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The Prodigal Brother 02/07/2008 - 11:41 AM

Well, some of you already beat me to the punch on this in the previous thread, but I found Jamie Murray's comments about his brother Andy's decision to skip the Davis Cup tie against Argentina somewhat puzzling. And less because he criticized Andy than for the way Jamie articulated his disappointment. It sound so curiously personal and, well, cold. And that's not something you expect of a brother.

My only caveat is that I really like siblings who are secure enough in their relationship to have a public mud-fight and I guess we're going to find out soon enough if Andy and Jamie are of that breed.

Brits For the record, there may be no player on the ATP tour who has a better reason for skipping the first round of Davis Cup. For one thing, it's all but impossible to envision the UK warriors make a serious run at the final. For another, Argentina is one of the powerhouse - if traditionally underwhelming - Davis Cup nations. For another, the tie will be held in Buenos Aires on red clay. . . Shall we go on? Oh, all right.

Andy Murray has had a rough 12 months, despite the flashes of brilliance he showed coming  back from injury last fall. He was beaten in the first round of the Australian Open, and although Jo-Wilfried Tsonga went on to prove that he's a player of formidable talent and toughness, it was still a tough loss that advanced the growing notion that Murray doesn't bring his A game to Grand Slam events. Then there's the uneasy relationship between Murray, a Scot, and the English.

The tennis establishment in the UK is almost exclusively English and let's remember that, realistically, we're talking about two different nations here - hail, Scotland and England field their own World Cup soccer teams. To many, the UK conceit is a hollow one that is no more relevant in tennis than in the many other geopolitical or social areas. Andy also has said that he would rather win the US Open than Wimbledon, an attitude that says less about where his loyalties lie than where they do not. The bottom line is that Andy needed to play against Argentina about as much as he needs dental surgery.

Watercooler2 By contrast, Davis Cup is an event in which Jamie can really shine. He's a doubles specialist, which means that his moments in the big sun are few and far between. Davis Cup, with its nationalistic underpinnings, is one of them. As we all know, no doubles is quite as important as Davis Cup doubles - if nothing else, because the the format makes doubles the often critical swing match. There are no "doubles only" days at ATP events or even majors, but its a major and often under-appreciated aspect of the Davis Cup formula.

Every closely watched Davis Cup tie heightens Jamie Murray's public image and advances his career. Fair enough. And while it's conjecture on my part, I have this sneaky feeling that Jamie's broadside is less about patriotism than self-interest. It's like Andy scored tickets to a Coldplay gig and decided to offer the extra one to someone else. Sometimes brothers (or sisters) get bent out of shape about stuff like that.

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Posted by Jerell 02/07/2008 at 11:54 AM

this is deep, and for the first time, I'm first.

The Scottish-English thing is so ugly and Murray has kind of made added towards that with some comments.

Posted by Jerell 02/07/2008 at 11:55 AM

oh, and might I add this, if people saw Wertheim's letter weekly thingy, the Shriester showed her "benevolence" once again this past weekend. Seriously, she's knows how to make you never feel sorry for her again.

Posted by GSte 02/07/2008 at 12:13 PM

Interesting, Pete. It seemed a little odd to me that Jamie was so critical of his brother. I hope that he isn't jealous or resentful of what Andy has accomplished so far.

Just a question for those who were following tennis closely at the time-when both the McEnroe bros were playing, how was their relationship? I always get the impression that they got on quite well with each other?

Posted by paulC 02/07/2008 at 12:17 PM

Better Coldplay than Hannah Montana.

Posted by abbey 02/07/2008 at 12:19 PM

i don't know why i do (and of course i may be wrong), but i do see andy and jamie's relationship as "siblings who are secure enough in their relationship to have a public mud-fight." that's why i didn't react negatively to jamie's comments. and i feel it's only through him, that gb's davis cup team can relay their true feelings about andy's decision without any repurcussions on andy's future dc commitments. and jamie, knowing this, took it upon himself to air his real thoughts for the team.

and so what if gb didn't have a hail of a chance in winning. that's not why you play, right?

Posted by Veruca Salt 02/07/2008 at 12:23 PM

If anyone is in a position to criticize Andy it would be Jaime, right? Who knows you better than your own brother?

But the bigger issue is once again the ITF's insistence on maintaining this crazy Fed Cup/Davis Cup schedule. If they want the top guys and girls to participate in each round, then they are going to have to do something!

Posted by Pete 02/07/2008 at 12:23 PM

I hear you Abbey, I struggle with that one too but felt it better to leave out the "ought to play" sentiment and focus on the reasons he had for not playing, since that's always part of the discussion. . . especially because if you look at why players don't participate, Murray's case is about as logical, even if you don't agree with his decision, as any.

Posted by beth 02/07/2008 at 12:31 PM

I would sure hate to be at the next Murray family meal , after those comments were aired out . But, hopefully , the brothers can work through it
I understand the disappointment of the team. Didn't Andy spend time training on the Spanish clay - so he would be the best hope of the British team to perform on that surface?
And while Andy gets the spotlight , Jamie is the one with the Wimbledon title - so I don't think the jealousy thing would be there
If Andy claims injury - and his older brother is calling him on it - does that lead any one to believe that maybe this injury is not as serious as reported.
Why would his brother kick him when he is down - if the injury is real and serious?
I am just speculating here - but I really wonder what would make Jamie lash out this way . I cannot imagine that mama Murray is too happy with her eldest son for his
statements to the public .

