(This has been updated with the day’s results – updated standings can be found at the bottom of this post)
Davis Cup Final – Singles Rubbers 1 and 2
1st Rubber (David Ferrer vs. Radek Stepanek) – Head to Head: 6-3 in favor of Ferrer
(David Ferrer won, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 – Read all about it here)
Amy’s Pick: With the way Ferrer’s been playing lately, it’s hard to pick against him. Ferrer in straights.
Lindsay’s Pick: David Ferrer in 4 sets. Radek Stepanek is a crafty veteran who knows how rare of an opportunity like a home Davis Cup tie is. He will not make things easy. But Ferrer’s just the better player. He’ll get it done.
Juan José’s Pick: Stepanek will be pumped up, he’ll play the crowd, and maybe take a set. But the reality is, the Czech veteran has had a mediocre year playing singles, and Ferrer is capping off what is probably his best year ever. Moreover, this is just a bad match-up, and it reminds me too much of the Paris semi between Ferrer and Llodra – you just don’t out-craft David Ferrer. He’ll just grind you to death. Stepanek will have to play the match of his life to take three sets off Ferrer. I say he doesn’t, and loses in straights.
2nd Rubber (Tomas Berdych vs. Nicolás Almagro): Head to Head: 8-3 in favor of Berdych
(Tomas Berdych won, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3 – Read all about it here)
Amy’s Pick: I view this Davis Cup final as a big career moment for Berdych. He doesn’t have the best reputation for being mentally strong, but I still see him coming through this match in four sets.
Lindsay’s Pick: I want to say that I can’t see Berdych losing this, but I can pretty much see Berdych doing just about anything on any given day. He doesn’t always handle pressure the best. Then again, neither does Nico. I think this tie is either going to be a career defining moment for Nico or for Berdych. I’m going to go with Nico in 5. He’s ready for his close-up.
Juan José’s Pick: After spending a long time inside Almagro’s head through his tweets, I really want to pick him to get probably the biggest win of his life. This is a huge opportunity for him: Berdych is not the strongest mentally (understatement alert), and the pressure to lead the Czech team to victory lands squarely on his shoulders. However, the Facebook Virtuoso is by far the best indoor player of the two, which is a huge advantage. Still, he’ll have his usual wobbles. I say Almagro pushes Safarova’s ex to the brink, but Berdych eventually comes through in five tough sets.
Standings after the Day 1 Results:
Juan José: 10-5