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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 Nic 09/21/2009 at 05:00 PM

I can't find the link, someone posted it a while ago. Basically, his former running coach has come out and said he needs an attitude change and to really work hard on his fitness in order to transition. He claims Tomic's dad is not a problem, and that he in fact asked the coach to stay, but the coach felt that Tomic wasn't committed and he wouldn't be able to be much help.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 09/21/2009 at 05:00 PM

Mr. X:

I believe that the last Sweden-Spain Davis Cup tie was in Sweden, so the next one should be in Spain.

Sounds like you need to find a girlfriend or girfriend who is more accomodating regarding your early morning tennis viewing or is willing to allow you to multitask.

And like you, I enjoyed Federer's attempted contributions to music. Federer is reportedly very popular with most of his fellow players. I suspect that his sometimes goofy sense of humor contributes to his popularity.

Posted by Rosangel 09/21/2009 at 05:02 PM

Thanks, manuelsantanafan - so Tomic didn't even hit with Juanqui, just asked and was turned down? And swine flu hardly counts as an excuse for snubbing Lleyton in the circumstances....

Well, it's some story.

Posted by Mr. X 09/21/2009 at 05:03 PM

Nic,
No, not at all. I think we could have problems against those teams, between the potential first round opponents. I'm not so sure Spain would survive some of those draws, mainly Serbia (since Switzerland would be in Spain). And that would be the first round only. There are several other very dangerous teams waiting, like Argentina (presumably with The Big Monster and Nalby), or the USA.
I dont think Spain will play the finals next year. Many ties to play on the road, and the 2 top players are not exactly injury-free.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 05:08 PM

Nic Well when Tomic's father indicated to him to come off court in that match,where Tomic was getting upset being Foot Faulted.

I think Tomic's father is a problem.Tomic was fined and suspended by the ITF for his actions by defaulting.

Posted by Mr. X 09/21/2009 at 05:08 PM

msf,
Thanks for the info. I remember a tie in Sweden where Spain was destroyed, but it was some years ago and i didnt know if there had been another one in Spain after that.
Nadal-Sod on Spanish clay? Now, that would be a rough crowd.

LOL about the girlfriend. Actually, the problem is more with the fact that is spend the morning at the university finishing my final paper, and then hopefully i will be able to get some job. What has been some trouble with the past girlfriends has been my liking for watching tennis in the evening. I'm gonna look like a bad tennis fan with this next line, but somehow they usually found ways to convince me:)

Fed's chant was very funny, indeed. The first part is a fairly popular song, i think, but after the "Who's the best?" part, looks like he just ran out of things to say, and starts with some...ummm...improvisation of his own:)

Posted by Rosangel 09/21/2009 at 05:08 PM

Um....I suppose Tomic could claim that he wouldn't have minded if he'd infected JCF. Who might have been Hewitt's semifinal opponent had JCF beaten Murray and Hewitt beaten Andy Roddick (that latter was some match).

:-)

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 05:11 PM

Rosangel LOL!

Posted by manuelsantanafan 09/21/2009 at 05:12 PM

Back in the Dark Ages, when I first started following Davis Cup, the defending champs only had to play one tie (against the team that had advanced against the rest of the world) and played that tie at home on their chosen surface.

So the two times Spain advanced to the Davis Cup finals in the 1960s, Spain played Australia on Australian grass. Didn't go very well for Spain.

Provided Spain wins this year, wouldn't mind if the tradition is reinstated. :)

Posted by Mr. X 09/21/2009 at 05:19 PM

Yes to the tradition! Traditions FTW!:)

Seriously though, i think that system was quite unfair. It would take some kind of miracle to beat the champion.

Rosangel,
I see. That Hewitt just didnt get it. Tomic was just trying to be his agent all along:)
Although with that line of thought, he probably should have asked for Andrew Murray as his hitting partner.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 05:21 PM

Mr X Leave poor Andy Murray alone.

Posted by Master Ace 09/21/2009 at 05:23 PM

Tennis Channel schedule for live tennis for the next few weeks:

This week - none

09/28/09 - Tokyo for WTA SF Friday at 11 PM and Saturday F at 12 Midnight

10/05/09 - Tokyo for ATP SF Friday at 11 PM and Saturday F at 12:30 AM. Beijing for WTA F Sunday at 7 AM. Beijing WTA SF will be shown on tape delayed basis at 6 AM Saturday

10/12/09 - Shanghai for ATP every day beginning at 2 AM on Monday with the SF and F starting at 4:30 AM.

