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Posts Tagged ‘ivo karlovic’

Mr & Miss Intensity

Posted by gauloises1 on March 18, 2011

Congratulations to Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal, who competed their way into the Indian Wells semi-finals last night.

Sharapova effortlessly dominated the first set, then completely lost her way, struggling with Peng’s retrieving and resistance and above all her own serve, which totally collapsed. It really looked like she was going out until with her back against the wall, she reeled off two clean and beautiful backhand winners in consecutive points and from that point on, never looked back. Very well done to her, although I don’t favour her chances in the semi-final, given that Wozniacki is (I think) her equal in competitive tenacity and has a game built to elicit the kind of unforced errors she’s so prone to.

Huge props to Peng Shuai for her run here. She’s going to be in a Slam quarter-final before the year is out. /bold prediction

Yet again, I didn’t see Rafa play because it was in the middle of the night. I did watch the first set and thought that Karlovic’s excellent play rather than anything Nadal was doing or not doing was responsible for the good doctor taking it 75. Nadal came back strongly in the second set and finally scraped through (quoting the headlines) 9-7 in the final tiebreak.

Sad for the good Dr. Ivo but he’s had an absolutely amazing run here in Indian Wells and should be getting a wildcard anywhere he wants one from now on. And he’s 32. Christ on a bike.

Posted in indian wells, ivo karlovic, maria sharapova, shuai peng | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Men’s Quarter-Finals Set at Indian Wells.

Posted by gauloises1 on March 17, 2011

Juan Martin del Potro and Tommy Robredo we know about. But who else is in the quarter-finals? Stunningly, these three:

Neither Roger nor Rafa had a particularly easy time of it during last night’s night session – which I didn’t watch because it was in the middle of the bloody night – as Ryan Harrison and Somdev Devvarman respectively put up a good fight, but they still won in straight sets and progress. It doesn’t quite match Djokovic’s frankly terrifying 60 61 victory over Viktor Troicki, but then what does? I’m starting to idly wonder if Nole kept on being unbeatable for the next, say, two years, whether I would eventually find it boring. I don’t think so.

Rafa will face Ivo Karlovic in the quarters after the Croatian with a mission beat Albert Montanes, 76(7) 62. I must admit I haven’t watched Karlovic since he upset Ferrer earlier in the tournament, but he does seem to be doing something right. The winner of that will meet either JMDP or Robredo.

Based on the fun last night, it looks as if Djokovic’s next match might finally be a challenge for him after Richard Gasquet completely outplayed Andy Roddick for a 63 76(5) victory. I can’t really do justice to the way Gasquet played except to say that it was a beautiful, brief shining reminder of exactly why we’ve all talked about this man forever. He backhanded Roddick to death, was cool and clutch in the biggest moments, and had the American so frustrated that he tossed his racquet more than once and attempted to give the umpire a warning for “freaking ineptitude”. I can understand his emotions at being so publicly trampled upon, but he doesn’t win my respect with that attitude – particularly because I don’t think he would have behaved like that if he’d been across the net from, say, Federer. Anyway, Gasquet moves on with a well-deserved victory, and if he brings the same form to the court against Djokovic, we could have a classic.

Completing the final eight is Stan Wawrinka, who has quietly been having a dead impressive tournament, proving too good for Nikolay Davydenko, Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych in succession. It’s hard to put your finger on what separates top-flight Stan from regular Stan, and harder still to predict if he can bring it to the court against Federer, but if he does this could be another brilliant match. All in all, it’s a sensational quarter-finals lineup with the tantalising possibility of upsets. I’m excited.

Men

Singles – Fourth Round
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d [Q] S Devvarman (IND) 75 64
[2] R Federer (SUI) d [WC] R Harrison (USA) 76(4) 63
[3] N Djokovic (SRB) d [16] V Troicki (SRB) 60 61
[12] S Wawrinka (SUI) d [7] T Berdych (CZE) 36 64 64
[18] R Gasquet (FRA) d [8] A Roddick (USA) 63 76(5)
[25] T Robredo (ESP) d [21] S Querrey (USA) 61 63
I Karlovic (CRO) d [23] A Montanes (ESP) 76(7) 62
J Del Potro (ARG) d [32] P Kohlschreiber (GER) 76(3) 76(7)

Doubles – Quarter-finals
A Dolgopolov (UKR) / X Malisse (BEL) d A Murray (GBR) / J Murray (GBR) 67(7) 63 10-8
R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK) d N Djokovic (SRB) / V Troicki (SRB) 61 76(5)

