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Davis Cup Wrap 09/21/2009 - 12:00 PM

By Pete Bodo

It was a great weekend for heroes, if not for Andy Murray, whose Great Britain Davis Cup squad went down in stinky flames to Poland in - get this - Group I zonal competition. And at home, no less.

That's right, Murray and company weren't even fighting for the privilege of remaining in the World Group, as were so many marquee names this weekend; they're wallowing down in the zonal pits and it's fair to ask, can you get there (WG) from here? Or, at what point is Murray entitled to throw up his hands and walk away from the Davis Cup mess, much like Roger Federer did some years ago, grumbling: Get me someone, anyone who can play this stupid game!

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While the importance of Davis Cup remains an issue among some fans and the media persists in ignoring this all-around terrific competition, the nations of the world continue to field increasingly formidable squads and produce sometimes insanely competitive and/or dramatic ties. How about Nicolas Lapentti, at the mind-blowing age of 33, leading Ecuador into the elite World Group fold by playing two best-of-five singles and a doubles over three  consecutive days, on clay, to lead his squad past Brazil - in Brazil?

Meet Nico Lapentti, Davis Cup MVP of this week. We're not taking questions.

Lapentti won his Day One singles i handily but, playing alongside his brother Giovanni, he had to grind out fives sets to help secure the doubles. Thus, in the scripted meeting of No. 1s, Lapentti played the fourth, potentially clinching rubber against Brazilian no. 1 Marcos Daniel. Long story short: Lapentti won it, 8-6 in the fifth

And this is what Lapentti said in the wake of his great effort: “It is one of the most special moments of my life. I really couldn’t believe when the match finished, because it was so up and down. I was very tired after the first two sets but this is the beauty of Davis Cup, the energy of a team and the energy of a country."

Come on, sports editors and broadcasters of the USA, give it up for Davis Cup. How about a little love? And yes, I'll keep saying it until I'm blue in the face, even though I'm already blue in the face. Davis Cup is, along with the four Grand Slam events, an absolutely critical crown jewel of the game. And there's nothing wrong with the format; Davis Cup has had a player-commitment problem, not a format problem.

But as an increasing number of players from formerly off-the-radar nations contend at majors (Djokovic is a great example; Federer would have been one, too, if only he weren't playing tennis for different stakes than everyone else) and earn big reputations by winning them, the status of Davis Cup will continue to grow. One net-gain for tennis in this period of relative weakness in the US is that the indifference of the media here is not an embarrassment for Davis Cup, nor does anyone else in the world give a hoot about our general attitude toward the competition. The decline of talent in the US has boosted Davis Cup worldwide.

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And consider this: Roger Federer played the key role in keeping Switzerland in the World Group. Chile, France, Serbia, India, Sweden and Ecuador - a mix of tennis powers and game outsiders - will join the Swiss. We had some very big names in the breech with the embarrassment of relegation to the Davis Cup minors (in some nations, that's considered a scandal) at stake.The key players who stepped up for their nations included Lapentti, Nicolas Massu (Chile), Somdev Devvarman (India), Robin Soderling (Sweden), and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (France). Serbia didn't even feel obliged to play Novak Djokovic - which just shows how far that small nation has advanced in the tennis food chain. It's still a  laundry list of familiar names, if you know that Lapentti was once in the top 10, Massu an Olympic Games singles gold medalist, and Devvarman a two-time NCAA champion. You probably know about that Federer guy, too.

And you've got the love the plain-jane but information rich Davis Cup website of the ITF. It's not nearly as slick and "now" as the ATP or WTA sites, but it's incomparably easier to navigate and just feels like a real, no-nonsense, tennis nut's site.

Of course, it was a lost weekend for Andy Murray; Great Britain now drops back another league, to Group II.But hey - they're probably still dancing in the streets in Cracow.

PS - Treat this as the Your Call post for today.


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Posted by crazyone 09/21/2009 at 12:04 PM

Pete: Novak Djokovic didn't play any matches in the Serbia-Uzbekistan tie.

Posted by pk 09/21/2009 at 12:08 PM

FIRST!

Posted by Pete 09/21/2009 at 12:15 PM

C-1, duly noted and fixed!

Posted by jb (Yippeee for Davis cup!) 09/21/2009 at 12:16 PM

Nice post Pete! Course, anything that says Davis Cup is awesome is awesome in my book! sadly, i saw very little of the matches this time around. Partly because of other committments, partly because we had a problem finding streams....

I vote an entire slew of WMB's be awarded this weekend....

Stakhovsky played 3 matches, one 2 but still went down to belgium..
Soderling is coming into his own this year big time in a big way - aa Davis Cup warrior seeing his team through too. Ever consider an interiew with Magnus re: what he's brought to the table with Robin? It'd be a nice addition to your coaches posts, no? :)
Somdev coming back from 3 sets to love to win in 5, tsonga playing and winning all 3 of his matches..

and WMB for andy murray. wrist injury or not, he stepped up. think that playing sunday may not have been prudent, but was definately the smartest thing he could have done. Honestly can't blame him for stepping back now and letting the team wander in the wilds for a bit...
How can you not flove davis cup?

