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D Cup Semifinals: Berd is the Word

Posted by gauloises1 on September 19, 2009

You know, this game isn’t all about size. There’s a little thing called heart, and Team BirdWorm have it, my friends.

Croatia 0 Czech Republic 2

steps2 

 

It took almost ten hours, but the Czech Republic are on the verge of their first Davis Cup final in forever after winning two marathon five-set matches.

TENNIS-DAVIS-CRO-CZE

steps

From all accounts, Karlovic-Stepanek, which lasted six hours, was the match of the day, not just in this tie but in all ties. Possibly in all ties ever. The final score? 67(5) 76(5) 76(6) 67(2) 16-14. You read that right. That’s 82 games and reportedly it was close until the very end. There were two service breaks in the first three games and then not another one until the 29th – ! – game of the fifth set, when Stepanek served it out after saving four match points. And oh yeah, Karlovic served 78 aces. The world record? 55. And Stepanek still won. I would just about give anything to have seen this match. Unbelievable stuff by both men, and what a win for Steps.

ivo3

steps4

Don’t get me wrong, I was all for Team Gangle – still am – but just for that one match, for the sheer heart that must have taken, you can’t say Team BirdWorm don’t deserve their probable spot in the finals. But I’m getting slightly ahead of myself. Croatia really needed to rescue that second singles point, and it was all up to Marin.

TENNIS-DAVIS-CRO-CZE

And he did pretty well for a man who’s apparently made out of wet spaghetti, coming back from two sets down to take it to a decider, but in the end his inherent pasticity took over. He bent …

TENNIS-DAVIS-CRO-CZE

… and was broken, going down 63 63 46 46 63.

TENNIS-DAVIS-CRO-CZETENNIS-DAVIS-CRO-CZE

Make no mistake, folks; Berd is the word. (Thanks to naughty T for the link.)

It isn’t quite all over for Croatia, but it would be almost unimaginable for them to come back from this. Nominally, the doubles (which is a must-win for Croatia to stay alive, in case you can’t count to three) will be contested between Karanusic/Zovko and Dlouhy/Hajek. Pick a winner. Oh wait, I just did and it’s the Czech Republic. And it wouldn’t be unimaginable for the Czech captain Navratil to toss in Berdych or Steps or both in an attempt to clinch the tie there and then. And here’s a stat for you; Berdych has never lost a Davis Cup doubles rubber in which he’s participated. Ponder that.

Anyway, I’m being snarky just because of my love for Marin. But the fact remains that the Czech Republic are on the brink, and there’s no doubt that they deserve it for the way they’ve competed, not just in this tie, but against France and Argentina just to get here. Hard to think of a more worthy country to go through to the finals.

4 Responses to “D Cup Semifinals: Berd is the Word”

  1. Bismarck said

    i love your blog.

  2. naughtyT... said

    yay Berd
    yay G
    Yay Bissy
    yay me.
    the end

  3. irefusetotellyou said

    6 HOURS?! Shiiiit.

    Woe is me for no possiblity of viewy.

    Did I

  4. irefusetotellyou said

    WHAT THE HELL!? Not only was I cut off above but I didn’t even have me sheep picture. Bah humbug.

    Anyway, as I was TRYING to say, did Ivo get a haircut? Or is that his little brother out there? That first picture of him looks like a 10-year old. (Ok, 30 year old, but still. YoungER looking.)

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