USA Await Rejuvenated GB in Davis Cup

Great Britain’s sensational victory over Croatia that saw them return to the Davis Cup World Group for the first time since 2008 means they will play the United States away in February.

An Andy Murray-inspired win against a strong Croatia line-up has now given the chance for Britain to take on Jim Courier’s US side, in a clash that sees the two original Davis Cup nations face off for the first time since 1999.

The last time Britain played at the top level of the tournament, they lost 4-1 to Argentina, but there have been some significant improvements under Leon Smith’s captaincy and the team will know they have a chance of defying the tennis odds on betfair.com, as long as Murray recovers from his back injury in time.

It will be the first time the US and GB have been drawn against each other since 1999, when the United States won a thriller 3-2. And while GB have spent time outside the World Group in recent years, the USA have featured in the first round every year since 1989, falling at the quarter-final stage in this year’s tournament at the hands of finalists, Serbia.

US captain, Courier, is not short of options when naming his team, able to call upon the likes of John Isner, Sam Querrey, Ryan Harrison, and the best doubles team in the world, the Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike. And Courier has admitted he is looking forward to the prospect of coming up against the British next February.

“Great Britain will be a challenging and exciting opponent for us,” said the former world number one, according to the betfair website. “It’s going to be memorable to have the two original Davis Cup nations face off again for the first time since the competition’s Centennial Celebration in 1999.”

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2010 Wimbledon: Longest match in history suspended

John Isner and Nicolas Mahut recorded the longest match in tennis history in terms of number of games and duration at Wimbledon on Wednesday – and they’re not even done. The 10-hour match (163 games) was suspended at 59-59 due to darkness.

From ESPN.com:

“Nothing like this will ever happen again. Ever,” Isner said in a courtside TV interview.

The first-round match had already been suspended because of fading light Tuesday night after the fourth set.

They have been playing each other for exactly 10 hours — 7 hours, 6 minutes in the fifth set alone, enough to break the full-match record of 6:33, set at the 2004 French Open.

Never before in the history of Wimbledon, which was first contested in 1877, had any match — singles or doubles, men or women — lasted more than 112 games, a mark set in 1969. Isner and Mahut have played more games than that in their fifth set, without a victor, although the American came close: He had four match points but Mahut saved each one.

Here are some stats from the epic match: Isner has 98 aces, compared to Mahut’s 95. Both of those numbers eclipsed the previous high in a match at any tournament, which was 78. There have been 881 points scored, with 612 in the fifth set. Isner has 218 winners to Mahut’s 217, while Isner has only 44 unforced errors to Mahut’s 37.

And again, they’re not even done yet. That’s crazy.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

U.S. Open Update: Roddick, Sharapova, and Safina eliminated

Isner

Competition just got interesting at the U.S. Open as Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova, and Dinara Safina have all been eliminated.

Melanie Oudin’s face was flushed from a mix of exertion and excitement and maybe even a bit of bewilderment — “Yes, I DID beat Maria Sharapova!” running through her mind — when she stepped out of the U.S. Open locker room and saw Mom.

Several hours later, on the same court, another unheralded American who has lived in Georgia pulled off another upset of a past U.S. Open champion: 55th-ranked John Isner pounded 38 aces and eliminated No. 5 Andy Roddick 7-6 (3), 6-3, 3-6, 5-7, 7-6 (5) to reach the fourth round at a major tournament for the first time.

Keeping with the day’s theme, No. 1-seeded Dinara Safina exited, too, a 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (5) loser against 72nd-ranked Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic. After escaping the first two rounds with poorly played three-set victories, Safina wasted three match points Saturday night and finished with nine double-faults and 39 total unforced errors. Her departure means the Williams sisters are the only members of the top five women left in the field

On the plus side, at least Roddick was ousted by a fellow American. While I wanted to see Roddick take on Nadal in the final, I’m now completely rooting for this Isner character. The Georgia Bulldogs alum has yet to make his mark during his time on the ATP Tour. This looks like his chance.

Oudin’s story is even more exciting. Not only did she eliminate Maria Sharapova, but she upset Elena Dementieva, a two-time Grand Slam finalist and the Beijing Olympics gold medalist, in the second round. For the sake of diversity, I hope she makes it to the finals.

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