Posted by jb (Yippeee for Davis cup!) 09/21/2009 at 12:18 PM

lol - i figured pete was referring to earlier matches from Nole, given that davis cup is a cumulative event.... It was nice to see the serbian team fly through without his help in this tie.

Posted by jb (Yippeee for Davis cup!) 09/21/2009 at 12:19 PM

oops - typo. 2 sets to love - not 3. that would have meant match over. *rolls eyes for being a dope*

Posted by jb (Yippeee for Davis cup!) 09/21/2009 at 12:20 PM

er - i think my posts are getting eaten. sigh. typo amnesty sought for the 3 sets to love, should be 2...

Posted by jb (Yippeee for Davis cup!) 09/21/2009 at 12:20 PM

ok - obviously posting too fast. i'll stop now! :)))

Posted by Tennissy 09/21/2009 at 12:23 PM

The pic of Mandy says it all.

Tipsy-Nole having fun
http://i38.tinypic.com/ma82lj.jpg

Posted by AmyLu 09/21/2009 at 12:24 PM

Vamos Ecuador! :)

Thanks for the attention toward Nico, Pete. It's incredibly exciting for Ecuador to be back in the World Group, and I think it's incredible that Nico has been playing Davis Cup for Ecuador since he was 17 -- and he's gotten them to the World Group twice now. When Ecuador made it to the World Group in 2001, they had to play Australia in Australia. Here's hoping they get a slightly kinder draw this year!

Posted by creig bryan 09/21/2009 at 12:30 PM

Thanks for the Davis Cup update, Pete.
Glad to see you're making progress at home.

Keep Smiling

Posted by greenhopper 09/21/2009 at 12:34 PM

Nico Lapentti. Mmmmmm.

Posted by VC 09/21/2009 at 12:38 PM

The good thing about DC is that it seems to produce more roller-coaster thrilling singles five-setters than we ever see in the Slams. And best-of-5 doubles with normal scoring is always a good thing.

Thumbs up to the DC live scoreboard from my side, very helpful with detailed statistics of every match and point-by-point commentary.

DC should flourish in the coming years because the top 10-20 players seem to be fairly evenly spread out among various nations (despite Spain's apparent dominance at the moment). No one country seems to be over-packed with talent like USA in the '90s - Sampras, Agassi, Courier, Chang, Martin, McEnroe or the great Australian teams of the past.

Posted by Master Ace 09/21/2009 at 12:38 PM

2010 World Group seeds
1. Spain
2. Czech Republic
3. United States
4. Russia
5. Argentina
6. Croatia
7. Israel
8. Germany

Other World Group Nations: Belgium, Chile, Ecuador, France, India, Serbia, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The draw for 2010 is on Wednesday.

Will Switzerland draw Spain? If so, the tie will be in Spain

Posted by jb (Yippeee for Davis cup!) 09/21/2009 at 12:41 PM

wow - they do the draw this early Master Ace?! yikes! the final's not even played yet....

Posted by crazyone 09/21/2009 at 12:43 PM

*Will Switzerland draw Spain? If so, the tie will be in Spain*

then the question becomes, will Robert Federer allege a rigged draw?

;)

Posted by VC 09/21/2009 at 12:48 PM

"then the question becomes, will Robert Federer allege a rigged draw?

;)"

crazyone : Why is that?

Posted by crazyone 09/21/2009 at 12:49 PM

VC: when Serbia drew Spain (to play in Spain) for the 1R last year, Srdjan Djokovic alleged that the draw was rigged...

Posted by C.F. 09/21/2009 at 12:49 PM

As angry as I am with Melo and Sa's defeat on saturday, all the praise must go to the Lapenttis, specially Nicolas. Talented player, came up with great shots and amazing courage + stamina. Oh, and the bonus? He also seems to be an adorable person. It was hard to remain sad when I watched him answer the interviewer in Portuguese. It's a good thing he'll keep playing in 2010, he deserves it, and the circuit deserves more players like him.

Posted by Slice-n-Dice 09/21/2009 at 12:56 PM

And how aboutr tha mind-blowing match between Stepanek and Karlovic? They played something like 250 points, Karlovic had something like 78 aces, and Stepanek eked it out in an extended fifth set after four straight tiebreak sets. Amazing. It just goes to show how important a Davis Cup win (And I'm talking about a single match win, not a cup win) is for so many players in countries outside the U.S. and, apparently, Britain.

I'll say it again, because I think it bears repeating: Roger Federer may one day view his Davis Cup triumph, if it ever comes to pass, as the cake beneath the icing of his 15+ slams.

Posted by VC 09/21/2009 at 12:58 PM

"VC: when Serbia drew Spain (to play in Spain) for the 1R last year, Srdjan Djokovic alleged that the draw was rigged..."

LOL! I'm sure his mood wasn't helped by Novak running into the brick wall that was Nadal in every tournament in the leadup to RG...

