World Group For Davis Cup 2011 – Part 2

This is the second and final instalment detailing the World Group at the Davis Cup.

Eight unseeded teams are pitted against the top eight teams.

The teams at the lower end of the spectrum, for the 2011 edition , in alphabetical order, are :

Austria, Belgium, Chile, Germany, India, Kazakhstan, Romania and Sweden.

What do these teams have to offer?

Can they cause any major upsets?

A peek at the teams and their crusaders!

Quote of the day:
There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher. – Victor Hugo

Jurgen Melzer of Austria returns the ball to Harel Levi of Israel during their Davis Cup's world group playoff tennis match in Tel Aviv September 16, 2010. REUTERS/Nir Elias (ISRAEL - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)

Austria

Austria are currently 15 in the Davis Cup rankings.

Their best-known singles player is Jurgen Melzer, a good pal of Roger Federer.

Mulzer is ranked 13 in the world. His best Grand Slam performance has come this season with a semi-final finish at the French Open losing to Rafael Nadal.

However, it was the little-known Martin Fischer who did the honours and ensured that Austria secured a place in the World Group beating Israel at home 3-2.

His opponent in the deciding tie was Harel Levy.

Mulzer remains the mainstay of the team with his two singles victories proving crucial in ensuring a safe passage to the first round.

Man Of The Match: Jurgen Melzer

Flushing Meadow New York US Open Tennis 31/08/09 Olivier Rochus (BEL) is interviewed after he wins first round match. Photo: Roger Parker Fotosports International

Belgium

Belgium motored to a memorable and fortuitous victory against Australia at home. Lleyton Hewitt bowed out of his reverse singles due to injury.

Belgium’s most memorable performance in recent times has been a semi-final finish at the 1999 Davis Cup.

Xavier Malisse and Oliver Rochus are the top two Belgians representing their country in Davis Cup.

Oliver Rochus belled the cat against the kangaroos winning his two singles and pairing up with Ruben Bemelmans to defeat Paul Hanley and Hewitt in the doubles tie.

Man Of The Match: Oliver Rochus

Mar. 08, 2010 - Coquimbo, Chile - COQUIMBO (CHILE), 08/03/2010.- Chile's Davis Cup team member Fernando Gonzalez celebrates a point against Israel's Dudi Sela during their Davis Cup game in Coquimbo, 458 kilometers from Santiago, Chile, 08 March 2010.

Chile

Chile, Oh Chile!

Are there any Chilean magicians to unfold some magic into the Davis Cup?

Oh, hell, yes, there’s Massu and there’s Fernando Gonzalez.

Massu has an interesting nickname Vampiro; I guess, that’s because of his emaciated appearance.

Massu is currently 123 in the world.

Fernando Gonzalez is their best player currently ranked 44 in singles.

Chile were beaten this year by the Czech Republic in the absence of their No. 1 player Gonzalez.

Can they make it more interesting next year?

Man To Watch Out For: Fernando Gonzalez

DUESSELDORF, GERMANY - MAY 17: Philip Kohlschreiber of Germany looks dejected during his double match against Jeremy Chardy and Nicolas Mahut of France during the second day of the ARAG World Team Cup at the Rochusclub on May 17, 2010 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Germany

Germany, at home, are always a nightmare opponent.

And so it proved for South Africa when they took on the Teutonic might at Stuttgart.

A bleach wash ensued. And the score line 5-0 does not favours to the visitors.

Kohlschreiber, Beck, Mayer and Kas ensured that Sunday remained a holiday.

Voest and Van Der Merwe had no counter to the carnage.

The South Africans had just 2 sets to show for all their efforts.

Man To Watch Out For: Philipp Kohlschreiber

ITAR-TASS 125: MOSCOW, RUSSIA. MARCH 7, 2010. India's Somdev Devvarman returns a forehand to Russia's Mikhail Youzhny (not in picture) during their Davis Cup World Group first round tennis match at Luzhniki's Small Sports Arena. Youzhny won 6-2 6-1 6-3. Russia secured a 3-2 lead over India to progress to the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup. (Photo ITAR-TASS / Alexei Filippov)

India

India were ready for the other South American powerhouse, Brazil.

The first day almost read 2-0 in India’s favour were it not for some last minute hiccups by Bopanna and Devvarman.

The second day was a walk in the park for the experienced duo of Paes and Bhupathi putting it across their opponents in straight sets.

The third day saw the Chennai sun beat down on the hapless antipodeans and they succumbed in four and a half sets to their ‘heated’ opponents.

India were back in the World Group for the second successive year.

Man Of The Match: Rohan Bopanna

Man To Watch Out For: Somdev Devvarman

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 01: Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan returns a shot against Mikhail Youzhny of Russia during his men's singles first round match on day three of the 2010 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 1, 2010 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Kazakhstan

Switzerland in the absence of Roger Federer, were left looking stupefied by the onslaught of the Kazakhstanis.

By Day 2, it was all over for the Swiss. The Swiss cheese was perforated and gulped down by Golubev and Kukushkin.

Wawrinka failed to revive his form from the US Open.

This is Kazakhstan’s first ever appearance at the World Group level. Can they fly?

Man Of The Match: Andrey Golubev

Victor Hanescu of Romania returns the ball to Ivan Endara of Ecuador during their Davis Cup's world group playoff tennis match in Bucharest September 17, 2010. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel (ROMANIA - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)

Romania

Romania routed Ecuador 5-0 to enter the World Group once again.

Hanescu and Ungur were the architects of a fine win at home for the Romanians.

Ungur staved off the challenge from Giovanni Lapentti in the second rubber to make it 2-0 at the end of day one.

The doubles match was a mere formality in three straight sets and Hanescu proved victor!

Man Of The Match: Victor Hanescu

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 6:  Robin Soderling of Sweden in action against Lleyton Hewitt of Australia during the Davis Cup Tie between Australia and Sweden at at Memorial Drive February 6, 2004 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Sean Garnsworthy/Getty Images)

Sweden

Sweden had their task cut out for them against the Italians despite playing at home.

Their champion Robin Soderling came through winning both his rubbers and the doubles pair of Simon ASPELIN and  Robert LINDSTEDT took care of the third point.

Sweden last won the title in 1998. Can they spring a surprise this time around?

It’s up to that big man again!

Man Of The Match: Robin Soderling

 

 

 

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