(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 4 and 5
4th Rubber (David Ferrer vs. Tomas Berdych) – Head to Head:5-3 in favor of Ferrer.
(David Ferrer won, 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 – Read all about it here)
Amy’s Pick: I just have a feeling this is Tomas Berdych’s chance to score the (minor) upset. My feeling might be incredibly wrong. He and Ferrer haven’t played very much in recent years, but Berdych beat Ferrer in three sets at the 2011 World Tour Finals in their last meeting. Berdych might be tired, but he does have a decent history of playing three days in a row at Davis Cup. If he plays smart tennis (a big “if” when it comes to Berdych), there’s no reason he can’t close it out for the Czechs. Berdych in four sets.
Lindsay’s Pick: Now THIS is a big tennis match. Holy moly! If Tomas Berdych carries his momentum and wins this match to clinch the tie for the Czech Republic it could be the moment that changes his career. We’ve seen it happen to Novak Djokovic, Fernando Verdasco, and even David Ferrer. These are the moments that take a player to the next level. But David Ferrer is tough, in case you haven’t noticed. In Davis Cup situations he just comes through time and time again. Berdych has played a whole lot of tennis the past two days. I’m picking David Ferrer in four.
Juan José’s Pick: Enormous match for these guys, both of whom call the Paris Masters the biggest title they’ve ever won. A win at this crucial juncture might be career-defining for Ferrer, and surely career-altering for Berdych, who has so far backed up his trash-talk from earlier in the week. It seems like everything is set up for the big Czech to clinch Davis Cup for his country and have a monster 2013. Unfortunately for him, he’s facing David Ferrer, who is capping his best year as a pro, and knows full well how to handle Berdych’s game. The other problem for Berdych? All the time he’s spent on court so far: over seven hours in just two days. Ferrer is not a dumb player, so count on the Spaniard to make Berdych work hard for every single point of this match. I say Ferrer wins this in straight sets, turning the (Czech) O2 arena into a tomb.
5th Rubber (Radek Stepanek vs. Nicolás Almagro): Head to Head: 2-1 in favor of Stepanek
(Radek Stepanek won, 6-4, 7-6(0), 3-6, 6-3 – Read all about it here)
Amy’s Pick: If it gets to this point, I think Almagro will pull out the win for the Spaniards. Stepanek will be tired, and Almagro performed pretty admirably against Berdych, even though he lost in five sets. Almagro in four sets.
Lindsay’s Pick: Speaking of career defining moments, if it does come down to a 5th rubber then Nicolas Almagro would have an opportunity to have a career defining moment of his own. But Radek Stepanek is a veteran. He knows how rare this opportunity is. And he loves these courts. I say that Stepanek pulls off the improbable upset, has a career-defining moment the day before his 34th birthday by upsetting Almagro in 5 sets.
Juan José’s Pick: I really hope this match ends up happening, if only to give Nicolás Almagro the chance to get the biggest win of his life. Almagro played a great match against Berdych, coming awfully close to pulling the upset. I think he showed he can handle the fast surface, and it also bodes well that the last time he played Stepanek, he beat him in four sets at this year’s US Open. I think Almagro is ready to take this huge step in his career and avoid being the Spanish Acasuso. He’ll win in four sets.
Standings after the Day 3 Results:
Juan José: 11-7