Posted by Slice-n-Dice 09/21/2009 at 01:03 PM

Agree that an interview with Magnus Norman would be a great read. When he was at his best, ranked #2 and having won the Italian over Kuerten and losing to same in Frnech Open, I was a huge fan of his game, and thought he'd surely take it up a notch to get to #1. Then it all fell to pieces when he hurt his hip. Still, he always seemed to me to be a great tactical thinker. Would love to hear hos take on Soderling, on working wih Soderling, on channeling Soderling's great ability, and on where to take it next.

Posted by Slice-n-Dice 09/21/2009 at 01:13 PM

Correction... Stepanek and Karlovic played 494 points! Stepanek won 251 to 243 to Karlovic. Each man hit about 240 to 250 serves. I'm amazed that their arms didn't fly off.

Posted by federerfan (bye-bye heartbreaks, hello sweet#16) 09/21/2009 at 01:16 PM

I am still not convinced about the cup itself as a major crown jewel for the sport, me thinks, just bcos we have players that are compelling to watch, we watch them playing tennis anywhere, including if rafa/fed play an exhibition on a half green/half red court or if these guys go at each others throat at an exo in the middle east (abu dhabi was it?).
Don't think the fed cup is getting all exciting in the rest of the world than before.

So..*shrugs*..but then again I am a fed fan/KAD ;)

Posted by federerfan (bye-bye heartbreaks, hello sweet#16) 09/21/2009 at 01:17 PM

realized, need to change my moniker! on second thots, it will hold good for AO 2010 anyway...so let it remain! :)

Posted by Tennissy 09/21/2009 at 01:21 PM

"VC: when Serbia drew Spain (to play in Spain) for the 1R last year, Srdjan Djokovic alleged that the draw was rigged..."

But nobody including his own son voiced such ludicrous idea.

Posted by Ross 09/21/2009 at 01:34 PM

"Nominee for WMB, McGrogan Hero of the Week, and a Pete Bodo profile: Nicolas Lapentii!" (Ross)
I'd still like to see to see that profile, Pete. A former top 10 guy, now in his 30s, who just keeps playing--main tour, challengers, DC.

Posted by marieJ rafa king of tie break ! 09/21/2009 at 01:41 PM

hi pete !

finally i can get a little back here after some long holidays with little internet ;) did you get my mail ?

great for the lapentti's... who said you could not win with only 2 players in a squad... roger who ? just teasing ;)

well, with serbia and france unseed, and chile and sweden with gonzo and sod who wants to draw them ?
the draw is going to be one of the toughests next year, imagine a france-USA somewhere in france ? on clay ?
or the czec vs the swiss ? yumy no ?
or spain vs sweden for a rafa sod on clay ?

well DC just brings the best like for thiemo de bakker or lapentti, or the pressure at worst like for monfils who played just his worst match on clay of the whole year. but credit to de bakker who threw the sink fierlessly at him anyway.

it's too bad for the croats, i'm sure they would have had more chances on some ice rink indor carpet with ivo throwing endless service winners, than clay...

guess what ? the final in spain might be played again in madrid ! in la caja magica... what a surprise, no ?
but barcelona and another city are fighting hard with the money to have a chance to host a final...

well, rafa pulling out of bangkok is good, i hope he doesn't go to beijin either.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 09/21/2009 at 01:43 PM

Hey, everyone. :)

I'll put in a vote for a Lapentti profile, too - always liked him. :)

Posted by manuelsantanafan 09/21/2009 at 01:56 PM

"I am still not convinced about the cup itself as a major crown jewel for the sport . . . ."

And soccer's World Cup will never be much of an event until Federer joins Switzerland's national soccer team and leads it to triumph in that competition.

And the Tour de France? What's the big deal? Federer has never entered that race and won even one stage by a nose.

How can the Davis Cup possibly be a major event when Federer's most conspicuous performance in the Davis Cup was leading Hewitt two sets to love and a break in their 2003 Davis Cup meeting, then having Hewitt come back on him to win in five sets--thereby allowing Australia and not Switzerland to play in the 2003 Davis Cup finals.

Posted by Tokyo Tom (tt) 09/21/2009 at 01:57 PM

All the headlines tell the story - Fed pays Switzerland into World Group - his goal over the last few years -- here is a guy with 12 straight singles wins in DC and his team has barely made a dent beyond just survival. No wonder he is selective given his schedule.

I do think DC could be changed to make it more accessible to the top players and a better competition. The modern schedule is tough enough and, for me, the fact the winner has to play in a matter of months cheapens the achievement.

If they love the current schedule leave it a great competition for the guys who do not have regular big tourney love and the top 10 guy who feels physically up for it.

While I like the alternate venue to give supporters the national competition feel, I do not like the extreme gaming of the surface. The fact the surface choice and can have more to do with the outcome than the players is a negative for the spirit of the competition. Making the clay so loose one can't even see the players shoes or the grass or tarmac so fast it is a serve fest is, in my view, a negative. I am not against the different surfaces - just level the playing field with neutral versions to enhance the competition.

I am big on every other year and a format that fits in with the regular schedule or understands the guys who go deep week after week have a harder time making it every draw.

