|Posted on September 16, 2011 at 4:05 AM|
The Romania's and Czech Republic's Davis Cup teams pose together ahead of their World Group play-off at the end of the draw ceremony in Bucharest September 15, 2011.
September 16, 2011 - By Adam Lincoln (official website Davis Cup)
The opening rubber of this Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-off tie sees Romania’s Adrian Ungur taking on Czech Republic’s Radek Stepanek. These two players have never faced each other, either in Davis Cup, or on the ATP Tour, making this a very interesting match.
This will be Stepanek’s eighth year of Davis Cup and his 13th tie. He currently has an 18-10 win-loss ratio, 9-8 in singles. The experienced campaigner was part of the team that made their way to the final in 2009, and the Czechs will be hoping that he can produce again to help them retain their place in the World Group for next year.
Ungur is playing in only his second year of Davis Cup, meaning Stepanek holds an advantage in the experience stakes. This will be his fourth tie and he currently holds a 3-2 win-loss ratio. He is ranked No. 129 in the world, 104 places below his opponent.
Victor Crivoi and Tomas Berdych go head-to-head in the second rubber. Berdych is another seasoned Davis Cupper for Czech Republic with a win-loss ratio of 26-12. He is the world No. 9 and will be touted as comfortable favourite for this clash. Crivoi is more of a doubles player but is making his way through the singles rankings. The two players have never faced each other before.
Czech Republic travels to Romania on 16-18 September for the Davis Cup World Group Play-offs 2011. It will be the fifth time these two nations meet; the last time dating back to 2001 when the Czechs beat the Romanians 3-2.
Kazakhstan shocked Czech Republic by claiming a narrow 3-2 victory in the World Group first round in Ostrava. With the visitors trailing 1-2 going into the final day, Andrey Golubev recorded a memorable win over world No. 7 Tomas Berdych, setting the stage for Mikhail Kukushkin to defeat Jan Hajek in the deciding fifth rubber.
Czech Republic - then Czechoslovakia - was crowned champion in 1980 for the only time in its history, and has also finished runner-up on two further occasions, in 1975 and 2009. Along with USA and Sweden, it has appeared in the World Group in all but one year. Czech players represented Czechoslovakia until 1992, and then Czech/Slovak Republics in 1993.
Official Davis Cup website September 15, 2011