Davis Cup down to final four as defending champs Spain sent out
It has not been a completely perfect fortnight for Spain’s sportsmen, as the nation’s tennis players were dumped out of the Davis Cup 5-0 by France.
Gilles Simon and co are now 7/4 second-favourites to win the huge trophy, with Novak Djokovic’s Serbia the 11/8 frontrunners.
Spain had been the defending champions but were without world number one Rafael Nadal for their Gallic encounter in Clermont-Ferrand and it showed.
On Sunday Simon put France 4-0 up by beating Nicolas Almagro 7-6 (7-4) 7-6, and Julien Benneteau beat Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 to complete the whitewash. Simon is 300/1 to win the US Open in August.
In Split, Serbia reached their first Davis Cup semi-final after Djokovic beat Marin Cilic 6-3 6-3 6-2 to give them victory over fierce rivals Croatia.
Cilic is 40/1 to bounce back from this defeat with a US Open win, not a bad shout considering he beat Andy Murray last year and only lost to eventual winner Juan Martin Del Potro.
Serbia will now face 8/1 outsiders Czech Republic in the semi-finals after they beat Chile by a 4-1 margin.
Argentina complete the quartet, with a price to win the event of 10/3, largely because the South Americans face the talented French next.
David Nalbandian won the decider against Russia, beating Mikhail Youzhny in three sets. His 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 6-3 victory ended Russia’s 17-tie unbeaten home run in the Davis Cup stretching back to 1996.
Nalbandian’s win was remarkable as he missed much of last season through injury and has been sidelined since April with a hamstring problem.
Argentina have surprisingly never won the Davis Cup before but if Nalbandian, a semi-finalist in all the Grand Slams and 80/1 shot to win the US Open, can continue his return to form they would be worth backing.
The semi-final matches will both take place between the 17th and 19th of September.
Serbia’s Djokovic is the Davis Cup player with the shortest US Open price of 8/1. Two of Russia’s defeated players have decent prices at Flushing Meadows, with Nikolay Davydenko – who won his rubber – a 20/1 chance and Youzhny at 150/1.