10/19/09 - Moscow for WTA SF Saturday at 5 AM and Sunday F at 6 AM

Aussiemarg,
Managable hours for you :-)

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 05:23 PM

Manuel Well it will have to be Synthetic Grass then.

White City in Rushcutters Bay in Sydney have some Real grass courts but not in great condition.A friend of mine still plays on it.

Posted by Rosangel 09/21/2009 at 05:27 PM

manuelsantanafan: and wasn't your guy Manolo Santana on both those teams?

Somewhere I recall reading that the great Aussie player Lew Hoad had a lot to do with the dedication that Spanish players developed towards DC - something to do with his Campo de Tenis that he set up in Spain. He was more or less a contemporary of Santana, though - I think they even played doubles together.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 05:34 PM

Master Ace Indeed.About time too.

Posted by Rosangel 09/21/2009 at 05:34 PM

Um. I've learned over time that any mention of Lew Hoad in TW is a real conversation-killer, though I have no idea why:) To liven things up, I may need to repeat the stories about him surviving a bite from a funnel web spider and winning Roland Garros with a hangover at this point....

Posted by manuelsantanafan 09/21/2009 at 05:36 PM

Rosangel:

Yes, Santana was on both of those teams. Altho Santana was obviously good on grass (as you know, he won Wimbledon), Juan Gisbert wasn't going to do anything on Australian grass.

Altho Spain and Australia have gone at it in Davis Cup, their players seem to get along very well off the court. Sometimes money had something to do with it.

I believe that one year Spain played Australia in the finals in Australia, the Spanish team arrived in Australia a few weeks early and paid Australian professionals and amateurs who weren't on the Australian Davis Cup team that year to practice with the Spaniards on grass.

Harry Hopman was apparently not happy with that situation. But even Aussies need to have some solid food with their drink.

Posted by Mr. X 09/21/2009 at 05:39 PM

Rosangel,
Even if i was nowhere near being alive at the time, it's true that Manolo Santana was the leader of the first 2 Spanish teams that got to the DC final, in the 60s. They both lost, but i undertsand he did pretty well. After all, he was a Wimbledon champion, although it was in 1966, and we know what were the circumstances at that time.
Manolo was the unanimous pick for Spanish GOAT till Nadal appeared. And he did it in a time when tennis was far from being popular in Spain, and was considered kind of an elitist sport, while he wasnt in that elite.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 05:44 PM

Manuel Harrys wife Lucy god love her still makes the trip every year to the Hopman Cup in Perth.She would be in her 90's.She attends most matches and really enjoys the tournament.Also she dosent nod off at all.

Posted by Rosangel 09/21/2009 at 05:45 PM

Looking at Manolo Santana today - it's hard to believe that he's 71. Because of attending the Madrid Masters last year with my camera, I got the chance to see him from close range, and he seems younger - that said, he always looks so genial and at peace with the world that age is rather secondary.

Posted by Pspace (Elf of DecoTurf) 09/21/2009 at 05:56 PM

How do people rate the Swedish victories in 1997 and 1998? Bjorkman and Kulti played dubs, and some Magnuses (Larsson in both years and Norman in '98) took care of singles. '97 they beat US in the final, with ze Pistol retiring from his singles when tied at 1-1. (I assume NP and imjimmy have some great stories about that one ;-)). Bjorkman beat Chang.

As for the scheduling, I wish they would hold DC like a slam...say for two weeks with three or four rounds of world group. Would make for a better product from the TV perspective.

Posted by Ross 09/21/2009 at 05:57 PM

I'm ready for any Lew Hoad stories you've got. :)

Posted by Mr. X 09/21/2009 at 06:05 PM

That's very true about Santana, Rosangel. It is almost impossible to believe. But the guy must be happy with himself at the moment. He is wildly recognised here as the man who made tennis popular, is the director of a prestigious (although controversial) tournament, and the main stadium has his name. Seems to me like he has reasons to be happy. He was at the DC tie this weekend also.