Posted by greenhopper 09/21/2009 at 02:12 PM

lol, msf.

hi mariej. Rafa vs Sod on clay in a tie DC? yes. YES! and some more.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeee!) 09/21/2009 at 02:14 PM

Nice to see Nico getting some love here. The pic is also a great pick-me-up on an otherwise less-than-stellar Monday. :)

Posted by Fudoshin 09/21/2009 at 02:16 PM

Thanks Pete for a great post. It is really sad that David Cup does not receive more respect in this country. Even in the golden era of Sampras, many of the stars opted not to play for Davis Cup, while players in other countries consider in an honor to play for their country.

The picture of Murray says it all about British tennis.

Posted by Master Ace 09/21/2009 at 02:22 PM

Per tennis.com headline page, Justine Henin is expected to announce her return to the WTA tour tomorrow. (Samantha Elin has to be smiling with that and C

Posted by Master Ace 09/21/2009 at 02:22 PM

Per tennis.com headline page, Justine Henin is expected to announce her return to the WTA tour tomorrow. (Samantha Elin has to be smiling with that and Caroline is ranked number 5 in the world)

Posted by GVGirl 09/21/2009 at 02:23 PM

Excuse me for shouting: I LOVE DAVIS CUP! Carry on. :)

Posted by naughtyT.... 09/21/2009 at 02:32 PM

I AGREE !!! GV.

@JamesLaRosa: Belgian newspapers La Derniere Heure and Le Soir reporting Justine Henin to announce her return to the tour tomorrow.

somewhere a young Swedish girl is screaming!!!!

Posted by Nic 09/21/2009 at 02:32 PM

I haven't commented on a Henin comeback but at this point, the hype is getting to be too much. She bloody better be making a comeback and damn well better be a good one/ Seriously, if it all turns out to be a press conference promoting an exo or a product of some sort I'm afraid my head will explode.

Ahem. Excuse my outburst.

Posted by naughtyT.... 09/21/2009 at 02:33 PM

.... also in Bree there is probably a Belgian woman screaming too.

Posted by lpb (Susan) 09/21/2009 at 02:34 PM

nT: lol at your 2:33pm post!

Posted by Subhadeep 09/21/2009 at 02:35 PM

For Murray it is a double edged sword to play or not to play for DC.

If he does not, he could anger the home crowd as the tennis fed of UK paid for Brad Gilbert and a lot of his training. BUT it does take some stress off his shoulders I think and he could end winning the GS he really needs.

If he does not, as a player's point, I really don't see any reason to have anything against him. With such a LONG season, right after the USO ended to play 3 matches, best of 5 sets, is asking too much of someone whose nation's other players can't even win against a smaller tennis playing nation!

Posted by Subhadeep 09/21/2009 at 02:39 PM

Fudoshin: I have now been in US for several years and I really don't see DC ever becoming that big of a deal for americans. First of all tennis is not that big of a sport here in US and the emotions for a Ohio State - Michigan, Texas - USC, Miami(FL) - Gators, etc football/basketball game is a few order of magnitudes higher than US winning Davis Cup. Even when they won the entire thing it was not that big of a deal. The 1st week of professional football games brings so much hype it will overshadow a men's USO final between two americans even like Sampras - Agassi showdown!

Posted by naughtyT.... 09/21/2009 at 02:42 PM

Pete amen to the brilliance of the D Cup site and scoreboard... I have written countless emails to the ATP telling them to go see what tennis fans want from a website... all those bells and whistles and all it does is take and eon to load and hang up my browser.

Posted by Nic 09/21/2009 at 02:48 PM

The way I read Andy's post match comments he's really putting pressure on Lloyd and the LTA to only call on him if entirely necessary, and to really pull their socks up and provide him with back up if that's the case. And I think that's entirely fair.

Posted by Pspace (Elf of DecoTurf) 09/21/2009 at 03:01 PM

Does Britain not even have a decent doubles player to team up with Muzz and beat some teams? Or, does Murray suck at doubles? That's really all they need to be competitive. OTOH, it's really surprising that the next best Brit does so badly. They gotta start shipping these kids off to places with sunnier climates.

Anyways, I'm not a huge fan of players playing through serious injuries. I hope Murray didn't make it worse. He's already had a six month lay off due to one wrist. All he needs is the other to go bust as well.

---

Also saw that Nadal withdrew from Thailand. Phew. Hope he can play the DC final this time.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 09/21/2009 at 03:09 PM

Hello, everyone: I love DC and always have. Felt very sorry for Andy Murray, what a lamentable situation.

Manuel: I was just a teensie weensie surprised at your comments re Disco Tommy ...

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 09/21/2009 at 03:12 PM

Love all this Davis Cup action. It may never be huge in this country but as long as it's a big deal elsewhere and we have players committed to it like Arod and Blake and Sammy Q. i'll be happy.

Posted by Andrew 09/21/2009 at 03:14 PM

Pspace: Murray has played at tournaments like IW with Ross Hutchins, and with his brother Jamie. I don't think either player is currently seen as being world class.

