Davis Cup Final: Troicki d. Llodra

Sunday, December 05, 2010 /by

201012051131415045649-p2@stats_com Serbia won its first Davis Cup by defeating France 3-2 today in Belgrade. After Novak Djokovic dismissed Gael Monfils in straight sets, Viktor Troicki did the same to Michael Llodra, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.

Serve-and-volley tennis is a game of inches: The serve must be well-placed and the volley must be struck precisely. A rudimentary shot at net will not do against today's baseliners, whether it's world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, No. 2 Roger Federer or No. 30, Troicki. The Serb was the beneficary of one of Llodra's off-days; the Frenchman was broken eight times, an astoundingly high number over three sets.

Troicki regularly got good looks on Llodra's serves and volleys, and he took advantage. He returned well and tested Llodra throughout the match, even on service games the Frenchman won. For his part, Troicki served confidently and held his own at net. And when Troicki's decisions or shots were slightly off—for a good example, watch the final game of the second set—luck seemed to go his way. If destiny was on Serbia's side, it didn't do a good job of hiding that today.

Besides Troicki winners, television viewers saw a lot of Djokovic on the bench, rousing the capacity crowd after each Serbia point. His calls were answered, and their wish was granted when Troicki struck a cross-court return winner—possibly his best of the day—to finish off Llodra and win the Davis Cup. The point was emblematic of the entire match; Troicki simply swatted Llodra's serve-and-volley strategy away.

With the comeback complete, let the celebrations begin in Serbia.

—Ed McGrogan

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