Davis Cup Roundup

Written By: achangeofends - Sep• 20•10

So, I haven’t written in a few days. It’s tough to write about tennis when the season starts to slow down. This week, there are tournaments in Metz and Bucharest and a few even smaller tournaments in all kinds of places. However, there has been some exciting tennis since the end of the US Open. It’s come to us in the form of Davis Cup.

There’s been a lot of debate recently about the Davis Cup format. Personally, I love the idea of having a national tournament for tennis. But, I also think it’s kind of silly to interrupt the regular tennis season four times a year for just a weekend and ship everyone off to countries around the world. The reason I like the national approach is because it brings a team aspect to our individual sport. We so often watch the triumphs of a few select players. In the case of Davis Cup, we actually get to see players supporting each other instead of competing against each other (within the teams at least.) It’s also great to see the pride that players take in playing for their country.

In 2007, DC stalwarts Andy Roddick, James Blake, and the Bryan Brothers led the US team to victory on home turf for the first time since 1995. This year, my team wasn’t playing for the title, but for the chance to try again next year. The US was in real danger of losing its place in the World Group this weekend. The 2010 squad included only one member of the victorious 2007 team, Mardy Fish, who didn’t even get to play that year. This weekend was all about Fish, who almost single handedly helped us keep our spot in the world group, winning two five set singles matches as well as a doubles match with John Isner. The guy practically won the whole tie for us, considering he won 3 of the 4 rubbers they actually played and Colombia won the other won. Due to rain, the organizers opted to skip the 5th, dead rubber. So we know Fishy saved the day, he was briefly helped out by John Isner, poor Sam Querrey lost his only rubber, but who got left out of our four man team? 18 year old Ryan Harrison, who was making his Davis Cup debut. Had the dead rubber been played, I’m fairly certain Patrick McEnroe would’ve given Harrison the chance to play because there would’ve been no consequences. I can’t predict the future, but hopefully Harrison gets his shot at DC glory one day. While the squad may no longer consist of the successful DC players we’re used to, the US team looks strong (and really really tall.) I can’t wait for next year’s draw.

I have to talk about the US at least a little, but let’s move on to the teams that actually matter, the semifinalists. Argentina met France (in France) and the Czech Republic faced Serbia (in Serbia.) In the case of the French, it seemed like they could do no wrong and the Argentines could do nothing right. Even missing their main man, Jo Wilfried Tsonga, the squad, consisting of Gael Monfils, Michael Llodra, Gilles Simon, and Arnaud Clement, crushed Argentina, winning all five rubbers. The US had Mardy Fish, well France had Michael Llodra, a generally unsung hero. Llodra won the first singles match to give the French a 1-0 lead as well as the decisive third rubber doubles with Arnaud Clement. Monfils somehow managed to reign in the theatrics (at least a little) and defeat David Nalbandian. Simon and Clement continued the rout by winning both dead rubbers. France’s team looks incredibly strong and has an excellent chance of taking home the trophy for the first time since 2001. Poor Argentina has never won Davis Cup and they’ll have to wait until next year for their next chance.

On the other side of Europe, Serbia was hosting the Czech Republic in their Davis Cup semifinal tie. Novak Djokovic, the number 2 player in the world, is clearly a huge asset to the Serbian team. However, because of the rain in New York, Djokovic had to stay in NYC to play the US Open final on Monday, which meant he returned to Serbia just in time to play in this crucial tie. Djokovic was sick on the first day of Davis Cup play and the captain opted to substitute Troicki against Stepanek. Troicki lost in four sets, putting the Serbs one rubber behind the Czechs. Every tie had its hero this week and Serbia’s was surprisingly not Novak Djokovic. It was Janko Tipsarevic, who often surprises me with his brilliance. Tisparevic evened the tie on the first day by taking out Tomas Berdych, pretty impressive. You would think having the number 1 doubles player in the world and the number 2 singles player in the world team up for a doubles match would yield impressive results. It failed almost as miserably as the world 1 and 2 singles players teaming up in Toronto. Djokovic and Zimonjic lost pretty convincingly in four sets. Now Serbia was down 2-1. They would have to win both of Sundays singles matches to salvage the tie. First up, Djokovic managed to take down Tomas Berdych in four sets, tying everything up at 2-2. It all came down to Tipsarevic to beat Radek Stepanek in the final rubber. Tipsarevic came through with flying colors, winning in three sets and bageling Stepanek in the first. The Serbs went wild after making it to their very first Davis Cup final.

I’ll probably write an extensive preview in December before the final, but I’m tipping the French to win.

In the World Group playoffs, Austria edged out Israel, Germany demolished South Africa, Sweden won over Italy, India came back to defeat Brazil (really impressive play by the Indians,) Belgium beat Australia (which was missing Lleyton Hewitt after he injured his wrist in doubles,) Kazakhstan won 5-0 over a Federerless Switzerland (still confused,) and Romania beat Ecuador.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2011-2017 A Change of Ends All Rights Reserved -- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright

Theme Customization by Fitr Theme Options