Posted by abbey 02/07/2008 at 12:32 PM

i was actually surprised with this post, pete (i read it as you basically giving andy a pass) when you've always been a staunch dc supporter and have criticized other players for skipping dc.

Posted by The Original French(ie) 02/07/2008 at 12:35 PM

I've read that Andy was actually seen playing football on the LTA's premisses as the news was announced on the phone to the others! I guess that's perhaps the reason of Jamie's "bitterness" or disappointment. It's just a "in the moment" reaction, nothing that has necessarily deeper meaning.

(Mr Pete I've answered your post on Rafa on the other thread).

Posted by Pat Kennedy Lawford 02/07/2008 at 12:41 PM

Erm, seems to me that Andy Murray does, in truth, need dental surgery, though.

Posted by Snoo Foo 02/07/2008 at 12:50 PM

it's a lot easier to publicly bash someone for not playing davis cup (or smoking 4 packs of winstons a day, or spending car wreck insurance money on a 60 inch television, or messing around with his girlfriend's best friend) when you've spent many years giving him noogies, hiding his star wars figures, and wiping snot off his face.

Of course, woebetide any other sucker who dares criticize him, for anything, ever.

Posted by Samantha Elin 02/07/2008 at 12:54 PM

Notice to Murray, never air your family laundry in public. Jerell, I'm no fan of Sharapova, haven't liked her since she beat Justine at the US open several years ago(,I don't like any player that beats her) but I don't see anything wrong with what she said to Peer.Go Justine, world's #1!

Posted by Ruth 02/07/2008 at 12:58 PM

Quick comment, Pete...if all the countries used the "but we don't have a realistic chance to win the darn thing, anyway" reason (see your 3rd paragraph above) for participating in DC or FC or any international competition, at least half of the ties would have to be cancelled each year. And only about one-third of the countries in the world would need to show up at the Olympics, right?

Please, please do not give any respectability to that kind of excuse. It's part of the reason why I have time to post this comment today... too many students have decided, after just 4 weeks of classes, that they'll never pass the college courses they enrolled in; so, instead of trying, they've already withdrawn from the college.

Posted by abbey 02/07/2008 at 12:59 PM

samantha, it's not a family laundry. and if anyone can call you out on your bs, your brother is definitely one of them.

Posted by Pete 02/07/2008 at 01:04 PM

Now that was funny, Snoo. . .

Aw Ruthie, I understand and agree. I just felt that it was not the way to go after yesterday's post, and that no matter how you feel, at times it's better to examine an issue through a slightly different filter, even if you don't generally see things that way.

Posted by beth 02/07/2008 at 01:09 PM

I am with Samantha here , abbey,although I see your point in your last post . It is the publicness of the calling out that is the problem
I do not have any siblings , but I do have 2 kids.
They may fight at home - and believe me they do - but no one else better step in to criticize one or the other. Woe be to the man who makes Missie cry - Jake will make him pay. And the same is true in reverse.
Now, no one ever shoved a microphone at either one of them , but I cannot imagine that either of my kids would criticize the other in so public a forum - no matter what they thought privately . It would be totally out of character for either one.
Ruth - how sad for you as a teacher and for the students who gave up. That is truly a shame.

Posted by Snoo Foo 02/07/2008 at 01:09 PM

Ruth, amen, that is the excuse I hate the most of all, the very worst excuse. Peru and Israel wouldn't even have teams let alone be in the world group.

Posted by Evie 02/07/2008 at 01:14 PM

Yes that is the worst excuse. Even more should Andy Murray be there. Funny up there Snoo.

Posted by Crazy-for-Rog 02/07/2008 at 01:26 PM

"For the record, there may be no player on the ATP tour who has a better reason for skipping the first round of Davis Cup. For one thing, it's all but impossible to envision the UK warriors make a serious run at the final."
Exactly ! And this is exactly what I would also apply to Federer, only substituting "UK" with "Swiss". It's unfortunate that Fed's critics don't take that into account when they criticize him for skipping DC.

BTW ... very very strange to hear these comments from Jamie Murray about his own brother. Maybe he does resent his brother's success in singles, after all.

Posted by crazyone 02/07/2008 at 01:28 PM

Wait, wait...Janko Tipsarevic pulled out of Davis Cup with...a stomach virus? I'm not questioning the validity of the reason, I was just really confused, because I thought for a second they were describing the Janko Tipsarevic who almost defeated the stomach virus-riddled Federer or something.

Posted by kirsty 02/07/2008 at 01:28 PM

A video of Andy playing football at the LTA's Roehampton facility at about the time he withdrew was on his website. More photos of him training at Roehampton have been added during this week.

As Pete said Andy had plenty of reasons not to play this tie but he choose to cite potentially aggravating a long-term knee problem. He's always had a bipartite patella which makes it even more surprising that he's been training so much in the past week. In his initial statement he partially blamed his 'intensive training' during the off-season saying it had put a lot of stress on the knee.

