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And in Other News. . . 09/18/2008 - 4:00 PM

Lee by Pete Bodo

The marquee ties during any Davis Cup week tend to glom all the attention, especially in nations whose teams are still alive in the competition. But despite the promise of a very competitive semifinal in Buenos Aires (with the Argentines hosting the Russians), and a high-profile one in Madrid, some of the World Group playoffs offer intriguing match-ups or line-ups as well. So let's take a quick look at the most noteworthy elements of the playoffs, without getting too hung up on the X's and Os:

- Chile vs. Australia:
Chris Guccione will lead the Aussies, the nation with the most mythic of Davis Cup credentials (despite the overall superiority of the US in the record books) into the scary sounding Estadio Militar Antofagasta, in, well, Antofagasta. It strikes me as a sad comment on the woes of Australian tennis that ITF couldn't even find photos of Robert Smeets and Carsten Ball to post at the official DC website. Chilean fans will have a chance to revel in the exploits of their national heroes, Olympic-games overachievers Fernando Gonzalez and Nicolas Massu in what promises to be an ugly (as in blowout) tie.

- Great Britain vs. Austria: I still can't get my mind around this whole England-Scotland-Wales thing; I mean, is Scotland a country or not? And if it is, how come they don't have their own Davis Cup squad, yet have their own World Cup soccer team? Or am I wrong about that, too? I'd better stop before I become a Monty Pyton skit. Or is that an English thing (as opposed to a British, Scottish, Welsh, or UK thing?). Wanna bet I now will get a dozen angry comments accusing me of being an unsophisticated, ignorant, mono-lingual, tube-sock wearing American?  All I can say is that Georgia (the American state, not the beleaguered neighbor of Russia)  doesn't have its own World Cup team - although Georgians Sco' Jenkins and Robby Ginepri have served on the US Davis Cup team and, come to think of it, could compete evenly with some of the teams in the WG playoffs, which begs the question in this, the longest sentence in the history of the world: Why doesn't Scotland just have its own Davis Cup team?

Anyway, this tie is a pretty sweet set up for the Murrays, Andy and Jamie: it's being played at Wimbledon, and the presence of at least one tour level player on the Austrian side (Jurgen Melzer) means Austria might win at least one rubber - which ought to inject the necessary soupcon of drama. Of course, Andy might provide a buzzkill by declaring his undying allegiance to Scotland (we already know that he would rather win the US Open than Wimbledon), but the Brits (or is it English?) will continue to love him anyway.

- Switzerland vs. Belgium: You can trash Roger Federer's vacillations on Davis Cup play all you want, but The Mighty Fed has answered the call 44 times (match-wise), posting a 33-11 record (including an outstanding 24-6 in singles), which is a pretty good workload for a world superstar stuck with a team that's mostly lived with its nose pressed to the World Group glass. It may be different from here on in, though,with Federer and countryman Stan Wawrinka scooping up the Olympic gold medal in doubles.

That outstanding achievement, combined with Wawrinka's emergence as a Top 10-grade singles player (on paper, anyway), suddenly takes pressure off TMF (he no longer has to be a one-man team) but also puts it on (the Swiss, and Davis Cup fans worldwide, will now have a lot more reason to be disgruntled if TMF skips a tie or two, now the the team is competitive).

Bottom line: If I were Olivier Rochus, I would be afraid. . .very afraid.

Goran - Croatia vs. Brazil: Apart from the fact that I always love seeing that Brazilian flag (it looks kind of. . .interplanetary, dontcha think?), I can't think of much to say to Brazilian fans now that Guga is gone beyond: Well, there's always futbol! The tie will be played on indoor hard in Zadar and I'm predicting that the serves of Croatia's Ivo Karlovic and Mario Ancic are going to scorch the court and leave it as dimpled as a golf ball. The Croatians also have this dude, Lovro Zovko. Sounds like the kind of guy who would beat you up in a bar for looking at his girlfriend the wrong way, right? Croatia may have the most firepower ever assembled on a single team since the heydays of Stan Smith and the late Arthur Ashe - make that Goran Ivanisevic and Bobo Zivojinovic of. . . Yugoslavia, which incorporated Croatia.

- Israel vs Peru: The Israelis always have great team spirit, and they'll be playing at home. Peru has world class player Luis Horna. I am above inserting "Me so Horna" joke here, honest!