OOP

STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
[1] C Wozniacki (DEN) vs [8] V Azarenka (BLR) – WTA

Not Before 1:00 PM
J Del Potro (ARG) vs [25] T Robredo (ESP) – ATP

Not Before 3:00 PM
[16] M Sharapova (RUS) vs S Peng (CHN) – WTA
M Knowles (BAH) / M Mertinak (SVK) vs R Federer (SUI) / S Wawrinka (SUI) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
[1] R Nadal (ESP) vs I Karlovic (CRO) – ATP
D Hantuchova (SVK) / A Radwanska (POL) vs S Mirza (IND) / E Vesnina (RUS) – WTA

STADIUM 2 start :
Not Before 1:00 PM
[6] V Azarenka (BLR) / M Kirilenko (RUS) vs [8] B Mattek-Sands (USA) / M Shaughnessy (USA) – WTA – After Suitable Rest

Not Before 3:30 PM
A Dolgopolov (UKR) / X Malisse (BEL) vs R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK)

STADIUM 3 start 12:30 pm
R Turner (USA) vs V Verma (USA) – IWTG CHAMPIONSHIP 4.0
N Dechant (USA) vs R Romero (USA) – IWTG CHAMPIONSHIP 3.5

Posted in andy roddick, indian wells, ivo karlovic, novak djokovic, rafael nadal, richard gasquet, roger federer, stanislas wawrinka | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Indian Wells: Let the Upsets Continue

Posted by gauloises1 on March 13, 2011

Rounding up the overnight results, time to mention a few surprising and high-profile casualties. First up, sixth seed David Ferrer, who lost in straight sets to a resurgent Ivo Karlovic.

Ferru looked somewhat out of sorts, possibly still suffering the after-effects of his feats during the Golden Swing, but I thought Karlovic actually played really well; he came up with some shots that reminded me why, a year or so ago, we were all talking about this guy.

In addition to Murray, Ferrer and Ljubicic, the men’s draw also lost Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – who’s just looked a bit dreary lately – to Xavier Malisse, and Baghdatis and Monaco to two qualifiers having good days, Somdev Devvarman and Ryan Sweeting. Yes, the men’s draw is now officially less pretty.

The women’s second round was also rocked a little bit, most notably by American wildcard Christina McHale, who beat Svetlana Kuznetsova in a pair of tiebreak sets. I’m not a huge fan of what I’ve seen of McHale’s game, but you don’t beat Sveta in straights unless you’re doing something right.

A less surprising upset was seventh seed Li Na’s loss to Peng Shuai, who’s had a good season so far and has to my eyes strongly improved on how she was playing last year. But Wozniacki, Sharapova, Stosur, Azarenka and Radwanska all won, as did Flavia Pennetta, who dispatched a bravely battling Baltacha in three sets. Boo.

Men

Singles – Second Round
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d [Q] R de Voest (RSA) 60 62
[4] R Soderling (SWE) d M Berrer (GER) 63 76(4)
[Q] D Young (USA) d [5] A Murray (GBR) 76(4) 63
I Karlovic (CRO) d [6] D Ferrer (ESP) 76(3) 63
[9] F Verdasco (ESP) d [WC] R Berankis (LTU) 75 20 ret. (back)
[11] N Almagro (ESP) d [Q] M Russell (USA) 64 64
J Del Potro (ARG) d [14] I Ljubicic (CRO) 57 64 62
X Malisse (BEL) d [15] J Tsonga (FRA) 76(6) 75
[Q] S Devvarman (IND) d [19] M Baghdatis (CYP) 75 60
[20] A Dolgopolov (UKR) d V Hanescu (ROU) 64 64
[21] S Querrey (USA) d J Tipsarevic (SRB) 64 64
[23] A Montanes (ESP) d J Nieminen (FIN) 76(5) 26 76(2)
[25] T Robredo (ESP) d M Zverev (GER) 63 36 75
[Q] R Sweeting (USA) d [27] J Monaco (ARG) 61 06 61
[28] G Simon (FRA) d R Schuettler (GER) 63 76(5)
[32] P Kohlschreiber (GER) d [Q] T Smyczek (USA) 26 62 76(6)

Doubles – First Round
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d F Lopez (ESP) / M Raonic (CAN) 64 75
[7] L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) d G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) / A Montanes (ESP) 64 62
R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK) d E Butorac (USA) / J Rojer (AHO) 76(4) 64
M Cilic (CRO) / I Karlovic (CRO) d [WC] T Bellucci (BRA) / R Harrison (USA) 64 36 10-8