Another comment Jamie made referred to the fact that when Andy phoned him the day before he was due to fly out and join the team he didn't mention any injury or possibility that he wasn't going to be there.

This is a surprise because Jamie has been such a staunch supporter of Andy whenever he's been in the firing line - which has been fairly often during his short career. Maybe he just got a little tired of constantly having defend kid brother and thought 'if he didn't bother to warn me we were in for another PR disaster why should I keep trying to protect him?'

Posted by ptenisnet 02/07/2008 at 01:28 PM

In an attempt to defend JM:
Maybe JM is just voicing the feelings of the entire DC team. Under those circumstances the statement is best coming from him rather than anyone else. At least this way, he will not be asked to comment on someone else's statement.

Plus he's like the most senior member of the team anyway.

Posted by ptenisnet 02/07/2008 at 01:30 PM


where do you think janko got the stomach virus? prolly why he didnt want to hug the fed after the match in the first place.

Posted by crazyone 02/07/2008 at 01:34 PM

ptenisnet, I think Santoro's virus free, and he definitely hugged the fed.

It's all so very...interesting.


Posted by yello fuzz 02/07/2008 at 01:35 PM

Samantha Elin
Maria is so much like her father enough said
also at the end of (one of the worst writer for Sports Illustrated, and thats not saying much either cuz most of the good ol boys at SI make the Bubbas from the south sound like geniuses)Wertheim's article the ratings for the womens final was pathetic. So much for the notion that Maria is bringing new fans to the sport

Posted by ptenisnet 02/07/2008 at 01:37 PM

santoro is indestructible.
aint no virus gonna touch him.

Posted by Snoo Foo 02/07/2008 at 01:41 PM

It's unfortunate that (!some of!) TMF's fans don't take into account how pathetic it makes him look when they suggest that not-being-able-to-win is his reason for skipping DC.

Posted by yello fuzz 02/07/2008 at 01:53 PM

Snoo Foo
TMF can do no wrong
U would think payers would want some extra time on the clay, I guess Murray doesn't think he has a chance on clay.

Posted by Tari 02/07/2008 at 02:02 PM

I do think that is a deplorable excuse, Snoo.

Posted by Rosangel 02/07/2008 at 02:19 PM

With all respect, CfR, Stanislas Wawrinka is the world number 32, which means that he's currently good enough to be seeded in a Grand Slam, and ought to be good enough to turn in some wins in a DC tie as the second player. I have hopes that Stan's progress will mean that Federer will return to playing DC sooner rather than later. Stan injured himself preparing for a DC tie last year and was out for several months - as a small pice of "justice" it would be good to see him do well in the competition in future, along with Fed.

Not that I'm criticising anyone here - as I've said in the past, I accept Federer's reasons for what they are - don't see a need to either admire them or excoriate him - but world number 32 is a long way from being world number 188, which is where Alex Bogdanovic, Great Britains's number two, is ranked.

The counter-argument to that would be, I suppose, that Jamie Murray is a pretty good doubles player, though requiring a strong partner in a DC situation - however, that's just one match, and it's not like having the Bryans on the team.

Posted by gone hollywood 02/07/2008 at 02:24 PM

No excuse for Murray to leave his team and brother to fend for themselves in mean, cold Argentina.

Roger Federer is not interested in playing for anybody except himself. He'd rather promote his metroman image at the Super Bowl or get free couture clothes from the Vogue offices.

Posted by Pete 02/07/2008 at 02:26 PM

It would be ironic if, at the end of the day in some ongoing GOAT debate, Federer's Davis Cup record becomes an issue. Let's remember that Rod Laver and Pete Sampras have DC finals wins on their resumes.

Posted by Or 02/07/2008 at 02:26 PM

I didn't like Jamie's comments, he could have said he was "disappointed" but not to critisize him in public like that.

Lets just say, that I'm not sure the Murray family is indeed from "That breed"

Posted by Beckham 02/07/2008 at 02:26 PM

Can we now classify the Fed's participation or lack thereof in DC as a dead horse???

Posted by Ali C (Allez Alize!) 02/07/2008 at 02:26 PM

Did the watercooler logo get bigger? =)

Alize just lost in straights to Razz, but both players were pushing each other - a lot of games went to deuce. It was a titanic battle of the tired, jet-lagged Frenchies. So probably not pretty.

Dechy's out, too, but, surprise! Bartoli and Mauresmo are still coasting. *grumble, grumble*

Posted by Tokyo Tom (tt) 02/07/2008 at 02:31 PM

These guys are professionals and I think they are right to look after what is best for their short, medium and long term prospects. The higher ranked and further they go in tourneys the more important that is. I agree with Pete that AM, given his injury prone 2007 has an obligation to try and maintain enough fitness to compete.

It is clear from photos that most guys really love playing DC, but I do not think the format makes it easy for these guys to participate and it is fairly clear that playing DC for one's country versus participating in the Olympics for one's country carries different weights. The DC is like a bus - misss one and there is another chance next year.

While I thihk it is fantastic when players want to participate and suppport their team, I also respect an individual players right to protect their health and career prospects - especially for the top singles players.

Also, all the injuries from the heavy scheduled players suggests they are right to keep a sharp eye on how much they play.