Now that i've mentioned the Madrid tournament, i'll bring out the other controversy regarding the DC final here in Spain. And this can potentially be a big one. Let's see: Madrid wants to be the host of the 2016 Olympics, and the voting for that will be made a few days after the decission for the locations is made. The mayor of Madrid wants the final to be some kind of help to the candidacy, and has already started asking for it. And there are rumours that he could ask the players related with Madrid, FeVer and Flo, to make some lobby for it. Now, i dont know if they will, but there's the common knowledge that one man would be firmly against Madrid. And that man happens to be the No.1 player and national icon, who has never spoken very kind words of the Magic Box. Ferrer said the other day that Madrid wasnt completely out of the discussion, but the players preferred to play at sea level. Assuming the new president of the Spanish Tennis Federation will probably avoid going the way of his predecessor, who sealed the end of his time as president when he faced the players about the locating of last year's semis in Madrid, it could be considered that Madrid is not gonna be chosen.
If so, Barcelona and Malaga are the other candidates that are being discussed. Barcelona is a very likely candidate, as there's the biggest stadium, that could have around 17000 seats. Some possible political controversy and the fact that the 2000 final was held in that same building might give Malaga the chance. And there are also rumours of some place in the Canary Islands. The weather would be much better than anywhere else over there, that's for sure. Maybe they could even play outdoors.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 09/21/2009 at 06:07 PM

Manolo Santana may be at peace with the world now but he has had a rather tumultuous personal life, unfortunately. Being fired as Spanish Davis Cup coach a few years ago did nothing positive for his disposition, but Spain's Davis Cup fortunes weren't negatively affected by that firing. :)

Regarding Hoad, he had turned pro by the time I started following tennis, so I didn't know much about him when I was young.

Probably the first time I read about Hoad was in some weightlifting magazine that noted that Hoad and other Aussie tennis player contemporaries were lifting weights as part of their training, which was relatively unusual for professional athletes in the 1960s. Back then, the conventional wisdom regarding many sports was that lifting weights would make one musclebound to one's detriment.

In any case, the Aussie tennis players of the 1950s and 1960s were noted for their fitness and some of the Spanish tennis players tried to emulate them in this area. Santana, for example, allegedly engaged in some weight training, even tho photos of him from that time period don't seem to suggest that he actually touched a weight in his life.

Posted by NP 09/21/2009 at 06:07 PM

Pspace, Pete actually retired from his 1st rubber while trying to tie it 1-1. Sweden got lucky that yr. There's no way they would've won the thing with Pistol on fire.

This is what should've happened to the Swedes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72YCTKmgCRw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAILTL-oKtI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4yvyoyzMVo

Posted by Pspace (Elf of DecoTurf) 09/21/2009 at 06:14 PM

NP, I meant 1-1 as in one set all. But, what was the injury?

Posted by Rosangel 09/21/2009 at 06:14 PM

Ross: apparently most people don't survive being bitten by an Australian funnel web spider....and there are very few players who can say that they won Roland Garros after Rod Laver practised with them to help sober them up after an all-night drinking session:)

Posted by Corrie 09/21/2009 at 06:15 PM

I see nothing good about davis cup. Tennis is an individualistic sport. We support our favourites because we like their games and them as individuals.Team events foster nationalism. Nationalism should stay out of it. Nationalism is a real bane in many sports and is detrimental both in sport and in international relations.

The timing of DC matches is also ridiculous and must be terribly detrimental to the top players as it comes so close after GS finals. Good on Agassi and Sampras for not playing. It helped them stay at their best rather than get overplayed and exhausted.
People also underestimate the wear and tear on players having to fly to far flung areas to play DC.

The pressure on the best players to play is immense if they come from a small country but I wish they'd ignore it and let it quietly wither away.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 09/21/2009 at 06:16 PM

Becuz my Mom grew up in La Laguna and much of her side of the family still lives in the Canary Islands, I'd be happy if the DC finals were held there.

However, in light of the fact that the Canary Islands would be more expensive to reach for many Spanish tennis fans and the Spanish economy is in terrible shape these days, I suspect that the finals will be held on the peninsula.

Much as I like Barcelona, two of the most ignominious losses in Spanish Davis Cup history have occurred there (Juan Gisbert to Harold Solomon and Jose Higueras to some guy named Birger Andersonn). Out of superstition, I'm hoping Malaga or Sevilla (which is probably not even in the running) is chosen as the finals site.

