USA vs. Chile in Davis Cup 2006 quarterfinals

USA vs. Chile in Davis Cup 2006 quarterfinals

A thrilling weekend filled with great tennis, weather, crowd support and
controversy
finally came to an end with the USA defeating Chile in the second round of the Davis
Cup in
Rancho Mirage, Ca. at the Mission Hills Country Club The Chileans were underdogs
on this
grass surface but always give it their all and were heroes at the 2004 Olympic Games
in
Athens taking the gold metals in singles (Massu), and doubles (Massu and Gonzalez).
The first match on Friday, April 7th, between red hot James Blake and Fernando
Gonzales
was very suspenseful. Gonzalez was serving for the first set when Blake broke to
force a
tie breaker. Blake prevailed and went on to win the second set 6-0. Gonzalez
seemed on his
last leg and took a few timeouts to try to stop the momentum and get help from the
trainer
on his cramps. Blake was serving for the match in the 3rd set before Gonzalez
pulled some
incredible shots out his bag. Blake made some inopportune errors and lost in a 3rd
set
tie-breaker. Another close set in the 4th but Blake dropped that one 6-4 to set up
an epic
5th set. It was back and forth till the end and Gonzalez pulled out a 10-8 fifth
set victory (no tie-breaker in the 5th set of Davis Cup). Both players were
exhausted and rightfully so.
In the second match, Andy Roddick (who had a lot to say about preferring to
play on
grass and looked like Boris Becker at times making diving winning volleys), took
advantage
of his hard serves to win the first set 6-3 vs. Chile’s other great player Nicolas
Massu.
Roddick had an early break in the second set before Massu rallied to force a
tie-break.
Roddick prevailed and threw out many difficult to return serves (even getting up to
150 MPH).
Roddick went on to win the 3rd set in a tie-breaker as well to even the score at 1
match
each going into the doubles on Saturday.
The #1 team in the world Bryan Brothers were up for the challenge of the
defending
Olympic Gold Metal team before learning that Gonzalez needed more time to rest from
the
tough match on Friday. Coach Hans Gildemeister choose to substitute Paul
Capdeville and
Adrian Garcia. That was a huge risk as they were at a big disadvantage. The Bryan
Brothers
made short work in only 62 minutes taking a 2-1 match lead going into the Sunday
finals.
Bob Bryan almost had a perfect day on his serve losing only one point the whole
match and
that was on match point. Talking to Coach Gildemeister, he mentioned he had no
choice or
Gonzalez could have got injured or not finished a Sunday match. If Fernando pulls
off that
victory on Sunday, it is down to Blake vs. Massu and anything can happen in a 5th
match.
As it turned out, Roddick played very well after dropping the first set to
Gonzalez
and evened the match at one set all with a 7-5 victory. Controversy emerged as
there were
some close calls that went against him and Chile. Gonzalez became upset and lost
his
concentration. He continued to mock the lines people on almost every close call the
rest of
the match. He was no match for Roddick then and the USA came away with a 4-6, 75.
6-3, 6-2 win to put them into the semi finals in September at Russia (location and
surface to be determined. Early speculation is a clay court surface.)
In the last match of the day, James Blake came out flat and was beaten by
Capdeville
6-3, 6-4.
USA interim Coach Dean Goldfine (replacing Patrick McEnroe whose wife was
expecting a
baby), did a great job motivating, supporting and giving opportune tips to Roddick
at many
key stages.
The supporters were out in full force for both sides with many Chileans
cheering
throughout to offset the American side and little band that played/cheered in
between points.
More info, results of the other matches and updated future stuff at
www.daviscup.com