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05 December 2010

As it happened: Serbia wins the Davis Cup


GAME WATCH

By 

  • Ed Pearson

Photo: Srdjan StevanovicViktor Troicki (SRB)

Well, it's all over for another year. I hope you enjoyed our coverage. We enjoyed bringing it to you. It was a fabulous final and Serbia are worthy champions. See you next year.

The presentation ceremony is underway and the French team receive their awards from ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti before the champions, Serbia, get their moment in the limelight.

Serbian Tennis Federation's president Slobodan Zivojinovic promised he would shave his head if Serbia won the Davis Cup and sure enough the players sit him down and take some clippers to his head. He looks like a new man! Djokovic also doesn't get off lightly with a very fetching cross shorn into his hair by Janko Tipsarevic.

What an amazing Davis Cup tie this has proved to be. It has had it all. Drama, excitement, joy and sadness. For Serbia, it's a first Davis Cup win in their first Final. The team are on the court hugging each other and the crowd are on their feet shouting for all of their players. You have to feel for Michael Llodra. He is in tears with the French team surrounding him. Now for the presentation...


SERBIA WINS DAVIS CUP!

GAME, SET, MATCH - SERBIA 6-2 6-2 6-3

Viktor Troicki 6-2 6-2 6-3 Michael Llodra*
Amazing scenes here as Troicki earns two break points. Llodra can only muster a poor second serve but both players look cagey and Troicki pushes the first one wide before winning the match and with it the Davis Cup.

Viktor Troicki* 6-2 6-2 5-3 Michael Llodra
Troicki puts the last service game behind him with massive first serves. He holds with the loss of one point to force Llodra to serve to stay in this match. Huge pressure on the Frenchman now.

Viktor Troicki 6-2 6-2 4-3 Michael Llodra*
The French finally have something to cheer about as Llodra holds easily again. A combination of Llodra looking more relaxed and Troicki tensing up meant that both those games went the way of France.

Viktor Troicki* 6-2 6-2 4-2 Michael Llodra
Troicki, quite understandably, looks a little bit nervous serving in this game. Any mistake Llodra makes is met with huge cheers from the home crowd. The Frenchman takes the game to deuce as he looks to be hitting the ball with less tension in his body and he even manages a rare break of the Serbian serve. Could this be the start of the greatest comeback ever?

Viktor Troicki 6-2 6-2 4-1 Michael Llodra*
Llodra looks deflated here. Facing two more break points at 15-40, he walks around the court like a broken man. He saves the first break point with a good volley, but serves up a double fault to all but hand this match to Viktor Troicki. The crowd sense the Davis Cup could be coming to Serbia and go crazy.

Viktor Troicki* 6-2 6-2 3-1 Michael Llodra
Fair play to Viktor Troicki. Llodra might not be at his best in this match but Troicki is and he also has the support of some 15,000 fans on his side. Llodra pushes the Serbian to 30-30  but Troicki holds for a 3-1 lead in this third set. 

Viktor Troicki 6-2 6-2 2-1 Michael Llodra*
Is it too little too late from Llodra? He finally manages to hold comfortably for one of the first times in this match. It looks like a long way back from here.

Viktor Troicki* 6-2 6-2 2-0 Michael Llodra
Double faults are contagious in this place. That's what comes with the added pressure of playing for your country. Troicki hits back-to-back doubles to gift Llodra an immediate break-back opportunity, but the Frenchman can't find a way through today. Troicki takes the set after three deuces and there's lots of hitting of the heart from all and sundry. Passionate scenes here.

Viktor Troicki 6-2 6-2 1-0 Michael Llodra*
Llodra, Forget and the whole French team leave the court between sets. Presumably they are trying to instill some belief in the Frenchman. It might be worth mentioning to him that France came back from two sets down yesterday in the doubles. He drops serve again though, losing it in the worst possible way with a double fault.


SECOND SET - SERBIA 6-2

Viktor Troicki* 6-2 6-2 Michael Llodra
Lady Luck is shining down on Serbia today. Two net cords in this game go the way of the hosts and Troicki finds himself with a set point at 40-30. He fires down a big serve which Llodra hits into the net to lift the crowd, his team and himself in this Final. What a big game performance from the younf Serbian.

Viktor Troicki 6-2 5-2 Michael Llodra*
Two wonderful passing shots by Troicki and the crowd are out of their seats again. At 30-30, umpire Enric Molina has difficulty in keeping the crowd quiet. The Serbian has yet another break point opportunity after he hits yet another passing shot. Llodra persists at the net and puts away the volley to take it to deuce. The longest game of the match by far ebbs and flows with neither player able to win two consecutive points. Eventually Troicki prevails when Llodra hits long. If that's not a turning point then I don't know what is. Serbia look good here.