Posted by skip1515 09/21/2009 at 03:15 PM

Not for the first time and not for the last: Amen to all that. There's nothing like Davis Cup.

Which is to say, there's nothing like Davis Cup *regardless* of the calls for it to change. As you wrote, Pete, if it's not celebrated here in the US that doesn't mean it's not successful. As an example, and one less glorious than the story of the Ecuadoran team, my guess is that even with their losing being the expected outcome the Israeli team's fortunes in Spain this weekend were closely watched at home.

And another Amen to the comparo between the Davis Cup site and the ATP fiasco. Did you know that if you input a player's name in the search box it does NOT take you to that player's info? Try "Nadal". You get 1000s of possible returns, 109 of them in the "players" category. Click that and, voila!, Nadal comes up. Of course, he's the 5th player listed (Federer, Djokovic, Ferrer, etc., all come before him), but you *can* get to him.

It's very sad for the player's association to have that as their site's functioning, I must say.

Posted by Or 09/21/2009 at 03:15 PM

OMG, am I the first to bring it here?

Roger, showing his love for DC and all things Swiss in an improvised song!

There's just no topping that dorkiness.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4gjtn6k4qw&feature=player_embedded#t=65

Posted by Avec Double Cordage 09/21/2009 at 03:17 PM

I sent the following to Jon Wertheim some time ago but it might be worth to place it here as well since we are talking Davis Cup

Let's hope the Dent - Navarro match served as a lesson ;) real tennis is played best of 5 sets and to win Grand Slam tournaments and Davis Cup one should play real tennis i.e. win best of 5 sets. BTW while mentioning Davis Cup, why not play it with a 32 team world group instead of just 16 teams, play 3 rounds in the current format and then a 4 team final week in one city, changing site for the final week each year in order to bring great tennis also to places like Africa and Asia, and make sure all the best players get a chance to compete for the title and get points for the ranking, just like at the majors, with the current format Murray is not even in the race. Playing the rounds immediately after the Major finals obviously is a lousy idea, what would make sense is to add two itinerant "majors" played with a 128 player draw changing city every 4 or 5 years, they could be played between February and May. This would shorten the season for the top players and allow young players to "grow" faster, the top players would only "have" to play the 4 Grand Slam tournaments plus the 2 additional itinerant majors and the year end Masters Cup, this way they would have the possibility to focus also on Davis Cup in a serious way and could still play a minor home tournament like Federer in Basel or Djokovic in Belgrade, nobody really cares about the other tournaments anyway. The season would have a real highlight almost every month that way, the Australian Open would be safe from Chinese and Arab "attacks" and there could be time for a one to two month break at the end of the year for the top players while the rest could still play minor tournaments. Problem is the ATP conflict of interests and non professional ITF and that it would take real leadership.

more about this at

http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=259685981&blogID=322567917&Mytoken=57087938-0594-4CED-A040C7D4C5EFD4F773929445

with further ideas about the davis cup format, and seeding

Posted by Nic 09/21/2009 at 03:18 PM

Or it was posted in the previous thread but thanks all the same. Seeing how much fun everyone's having with it, I guess I'm going to have to save the link for when I can watch it.

Posted by kjo 09/21/2009 at 03:27 PM

Hey Pete -
Saw your other article at ESPN about Fed and Davis Cup.
Just wanted to let you know next year may not be the best for the swissies as Stan's child is due to be born shortly before the first round tie. He's already joking that he won't feel bad if he has to miss the tie since he already has Roger's example :)
(Obviously there may never be a "perfect moment" for Fed and DC)

Posted by ladyjulia 09/21/2009 at 03:28 PM

Or..thanks for posting that...it is the longer and better version of the event..with some talk in the beginning...what's with the lyrics..that can't be an actual swiss song, can it?

"See you soon..
On the moon?"

Dork.

Posted by mick1303 09/21/2009 at 03:29 PM

....How can the Davis Cup possibly be a major event when Federer's most conspicuous performance in the Davis Cup was leading Hewitt two sets to love and a break in their 2003 Davis Cup meeting, then having Hewitt come back on him to win in five sets--thereby allowing Australia and not Switzerland to play in the 2003 Davis Cup finals.
....
You sure like to put fingers in the wounds of Federer fans.
Putting aside that this statement is just plain wrong, considering 27-6 record in Davis Cup singles, it had one significant implication: it lit a fire under Federer’s butt, much like lost US Open 1992 finals did the same for Sampras.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 09/21/2009 at 03:44 PM

Speaking of Davis Cup, one of Borg's accomplishments that doesn't get much mention is his winning the last 31 Davis Cup singles matches he played.

His last Davis Cup singles loss b4 the streak was to Manolo Orantes on clay IN SWEDEN.

Of course, Borg was only 16 or 17 at the time of that loss--so he should probably be cut some slack.

Posted by naughtyT.... 09/21/2009 at 03:45 PM

Lord another attack of the Borg.

Posted by Alexis 09/21/2009 at 03:48 PM

Exactly, mick1303. That was a pretty snarky comment, manualsantanafan at 1:56pm.

