Davis Cup, round 2

…also known as quarter-final will start on Friday. Any good ties? Yup, always!

Russia – Czech Rep
A strong finalist and first seed Russia will have to take down a couple of big names from Czech Rep. There’s no doubt that having the “star” Davydenko will help mentally. You don’t beat Roddick, Nadal back to back on hard court and lose confidence when you will face Berdych. Davydenko has an impressive 6-0 lead over Berdych, but is 3-4 down against Stepanek. In fact, the only time they’ve met on clay was DC in 2003 when Davydenko won in 5 sets!
Assuming Youzhny is 2nd, he is 2-2 against Stepanek, losing the last two; and 0-0 against Berdych.
Surface choice should favor the Russians big time, though I think Stepanek’s game goes surprisingly well on clay. Berdych is not hopeless either. On hard court, I think it would be a close tie, however this one will go to Russia. 4-1

Argentina – Sweden
This is one of these ties that could go 0-5 or 5-0. Both teams aren’t the most stable and reliable teams IMO. They will play on clay and therefore favor Argentina by a good margin. Nalbandian will beat Soderling on clay. I think the home crowd will bring a victory even if Nalby isn’t playing his best. Besides, he is 3-1 and 2-0 on clay. Now I don’t know who Argentina will use for the singles, but Monaco seems like the strongest clay contender, rather than Canas and Acasuso. I assume Johasson will be 2nd on singles. He will have to struggle to keep up with Nalby or either of the other three. I cannot see Sweden winning this in Buenos Aires. Sorry Wilander, road stops here this year. Argentina wins 5-0.

Germany – Spain
This is on hard, hard, hard rebound ace (indoors)!! Very important note I think. Spain has the better team, no question about that, but Germany has better indoor fast court players. Nadal always has a strong record against any player, and has never lost to Kohlschreiber. Though Kohl has a style that I would think could crack Nadal on fast courts. Kiefer…. not so much, Nadal will win in straight sets.
One match that I would want to see is Kohl-Ferrer. This could go either way, but if Ferrer is able to find his top form, Kohlly has no chance. Kiefer is 1-0 against Ferrer, but their match was way back in 2004 when Ferrer was still learning and Kiefer was in the top 20. I don’t know how Germany does in doubles, but a sensational win here will give them the one big win. I will be very optimistic for Germans and say Spain wins 3-2

USA – France
How lucky are the Americans that they home tie against the French? This match I think was decided when they made the matrix thingy that decided who will play where. USA will win home AGAINST France; and France will win home AGAINST USA. I think most fans knows who won the last Roddick-Gasquet match? Will Roddick lose on home soil with the flag attached to his body? No! Gasquet has not been very impressive since Wimbledon last year and I think Tsonga is a better bet against any of the Americans. Blake has shown that he is not always the weak link on the team and will go vicotrious against Richy. Won in IW 6-4, 6-2, remember? Tsonga is a newbie, so don’t know…
In fact, that’s the problem. I don’t know how good Tsonga can get from one tournament to the next. No impressive run since AO and it doesn’t seem like anything revolutionary will happen this time either. US takes it 4-1

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