Women

Singles – Second Round
(1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. (WC) Sloane Stephens (USA) 63 62
(4) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. (Q) Laura Pous-Tio (ESP) 62 62
Peng Shuai (CHN) d. (7) Li Na (CHN) 46 63 63
(8) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 64 63
(9) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Iveta Benesova (CZE) 76(5) 64
(WC) Christina McHale (USA) d. (11) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 76(4) 76(7)
(13) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. Elena Baltacha (GBR) 64 36 64
(16) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) 75 67(3) 61
(18) Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) 64 76(3)
(20) Aravane Rezai (FRA) d. (Q) Zhang Shuai (CHN) 76(5) 60
(22) Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) d. Agnes Szavay (HUN) 63 75
(24) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. Anna Chakvetadze (RUS) 62 13 ret. (dizziness)
Dinara Safina (RUS) d. (26) Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 76(2) 64
(Q) Lucie Hradecka (CZE) d. (27) Alexandra Dulgheru (ROU) 46 64 64
(28) María José Martínez Sánchez (ESP) d. Simona Halep (ROU) 75 60
Urszula Radwanska (POL) d. (31) Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 63 57 62

Doubles – Second Round
(WC) Jankovic/Pavlyuchenkova (SRB/RUS) d. (1) Dulko/Pennetta (ARG/ITA) 75 75
(4) King/Shvedova (USA/KAZ) d. Grandin/Uhlirova (RSA/CZE) 67(4) 63 107
(8) Mattek-Sands/Shaughnessy (USA/USA) d. Kops-Jones/Spears (USA/USA) 64 63

OOP

Stadium 1 (from 11.00hrs)
1. ATP: Mello vs. Isner
2. ATP: Roddick vs. Blake
3. Sara Errani vs. Kim Clijsters (NB 14.30hrs)
4. ATP: Andreev vs. Federer
5. ATP: Golubev vs. Djokovic (NB 19.00hrs)
6. Dominika Cibulkova vs. Vera Zvonareva (NB 20.30hrs)

Stadium 2 (from 11.00hrs)
1. Francesca Schiavone vs. Alizé Cornet
2. ATP: Davydenko vs. Wawrinka
3. ATP: Harrison vs. García-López
4. Jelena Jankovic vs. Julia Goerges (NB 16.30hrs)
5. ATP: Fish vs. Raonic
6. ATP: Cilic/Karlovic vs. M.López/Nadal

Stadium 3 (from 11.00hrs)
1. ATP: Gasquet vs. Cuevas
2. Ana Ivanovic vs. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova
3. ATP: Becker vs. Bellucci
4. ATP: Benneteau vs. Melzer
5. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Shahar Peer

Court 7 (from 11.00hrs)
1. Marion Bartoli vs. Andrea Petkovic
2. ATP: Berdych vs. Kubot (NB 12.00hrs)
3. Chan/Zheng vs. Hantuchova/A.Radwanska
4. ATP: Murray/Murray vs. Isner/Querrey
5. ATP: Marrero/Verdasco vs. Erlich/Ram
6. ATP: Bhupathi/Paes vs. Aspelin/Knowle

Court 8 (from 11.00hrs)
1. ATP: Troicki vs. Tomic
2. ATP: Chela vs. Petzschner
3. Schiavone/Stosur vs. Azarenka/Kirilenko (after suitable rest)
4. Kaia Kanepi vs. Yanina Wickmayer
5. ATP: Lindstedt/Tecau vs. Knowles/Mertinak

Court 4 (from 11.00hrs)
1. ATP: Giraldo vs. Llodra
2. ATP: Granollers/Robredo vs. Dlouhy/Hanley
3. Huber/Petrova vs. Kondratieva/Voracova
4. ATP: Cilic vs. Serra
5. ATP: Gulbis vs. Lu

Posted in christina mchale, david ferrer, indian wells, ivo karlovic | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

D Cup: Croatia 3, Ecuador 0

Posted by gauloises1 on March 7, 2010

Team Gangle.

Never in doubt.

You have to feel a little sorry for Ecuador’s sibling team of Nicolas and Giovanni Lapentti, who were properly up against it this weekend. I was interested to see (or rather scoreboard) the match between Nico Lapentti and Ivo Karlovic, because it seems like every round these guys are going five sets for heroic wins/painful losses. They didn’t disappoint, with Karlovic coming back from two sets to one down to win 64 in the fifth. After which Marin Cilic dismissed Giovanni in three sets and got on with his main occupation of being too cute for words.