Posted by beth 09/21/2009 at 03:48 PM

that is the dorkiest - and absolutely most adorable- cheer ever
I knew Roger could do a version of the "whose house " chant
I still think he and Mirka and crew should do it when he walks out on the grass of Wimbledon

it just needed to involve cake ? and the moon?
hilarious

nice to see the guys having so much fun

Posted by Alexis 09/21/2009 at 03:49 PM

ladyjulia, it is not a Swiss song.

Posted by crazyone 09/21/2009 at 03:52 PM

I propose a new nickname for Fed: The Mighty Goofball

Posted by naughtyT.... 09/21/2009 at 03:54 PM

GOAT still works .. Goofiest of all time.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 04:01 PM

Thanks Pete,

I agree with your thoughts on DC.Lapentti is a great example indeed.he said it was a "special moment" for him.

Posted by Fernando 09/21/2009 at 04:01 PM

Impressive effort by Lapentti, considering that he was considering retirement if things would go bad against Brazil. I hope this gives him a shot of confidence into the final quarter of the season.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 04:10 PM

Manuel yes lets give Borg some slack indeed.

Posted by Rosangel 09/21/2009 at 04:14 PM

Yes - much kudos to Nico for his amazing effort. Wish I'd seen that one, but I just caught glimpses of Spain in action vs. Israel. I wonder if Ferrero will be kept in the team for the final? The British tabloids are all anticipating that Murray may give up on Davis Cup. From the headlines I've seen, John Lloyd is having a tough time right now of it, though it's hardly his fault that there's no depth in British men's tennis. More hope on the women's side just now, after Heather Watson won the US Open juniors....

Posted by Mr. X 09/21/2009 at 04:15 PM

Hi everyone.
Oh, i sure love Davis Cup. I'm loving it even more these years:)
Nico Lapentti sounds like an appropiate hero to me, according to the description. The Worm should probably deserve a mention for surviving the ace monster. I refuse to give any mention to the Sod, but he probably deserves it.
And boy, what was that video? Fed, you might need some lessons on cheering a team without looking so dorky.
"See you soon
on the moon"
Are you kidding me?:)
And by the way, i still dont buy The Mighty Swiss. Once again, The Mighty Spaniards. About the cheering, try this, Rog:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRMdQSF0P9E&feature=fvw

Posted by Rosangel 09/21/2009 at 04:17 PM

Come to think of it, one of the things that made me appreciate Ivan Ljubicic in the end (I didn't always) was hearing him speak about how much being on the Davis Cup winning team meant to him. He's not exactly an emoter on court, but there was no mistaking his sincerity over Davis Cup.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 04:20 PM

Rosangel Albert Costa will have have a hard decision indeed.Ferrero has had a Second Wind so to speak lately with his good results on the tour and now with his DC performance.I read a article in our Sydney paper stating does Spain really need Rafa to play in the final.

Posted by Mr. X 09/21/2009 at 04:21 PM

I saw that Nadal is not gonna play in Thailand, which is the good decission. Now, get out of Beijing too and come back (if ready) for Shangai. If he must have some goals before the AO, it must be the WTF (i still enjoy that name) and the Davis Cup final.
Speaking of what, there will be a couple of tough decissions considering the final to be made here in Spain: team and location.

And Justine is back. Well, i think it's always good for the sport to get such a good player back. If she comes back improved, a la Clijsters, watch out. And speaking of Kim, apparently Justine wasnt gonna let her shine all that much:)
On this topic, i guess that enormous shout of joy i heard earlier came directly from Scandinavia:)

Posted by crazyone 09/21/2009 at 04:21 PM

heyo, are you kidding me?

*The French captain, Guy Forget, may have the toughest job in tennis (now that Marat Safin’s old coach, Hernan Gumy, has reportedly signed on with Ernests Gulbis)

Read more: http://www.gototennisblog.com/2009/09/18/davis-cup-day-1-notes-roger-federer-world-records-skydiving/#ixzz0Rm4yWqXB
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution No Derivatives
*

I don't know if getting together with Safin's old coach is a good thing or not, but Gumy has a good pedigree.

Posted by Rosangel 09/21/2009 at 04:22 PM

skip1515: yes, the ATP site's search function is a fiasco:( Even when you go to the box for a player search and type in someone's name, it doesn't work unless you also click on an extra drop-down box that appears as the first few letters are typed in, and make sure you've selected the right name. The extra step each time is a complete pain in the rear admirables.

Posted by crazyone 09/21/2009 at 04:22 PM

so it is true:

"Ernests has announced in a press conference in Latvia that he is currently training with former Argentine pro, Hernan Gumy.

The 37 year-old reached a career-high ranking of No. 39 in 1996, and has coached illustrious names such as Guillermo Canas, Guillermo Coria and Marat Safin.