Posted by Rosangel 09/21/2009 at 06:19 PM

Mr X: very interesting.

manuelsantanafan: yes, I gather his private life has been eventful. Like Borg (didn't someone mention him earlier?) he's now on his third marriage (and the earlier ones didn't necessarily end peacefully).

Posted by NP 09/21/2009 at 06:22 PM

Pspace, it was a leg injury. Its timing sucked. With Chang losing both his rubbers Pete would've been the sole hero a la his '95 self in the '95 DC final. Sucked, sucked, sucked, sucked, sucked.

Posted by Mr. X 09/21/2009 at 06:26 PM

Yes, msf, Malaga looks like the most likely candidate to me, but who knows, considering the abilty the Spanish Tennis Federation (and most Spanish sports federations for that matter) has to get into trouble.
The cost of getting to the islands will probably be a decissive factor against them

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 06:30 PM

Yes we Aussies have to face those Ugly creatures,being the deadly Spiders,also in our waters we have to deal with more deadly creatures

No wonder we are a tough bunch.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 09/21/2009 at 06:30 PM

yeah Id say Roger saved the Swiss butts this weekend, playing four days after losing a Slam final, niggling aches and pains, different surface, etc.

anyone who says he's not patriotic can, well...you know... lol

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 06:32 PM

Gee I thought we were having a no Pete day

Seeing I was wrong

Pete just seems to keep popping up regardless

Posted by manuelsantanafan 09/21/2009 at 06:40 PM

Amazing the lengths that Federer will go to avoid babysitting and changing diapers. :)

Good work by him. Now, it the tennis gods are good to Federer (once again), he will be given the privilege of playing on Spanish clay in the Davis Cup next year.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 06:41 PM

Manuel LOL!

Posted by NP 09/21/2009 at 06:43 PM

AM, you can blame Pspace this time. He dared refer to one of Pistol Pete's untimeliest injuries!

Posted by crazyone 09/21/2009 at 06:44 PM

The Swiss beating the Spanish is not incredibly impossible, if you think about it. Assume Rafa wins both his matches. Assume Fed wins his match against the 2nd ranked Spaniard. Fed-Stan beating FLo-FeVer isn't at all impossible to contemplate. The question is whether Stan can beat the Spanish #2. He plays well on clay, and Ferru/Verdasco/Ferrero are not slam dunks against him.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 06:47 PM

NP Seeing hubby is home,I will be forced to watch every greatest moment in Petes career.Though methinks I been there and done that many times over

Pspace You cant seem to help yourself,you know the Pete Sampras Hour has gone Global.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 09/21/2009 at 06:50 PM

crazyone:

I agree with you.

If Juan Gisbert could lose to Harold Solomon at Gisbert's home club in Barcelona and Jose Higueras could lose to Birger Andersonn (again in Barcelona), Stan.W. can certainly win a match on Spanish clay.

Incidentally, no slight against Harold Solomon, who was an effective clay courter, if truly "unidimensional." However, at the pertinent stage in Solomon's career, it took major gagging by Gisbert to lose that match.

Posted by Pspace (Elf of DecoTurf) 09/21/2009 at 06:52 PM

The best time for the Swiss to play the Spanish would be in the week after Wimbledon. Rafa comes with an "I'm le tired" guarantee at that time ;-). The worst time would be in the slot that happens a month after Oz. Anyways, hopefully, that tie comes to pass.

If Nalby gets healthy, the Argies should have an excellent team as well.

Posted by NP 09/21/2009 at 06:52 PM

AM, your hubby is a great man of impeccable taste.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 09/21/2009 at 06:55 PM

wait if the Swiss get Spain in the first round, WHERE is it played?

it seems to me Spain is permanently playing at home, I say its fixed! every tie i can recall has been played on Spanish clay, with Roddick and other hapless sorts slipping and sliding around like idiots

Posted by Mr. X 09/21/2009 at 06:57 PM

crazyone,
I agree that it wouldnt be easy for the Spaniards. Not at all. Assuming Fed and Rafa won the first day, the other 3 matches would be difficult to predict. Spain would probably be the favourite in most of those, but not a clear favourite.