High fives are a serious thing, you know. Not to be taken lightly.

Ecuador/the Lapenttis were left with the task of winning the doubles to keep the tie alive against the lanky Croats.

They didn’t manage it, falling in three tight sets and leaving the Croatians with nothing to do except demonstrate that they’re not nearly as good at hugging as they have been in the past.

Not natural huggers, are they?

Still, huge congratulations to Team Gangle on a drama-free win and progressing into the quarterfinals for the zillionth time. They’ll be up against either the United States or Serbia next. Which could be … interesting. Quick, have some more pictures.

R1 – I.KARLOVIC (CRO) def. N.LAPENTTI (ECU)
6-2  5-7  6-7(2)  6-3  6-4
R2 – M.CILIC (CRO) def. G.LAPENTTI (ECU)
6-4  6-3  6-3
R3 – M.CILIC / I.KARLOVIC (CRO) def. G.LAPENTTI / N.LAPENTTI (ECU)
7-6(3)  6-3  7-5

Posted in davis cup, giovanni lapentti, ivo karlovic, marin cilic, nicolas lapentti | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Ernie, Kleybs Pick Up Maiden Titles

Posted by gauloises1 on March 1, 2010

Congratulations to two first-time titlists this week. Alisa Kleybanova upset Elena Dementieva 63 62 in Kuala Lumpur for the Malaysian Open title. I didn’t see the match, but Kleybanova must have put in a really impressive performance for that kind of scoreline against Demmy. Good stuff.

And in Delray Beach, Ernests Gulbis didn’t drop a set all week on his way to his first ATP title, defeating Ivo Karlovic 62 63 for the trophy. I did not see that coming.

I have to confess I’ve kept no more than a little finger on the Ernie wagon after 2009’s endless disappointments and solicitation scandals. But for those of his fans who have been less than fair-weather, this must feel amazing – and it’s just great to see someone with so much talent showing signs of capitalising on his early promise. Celebrations all round.

Even Dr. Ivo, who turned 31 today. Yikes.

Worst trophy of the week. But yay Ernie.

Posted in alisa kleybanova, delray beach, elena dementieva, ernests gulbis, ivo karlovic, titlists | Tagged: , , , | 18 Comments »

AO Day One: ATP Round-Up

Posted by gauloises1 on January 18, 2010

Rain, rain, rain. But quite a few matches did get finished, with Nadal, del Potro, Murray and Roddick all making it into the next ground in relatively untroubled fashion.

Put those things away.

Gonzo also made it through, although apparently without the consent of officials:

 

Don’t try to stop him, Tennis Australia!

To quote the BBC livetext: “As is traditional on the first day of a Grand Slam, someone has to get involved in a five-set epic with Ivo Karlovic.”

Today it was Steps. He lost.

Most of the other matches were rained off, including Gabashvili vs. Nose Job, Troicki vs. Lapentti, Marin vs. almost-definitely-probably-not-quite-retired Fabrice Santoro, and Gael Monfils against qualifier Matthew Ebden – although he didn’t look too bothered.

Singles – First Round
[2] R Nadal (ESP) d P Luczak (AUS) 76(0) 61 64
[4] J del Potro (ARG) d M Russell (USA) 64 64 36 62
[5] A Murray (GBR) d [Q] K Anderson (RSA) 61 61 62
[7] A Roddick (USA) d T de Bakker (NED) 61 64 64
[11] F Gonzalez (CHI) d O Rochus (BEL) 63 64 36 61
I Karlovic (CRO) d [13] R Stepanek (CZE) 26 76(5) 64 36 64
[24] I Ljubicic (CRO) d [WC] J Kubler (AUS) 61 62 62
[WC] B Tomic (AUS) d [Q] G Rufin (FRA) 63 64 64
W Odesnik (USA) d [Q] B Kavcic (SLO) 46 61 64 62
[WC] A Golubev (KAZ) d M Fish (USA) 62 16 63 63
F Mayer (GER) d P Petzschner (GER) 06 26 64 62 62
[Q] M Ebden (AUS) vs [12] G Monfils – To Finish 22
[14] M Cilic (CRO) vs F Santoro (FRA) – To Finish 75 42
[27] P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs H Zeballos (ARG) – To Finish 61 43
[29] V Troicki (SRB) vs N Lapentti (ECU) – To Finish 46 63 61 53
J Nieminen (FIN) vs N Lindahl (AUS) – To Finish 62 75 54
[Q] D Guez (FRA) vs J Benneteau (FRA) – To Finish 40
M Ilhan (TUR) vs S Grosjean (FRA) – To Finish 64 42
I Kunitsyn (RUS) vs J Acasuso (ARG) – To Finish 61 26 32
T Bellucci (BRA) vs T Gabashvili (RUS) – To Finish 63 75 46 32

