Analyzing Serbia’s first Davis Cup win

December 9, 2010

The Davis Cup finals between Serbia and France were always going to be a tight affair. A lot of tennis pundits and players thought it was going to go down to the final rubber. Day one was very predictable with Gael Monfils beating Janko Tipsarevic in 3 straight sets. The only surprise was how poorly Tipsarevic played and would his performance cost him his place in the singles on the final day?

Gael Monfils of France hits a return against Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia during their Davis Cup World group final tennis match in Belgrade December 3, 2010.   REUTERS/Ivan Milutinovic

In the 2nd rubber Novak Djokovic disposed of Gilles Simon in straight sets. Simon was an interesting choice from the French captain Guy Forget and he made no impact in the match. Would he play in the final match come Sunday?

France's team captain Guy Forget (R) gives instructions to Gilles Simon during his Davis Cup final tennis match against Serbia's Novak Djokovic in Belgrade December 3, 2010. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

The doubles in Davis Cup are usually key and can sometimes be the best matches of the tie. This proved true at the weekend. Doubles specialist Nenad Zimonjic and surprise partner Viktor Troicki were an interesting choice from the Serbian captain but looked like an inspired decision versus the experienced French partnership of Michael Llodra and Arnaud Clement. The Serbian pair got off to a flier taking the first 2 sets. The French fought back brilliantly to win the 3rd set and in the 4th set, when down 3-4, 15-40 Clement played the tennis of his life to save that game and go on to win the set. This was the turning point of the match and the French pair went on to win in 5 sets.

France's Arnaud Clement (R) returns the ball with his teammate Michael Llodra to Serbia's Viktor Troicki and Nenad Zimonjic during their Davis Cup final doubles tennis match in Belgrade December 4, 2010. REUTERS/Ivan Milutinovic

The momentum was with the French team going for their 10th Davis Cup win. Everyone was looking forward to the final day and especially the first rubber between the two number one players, Djokovic and Monfils. Djokovic had all the pressure on his shoulders but having beaten Monfils on every occasion they have played, he had great confidence. Djokovic from the first ball was a man on a mission and destroyed Monfils in straight sets to level the tie at 2 rubbers each. Now things got interesting! This is where the captains earn glory or defeat for their team.

The Serbs replaced Tipsarevic with Troicki while France changed Simon for Llodra. The Serbian’s decision was the right call and Troicki destroyed Llodra in 3 straight sets to give Serbia its first ever Davis Cup victory. Troicki became a hero for Serbia and will go down in tennis history with the rest of his team. What a magical finish to the tennis calendar and many congratulations to Serbia for winning the Davis Cup for the first time.

Serbia's team captain Bogdan Obradovic and members Nenad Zimonjic, Novak Djokovic, Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki (L-R) raise up the Davis Cup trophy in Belgrade December 5, 2010. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

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