April 7, 2013 by Parveer Mann
As college basketball marches to the end of its annual madness, the 2013 Davis Cup has now set its own version of the final four.
Canada, Serbia, Czech Republic and Argentina each remain and have a shot at winning the longest running annual team event in all of sports.
Canada over Italy
I’ve written before about the meteoric rise of Canadian tennis on the Davis Cup stage and this past weekend was no different. By defeating Italy 3-1, Canada reaches its first ever semifinal and propels the nation into uncharted tennis waters. The tie featured emphatic wins by Milos Raonic and an emotional and thrilling five set doubles rubber. It will be interesting to see if this team can continue this dream run in September.
Serbia over USA
It never gets old seeing Novak Djokovic turn on the switch and absolutely run someone off the court (even after turning his ankle early). In his matchup with Sam Querrey, he dropped the second set and calmly responded winning the next two sets 6-1 6-0. The Serbian team has the most top-heavy talent but it was the unlikely pairing of Zimonjic and Bozoliac who had the most impressive win over the legendary Bryan brothers. This team will be a tough out especially if they can do so playing in Serbia.
Czech Republic over Kazakhstan
There were two things going in Kazakhstan’s favour going into this tie, home court advantage and the Czech’s being without Tomas Berdych. Those factors alone had some believing that Kazakhstan was primed for an upset and an unlikely spot in the semis. However, Lukas Rosol stepped up in a big way for the Czechs and recorded his best results since shocking Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon last year.
Argentina over France
After pushing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to a fifth set in the opening rubber, I expected we had seen the best of Carlos Berlocq this weekend. Fueled by the home atmosphere, he absolutely proved me wrong with a gutsy win over 13th ranked Gilles Simon in the final rubber. I wonder if the decision for Gilles Simon over Richard Gasquet (unspecified injury) proved to be damaging solely based on their performances this year. But, the French really have no excuses for losing this one especially with Delpo out.
Highlights of the Tennis Weekend
Two matches happening about 500 miles apart with nearly identical box scores deserve to be recognized as the highlights of the weekend. Both Canada and Serbia won their doubles rubber 15-13 in the fifth set against Italy and the USA, respectively. The eerie part of this equation is one match took 4 hours and 27 minutes and the other 4 hours and 23 minutes!