- Netherlands vs. Republic of Korea: I'll make this clear right up front, I am a Hyung-Taik Lee KAD and I don't give a dang who knows it. The silky smooth player is 47-19 in career matches (how do you like them apples, Andy, Roger?) and he's rockin' a 37-8 singles mark. Do the other dudes on the Korean squad look like they're about the age of Chinese gymnasts, or is it just me? The captain of the squad is Nam-Hoon Kim, no relation to our own Heidi, unless she's been keeping something from me. Now I'll just sit back and wait for all that second wave of indignant comments to roll in, informing me that in Korea, "Kim" is about the same as "Jones" (See entry on Great Britain's tie, above). Ah, I love the smell of righteous indignation in the morning!

But let's not leave Netherlands out of the discussion. The Dutch are at home, on red clay, and as much as I'd like to see Korea fire a shot across the bow of the World Group, it's hard to see it happening for lack of a supporting cast for Lee. Still, the most experience singles player on the Dutch squad appears to be Jesse Huta Galung,  whose name doesn't exactly scream "Dutchman!"  Advisory to the TWibe's female readership: get ready to throw it all away for love when you click on this link.  And check out Nataali's comment here.

- Romania vs. India: This is the nostalgia special for old dogs like me. Who can forget Ilie Nastase or Vijay Amitraj? Premjit Lall or Ion Tirac? And how about that Leander Paes (he's fourth on the all-time list of doubles winners, at 81-30). Okay, that was then and this is now, although there's a link to the past in Prakash Amitraj, Vijay's son. Footnote: the Amritraj's were one of the first tennis players to get sore at me, after I wrote a magazine piece about the real or potential problems that three brothers from a very traditional background in India might encounter in the glitzy milieu of the pro tour.I needn't have worried: Vijay (the oldest brother) and Ashok (the youngest) ended up in Hollywood, acting and producing. Ashok brought us this Angelina Jolie vehicle.

What's that got to do with Davis Cup? Got me. Romania is at home in Bucharest, and led by Victor Hanescu, whose singles prowess should be sufficient to offset the inexperience of Amritraj if not the outstanding doubles we can expect from Paes and ferquent partner, Mahesh Bhupathi.

- Slovak Repubic vs. Serbia: Given the tennis mania sweeping Serbia, the Slovaks are lucky to be playing in quiet Bratislava (where I spent some pleasant days not too long ago). But if this group of Serbs doesn't have World Group written all over it, nobody does. BTW, Nenand Zimonjic is a great guy. I ran into him at Nick Bollettieri's last winter and he was charming and funny and bursting with love for tennis. I'm curious to see how the Slovaks react to Djokovic, especially if he begins doing that heart-pounding thing while he's thumping young Lukas Lacko, who's just 20 and no. 240 in the world.

Okay, everyone, I'll be watching - along with the rest of you - tomorrow morning. Rosangel will post the Crisis Center from Madrid. 

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Posted by Master Ace 09/18/2008 at 04:08 PM

Davis Cup SF: Spain and Argentina

Davis Cup Group Winners: Chile, Great Britain, Switzerland, Croatia, Israel, Netherlands, Romania, and Serbia.

Posted by Master Ace 09/18/2008 at 04:09 PM

My post at 4:08 PM is for what country will win their tie.

If Switzerland was to lose their tie, that will be the biggest upset of the weekend even if the USA finds a way to beat Spain

Posted by Jenn 09/18/2008 at 04:20 PM

OMG, I so miss Goran Ivanisevic. Fantastic pic!!

I agree with MA - Spain and Argentina win, and that will be a fantastic final.

Posted by gauloises 09/18/2008 at 04:20 PM

Pete, I love you, but if I were you I wouldn't try to unravel the whole GB-UK-England-Wales-Scotland-N.I. tangle. It's just what happens when fifteen centuries of colonialism and enforced unification meets a relatively recent attempt at devolution. Just go with it.

Posted by mick1303 09/18/2008 at 04:21 PM

Wasn't Bobo a serb?

Posted by 09/18/2008 at 04:22 PM

Speaking of English vs British vs Welsh vs Scottish, are the Spaniards Latinos and/or Hispanics or just Spanish?

Posted by avid sports fan (smiling) 09/18/2008 at 04:26 PM

Most of the ties seem one-sided in a way with the expected winners in Master Ace's 4:08 PM post.

But I still wonder why Novak and even Roger have to do both singles and doubles duty. It AndyM may need to do doubles with Jamie only if UK is at 1-1 after Friday.