Posted by Tari 02/07/2008 at 02:34 PM

LOL, Becks...nope. :) He's still got a big 'ol target on his back.
But I'm really encouraged to read some of the comments from the other thread and here. Makes me feel like it was only the haters that maybe made those looonnnggg days of DC discussion last year a nightmare. Most of the TWibe is principled about this. :)

Wouldn't have been the first time that I was ultra-sensitive. *whistles and rolls eyes* :)

Posted by Ali C (Allez Alize!) 02/07/2008 at 02:44 PM

Coasting = Amelie winning 3 games and then having Eleni retire. You've got to be kidding me.

Posted by Snoo Foo 02/07/2008 at 02:45 PM

"the end of the day in some ongoing GOAT debate"

LOL! Now that's funny.

Posted by zonie 02/07/2008 at 02:46 PM

Tokyo Tom: You put very well into words what I have been thinking.

Disclaimer: Davis Cup to me is like those 3D stereograms. It seems like most everybody is able to get it except me. I don't see or feel Davis Cup. Nothing against it, I just can't get excited about it.

Maybe for that reason I feel very uncomfortable when any player is excoriated for choosing not to participate. It has to mean something that such a number of players do not participate in spite of the fact that they get reamed by their local press for it. I'm sure Fed does, I know Nadal does, and it looks like Murray is taking a lot of heat too. These guys have worked very hard to be where they are at and I do not blame them if they feel they may be jeopardizing their positions if they play.

Posted by Veruca Salt 02/07/2008 at 02:54 PM

"Can we now classify the Fed's participation or lack thereof in DC as a dead horse???"

Dead and stinking up the joint.

Posted by elenas 02/07/2008 at 02:57 PM

Jamie's comments suprised everyone...It wold have been better if he voiced his disappointment to Andy privately but it seems like he spoke to the media first...It just doesnt seem brothely at all.

Keep in mind that Jamie is a big brothr here...You tend to protect your young siblings...Look at Venus and Serena for instance...

Seems like big brother is little bit jealous

Posted by Ali C (Allez Alize!) 02/07/2008 at 03:00 PM

Maybe it's that the big names feel/know that they'll be totally overused if they do decide to play. Federer and Nadal and Murray can guess that if they agree to play, they'll be playing three matches, trying to win the tie.

So maybe the better way to manage it is for the captains to say, "come out, be the 4th man, and if we need to send you in for a crucial singles rubber, we will."

That way, they don't feel like they're going to be pulling all the weight on their own (and risking injury), but they're still there to support their country, and to play if needed.

The trick would be convincing the crowds not to throw things at the captain...

Posted by Todd and in Charge 02/07/2008 at 03:01 PM

For what it's worth, Andy says this is a one-off:

"Murray misses this weekend's tie in Argentina, much to the annoyance of LTA officials and team-mates, but has told the captain it is a one-off.

'I've spoken to Andy and we had a good chat,' Lloyd told BBC Radio 5 Live.
'He said it's a one-off and he's available for our next match, which is great news.'

Murray pulled out of the World Group tie in Buenos Aires last Wednesday, saying he didn't want to risk injury by switching from hard courts to clay and back again."

That's a pretty lame reason, IMO -- change of surface vs. glory for your country?

Posted by Snoo Foo 02/07/2008 at 03:04 PM

I have a lot lower tolerance for my little brother doing stupid crap than for other people, even my friends, doing the same thing, partly cuz I expect better from him and also I feel responsible for what he does to some extent.

dude TMF should wait until swiss has been sent down to like, zonal class XXIV or whatever and then he should join the fight against burkina faso and then like, they can win the whole thing and be the first team from short season a-ball to win the world series.

Posted by Ruth 02/07/2008 at 03:06 PM

See, Petey? It took less than 2 hours (see CfR at 1:26 pm) for someone to cite your post as justification for that most horrible of excuses for non-particiaption in a competition. :)

I'm glad that Roger has never used that "reason" in any of his explanations for not playing DC; and, as Snoo indicated (and I have said said before), I wish his fans wouldn't offer it as an excuse for him.

Posted by Crazy-for-Rog 02/07/2008 at 03:18 PM

Well, sorry to beat a dead horse, but I feel that I must respond ...

Snoo Foo: "It's unfortunate that (!some of!) TMF's fans don't take into account how pathetic it makes him look when they suggest that not-being-able-to-win is his reason for skipping DC."

No, that is not THE reason for Fed skipping DC. Nor am I offering it as an excuse for him. I was merely reacting to Pete's statement which I quoted in my post. When we are talking about Andy Murray, and say that there is no way for his country to make it to the finals, so no big deal if he does not participate, why can't the same allowance be made for Federer? Is all I'm saying. I personally don't understand why people are so touchy about this statement. I never said (and neither did Federer) that he is skipping DC because he doesn't think they could win. I think you have to put it all into perspective. If winning DC depends largely on Fed winning both his singles matches as well as the doubles for virtually every tie, because he does not have a reliable second player to back him up, then, it's really unreasonable to expect him to play every round.

People forget that Fed used to participate in DC regularly until 2004, when he made the decision to put his own singles career ahead in priorities. He still accomodates one DC tie per year into his schedule. Do you think, 3 years down the road, that players like Djokovic would not make the same decision?