And yes, Argentina is the other team i think can beat Spain at home.

Anyway, it was good discussing Davis Cup for a day. Not much else going on, and i just love it.
See you tomorrow, everyone.

Posted by Carol (Rafa will be back soon) 09/21/2009 at 07:01 PM

Mr.X thanks for the link!!, I like more the song and the singers than the Swiss, hehehe

In my opinion Barcelona could be the best place to play the DC final, they have a great facilities

Posted by TennisFan2 09/21/2009 at 07:02 PM

Anywhere but Madrid!

Corrie, the picture of the Spanish team shows why Davis Cup is alive and well and should continue.

IMO, in a sport that is all about individual play, it's nice to have a team component so that the individual can be part of something larger. Rafa and Roddick are perfect examples of top players who clearly enjoy not only the chance to represent their countries but also the camraderie that comes with being part of a team.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 09/21/2009 at 07:02 PM

Aussiemarg:

What kind of knee surgery did your husband have?

In any case, he's lucky to have someone to care for him and keep him from getting into trouble.

Many years ago, I had an ankle operation that required general anesthesia. A few hours after the operation and having gotten a ride home, I attached my crutches to the back of my motorcycle (I was supposed to stay off my operated on ankle for six weeks) and headed off on an errand.

Either becuz of the effects of the anesthesia or general knuckleheadedness on my part, I almost put myself in the hospital again when my crutches hit a couple of cars as I was splitting lanes.

Just another example of my trying to disprove "survival of the fittest" theories.

Posted by Master Ace 09/21/2009 at 07:06 PM

Finally heard the link at 3:15 PM by Or and good thing that Roger has a day job making over 45 mil and counting in his career to date

Posted by NP 09/21/2009 at 07:10 PM

MA, don't forget the endorsements. According to Forbes Fed was the 11th highest-earning athlete last season.

Posted by ladyjulia 09/21/2009 at 07:10 PM

You guys missed out the best part of the Spain-Swiss tie on clay..the Fedal matchup...it will generate huge interest...even if the result will be a foregone conclusion.

Personally, I am hoping the Swiss get a makeable draw...a lot depends on Stan pulling through..since the Swiss don't have a good doubles team other than the singles players.

A Swiss-Spain for the final of Davis Cup sounds better than a first round matchup. Whether its hardcourts, or clay (it can't be grass, can it?)...that will be a dream matchup. Though the Spanish team will be stronger no matter what the surface.

Posted by Carol (Rafa will be back soon) 09/21/2009 at 07:11 PM

Tim

Maybe you forgot last year Spain played the DC final in Argentina, Did you forget or you have something against the spaniards? hummm........

Posted by ladyjulia 09/21/2009 at 07:15 PM

MA...LOL!

I just hope its Mirka singing to the babies at home..

Posted by NP 09/21/2009 at 07:16 PM

Apparently a producer for the Tennis Channel is one of the only 4 (so far) confirmed people with "super memory":

http://blogs.static.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/34971.html

Posted by manuelsantanafan 09/21/2009 at 07:21 PM

My understanding is that, Davis Cup tie locations alternate between countries. Becuz the last time Spain and Switzerland played, they played in Switzerland (Spain winning on an indoor carpet), the next time Spain and Switzerland meet, it will be in Spain.

If two countries have never met previously, the site is generally decided by a coin toss.

Posted by CL 09/21/2009 at 07:23 PM

Hey - if Alex Coretja can beat Pete Sampras on grass, ANYTHING is possible. Likely? Not so much...but possible.

Posted by ladyjulia 09/21/2009 at 07:26 PM

msf,

Thanks for the info...so if they play...its almost certain to be on clay.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 07:26 PM

Manuel Peter had his right cartlidge out

Men having surgery please? they are the biggest sooks out

The first thing he asked me yesterday when I went to pick him up

Did I bring his ciggies.

No further comment from me.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 07:28 PM

Meant to say in his knee of course

Posted by court1234 09/21/2009 at 07:33 PM

While I realize that Roger and Swiss team are not the heavy favorites the reality is that Stan is now a top 25 player..so if the opportunity to really advance in DC is there, Roger not playing early rounds can't be excused any longer.