Posted by topboy 09/18/2008 at 04:29 PM

Boba Zivojinovic is from Serbia (not Croatia).

Posted by Maha - (You rock, Roger!!!) 09/18/2008 at 04:31 PM

Oooh I want to see Roger play that umm... Belgian guy...? I'm not good with Belgian players' names. I think it's the non-Rochus one.

And Goran Ivan-summat looks HILARIOUS in that picture. His head looks every bit like a massive floaty pineapple. His hair's flying perfectly above his head. Interesting. But it can never look as awesome as TMF's.... sigh.

(*fondly thinks of Roger Federer in action with his super-ultra-mega amazing hair flying about him*)

Posted by greenhopper 09/18/2008 at 04:35 PM

Gorannnnnnnnnnnnnnn ! *faints*

Posted by Genuine Realist 09/18/2008 at 04:37 PM

OT, but when is the Wertheim book on Federer coming out? Anyone know?

Posted by Pete 09/18/2008 at 04:39 PM

Topboy and Gauloise, you're probably too young to remember that it was once Yugoslavia. Check the records. . .

Posted by Arun 09/18/2008 at 04:40 PM

Pete: Great pre-match analysis about the World Group playoffs. I'm confused why the Indian team doesn't let Leander play the singles too. Amritraj is a good player; but I think he shines better on Grass (like his father) - he has poor record on clay. S D Verman is known to play decently well on clay and hard courts though. And I know it was long back - but may I know where I can read/get that piece you wrote about Amritraj Sr.? Thanks!

Posted by Pete 09/18/2008 at 04:41 PM

I understand the confusion, BTW, and rewrote the passage to more accurately say Bobo and Goran both played for Yugoslavia, before the break-up.

Posted by federerfan 09/18/2008 at 04:43 PM


I had my head chewed up once by a scottish chica for referring to her as...yep...english.

The venom in the rebuke was something to behold but after, figuratively, holding the phone a foot from my ear for about 15 minutes and letting the tsunami pass by, I calmly informed her, that I was not a hare brained, i-know-only-my-zipcode-subway-series-loving american but infact an "alien" (per my immigration documents) in the land of hare brained, i-know-only-my-zipcode you know what's.

Its a vague memory now, think it was one or more.

I, ofcourse, refer to the number of four lettered words in her response.

Posted by gauloises 09/18/2008 at 04:44 PM

I weighed in on GB, not eastern Europe ...

Posted by Jon Reiss 09/18/2008 at 04:54 PM

Whatever you ate this morning for breakfast Pete, please continue to eat just that. This post, along with the previous one on TMF/Jet Boy was HILARIOUS.

Posted by Andrew 09/18/2008 at 04:56 PM

Since Andy and Jamie Murray are the first Scots to know which end of a racquet to hold since the legendary Fergus Gavish McTavish, winner of the 1914 Wimbledon British Empire invitational tournament (since expunged from the records due to the unpleasantries in the Balkans), it's not surprising that the English team is usually referred to as Great Britain.

McTavish, BTW, entered the tournament expecting to compete in the croquet, but entered the tennis draw when his mallets were badly damaged when the Flying Scotsman was derailed. He is still commemorated in many Scottish ballads, the only artistic works which rhyme "Glennies" with tennis.

Posted by Master Ace 09/18/2008 at 05:00 PM

Avid Sports Fan,
I would think Andy M would do doubles on Saturday even if they are leading 2-0 with the intent of winning the tie so Sunday would be "dead" rubbers.

Posted by 09/18/2008 at 05:04 PM

Master Ace - Oh really? I guess then he won't have to play any of the dead rubber singles on Sunday right?

Posted by Nancy 09/18/2008 at 05:05 PM

Thanks for the post, Pete.

Non of these ties seems to be even remotely interesting though I'd like to check out Netherlands vs. Korea... ofcourse, for the totally shallow reason... I won't talk much about it cause I've made enough of inappropriate comments on the other thread (sorry Pete) but I have to say OMFG!! where the hell has this Jesse guy been?!

btw, Goran's pic is hilarious...I miss this crazy guy.

Posted by avid sports fan (smiling) 09/18/2008 at 05:05 PM

I have no idea why I was HL @ 5:04 PM. typepad is acting up on me!