Viktor Troicki* 6-2 4-2 Michael Llodra
Troicki consolidates the break to lead 4-2 in this second set. So far the day is going perfectly for Serbia.

Viktor Troicki 6-2 3-2 Michael Llodra*
Novak Djokovic is back on the bench with the rest of his team. He looks like he still has plenty of adrenaline pumping through his veins after his victory this afternoon. Probably not as much as Viktor Troicki, who breaks his opponent at the second time of asking when he hits a low shot to Llodra's forehand. The Frenchman nets to go a break down having only just been a break up himself.

Viktor Troicki* 6-2 2-2 Michael Llodra
Troicki holds easily to draw the scores level in this second set. Novak's dad is on his feet, as are most of the crowd, in support of their countryman.

Viktor Troicki 6-2 1-2 Michael Llodra*
Troicki gives himself a chance to break straight back as Llodra hits a forehand wide. The Frenchman gifts Serbia the break back with poor placement of another volley.

Viktor Troicki* 6-2 0-2 Michael Llodra
Llodra's backhand is going through the gears. He forces a break point and converts when Troicki hits a forehand long. Staying back seems to be a much better tactic for the Frenchman. This isn't going to be as easy for either player.

Viktor Troicki 6-2 0-1 Michael Llodra*
Llodra's touch at the net has really deserted him. Gael Monfils sprints back to the sideline to support his teammate and he must be a lucky charm as Llodra proceeds to take first blood in this second set.


FIRST SET - SERBIA 6-2

Viktor Troicki* 6-2 Michael Llodra
Troicki out of the blocks quickly to lead 30-0 but a double fault at 15-30 gives Llodra the chance to get right back in it. The Serbian looked tight serving for the second set in the doubles yesterday but he puts that behind him with another fabulous passing shot that hands him his third set point which he duly converts.

Viktor Troicki 5-2 Michael Llodra*
Troicki continues to ask questions of Llodra at the net. Mistakes from the Frenchman hand his opponent two set point chances but he finally holds serve for just the second time to keep his hopes in this first set alive.

Viktor Troicki* 5-1 Michael Llodra
I'm not sure what the song is, but a very lively number keeps being played over the loud speakers between the change of ends. It seems to have the word Serbia in the chorus. The fans are right to be singing with the score at 5-1 in this first set after another comfortable hold by Troicki.

Viktor Troicki 4-1 Michael Llodra*
Mind you, Llodra has only recently just reached his first ATP-1000 semifinal in Paris. He beat the hero of the hour, Novak Djokovic, en route to his best-ever result in a Masters Series event. He probably wishes he was back there as he gets broken again to give Serbia a huge advantage in the opening exchanges of this match.

Viktor Troicki* 3-1 Michael Llodra
Troicki further reinforces his captain's decision to play him in what is surely the biggest game of his career. He holds serve despite being taken to 30-30. The Serbian won his first ATP World Tour title in October so he's in the best form of his life.

Viktor Troicki 2-1 Michael Llodra*
Every point for Serbia is being greeted with an eruption of noise and drumming by the fans. I've never heard anything like it at a tennis match. The players between them have so far made three unsuccessful challenges - maybe they're just wishing the ball in! Troicki gets his own chance to break and does so with a solid passing shot at the first time of asking. Game. On.

Viktor Troicki* 1-1 Michael Llodra
I thought it was a huge call by Serbian captain Bogdan Obradovic to bring in Viktor Troicki for this crucial fifth rubber. The Serb looked tight on the big points in the doubles rubber yesterday and Llodra instantly plays on those memories by earning two break points. Troicki saves both to take the score to deuce before confidently hitting a forehand winner to make his mark on this first set.

Viktor Troicki 0-1 Michael Llodra*
After going 0-30 down on his serve, Llodra wins the next four points to settle his nerves. The players must be able to feel the energy in the crowd. It has been four years I think since the last decisive fifth rubber in a Davis Cup Final when Russia defeated Argentina in 2006. Let's hope this proves to be a cracker.

The players have finished their warm up and we're about to get underway in what will be a tense final... I can't wait.


So it all comes down to this. Two men. One match. The chance to write their name in the history books and earn legend status in their respective countries.

Both players looked nervous when they played in yesterday's epic doubles rubber. They now have to carry the weight their country's hopes and expectations.

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SRB Flag Serbia v France FRA Flag 3-5 Dec 2010 View details

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  • More photos

    • Viktor Troicki (SRB)Michael Llodra (FRA)
    • Viktor Troicki (SRB)Janko Tipsarevic and Novak Djokovic (SRB)
     
 
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