Nov/12

18

It’s Stepanek vs. Alamgro for the Davis Cup!

Wow, it’s all come down to one match for the Davis Cup, Radek Stepanek vs. Nicolas Almagro. Berdych just lost to Ferrer in three sets to force the final match. Wish I could see this match but Cablevision eliminated The Tennis Channel. How dare you Mr. Dolan.

This is as good as it gets, have a feeing something special is going to happen in this live fifth match. Stepanek is 2-1 lifetimes vs. Almagro but Nico won their last meeting at this year’s US Open 6-4 in the fifth set, in the first round.

Talk about a war. There is no way this match will not be special and dramatic. I can’t ever recall seeing Almagro in a big pressure match though I do remember seeing a DVD of Step vs. a 17 year old Nadal in the fifth live match in a Davis Cup tie in Czech about seven or eight years ago. It was amazing that Spain put the young Rafa in such a pressure situation and Rafa prevailed 64 75 75 I think the final scoreline was. It was on an indoor carpet too.

So maybe Step will not come up big in such a vitally important situation. Didn’t Step also lose a key Davis Cup match last year or the year before to Tipsarevic in the fifth set?

I’m stating to get excited to see this, let me go find a livestream, enjoy this one people, I know it’s going to be a classic…

Live discussion…

FYI Step won in Rome vs. Nico in 2005, 46 64 62 and he won in 2010 Paris Masters 76 64.

14 comments

  • Steve · November 18, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I saw a good chunk of the Ferrer/Berdych match. I didn’t not expect to see such a dominant performance over a fellow top 10 player. Good match to prove the home crowd & pressure can either work against you or not help at all. In fact, Ferrer seemed to thrive in the adverse conditions. His great ability to focus was even enhanced.

    I was very disappointed that Step didn’t do the worm after his doubles victory yesterday. If he’s ever on the Champions tour they must write this into his contract.

  • Dan Markowitz · November 18, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Well, the Czechs did it. They took the cup, but I must say the partisan crowd in Prague made it very tough on the Spaniards, who looked very piqued. Almagro proved that he doesn’t have the stuff for big matches. Stepanek played well. He used the fast court to serve and volley a number of times and he utilized his flat ground strokes to keep Almagro running. But Nico has no, I mean zero, transition game. He won’t approach the net or even his a drop shot from the mid-court the way his Cup partner, Ferrer, does so well. Basically, the Spaniards have Nadal and they win their fourth cup in the last five years.

    Now, a few pertinent questions, I know Berdych was playing his third match in three days, but how does he lose 2,3 and 5 to Ferrer? Berdy is like Almagro in big matches, but of course, he’s a much better player so he gets to more of them.

    Is Stepanek the ugliest guy on the tour? Is there anybody even close in second? With his protruding lips like Homer Simpson, he looks like he’s wearing a mouth guard.

    At almost-34, Stepanek is the next best guy to Tommy Haas, showing that fitness and a big competitive hot can go a long way even into your mid-30′s.

    How the heck did Steppy bag Nicole Vaidisova, 10-11 years his junior, and a knock out beauty? I mean, is there any comparison–Radek bagging the Davis Cup for the Czechs or marrying Vaidisova?

    And finally, have you ever seen so many men in one arena who look like Ivan Lendl-lookalikes? Lendl was there, too, but every guy in the O2 had the same hair and facial expressions as Lendl. It’s like everyone in the states looking like George W. Bush.

    How

  • loreley · November 19, 2012 at 4:21 am

    He is not ugly.
    Radek & Tomas with their supporting women:

    http://the-slice.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Screen-Shot-2012-11-18-at-4.38.15-PM.png

    How is it possible that Ferrer gets never tired? He played & won the most matches this year, but he was fresh as a daisy.

  • Dan markowitz · November 19, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Alright Lorely, he’s not ugly, but he’s not exactly Christian Bale either. Hey, I love Radek. I always go to see his matches when I’m at an event. He’s got the some of the biggest Mojo on the Tour. Did you see how he reacted when Almagro dumped the last backhand in the net? It was like he just beat Roger at The Wimbledon finals.

    What does this Davis Cup victory prove? That you can win without having a Top 5 singles player or a proven and tested doubles team. You need to get the right matches at home and face a singles player like Almagro. This Czech team is not the greatest, but their doubles win was the key.