Posted by Lance Knobel 09/18/2008 at 05:12 PM

The Scotland, Wales, England, Northern Ireland teams in soccer competitions are a historical relic. Since soccer (football) was invented in Britain, FIFA has tolerated separate teams from the so-called home nations. In the way of sports bureaucrats, the prerogatives are jealously guarded. That's why there were no GB teams in the Olympic soccer competition (which was particularly harsh on the very good women's team).

British footballing poobahs have assured the IOC that there will be GB teams in 2012, when London hosts the Olympics. But I'm sure the various potentates at the English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Football Associations are crossing their fingers that the rest of the world won't say, "See, now we can have a single GB team in the World Cup instead of the nonsense of four."

Incidentally, Andy Murray's frequently expressed Scottish allegiances are the norm north of the border, not the exception. When England play, for example, Argentina in the World Cup, every bar in Glasgow is filled with people cheering for the South Americans.

Posted by Pete 09/18/2008 at 05:27 PM

Nancy, somehow after seeing your comments on the previous post, I knew you'd be first to notice. I hope I read y'all correctly, because I'm not in the habit of figuring the hott factor in men, but I had a funny feeling when I saw that pic that the other team would want to know. . .

Posted by Liwa 09/18/2008 at 05:31 PM

I remember the head groundsman at Wimbledon being interviewed during a rain delay many years ago and he claimed that it rains so much at Wimbledon because "England is an island (sic)".

So it not only ignorant, mono-lingual, tube-sock wearing Americans that get this wrong.

// To answer the question on Scotland not having a Davis Cup team.

I should imagine it has something to do with the relative weakness of tennis in Scotland/Wales/Ireland, which meant that when it was developing there was no inter-national (i.e. inter-Eng/Sco/Ire/Wal) competition at the beginning of the sport, unlike the situation in soccer and rugby. There is only one governing body (LTA) covering the whole of British tennis, while there are individual national governing bodies for both football and rugby, and always have been.

That is the only explanation I can think of because in golf (the nearest sporting equivalent) they don't play for GB. Monty represents Scotland, Ian Woosnam Wales, Darren Clarke Norn Ireland and Justin Rose England.

[I've never managed to work out why Ireland plays a united team for rugby and pretty much nothing else though.]

Posted by VJ 09/18/2008 at 05:32 PM

Prakash is Vijay's son, not Anand's son.

Posted by Pete 09/18/2008 at 05:36 PM

hat tip to you, VJ - changed. . .

Posted by Master Ace 09/18/2008 at 05:37 PM

Saw that pic when I posted and knew that would get some attention from TW.

Posted by 09/18/2008 at 06:18 PM

"Great Britain vs. Austria: I still can't get my mind around this whole England-Scotland-Wales thing; "

???????? is this your chis fowler impression?

Posted by beth 09/18/2008 at 06:36 PM

Pete - I found Jesse
great eyes
but , I think I am going to have to give this one further study

I may let the younger girls have this one :)

Posted by Grant 09/18/2008 at 06:36 PM

"which begs the question in this, the longest sentence in the history of the world"

I really enjoyed this.

Posted by Emma (murray's mint, but he's not rafalicious!) 09/18/2008 at 06:37 PM

pete, i must say, if the hot-with-three-t's pix we were promised were those of goran and the dutch bloke, im disappointed, i think perhaps either some hott sauce or sxc safin would have been more suitable ;)

Posted by Rachael 09/18/2008 at 06:41 PM

SO not feeling this Jesse guy. I wouldn't give him one t let alone three.
he looks like a pretty creepy combo of Seppi and Fognini.

Posted by Emma (murray's mint, but he's not rafalicious!) 09/18/2008 at 06:42 PM

liwa- the irish rugby team comprises both the republic and NI cos its generally accepted that there aren't enough good players in NI to form a seperate team, and i take it that when you refer to iraland in your post regarding tennis that you meant NI, why in god's name would ireland be involved in British tennis?

Posted by Rachael 09/18/2008 at 06:43 PM

and he looks like Garcia-Lopez.
he's like all the average-to-cute guys mixed into one confusing guy.

I reserve judgement until I see more photos.
but thanks Pete, for bringing this very important issue to the forefront. the TWomen appreciate having fresh meat to discuss.

Posted by great gams 09/18/2008 at 06:46 PM

keep an eye on Somdev Devvarman in the India-Romania tie: he might tip the balance in favour of India. he's had some sizzling results on the Challenger circuit recently and almost beat Almagro on clay in Bucharest last week.

and if Scotland did field a Davis Cup team that would leave England with... who? scary thought....