Posted in andy murray, australian open, fernando gonzalez, gael monfils, ivo karlovic, rafael nadal | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

It’s Not Finished …. It’s Finished

Posted by gauloises1 on November 11, 2009

Good news? Juan Martin del Potro is through to the third round of the Paris masters to face Fernando Gonzalez after a three-set win. (I feel the urge to go ‘YEAH BABY!’ a la Ola Jordan at this point, but I shall restrain myself. Oh, what the hell. YEAH BABY!). The bad news? Said win came over Marat Safin, ending his career 64 57 64.

marat safindelpo

 

I thought JMDP played quite well overall. He made only 2 UFEs in the first set, served his 500th ace of 2009 somewhere during the second set, and if it hadn’t been for a badly-timed wobble (probably the lack of match practice) serving to stay in the second set he may well have got it done in two. I think Marat was reasonably satisfied to have his final match be against del Potro – if only because, as he said during the post-match presentation, that may possibly entitle him to a share of the prize money should JMDP win the whole shebang – and there was, er, shall we say genuine warmth between them at the net.

marat delpo

delpo marat

delpo marat

JMDP was basically wholly adorable, directing the crowd to applaud Marat, sitting down next to Marat for a chat, and printing ‘MARAT’ on the camera and getting Safin to sign it instead of signing it himself. All of which was making me wibble a little bit, and that was before Marat’s goodbye ceremony, where a bunch of players past and present came on to wish him well and applaud while he was presented with the key to the Bercy stadium.

marat safin

Here’s video of the whole thing, from match point on, in case you missed it:

I realise I’ve spent most of this post talking about JMDP and not Marat. The truth is that my fandom relationship with Marat has been so long and rocky that I don’t quite know what to say. Still, I’ll miss him. I think we’ll all miss him.

Oh just have some more photos.

marat delpo

marat greeting line

marat goodbye

marat goodbye2

marat goodbye3

marat

Posted in juan martin del potro, marat safin, paris masters, video | Tagged: , , , , , , | 24 Comments »

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.

Posted in davis cup, ivo karlovic, marin cilic, radek stepanek, tomas berdych | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Let’s Get Our D Cup On

Posted by gauloises1 on September 18, 2009

So I wrote a whole Davis Cup preview earlier and then the internet was all, “no no no”. So it disappeared. Have some pictures instead.

spain israel

Put it away, Spain.

Spain Tennis Davis Cup

tommy feli

Feli never uses his hands when his mouth will do.

levy sela

Cheerful for condemned men, aren’t they?

ivo

Ivo is serious business.

birdworm

Team BirdWorm are not.

troicki tipsy

Is it me, or does Tipsy just get freakier?

sweden

Sweden are hot. I’m just saying.

chardy forget llodra

So are France.

fabs bols

Barbie’s Dream Davis Cup Team!

roger del piero

I recognise one of these guys.

Consider the weekend’s Davis Cup action previewed.

Posted in davis cup | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

D Cup Semis: Teams Named

Posted by gauloises1 on September 9, 2009

In amidst all this US Open stuff, it’s easy to forget about the Davis Cup semi-finals, which are coming up on the 18th September. But the teams have been named, so it’s coming on apace. No real surprises; Croatia and Israel remain the same, and the Czech Republic have swapped out Ivo Minar (who may or may not be currently suspended for a drug infringement) for Jan Hernych. Boss and Verdasco have been benched by Spain in favour of Ferru and a returning Rafa. Game on.

croatia dc

CROATIA v CZECH REPUBLIC
Venue: Sportska Dvorana ‘Zatika’, Porec, Croatia (clay – indoors)

CROATIA
Marin Cilic
Ivo Karlovic
Roko Karanusic
Lovro Zovko
Captain: Goran Prpic

CZECH REPUBLIC
Radek Stepanek
Tomas Berdych
Jan Hernych
Lukas Dlouhy
Captain: Jaroslav Navratil

SPAIN v ISRAEL
Venue: Polaris World la Torre Golf Resort, Murcia (clay – outdoors)

SPAIN
Rafa Nadal
David Ferrer
Tommy Robledo
Feliciano López
Captain: Albert Costa

ISRAEL
Dudi Sela
Harel Levy
Jonathan Erlich
Andy Ram
Captain: Eyal Ran

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