One thing that has made the Davis Cup just a footnote in a season is the fact that most so called top guys shun the annual event. It was as refreshing as it comes to see two top talents in Stan and Sascha coming head to head. But Wawrinka , in the twilight years of his career now, came into the Swiss-German tie at number two. The odds were certainly against the Swiss. Up stepped relatively unknown Marc-Andrea Huesler ranked 53 in the world, who surprised with two wins in the tie. Huesler didn’t really come out of the blue as some may like to think. He is Junior Roland Garros winner three years ago, potential is the word. Sascha Zverev, working his way back from a long term injury maybe should be given a break here especially with his win over Stan in the first round of matches on Friday. Huesler’s style of tennis is rally based baseliner, not necessarily a strong serve, but has a wicken return of serve to boot. Check out 1-1(30-30) first set. In the world of tennis we love to classify players as one thing or another. Mixing it up gets you results and leaves your opponent bewildered as to how to approach the game plan. Watch the serve and volley ala grass court 2-1 Switzerland (40-30). Sascha did have a look in at 3-2 Switzerland 30-15 but blew it on the unforced error , which was his story of the match.
Look both players were at the net center of the court, Huesler gambles obviously, Sascha goes for power unnecessarily. Chance gone. Huesler full value for the first set W on the double break. Sascha found it hard to deal with the lefty. You couldn’t tell that Germany had home court advantage with the way the crowd was silenced by the on fire Huesler. Second set was more like it from Zverev. He has always had that first serve accuracy that sets him up for the points. Check out first game 40-15. He also started to attack the second serve of Huesler more, watch 1-0 Germany first point. Any return that takes your opponent off the center and wide will almost always win you the point. But Sascha blew it and blew it badly. Zverev’s record in final tie breaks is a stinker. Best practice approach to breakers is to get the first mini break at all cost. Zverev did just that at 1-0. Monster return catching Huesler out, who was trying the serve and volley probably coming ,a very low and hard return. Huesler snuffed out the mini break advantage with a monster return of his on at 2-1. I loved this match, a match of great returns refreshing from the usual service based. A very close tie breaker but the unforced errors again reared their ugly head from the German. It took me a while to warm up to this version of the Davis Cup, this tie brought me back.