Posted by 09/18/2008 at 06:50 PM

Here are some more pics of Jesse Huta Galung

Posted by Emma (murray's mint, but he's not rafalicious!) 09/18/2008 at 06:51 PM

lol rachael, fresh meat!!

Posted by Emma (murray's mint, but he's not rafalicious!) 09/18/2008 at 06:54 PM

the headless poster at 6:50, thx, he looks a bit gasquet-ish in the first one...

Posted by Rachael 09/18/2008 at 06:58 PM

in the second photo I definitely fancy the guy on the right more.. niiice.

Posted by avid sports fan (smiling) 09/18/2008 at 06:59 PM

Emma - Just what I was going to say. He really is a "Gasquet-look alike"

Posted by Liwa 09/18/2008 at 07:05 PM

Emma, I meant Ireland in C19th, pre-partition days when I referred to it in the tennis sense. (When the sport was being established). Would have said NI if I was talking post-1921. As a fellow Celt I appreciate how insensitivities can rankle.

Good to know about the rugby thing. Presumably, there were more footballers from the north around in the 1920s.

Posted by Emma (murray's mint, but he's not rafalicious!) 09/18/2008 at 07:08 PM

ok liwa :)

Posted by beth 09/18/2008 at 07:09 PM

still like the eyes
but , I am not seeing a Gasquet resemblance either
I don't know
other than the eyes
I am not feeling it

Posted by Violetta 09/18/2008 at 07:13 PM

He does have nice eyes, but he's a bit bland for my taste. I'll have to see him play tennis before I make a decision. Because it's all about the tennis, no?

Posted by beth 09/18/2008 at 07:57 PM

ok - I have to ask
Andrew - Fergus Gavish Mctavish ? you are making this stuff up as you go , right
and what is in your beverage glass there at your desk ?

Posted by crazy man 09/18/2008 at 08:00 PM

is there any way to watch the swiss team on tv this weekend?!?!?!?!?!!!!11

Posted by Second Serve 09/18/2008 at 08:03 PM

Interesting! There is a tier I WTA tournament finishing this weekend and neither Pete or Steve gives a hoot.

Posted by Pete 09/18/2008 at 08:30 PM

Hey everyone, how about dropping by the new post to say Hi to Heidi, as it's her last Deuce Club post for the foreseeable future. . .

Sheesh, girls, you're a tough crowd to please! I hope Jesse isn't reading.

Second Serve - Steve is busy closing the magazine, and I am absolutely guilty of not giving a hoot, what with Davis Cup starting tomorrow - or maybe it's already started, because somewhere on this globe, someone is playing tennis RIGHT NOW. . .

Posted by Master Ace 09/18/2008 at 08:41 PM

Second Serve,
Hopefully, Pete and/or Steve will give Tokyo some print time as Davis Cup is also happening this weekend. So far, the favorites, other than Ana, have progressed into the quaterfinals and the matchups that will start in approx 3.5 hours are:

Jankovic vs Kuznetsova
Dementieva vs Srebotnik
Kanepi vs Safina
Radwanska vs Petrova

Posted by georgie 09/18/2008 at 08:48 PM

sorry to sound so ignorant, but what does KAD mean?

Posted by C Note 09/18/2008 at 09:15 PM

Second Serve -- No kidding. It's one of the rare weeks where the WTA has center stage with no men's tourneys, and they still can't bother to write a darn thing about it.


Posted by Dunlop Maxply 09/18/2008 at 09:28 PM

I would add that although I am not sure that Scotland is a separate country across the boards, in the sport of soccer the thing is that Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, and N. Ireland were all granted separate status as a benefit, and this flows through both international matches and leagues (i.e., the Scottish Premiere League gets up to two teams in the Champions league.)

Of course, Brazil could probably field a couple of teams if it was divided up (Northern Brazil, Southern Brazil?) but Brazil is stuck with one team.

I think the debate is that if the Great Britain amalgamation ever sort of admits that it is one country for soccer purposes it will be viewed as a "loss" -- although one would think that the resulting combined team would be better.

Perhaps someone with more knowledge (Andrew? where are you?) could chime in.

Posted by Master Ace 09/18/2008 at 09:33 PM

If I am reading this correctly, the final from Tokyo will be livestream for people living in the USA beginning at midnight EST(11 PM CST) on Saturday

C Note,
Understand the frustration of no Tokyo coverage as the field was a Slam type field except for the Williams and Sharapova.

