The 2019 season has come to a close with the Davis Cup Finals. Doubles Take looks back at the week that was in the men’s team competition.
DOUBLING UP AT DAVIS CUP
The 2019 season was the year that saw the premier men’s team competition, the Davis Cup, undergo some rather drastic changes. A series of qualifiers were played earlier in the year and this past week, the finals were held with 18 teams converging in Spain to play a series of round-robin matches before the quarterfinal, semifinal and championship rounds
It was all new, and while it had its fair share of kinks to be ironed out, it couldn’t be denied that the on-court action was top-notch—especially on the doubles side. Epic battles were fought and a little history was made. Case in point: Jack Sock and Sam Querrey’s win over Italy’s Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli in the group-play portion of the tournament.
Lights out when it's night out.@Jacksock and @samquerrey had it all going in their 3-set, 4 AM doubles win over Fognini and Bolelli, the second latest finish in Davis Cup history!@daviscupfinals I #TeamUSATennis pic.twitter.com/9SCLhh9Zy0— USTA (@usta) November 21, 2019
Despite that tussle, neither one of those teams advanced to the knockout stage of the event. Doubles, though, often played an important role in which teams would advance as it was the last rubber contested in each tie. In the quarterfinals, three of the four ties went the distance—and both semifinals did, too. The hosts Spain saw Rafael Nadal and Feliciano Lopez defeat Jamie Murray and Ken Skupski in two tiebreak sets to clinch a finals berth.
And after rallying from multiple match points down against Serbia in the quarters, the good fortune ran out for Russia’s Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov as they fell in a third-set tiebreak to Canada’s Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil.
While Spain managed to wrap up the title after two singles wins against Canada, there’s no denying the impact doubles played in both teams’ path to the final round—and on the tournament as a whole.
Follow Van on Twitter: @Van_Sias