  • dan markowitz · November 19, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Another point about Davis Cup Finals, this one was a good one coming down to the final tie. The only time I went to a DCup finals, it stunk up the Portland Civic Center. Roddick played Tursunov and Blake played Youzhny–talk about bad matchups. Then the Bryan Bros destroyed whatever mediocre team the Russians posted in doubles. The carnage was over in three matches and the Russians had won a total of one set!

    You’d think in the DCup finals, the Russians could post a better singles tandem than Tursunov and Youzhny. I mean how did they get to the finals in the first place? We all know the two best tennis-playing countries now are Spain and France, and probably the U.S. is third. The Czechs have one very good singles player and doubles player and basically nothing else. Stepanek can win a singles match here and there, but he’s not going far in any slam event. Even Argentina has fallen on hard times with their talent.

    So while the Davis Cup is a nice event, and they go nuts over it in places like the Czech Republic, it’s an event where you don’t always see the best matchups. You put Nadal and Ferrer together and then Nadal and Lopez in doubles, it’s probably a 3-0 or 3-1 victory for the Spaniards.

    Why does Ferrer always seem fresh? Well, he only played six sets over three days. For a guy as fit as he is, that’s like a walk in the park.

  • Steve · November 19, 2012 at 7:48 am

    “What does this Davis Cup victory prove?” Spain can actually lose if Nadal is injured.

  • Author comment by Scoop Malinowski · November 19, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Congrats to The Czechs, Stepanek and Berdych, they are now tennis legends. No country will ever match what the Czech Republic has achieved this year – winning the Hopman Cup, Fed Cup and Davis Cup. (Don’t even try to diminish the Hopman Cup, I’ve seen it played on TV and though it has the reputation as an exo, it’s taken very seriously by the players and the fans who attend.) Jaromir Jagr one of the greatest hockey players ever posted photos celebrating this historic win on his Facebook, this is huge for the Czech Republic. BTW Nadal is resuming practice this week I read. And Yannick Noah would probably explain to you about Ferrer’s uncanny endurance.

  • Author comment by Scoop Malinowski · November 19, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Dan well don’t forget Czech Rep had to first make World Group and then win the previous three ties earlier this year. It’s almost miraculous for a country to win Davis Cup. Federer and Switzerland have never come close. Fed and Switzerland were really going for it this year but they got trounced at home by the USA. Czech Republic earned this the hard way and this monumental triumph should not be belittled in any way. Almagro beat Step 6-4 in the fifth set at US Open this year but Step found a way to turn the tables by coming up big under the pressure. This is a special moment in Czech sports history maybe the all time greatest sports moment for them.

  • Author comment by Scoop Malinowski · November 19, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Nobody saw any hint or sign of any kind of knee injury of Nadal during his five set loss to Rosol. No injury timeouts, no knee wraps, nothing. The injury seemed to pop up out of thin air days after the loss. Who knows maybe if Ferrer starts winning majors and having to play the extra matches at a higher level of intensity he will also have this same kind of “injury” that Nadal has. Let’s hope not.

  • Steve · November 19, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Totally agree Scoop. Davis Cup is soooo much better than Olympic tennis. How classic was Delpo vs. Nadal in the Spanish bull fighting stadium last time around? Truly amazing.

  • Author comment by Scoop Malinowski · November 19, 2012 at 9:54 am

    You see things in Davis Cup that you don’t at the regular tournaments Steve. Never forget seeing Acasuso and Llodra crying like boys after losing the final match for the Cup. Seeing Nalbandian with tears running down his cheeks – during the playing of the national anthems before the SF first match in Argentina three or four years ago. The Youzhny-Mathieu match where Mathieu was up two sets in France and the whole French team was already celebrating in the front row at the end of the third set – of course Youhzny came back and shocked France and poor Mathieu. I have heard stories of American players crying in the locker room after losses. Davis Cup is very special, the finals are far more electric than most finals at Wimbledon, US, French and Australian Opens.

  • Steve · November 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Ever see Haas vs. Gasquet in Germany??? The German coach actually has to get on the mic and ask the crowd to calm down. It was a thrilling 5 setter. A great display of one-handers.

  • Author comment by Scoop Malinowski · November 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    No Steve but if I had Tennis Channel and it was televised I surely would have. WHo won the match? I’d guess Haas.

  • Steve · November 19, 2012 at 2:05 pm

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