Mayer Defeats Britain’s Dan Evans to Secure Argentina’s Spot in the Davis Cup Finals

Leonardo Mayer will return to his home country a hero…

The 29-year-old Argentine tennis player came from behind to defeat Britain’s Dan Evans 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 in the decisive fifth match to defeat defending champions Great Britain in the Davis Cup semifinals.

Leonardo Mayer

After Andy Murray beat Guido Pella 6-3 6-2 6-3 to level the tie at 2-2, it was confirmed that Argentina’s star man, Juan Martin del Potro, would sit out the final match up and be replaced by ATP world No. 114 Mayer.

“We had to keep it to ourselves until the last moment so Great Britain were thinking a little bit, but we knew from last night that Mayer would play,” said Argentina captain Daniel Orsanic.

In the absence of del Potro, who wasn’t in good enough shape to play on Sunday after wearing himself out after deciding to play in Saturday’s doubles match, it was Mayer who stepped up.

Argentina will now travel to Croatia for the Davis Cup final in November.

del Potro Upsets Andy Murray to Give Argentina a Commanding Davis Cup Semifinal Lead

Juan Martin del Potro continues to pick off tennis’ top-ranked players…

The 27-year-old Argentine tennis player ended Andy Murray‘s 14-match winning streak in the Davis Cup, coming through with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 victory in 5 hours, 7 minutes to gain a measure of revenge after losing the Olympic final to Murray last month.

Juan Martin del Potro

It was the longest match of both players’ careers.

Del Potro’s win leaves Argentina thisclose to its first Davis Cup final since 2011 after taking a 2-0 lead over defending champion Great Britain thanks to singles wins by del Potro and Guido Pella in the semifinal on Friday.

Pella beat Kyle Edmund 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, meaning the Argentines can clinch victory with a day to spare in Glasgow if they win the doubles on Saturday.

Federico Delbonis and Leonardo Mayer are scheduled to play the Murray brothers, Andy and Jamie.

Whether Andy Murray plays is open to question.

Being taken the distance against Del Potro was exactly what Murray didn’t need at the end of his long summer of tennis in which he won both the Wimbledon and Olympic titles for the second time. He looked almost out on his feet at times in an energy-sapping final set, and couldn’t handle the barrage of forehand shots by the rejuvenated Del Potro.

”I’m very proud of how I fought, I did fantastic,” Murray said. ”I fought for every point, tried as best as I could. That’s all you can do.

”It was very fine margins. That happens in tennis and sport sometimes. It could have gone either way.”

del Potro gained the crucial break in the fifth set at the third opportunity, reaching Murray’s angled volley with a forehand winner down the line to go 4-3 ahead, and he served out for the match, clinching victory with an ace and a big growl.

Murray had never previously lost a home singles match in the Davis Cup.

del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion, is a force in tennis once again after returning from three wrist operations that nearly ruined his career. He’s Argentina’s top player but is ranked a lowly No. 64 on his comeback trail, meaning he had to play Murray in the opening match.

”I cannot imagine this moment in my career,” del Potro said. ”This was the type of match I was missing when I was at home.”

Argentina is playing its 11th Davis Cup semifinal in 15 years. The south American country has never won the team event, finishing runner-up in 1981, 2006, 2008, and 2011.

del Potro previously defeated Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the Olympics this summer, before losing to Murray in the final.

Mayer Upsets David Ferrer at the Hamburg Open to Win His First-Ever ATP Title

Leonardo Mayer is officially a titleholder… And, he did it by taking down the top seed.

The 27-year-old Argentine tenista upset David Ferrer 6-7 (3), 6-1, 7-6 (4) in the Hamburg Open final on Sunday to claim his first ATP title.

Leonardo Mayer

The 46th-ranked Mayer saved five of the eight break points he faced and converted five of his seven chances to beat Ferrer, who is ranked No. 7 in the world, in the clay-court tournament.

“I can’t believe it,” said Mayer. “I was able to do it against Ferrer, who is one of the best players on this surface. I’m really happy and it still hasn’t sunk in that I won.”

Mayer had not dropped a set in five matches to reach the final, while Ferrer was bidding for his 22nd title.

“He was better in the match,” said Ferrer. “I think I was little bit nervous in the important moments and he played more aggressive than me, and nothing else.”

Giraldo Beats Second-Seed Tommy Robredo to Reach the Quarters at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship

Santiago Giraldo is making a strong run for the title at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship

The 26-year-old Colombian tennis player upset second-seeded Tommy Robredo on Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship.

Santiago Giraldo

Giraldo defeated his Spanish opponent in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.

It’s the second quarterfinals appearance this year for Giraldo, currently ranked No. 89 in the world, in nine tournaments. His best showing in 2014 was a semifinal appearance at Vina del Mar tournament, where he lost to Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer 6-7(2), 3-6.

He’ll next face Alejandro Gonzalez on Friday at River Oaks Country Club. Gonzalez advanced when fifth-seeded Feliciano Lopez retired because of severe allergies. Gonzalez led 6-3, 2-0.

Nadal Wins in Singles & Doubles at the Chilean Open

The King of Clay is putting his sore left knee to the test; and he’s winning…

Rafael Nadal competed in a pair of matches on Friday, defeating his fellow countryman Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-1, 6-4 to reach the semifinals at the Chilean Open and advancing in doubles at the tournament as well.

Rafael Nadal

The 26-year-old Spanish tennis star, back on the tour after a seven-month hiatus due to his knee injury, partnered with Argentina’s Juan Monaco to register a 6-3, 6-4 win against Carlos Berlocq and Leonardo Mayer of the Argentina.

Nadal’s two victories meant he’d played five matches in four days. And while his knee is still hurting, Nadal feels it’s making progress.

“I felt better today than the first day, so that’s a positive thing,” said Nadal. “That’s a thing that gives me confidence and hope for the future that we’re going in the right way. After seven months out of competition, even if I don’t have the pain in the knee, at the beginning you feel slower, you feel more tired than usual so you need time to adapt. That’s the thing. I need time to do it. I still feel pain in the knee some days and that’s something we hope and think will be improving week by week.”

Nadal will play Jeremy Chardy of France in the singles semifinals Saturday. If he advances, he’ll next face another busy day on Sunday with a singles final and the doubles championship against Paolo Lorenzi and Potito Starace of Italy.

Nadal’s is hoping to get back to the top of his game to challenge the tennis’ fellow superstars: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

He took the court Friday with temperatures hovering around 85 degrees in the middle to the South American summer. He is likely to encounter similar temperatures when he plays next week in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and later this month in Acapulco, Mexico.

Nadal, who plays next week in Brazil, and later this month in Mexico,said he’s not focusing on the results while he uses the upcoming clay-court events to hone his game. But hisfans expect the King of Clay — he has won 93 percent of his singles matches on the surface — to win all three tournaments and show he’s ready to challenge for a record-stretching eighth French Open title in May.