Posted by Lana On 7/10/2010 02:27:00 PM
Defending champions Spain, who went into the tie without world number one Rafael Nadal who is resting after winning Wimbledon, are facing an early exit from this year's Davis Cup after losing both of the opening singles in their quarter-final against France on Friday.
Gael Monfils beat David Ferrer 76(3) 62 46 57 64 in the opening singles, then Michael Llodra, won his first live singles rubber, defeating world No. 10 Fernando Verdasco 67(5) 64 63 76(2).
Spain has never come back from 0-2 down in the Davis Cup down to win since they first entered the competition in 1921.
“I think that the doubles is the match that, because of our game, we have a little bit more chances to win the match,” said Verdasco. “Always the doubles matches are really close and we both serve good and they both serve good so we both will have chances to win. We’ll see and obviously we’ll try our best. It’s so hard because of the court but we still believe we can come back.”
Spanish captain Albert Costa admitted nothing had gone his side's way but was not giving up just yet.
"Of course, it has been a bad day. I don't have many regrets as my players gave everything they had.
"We only have a slim chance of winning and we'll try to get one point after an other. As long as there is life, there is hope."
For the French, winning both matches on the first day is statistically and historically a huge advantage. In the 105 matches they have taken a 2-0 lead since they first played Davis Cup in 1904, they have a 103-2 win-loss record.
France captain Guy Forget told France 4 television: "We’re leading 2-0 today but we could lose the last three matches. So we’ll try to remain cautious.
“The goal is really to beat Spain. We have two points but it’s not over yet.”
“As you can imagine, I am very, very happy and very satisfied and pleased with the way those two guys played,” added Guy Forget. “It was tremendous tennis.
“Spain were the favourites and I told my team that, on a faster court like this one, if they were really aggressive and going for their shots, we had a chance. Our best chance was actually to go forward and not to wait for the Spanish to miss because they hardly miss. Gael and Michael today just pleased me so much today with the way they played.”
Michael Llodra never won a meaningful singles in his eight-year cup career.
“The crowd is good,” said Llodra. “I only won one Davis Cup singles match and that was away but today, with all the support they gave me, and a lot of support at the end, it helped me a lot.”
“I played really strong and solid and I pressed myself and I stayed very focused and I believed in myself,” Monfils said about the opening two sets.
Monfils added: “It was hard. I was winning two-sets-to-love and then he came back. I served for the match in the fifth and didn’t make it but I believed in myself and my skill. Guy was telling me to be like a boxer to keep fighting and I did.”
(source: Davis Cup)