Posted by Crazy-for-Rog 02/07/2008 at 03:25 PM

And Ruth ... nobody gasped in shocked surprise at Pete's statement citing that "most horrible of excuses for Andy's non-particiaption in a competition". Yet, when I just throw it out there regarding Federer, you act like I've committed blasphemy !

Posted by Snoo Foo 02/07/2008 at 03:27 PM

that excuse is total garbage whether it's coming from muzzah or tmf, as for it being "no big deal if he does not participate," I bet a lot of people in the UK would disagree, vehemently, starting with jamie murray.

Posted by Snoo Foo 02/07/2008 at 03:29 PM

Cfr if you want to see gasping in shock checkout Ruth's post at 12:58 pm and mine at 1:09.

Posted by ptenisnet 02/07/2008 at 03:32 PM

I wish there tennis going on this week.

Posted by 02/07/2008 at 03:34 PM

Ptenis: ouch.


Posted by Tokyo Tom (tt) 02/07/2008 at 03:36 PM

and if Murray he blow out his knee in SA, I am sure those same people will pass the hat around to provide the earnings lost from his profession. DC is a blast from the days of amatuers and while I think most of these guys like to play and be part of a team. They also have to look after their career, ability to earn a living over a very short (relative) period of time and and to protect their ability to compete first in the slams and masters over the course of the year.

Posted by ptenisnet 02/07/2008 at 03:37 PM

good point anon.
obviously it is not compelling enough to talk about.

Posted by Veruca Salt 02/07/2008 at 03:38 PM

*kicks the carcass for good measure*

Look, Fed isn't going to participate is DC full time unless Switzerland is in danger of falling into the Zonal Group LXXVV or something. He's stated his reasons and that's all anyone should ask for. It would be an issue if he called a press conference and showed up with a painted on lump on his head and Mirka holding him up expressing his regret due to a "cow roping" incident. But he hasn't so let's just leave it alone.

Posted by ptenisnet 02/07/2008 at 03:40 PM

razzano dompte cornet

does this mean razzano dumped cornet?

Posted by GSte 02/07/2008 at 03:41 PM

Veruca-that was funny.

Posted by GSte 02/07/2008 at 03:42 PM

ptenisnet-sort of-it literally means "put down" or "tame"

Posted by ptenisnet 02/07/2008 at 03:46 PM

yeah i looked it up. subdued.
although dompte=dumped has some kind of gennesayqua quality to it.

Posted by Bismarck 02/07/2008 at 03:51 PM

really unfortunate that you kinda embraced the worst of all excuses: "we can´t win anyway" with this piece, Pete.

Ruth, Snoo:

Posted by Crazy-for-Rog 02/07/2008 at 03:53 PM

Ok Snoo Foo, I read the posts you referred me to. But I think my post elicited an even more violent reaction than Pete's did :)

C'mon, you guys know that everything isn't always black and white. Many different factors come into play in influencing a player's decision to play or not play for his country. It's the same sort of thing that goes into deciding how many tournaments a player plays during the year. Proper scheduling with adequate time allowed for rest and training is a vital consideration. Playing DC can be enormous pressure, because you're no longer just playing for yourself - you carry a country's hopes on your shoulders. If you have strong teammates to split that burden with, that makes it so much easier. If not, then ... the probability of making it through to the final should also be a consideration - the "risk versus reward" measure. It's nothing to be affronted about.

Posted by ptenisnet 02/07/2008 at 03:58 PM

to be fair: someone did bring up gdf earlier wrt ginnie and alize.

Posted by Ali C (Allez Alize!) 02/07/2008 at 04:02 PM

That might have been me. I'm beating a different dead horse, all by myself!

(Or was it someone else?? Did I miss it?)

Your Franglais is magnifique. ;)

Posted by Pete 02/07/2008 at 04:04 PM

Bismarck - I never embraced that excuse, I just wanted to analyze the decision through Murray's eyes, which are like Federer's eyes, which are like many other eyes, historically speaking. The important thing about it is that the players generally have a very live and let live attitude about their fellow players' degree of DC committment. The implication is that Jamie Murray said what he did in spite of the fact that Andy has a pretty powerful case for skipping DC, and particularly this DC tie, by logic and ratonalizations that exist, and others players frequently use, whether we like it or not. Personally, I think all players should play Davis Cup. But this was a post about the disagreement between the brothers, not whether or not Andy should play.

Posted by CM 02/07/2008 at 04:08 PM

Crazy-for-Rog...I got your point. When I first read Pete's post, the sentence that you mentioned stuck out in my brain as well. I almost posted similar to what you did...but I knew many posters would take it the way they did. There are plenty of 1-man teams out there who will probably never win, but that is a terrible reason not to even try! As someone else stated...more than half the countries wouldn't even show up! And the Olympics would be a 5-country race!!

Roger has never used that excuse. As a matter of fact, I've never heard any tennis player use that excuse for not playing and I hope I never do.