Gumy is currently accompanying Ernests in Jūrmala as the Latvian Davis Cup team prepares for this weekend’s clash against Slovenia."

http://ernestsgulbis.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/gumy-to-guide-gulbis/

Maybe that's why he won two matches in a row ;)

Posted by Master Ace 09/21/2009 at 04:25 PM

Mr. X,
Hott Wozz is number 5 in the WTA rankings now. She is scheduled to close her schedule with Tokyo(Last Premier 5), Beijing(Last Premier Mandatory), Osaka(won last year), Luxembourg(lost 3 set tiebreak final to Dementieva), and Doha. Another 5 weeks of tennis straight to end the year. At this time, most of the win leaders are exhausted at this point.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 04:26 PM

Crazyone I hope this new coach works out for Earnie.

Posted by naughtyT.... 09/21/2009 at 04:28 PM

la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la.... yes that really is a lyrical stick to beat anyone over the head with.
What is this now Tennis' next idol? They are all a bunch of athletes having fun being in a team... give it a rest on the idiotic Fudd hatred will ya?

Posted by Nic 09/21/2009 at 04:30 PM

Crazyone - hehe, at least Gumy will be well versed in headcasey.

Posted by Rosangel 09/21/2009 at 04:30 PM

aussiemarg: I don't see how Rafa could be excluded if he wants to be there - surely Spanish sports fans would want to see him play. I don't know exactly what's going on with Verdasco and his surgery right now, or how long that might take to resolve.

I actually like the idea of Ferrero playing in the final, after he was eclipsed by Rafa when Spain won in 2004; I always have hliked JCF, though he seems a bit of an outsider amongst the Spanish players sometimes. I guess I want them both to play. But could be a tough choice if both Verdasco and Ferrer are fit to play. I assume that leaving out Robredo (at least in singles, where he doesn't tend to shine in DC) would be the easiest decision, if necessary.

Posted by Rosangel 09/21/2009 at 04:33 PM

hliked = liked. But surely that's obvious - just a compulsive spelling correction all the same:)

Posted by manuelsantanafan 09/21/2009 at 04:33 PM

mick1303 and Alexis:

I agree that my comment re: Federer was snarky.

Normally, I don't bother engaging in Federer attacks.

But, when a self-proclaimed Federer fan comes in with, "“I am still not convinced about the cup itself as a major crown jewel for the sport," thereby denigrating the efforts and accomplishmentsof many great players, snarky BUT FACTUALLY TRUE remarks concerning Federer's notable failures in Davis Cup may be forthcoming.

Posted by naughtyT.... 09/21/2009 at 04:35 PM

Great effort from Henri Kontinen to take the the 5th rubber and thus the tie against Cyprus as well as teaming with Niemenin to win the dubs...compare and contrast with GB's young hopefuls.... really hope this kid can make his way into the higher reaches of the ATP.

Posted by Rosangel 09/21/2009 at 04:37 PM

BTW, talking of tabloid papers, I saw a headline today in passing to the effect that swine flu is the reason for Hewitt and Tomic falling out. (a) I didn't know that they had fallen out, and (b) can aussiemarg throw any light on how swine flu fits into the story?

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 04:38 PM

Rosangel I am certain Rafa will be there,knowing his thoughts on playing DC for his country.I saw a photo of Rafa just twelve years old when he was the carrier of the flag in DC.You could tell by the photo and the expression on his young face how proud he was.

Posted by Mr. X 09/21/2009 at 04:39 PM

"give it a rest on the idiotic Fudd hatred will ya?"
Woa, Fed hatred? Where's the Fed hatred? I thought i was making some humorous comments about the Fed's particular cheering song. If you want some player hatred, you might want to read all the stuff about a certain faker out there.

Anyway, Master Ace, 5 in the world looks pretty good for the Hott Woz. She will have to collect points early next year, as the USO points will obviously be a lot of weight, and it remains to be seen if she can deffend that. And a very important aspect for me, i dont think i'll be able to watch any of the Asian tournaments. Apart from the usual lack of coverage for the WTA, it happens in the morning here, and i cant watch tennis at that time.

Posted by ladyjulia 09/21/2009 at 04:39 PM

Mr.X,

hehe..yeah...Roger improvising on the go comes up with crazy stuff. What must be the state of lullabies in that house. :-)

Well, the Spain team actually has something significant to cheer about..seeing that they are in the finals for 2nd consecutive year.

Posted by tina 09/21/2009 at 04:40 PM

Well, there I was, thinking that Somdev Devverman was "this year's Dudi Sela" - a player who stands out mainly through Davis Cup heroics. But bravo Lapentti! I'm an American who LOVES Davis Cup, though even on US soil I have rooted against the US. Hey, when we played against Spain at Newport in 1991 (or 1992?) at that point the US were the overwhelming favorites. So Davis Cup is interesting in that you never know what nation will be the next tennis powerhouse. (It could even be the US, 17 or 18 years from now.)

I think I have listened to every single audio interview ever posted on that Davis Cup site.

Why Tennis Channel plays taped matches during slams but cannot broadcast both World Group semifinals, even if one must be tape-delayed, I don't know. What better stuff have they got to air the weekend after the US Open?

Posted by Master Ace 09/21/2009 at 04:41 PM

Mr. X,
At least you will have a small chance, I will not have the opportunity to watch the Asian swing.