Posted by tennis kad 09/18/2008 at 09:59 PM

That was very funny. Thank you for writing it.

Posted by arbiter 09/18/2008 at 10:54 PM

Mr. Bodo, whichever nation you belong to, you are making them look bad. You have so much hatred towards everyone on this world, and you are such a poor writer...

Posted by Second Serve 09/18/2008 at 11:15 PM

Master Ace might have just hit the spot. No Williams, no Maria, no coverage...

And it might just be one of those tournaments where the #1 ranking may change hands, too. On second thought, I wouldn't bet on Jelena pulling it off.

Posted by FoT 09/18/2008 at 11:23 PM

I know Spain/US and Russia/Argentina are in the main draw and will probably take center stage, but my eyes will be on the Swiss DC team! Hopp Swiss! Two of my favorites are together - Roger and Stan - again! Too bad I probably won't get to see any of these matches anywhere though. *sad face*

Posted by rg.nadal 09/19/2008 at 12:14 AM

Very cheeky post. Enjoyed it. Waiting for today's matches. Nice to see the big 4 playing DC. Would have been happy to see any four of them play. Wish i get to see atleast highlights of Murray at Wimbledon on Court 1.
I am off to for clearing some niggling doubts about UK,GB, etc.

Posted by Syd 09/19/2008 at 12:31 AM

" Why doesn't Scotland just have its own Davis Cup team?"

Because the Kingdom of Scotland & the Kingdom of England were united into a single kingdom in the Union Treaty of 1707 under the name of Great Britain.

source: Britannica

Posted by crazyone 09/19/2008 at 12:57 AM

As far as I know Ollie Rochus isn't playing singles, Kristof Vliegen and Steve Darcis are. Rochus is just playing the dubs with Malisse.

Posted by rg.nadal 09/19/2008 at 01:09 AM

syd: Any idea why the Scots have their own soccer team then?

Posted by rg.nadal 09/19/2008 at 01:31 AM

Alright, think i got the answer of my question.

Posted by aussiemarg {true believer in asteriods & rafa magic} 09/19/2008 at 03:01 AM

i will be interested to see how our Australian Davis Cup team fairs against Chile in play offs,i think it is about time,these fellow guys step up,the little aussie battler,has been carrying this team for years,give it your best shot guys,do this one,for Lleyton!!!.

Posted by LXV 09/19/2008 at 03:42 AM

No need to mention Yugoslavia which never won the Davis Cup and Boba Zivojinovic who never ranked higher than #19 for the most firepower ever assembled on a single team...that team was by far 2005 Davis Cup Champion Croatia with kings of aces Ivan Ljubicic, Mario Ancic, Ivo Karlovic and still Goran Ivanisevic.

How could you miss that one Pete?

PS: Thanks for Goran's that's a keeper, LOL !

Posted by unknown 09/19/2008 at 10:55 AM

"btw, Goran's pic is hilarious...I miss this crazy guy."

Me too. I could never get enough of Goran.*sigh*

Posted by Pete 09/19/2008 at 12:53 PM

LXV - you are 100 percent correct. My bad.

Posted by sacre bleu 09/19/2008 at 02:09 PM

Really, Goran has some some really racist things.

Posted by 09/19/2008 at 03:39 PM

Dear Mr. Bodo,
I have been lurking and reading for a while without posting, but I wanted to do a quick post to thank you for your write-up on the Korea/Netherlands tie. I had a good laugh and I am still laughing. It made my day. Thank you.
(I am a Korean, in case it wasn't clear from my name :-) )

Posted by o'malley 09/19/2008 at 04:07 PM

England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the 4 countries that make up the United Kingdom (together with the Shetland, Orkney, Manx and Channnel Islands) all have long established football federations and leagues affiliated to FIFA and UEFA so are entitled to play in association football competitions as separate nations; whereas tennis in the UK is controlled by the LTA who cobble together a British team for the Davis Cup.

BTW, every Scots schoolchild knows that England+Wales=Britain and the addition of Scotland makes Great Britain (or makes Britain great, as they like to boast north of the border!). Add on Northern Ireland and you have the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland' the citizens of which bear British passports. Only the ignorant refer to the whole as 'England' and talk about having 'English' citizenship (or erroneously call their Olympic team 'Team GB', which leaves out all the Northern Ireland athletes!)

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