachim Johansson
Simon Aspelin
Robert Lindstedt
Thomas Enqvist (captain)

Russia
Teimuraz Gabashvili
Igor Andreev
Igor Kunitsyn
Dmitry Tursunov
Shamil Tarpischev (captain)

CZECH REPUBLIC v KAZAKHSTAN

Venue: CZE Arena, Ostrava, Czech Republic
Surface: Indoor hard

Radek Stepanek is out so Tomas Berdych is left to lead Czech Republic into battle and will more than likely find himself contesting both singles and doubles. Playing the support roles are Jan Hajek, Lukas Dlouhy and 17 year-old Jiri Vesely, the current junior world No. 1 and reigning boys’ singles Australian Open champion.

Newly promoted Kazakhstan enters its first World Group tie with the same four players that sealed an impressive 5-0 whitewash against Switzerland in last year’s play-offs. Andrey Golubev and Mikhail Kukushkin, the world No. 44 and No. 62 respectively, are nominated alongside Yuriy Schukin and Evgeny Korolev.

The Czechs are former Davis Cup champions, after lifting the trophy as Czechoslovakia in 1980, and reached the final again in 2009. This is a first meeting between the two nations.

Czech Republic
Tomas Berdych
Jan Hajek
Jiri Vesely
Lukas Dlouhy - replacing Radek Stepanek
Jaroslav Navratil (captain)

Kazakhstan
Andrey Golubev
Mikhail Kukushkin
Yuri Schukin
Evgeny Korolev
Yegor Shaldunov (captain)

ARGENTINA v ROMANIA

Venue: Parque Roca, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Surface: Outdoor clay

David Nalbandian heads up Argentina’s side once again, hoping to repeat his heroics of 2010 when he won the deciding fifth rubber in back-to-back ties in the first round and quarterfinals. Juan Monaco, Eduardo Schwank and veteran Juan Ignacio Chela are also named, but former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro misses out.

Romania faces a stiff test against a team that hasn’t lost at home on clay since 1998. The experienced Victor Hanescu lines up alongside Victor Crivoi, Adrian Ungur and doubles player Horia Tecau.

Argentina is still chasing an elusive maiden Davis Cup triumph, having fallen at the final hurdle on no fewer than three occasions. The hosts are favourite to progress through this tie, but a fit and firing del Potro will probably be required if they are to mount a serious title challenge. Romania is back in the World Group after a one year absence.

Argentina
David Nalbandian
Juan Monaco
Juan Ignacio Chela
Eduardo Schwank
Tito Vazquez (captain)

Romania
Victor Hanescu
Victor Crivoi
Adrian Ungur
Horia Tecau
Andrei Pavel (captain)

CHILE v USA

Venue: Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile
Surface: Outdoor clay

USA enters a new era in Davis Cup after Patrick McEnroe called an end to his ten year reign as captain. Jim Courier has stepped into the breach and his first job has been announcing the return of former world No. 1 Andy Roddick, who sat out the 2010 season.

Roddick is part of strong side that includes John Isner and the world’s top doubles pair, Bob and Mike Bryan. Sam Querrey is also part of a five-man squad, but Mardy Fish, who was the hero of USA’s 3-1 victory over Colombia in last year’s play-offs, ruled himself out due to injury.

Despite playing at home on clay, Chile is the underdog for this tie, heightened by the fact that top player Fernando Gonzalez is still injured. Nicolas Massu provides the experienced head, although he’s been struggling for form of late and has seen his ranking drop to No. 228. Paul Capdeville, Jorge Aguilar and Davis Cup debutant Guillermo Rivera-Aranguiz make up the home side.

Chile
Paul Capdeville
Jorge Aguilar
Nicolas Massu
Guillermo Rivera
Hans Gildemeister (captain)

USA
Andy Roddick
John Isner
Bob Bryan
Mike Bryan
Jim Courier (captain)

BELGIUM v SPAIN

Venue: Spiroudome, Charleroi, Belgium
Surface: Indoor hard

Spain is back to full strength and captain Albert Costa has the luxury of naming three singles players ranked inside the Top 10. World No. 1 Rafael Nadal tops the billing with David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez. The last time these four players got together they lifted the trophy by beating Czech Republic 5-0 in the 2009 final.