Posted by Mr. X 09/21/2009 at 04:43 PM

About the Spanish team for the final, assuming everybody's healthy (which might be assuming a lot, given these guys' record), i think Nadal, Verdaco and Feli are guaranteed. And the other spot, in my opinion, would be up for grabs between Ferrer and Ferrero, depending on their form. I guess Ferrer might have a slight advantage, as Costa seems to trust him a lot (and deservingly so, he has often delivered).
The big controversy may come with the placement for the final.

Posted by Master Ace 09/21/2009 at 04:43 PM

Tina,
Good point on where Tennis Channel could have showed Czech Republic and Croatia on tape delay instead of repeating Spain and Israel after the day action is over.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 04:45 PM

Rosangel Swine Flu? LOL! gee thats a new one.Apparently there has been a break down in communication by both their respective agents.Tomic was supposed to have a hit with Lleyton,then apparently didnt show.Lleyton was upset according to the tabloids.His manager said that will be the last time.Tomics agent said it wasnt a done deal etc.

It will be interesting to see when these two get together,when Australia play their next DC tie.

Posted by Nic 09/21/2009 at 04:47 PM

AM - did you see the other Tomic news from his former running trainer?

Posted by Mr. X 09/21/2009 at 04:49 PM

Yes, MA, i guess that's true. It probably happens during the night over there, if i got the times right.

By the way, thank you for those seeding for Davis Cup next year. List of teams that would make for a not-very-good draw:
-Serbia. It would be in Serbia, Nole has a pretty good record against Nadal on HCs, they would probably win the doubles, so it would be difficult.
-Sweden. I dont know where it would be played, but let's be honest: i fear the Sod. If in Spain, it would obviously be much easier for us, and the idea of Nadal-Sod on Spain would be wild. The crowd for that much wouldnt be pretty.
-France: they have a very solid group of players, and they should be contenders for the cup. It would be in France, and we all know how much the French love Nadal.
And, of course:
-Switzerland: Any team with the Fed is the most dangerous you can face, specially if it also has a solid player like Stan. Luckily for us, it would be in Spain, so our chances would be better.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 04:53 PM

Nic No I didnt? please inform me

Really Tomic's father needs to get another life.He has demanded from Tennis Australia to spend big bucks to make sure his son gets the best coach available.Tomic is returning to Brisbane and his father will resume as his coach until they find this Super Coach for him.

Posted by Rosangel 09/21/2009 at 04:54 PM

Mr X: well you're thinking on similar lines to me for the final lineup. Feli and Hott Sauce have been stalwarts of the team for so long, apart from being a reliable doubles team.

BTW, I'm glad to see that Rafa isn't playing in Bangkok. It never seemed like a good idea in the first place - it's not as though there are many points on offer.

OK - I just googled the story about Hewitt, Tomic and swine flu: http://tinyurl.com/lx7njp Apparently Tomic was diagnosed with swine flu during Wimbledon. But still managed to practice with JCF on the day when he was supposed to hit with Hewitt......

Posted by manuelsantanafan 09/21/2009 at 04:55 PM

As many know, I'm a fan of the Spanish Davis Cup team. And I agreed that Tennis Channel, rather than showing way too many replays of the Spain-Israel matches would have better served
TC's viewers by showing live matches or replays from some of the other Davis Cup ties held this weekend.

As far as the rift between Tomic and Hewitt, the short version I've gathered from online papers is:

At Wimbledon, the Hewitt camp asked the Tomic camp to hit with him the next day. Hewitt camp received no response.

Next day, Hewitt is at the practice courts. He sees Tomic around. Hewitt camp asks Tomic camp if Tomic is there to practice with Hewitt.

Tomic camp says no, that Tomic already has a partner. Somebody in Tomic camp may have said that Hewitt not good enuf for Tomic.

Hewitt sees Ferrero, who is a friend or friendly acquaintance. Ferrero says he can't he already has a partner. Ferrero says, why don't you ask Tomic, he was looking for a partner a few minutes ago and asked me to hit with him.

*(*)^% hits the fan in the Hewitt camp

Tomic's new story is that he had been diagnosed with swine flu and didn't want to infect Hewitt.

Which raises the question why Tomic asked Ferrero to hit with him.

Additionally, Ferrero's coach, when he heard that Tomic turned Hewitt down said that, in Spain, if a junior turned down a senior player of Hewitt's stature, the Spanish federation would rescind all of that player's funding and hang him on a tree by his balls.

Posted by ladyjulia 09/21/2009 at 04:56 PM

Jon W is now tweeting the Swiss chanting by Federer:

jontennistweet:"good to see fatherhood hasn't robbed federer of, well, check out: http://bit.ly/15w92Q (merci Jonathan of Toulouse)"

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 04:56 PM

Rosangel Well thanks for that info on the Swine flu,well Tomic went on to win the boy singles title at the US OPEN.

Posted by Nic 09/21/2009 at 04:56 PM

So Mr X, what you're trying to say, is that all looks good for the TMS to make yet another DC final?

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 04:57 PM

Manuel I feel its a battle of Ego's really

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