Posted by Rosangel 02/07/2008 at 04:09 PM

*steam coming out of ears*

Posted by Bismarck 02/07/2008 at 04:10 PM

the gdf is so lifeless this year.
the venue looks ugly, the colours are horrible.
anyone who criticises the fall indoor season has yet to see gdf.
and in the draw is an overload of players i´m not too fond of (i spurn some one could say).
even the top seed is on probation.
but every cloud has a silver lining:
nadia petrova is already out.

Posted by Bismarck 02/07/2008 at 04:13 PM

okay, thanks for clarification, Pete.

Posted by Sher 02/07/2008 at 04:14 PM

The way the article prints it ("The two have not spoken since the team was told of Andy's decision"), it's as though Jamie found out about the decision when it was annouced to the rest of the team.

Posted by ptenisnet 02/07/2008 at 04:15 PM

It was you. Although I didnt realize you=anon.

That horse smells less bad. owing to the fact that it's been dead for a shorter while i guess. plus this dead horse has a shorter shelf life.
mercy bo coop

Posted by Sher 02/07/2008 at 04:21 PM

I thought Andy's pulling out was preventative, so he doesn't actually have a serious injury yet.

Snoo Foo, why is that a bad excuse? Personally, I think that Federer has a good shot if Wawrinka keeps it together; but if Federer didn't have a shot at it, why would it be wrong not to play DC that you know you can't win? Playing for the fun of it can just as well be accomplished by another Swiss tennis player who needs practice.

Posted by Rosangel 02/07/2008 at 04:31 PM

I'm imagining a scenario in which Andy felt under a great deal of pressure to play - not to let other people down. He has stated in the past that he may not always be able to commit to DC, and the issue about the change of surfaces has come up before.

Then, perhaps, having conceded that he would play, the conflict between what was right for him (the reasons Pete gives from his perspective are very sound ones, not least his injury-ridden season last year, plus he has something to prove after splitting with Brad Gilbert) and what is right for the team came to a head when the time came and the practicalities were looming. It sounds like a sudden, last-minute decision, even though the warnings had previously been issued.

Result: he tries to do the right thing, realises he can't go through with it, and ends up shooting himself in the foot.

Interstingly enough, Jamie Baker, who has taken Andy's place on the team, is also a Scot.

Posted by Tari 02/07/2008 at 05:02 PM

I'm shaking my head. Andy's not injured. Am I right? He's doing what he thinks is best for his career. End of story. Like it or lump it. But further "massaging" of this dead horse to make it smell better for those that are trying to straddle this line is annoying, especially in light of the treatment that Roger has gotten here.

Posted by marieJ in right DC shoes 02/07/2008 at 05:23 PM

OT : gdf, gfd, gdf ???? ahhh ! GDF ! gaz de france...
i did not recognize it in mini minus format !!!

some random thoughts :
5 months back those scots/english were mad at winning some DC match to get in the world group and went on beating the croats... 5 months later they come down to earth to what is like to play in the WG in argentina on clay... one could easily argue that they could have had a better shot against germany or belgium... but no luck :((

was andy really injured or just being annoyed to get that far to get probably an humiliating beatdown ???
do you remember last year when argentina received the aussies, how loud thay were claiming they would beat them all to 5-0 ? well i read in la nacion argentina, they were really going for a 3-0 lead, those argies are just mercyless or vindictive ???
i'm surprised no one though about that, maybe it's not so relevant anymore but argies and brits weren't public enemy to each other not long ago ? there is a strong historical dislike...
but it might be just irrelevant, here about andy.
but on the argie, side ? could be...

andy's physical is still suspect sometimes, on clay he injured himself enough to keeping him out from the battle of the race...
clay = potential injury ? sure he doesn't want to get in that situation again...
he allready crash out at the AO where he could have had a very good draw and have a potential run iso stonga ? some say he would feel better because stonga reached the final, in andy shoes, i say : i let him stole my spot, damn it.... or triple time idiot !!!

so you have this :
argies+clay+bad/medium start of the season+motivation gone+the burden/heavy carry on player leader team = andy making excuses to play... or just finding an honorable escape ?

on the devil's advocate side, now andy knows he can't afford to say NO to DC after bringing UK in the WG, without getting bashed all over in the press, so he plays the good and bad brother with jamie like he must have done thousands of times to get out of tricky situations where he was due to do something...

have you ever played that game with your sis' or bro' ?
i did, and i did it many times ;)

maybe i'm too cynical, but my devil's scenario sound credible, no ?

and btw, i got it all right with tommy and almagro in singles + feli and hot sauce in doubles... jeje, i'm ready to apply for emilio's job... and i would just coach the hottest DC team... mmmhhh :P

Posted by Snoo Foo 02/07/2008 at 05:32 PM

Oh man Sher, don't get me started, maybe cuz I'm so fond of underdogs, I can't freaking stand to hear someone say that if I can't win, there's no point in trying. It's like, it goes against my religion, the whole Oops there goes another rubber tree plant. Or am I supposed to believe these dudes have less gumption than an ant?

Look if you don't want to win it, if you just don't care about it, ok, I mean that's not the loveliest attitude but whatever, it's still better than "we have no chance so why even bother." It's just such a quitter/loser philosophy, if I had a kid or a teammate or something who said that I would go ballistic. Who thought Italy would win Fed Cup last year? Who thought the Slovak republic, or whatever it's called, slovakia, would make it to the DC final? (Ok maybe somebody did but I sure didn't) Who thought Israel would take out Chile? I freaking live for that!