Belgium’s captain Reginald Willems is also able to pick its strongest team, although Xavier Malisse is the only Belgian player currently ranked inside the Top 100. The experienced Olivier Rochus, whose brother Christophe has now retired from professional tennis, has been named alongside Steve Darcis and Ruben Bemelmans.

Spain has been crowned Davis Cup champion four times and is one of the favourites to lift the trophy again with Nadal back in the frame. Belgium, a former finalist back in 1904, hasn’t defeated Spain since 1956.

Belgium
Xavier Malisse
Olivier Rochus
Steve Darcis
Ruben Bemelmans
Reginald Willems (captain)

Spain
Rafael Nadal
David Ferrer
Fernando Verdasco
Feliciano Lopez
Albert Costa (captain)

CROATIA v GERMANY

Venue: Dom Sportova, Zagreb, Croatia
Surface: Indoor hard

Croatia welcomes back the big serving Ivo Karlovic, after the 6’10” player missed last year’s quarterfinal exit against Serbia through injury. World No. 21 Marin Cilic once again leads the team that also includes Ivan Dodig and Antonio Veic.

Germany currently boasts two players inside the Top 50, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Florian Mayer, making the visitors a force to be reckoned with in this year’s competition. Captain Patrik Kuhnen’s additional nominations are Philipp Petzschner and Christopher Kas.

Home advantage has proved crucial whenever these two nations have met in the past. Germany leads the series 2-1, with the most recent victory coming at the same stage of the competition in 2007.

Croatia
Marin Cilic
Ivan Dodig
Ivo Karlovic
Antonio Veic
Goran Prpic (captain)

Germany
Philipp Kohlschreiber
Florian Mayer
Philipp Petzschner
Christopher Kas
Patrick Kuhnen (captain)

AUSTRIA v FRANCE

Venue: Vienna Airport Hangar 3, Vienna, Austria
Surface: Indoor clay

Austria will be sniffing an upset against last year’s beaten finalists, as the in-form Jurgen Melzer, currently ranked No. 10 in the world, leads the challenge. Veteran Stefan Koubek has been recalled with Martin Fisher and Oliver Marach also featuring for the hosts.

France is without the injured Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet, leaving captain Guy Forget to dig deeper into the vast pool of talent at his disposal. Julien Benneteau, Michael Llodra, Gilles Simon and Jeremy Chardy are the chosen four.

Austria has never defeated France in seven previous attempts, but benefitting from home advantage and with the visitors missing some top players, this could be the moment to get off the mark.

Austria
Jurgen Melzer
Martin Fischer
Stefan Koubek
Oliver Marach - replacing Julian Knowle
Gilbert Schaller (captain)

France
Julien Benneteau
Michael Llodra
Gilles Simon
Jeremy Chardy - replacing Richard Gasquet
Guy Forget (captain)

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SRB Flag Serbia v India IND Flag 4-6 Mar 2011 View details

SWE Flag Sweden v Russia RUS Flag 4-6 Mar 2011 View details

CZE Flag Czech Republic v Kazakhstan KAZ Flag 4-6 Mar 2011 View details

ARG Flag Argentina v Romania ROU Flag 4-6 Mar 2011 View details

CHI Flag Chile v USA USA Flag 4-6 Mar 2011 View details

BEL Flag Belgium v Spain ESP Flag 4-6 Mar 2011 View details

CRO Flag Croatia v Germany GER Flag 4-6 Mar 2011 View details

AUT Flag Austria v France FRA Flag 4-6 Mar 2011 View details

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    • Marin Cilic (CRO)Rafael Nadal (ESP)
    • Robin Soderling (SWE)Tomas Berdych (CZE)
     
 
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