SUPER START

Australia has made a superb start to their Davis Cup clash against Poland which is being organised at Torwar Hall, Warsaw. Both the singles matches played on the first day have been won by the kangaroos and now, they are just one win away from making their way into the World Group.

In the first singles match, Australia’s superstar Lleyton Hewitt took on the no. 1 Polish player Lukasz Kubot and defeated him in straight sets by 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 to give a 1-0 lead to his country.

That lead was doubled by Bernard Tomic who also secured a straight set win against Michal Przysiezny. Tomic defeated Przysiezny by 7-5, 7-6 (1), 6-4.

Neither Hewitt nor Tomic lost his serve even once in their respective matches.

If the Australian pair of Chris Guccione and Hewitt wins the doubles match tomorrow, Australia will be in the World Group after 6 years.

Talking to the reporters at the end of the first day, Hewitt said, “It’s far from being over, but, yes, it’s a fantastic beginning.”

“Playing away from home and that too against their top ranked guy, I took it as a challenge. Thankfully, I played some good tennis and ended up giving my team an important lead.”

It took Hewitt less than a couple of hours to get better of Kubot who made a number of unforced errors in the match.

On the other hand, Tomic who extended the Visitors’ lead was also looking very happy. He said, “I had not been serving that well recently, but, today, I was spot on with it.”

“I think Lleyton’s victory set the tone for us. It’s fantastic to be ahead by 2-0 on the first day.”

Tomic’s record in the Davis Cup singles matches is absolutely superb. Out of 13 such games that he has played so far, he has managed to win 11.

FEDERER LOSES OUT

Roger Federer has been defeated by Daniel Brands of Germany in the opening round of Credit Agricole Suisse Open.  Brands won the match in the straight sets by 6-3, 6-4.

This was the second shocking defeat for Federer in the last couple of months. Before this, he had been knocked out from the second round of the Wimbledon Championships by a Ukrainian qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky.

In the post match interview, Federer said, “I couldn’t cash in when the opportunities came my way. I played inconsistent tennis. He was very good on his serve and I couldn’t play my return shots well.”

In the opening set, both the players held their serve in the first 5 games and at the end of the 5th game, Brands had a lead of 3-2.

The German player got a breakthrough in the 6th game and then, by winning his next service game, he enhanced his lead to 5-2.

Federer reduced Brands’ lead by serving out the next game, but, he couldn’t prevent the German player from sealing the set. With a serve hold in the 9th game, Brands wrapped up the set.

In the second set, Brands managed to sneak a breakthrough in the very first game and then, held his serve in the next game to get ahead by 2-0. The next 7 games went with the serve and at the end of the 9th game; the score was 5-4 in the favour of Brands.

The German player broke Federer’s serve again in the 10th game and the match was over.

Talking to the reporters after winning the match, Brands said, “It obviously feels great to secure victory against someone like Roger. I think I didn’t make too many mistakes on my serve today. I was just trying to keep things simple.”

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YOUZHNY FACES KEI

Kafelnikov’s countryman, Mikhail Youzhny, will face Kei Nishikori of Japan in the second round of the Gerry Weber Open tomorrow.

This will be Nishikori’s first match in the tournament as he was given a bye in the opening round.

Youzhny made his way into the second round with the help of an easy win over Daniel Gimeno- Traver of Spain.

Nishikori who has been given 13th seed in this tournament has been in terrific form in the ongoing season so far. He started the season by taking part in the Brisbane International tennis tournament and he managed to cruise into the semi finals of that tournament. In the semi final match against Andy Murray, he had to retire due to his knee injury.

Nishikori’s performance in the Australian Open was decent as well. He made his way into the fourth round where he got defeated in straight sets by David Ferrer of Spain. In that match also, Nishikori was struggling with his knee injury and he took the help of the physiotherapist several times.

Nishikori then went on to win the US National Indoor Championships by securing a straight set win over Feliciano Lopez in the final. He didn’t lose a single set in that tournament.

Nishikori had a pretty good outing in the recently played French Open as well. He reached the fourth round at Roland Garros before being defeated by Rafael Nadal.

Nishikori has played a total of 28 matches this year and has won 22 out of them.

As far as Youzhny is concerned, he doesn’t have a great season so far. He has lost 13 out of the 26 matches in the ongoing season and that’s not a great record at all.

However, Youzhny is a very experienced player and he has versatility in his game. He doesn’t need a particular kind of surface to perform well. He is quite comfortable playing on any kind of surface.

These two players have never faced each other in the past which means that they would be unaware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. So, this might be a cracker of a contest.

The winner of this match will move into the quarter final round of the tournament.