But it doesn't happen if the, um, underdog stays home.

Posted by Ruth 02/07/2008 at 05:34 PM

CfR: (re your 3:25 pm) Did you miss my 12:58 pm comment directed to Pete? If so, please read it and Pete's response to it. And please don't attribute any gasps in shock or accusations of blasphemy to me when there are none in my comments. It would take quite a bit, especially on a tennis board, to elicit such a response from me.

Snoo: Not only was your post about big brother Jamie's comment hilarious, it also presented the philosophy of my very close seven-sibling family.

Posted by Rosangel 02/07/2008 at 05:35 PM

No, Andy isn't injured, according to his brother, and this appears to have been a last-minute decision.

I wasn't defending Andy or saying he did the right thing. Just imagining what might have happened to explain the sudden change of mind, and his brother's reaction.

I mentioned the other day that three of the top five weren't playing DC this weekend, then deliberately made it clear I was dropping the subject - not least because I somehow thought it could end up with another round of heated discussions about Fed's DC participation, and I can mostly do without that:)

Posted by Donal 02/07/2008 at 05:39 PM

Have you ever seen Jamie Murray play? I think he's seriously terrible. And weirdly full of himself. My guess is that team events like Davis cup are more significant for Jamie because it's a chance at glory for him (it's probably the one time doubles can actually get a lot of attention - especially in the UK) and he's annoyed that Andy won't help him out.

Posted by Tari 02/07/2008 at 05:43 PM

Thanks, Ros. I can do without it as well. Maybe, after this DC tie, we can look forward to this horse being buried. Preferably with no eulogy. :) Hallelujah!

Posted by SwissMaestro 02/07/2008 at 05:45 PM

Posted by Pete 02/07/2008 @ 2:26 PM

It would be ironic if, at the end of the day in some ongoing GOAT debate, Federer's Davis Cup record becomes an issue. Let's remember that Rod Laver and Pete Sampras have DC finals wins on their resumes.


I really don't think so. Sampras does not have a FO in his resume (I know, I know neither does Federer but remember he is still playing and trying to get it) and I don't really know if Laver has a gold Olympic medal (I know Federer does not have one either but he is trying to go for it this year as well). So now lets say he gets them both to complete a career golden slam, would it be a theme of a debate that he does not have a DC win in his resume eventhough the other 2 players mentioned above don't have either the medal or the FO?? That should be interesting...

It is weird however that the matches in DC count for the H2H record btween players but do not give or award any ATP ranking points. In my view (as in that of many) I think that if they are affecting the H2H record they should as well award some points and this in fact would get players that are reluctant to play this competition more interested.

Posted by zonie 02/07/2008 at 05:53 PM

To the posters who complain that Roger is the only player that gets 'mistreated' for pulling out of DC, here is a post of Pete's from last spring bashing Rafa pretty hard for his pullout. I am sure you will thouroughly enjoy it.

I for one am sick of this happening every time DC comes around, whoever it may be that pulls out. Some arguments are legitimate and consistent. But more often than not, arguments are slanted towards whichever player one supports leading to hair-splitting over which reasons are legitimate and which are not.

Again, with the fire these guys face every time they pull out, I imagine there are very compelling reasons that push them to do so.

Posted by zonie 02/07/2008 at 05:56 PM

Oops, forgot the link:

Posted by jhurwi 02/07/2008 at 06:05 PM

As I recall, Andy Murray made a statement several weeks ago expressing a lack of enthusiasm for Davis Cup play in general, long before he withdrew from the Argentina tie as a "preventative" measaure. The change-of-surface issue seems to be this year's favorite rationale in the case of players who aren't visibly injured. I wonder whether Nadal will ever play first-round (or even second-round) DC again now that he needs to worry about his schedule--last year he pulled out of early rounds citing fear of injury if he played on fast hard courts, this year he and Murray both cite the possibility of injury if they switch from hard courts in Australia to clay courts and then back to hard court.

Posted by Snoo Foo 02/07/2008 at 06:11 PM

on second thought if it weren't for some of the big dogs skipping DC/FEd cup ties, I wouldn't get some of the cinderella stories I'm so crazy about. So hey, Nanner stay home, so when Peru kicks Spain's axe, I can rejoice. (Except of course Peru don't need nobody staying home! bring it on, nanner or no nanner, spain is going down!)

then again, on third and fourth thought, if all the best dudes and females are sitting home, winning the DC/FC is totally meaningless. Which is too bad. Cuz it's fun to watch.

Posted by marieJ in right DC shoes 02/07/2008 at 06:13 PM

mama mia que ojazos !!!

sending telegram to emilio
emilio, resign asap i WANT YOUR JOB !!!

Posted by marieJ in right DC shoes 02/07/2008 at 06:18 PM

hi snoo emilio has requested a spot on machu pichu in cas spain bans him after losing this tie ;)

Posted by Tari 02/07/2008 at 06:19 PM

zonie: I would like to leave the horse dead...but two things: I don't relish any player being bashed about this, I simply pointed out a double standard, and also that I think the comments following that piece were extremely respectful to Rafa, unlike the comments following Roger's decision. So there is a difference. I, for one, was happy to see that we didn't commence with endless bashing of Rafa. :)

And furthermore, Roger has been unique, up until now in the way that he was the only top player to put his priorities out there (early, in fact)and take his medicine for his choices.

Posted by zonie 02/07/2008 at 06:27 PM

Oh Tari, I know. I wasn't specifically addressing you or anyone specifically for that matter. I just hate the constant bashing of any player for not playing Davis Cup, not just Rafa or Roger or Andy.

For what it is worth, one of the things I hate most is when Roger is bashed for not bringing the Davis Cup to Switzerland. Nobody, and I mean nobody, has done more to put Switzerland on the sports map than Roger. I find it most distasteful when players' patriotism is questioned in any way. Anyway, I seem to be in the minority on this one so I will let it go.

Posted by Tari 02/07/2008 at 06:29 PM

Nope. I'm with ya, zonie! :) I love Davis Cup...but I'm understanding of the choices that are made during such a short career. Both Roger and Rafa have given a lot to DC. I do wish
Roger would play...I would love for him to get a Cup for his country. :) But I'm not going to criticize him for it, either.
Cheers. :)

Posted by Rosangel 02/07/2008 at 06:37 PM

Tari: that poor equine. The one thing that TMF can't escape, though (and I don't think he wants to) is being world number one. And even though it's a good thing if all of the players act as ambassadors for the game, because of who he is, he tends to end up as "primus inter pares" - first among equals on that front. He'll get kudos for his achievements, but the biggest spotlight as well for anything that people see that they are not so keen on. It comes with the territory.

Even though it is in fact completely independent of what TMF does, there's always the lingering charge that some of the younger players may have been given a green light to skip DC because of his example. Of cpurse, each player is responsible for his own decisions.

What looks and feels like a double standard may be largely a consequence of the burden that he bears of public/media/fans expectations. - i.e., people expect more of him, even though they have no right to, any more than he's entitled to be number one other than by what he achieves with his racquet.

Oh, the politics of a competitive individual sport. The man isn't a politician, of course, but he's been number one for so long that he's a powerful representative nonetheless, which has its disadvantages.

Posted by Tari 02/07/2008 at 06:51 PM

Actually, that is my achilles heel on this subject, Ros. I agree with you. I do think that Roger has provided some cover for other players. It's not fair to blame him, but it is probably true. :)

Posted by Supersnark 02/07/2008 at 06:55 PM

Personally, the Davis cup only means I won't have a good tournament to watch that week. I watch tennis for the best players, not for any 'patriotic team effort.' Misplaced patriotism is the main source of many of our world's problems. Tennis is an individual sport, and I find the Davis cup's team format untrue to the nature of the game. American's aren't the best tennis players in the world, but they won the Davis Cup - awesome *pat on the back. When's the next major, or masters series tournament?

Andy Murray's general attitude - an icky mix of brattiness and coyness don't do him any good in his constant PR tussle as the UK's - Scotland's - new hope. The format's ridiculous. the competition itself is an antique, which is why its defenders always bring up its mythical history. Will Andy Roddick be remembered for Winning a DC, or going 1-13? (I lost count) versus Fed? Will Serbia forget Nole if he never wins a DC? These are pretty easy questions imho.

Posted by jb 02/07/2008 at 06:56 PM

I'm thinking we need to have a buriel of the poor equines around here. perhaps at a TWibe gathering, a tasteful toast? then we can all get up and stomp around the table to make sure they're thoroughly buried?

On second thought, too liberal an application of GE's may raise them from the dead instead!

Posted by Sam 02/07/2008 at 07:01 PM

jb: We'll need a graveyard the size of an entire continent to bury all the TW dead horses. ;-)

Posted by GSte 02/07/2008 at 07:04 PM

jb, Sam-lol, and I agree.

Posted by Rosangel 02/07/2008 at 07:06 PM

Of course, there will always be those elements who use "high expectations" as a supposedly high-minded cover that actually allows them an outlet for dealing with their own negative emotions due to jealousy of a high achiever.....I don't sense many of those around here, at least not among our regular posters. Maybe a troll or three.......

Posted by nora 02/07/2008 at 07:09 PM

Just for the heck of it, I have to say, I don't care a toss about Davis Cup. And despite what Andy Roddick and James Blake said, I doubt if it means nearly as much to them as Grand Slams.

And I think it's ridiculous to pressure these players to put their careers and livelihoods on the line for a non-serious event like the Davis Cup. Which of us, Pete included, would miss a single holiday -- or even miss a wedding, say -- to do some pro-bono work for our employer or, say, our childrens' school. I doubt if we'd make the sacrifice to *go* to the Davis Cup, never mind play in it.

Posted by Ruth 02/07/2008 at 07:11 PM

Snoo: What you said about what can happen when the "big dogs" stay home is so, so true. I've been smiling this whole week every time I think of Ashley Harkleroad's amazing performance and her reaction to her two FC wins in CA. Wouldn't/Couldn't have happened if dear Venus (or Serena) had turned up, no?

Posted by Supersnark 02/07/2008 at 07:14 PM

P r o B o n o !

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