DC to Roger is an afterthought, which is his perogative, but let's not mince words as to his DC committment.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 09/21/2009 at 07:33 PM

ah i cant remember what those crazy spaniards do, just seems like theyre always playing at home on clay lol

what year did Spain go to Switzerland? did Feddie play? was Rafa awol? cant remember a thing...

Posted by Ross 09/21/2009 at 07:46 PM

My USO story. Call it “Disaster Averted.”

I attended the USO this year with 6 family members (first Sunday). One family member couldn’t attend, so I had an extra ticket, which I sold, at a bargain price (no skill or time for haggling) at the parking lot. The purchaser returned, almost immediately, and told me that what I had given him wasn’t a ticket, just a stub. He was correct, and I discovered that I had miscounted, and didn’t have an extra ticket! In fact, had I instead torn off the ticket at the other end and given it to the purchaser, we would have been one short, and one of us would have watched soccer at Corona Park, rather than tennis (I probably did not have the cash to buy a ticket from a scalper).

I now believe I have a guardian angel.

Posted by Carol (Rafa will be back soon) 09/21/2009 at 07:48 PM

Hehehe Tim, you don't remember what ever you don't want to remember, funny, funny......

Posted by crazyone 09/21/2009 at 07:50 PM

so, speaking of the flakiness of Verdasco (though it's much less now): Spain (without Rafa) won the tie over Switzerland (without Fed AND Stan), but just barely, since Chiudinelli beat Verdasco in a live rubber and Verdasco/Lopez barely beat Chiudinelli/Allegro.

BTW...I was amused to myself to wonder if Sweden would decide to be terribly bold and choose CLAY versus Spain if they had the pick (which they don't). That would just be too funny.

Posted by Carol (Rafa will be back soon) 09/21/2009 at 07:53 PM

AM, I didn't know about your husband, hope he's doing good and not pain
msf, same

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 07:55 PM

Just reading the article regarding Tomic's former trianer with his mobility issues on court.Well Tomic is 6ft 1 inch and growing at just 17 years of age.I have also noticed in his matches his on court mobility.I dont think its that bad at all.Also Nick Bolletieri says of Tomic he has all the shots and likes his mindset.Tomic spent some time training at his academy.

Sometimes these young kids have to learn how to grow with their bodies.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 07:58 PM

Carol The question is how am I coping? lol!

These days its simple one day surgery.

In Manuels case his would be much more painful

Posted by Carol (Rafa will be back soon) 09/21/2009 at 08:02 PM

Wait AM!! maybe I'm in another world, but do you need a surgery too? what is going on?

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 08:04 PM

Carol LOL!!

No I dont need surgery,maybe brain surgery down the track

Posted by Ryota 09/21/2009 at 08:10 PM

Veering from Davis Cup a bit... am I the only one who's bummed that Henin will be returning to tennis if these reports are to be believed? What happened to the iron resolve to stay away from the game and do something else, huh?

I miss the days when athletes who announce to the world that they're retiring stick to that. Michael Jordan and Brett Favre started an ugly trend.

Posted by Ross 09/21/2009 at 08:13 PM

NP-
How did you come upon that super memory story--amazing. Are you one of them?

Posted by Carol (Rafa will be back soon) 09/21/2009 at 08:15 PM

OK AM, I'm glad it was a misunderstanding!!

Posted by NP 09/21/2009 at 08:19 PM

Ross, hope not. I came upon that story via a Yahoo! link. Nothing super there.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 09/21/2009 at 08:22 PM

Thanks for the comments re: my ankle surgery.

FYI, it was minor arthroscopic surgery performed by one of Southern California's best orthopedic surgeons. (He has operated on Mia Hamm and many other top U.S. male and female soccer/futbol players.)

All went well and the operated on ankle has held up much better than most of the rest of me.

Aussiemarg, in removing the cartilage, did your husband's surgeon do anything to make up for the loss of the cartilage.

Back 30 or so years ago, many surgeons were cartilage-removal happy, the end result that some of their victims are now suffering from arthritis caused by bone on bone action. Some of these patients would have been better off not having the operations.

Of course, your husband's doctor and your husband have the benefit of modern-day knowledge.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 08:30 PM

Manuel These days its different as you say.I will know more when I see him next week.Though Peter is starting physio today.

His doctor said after the operation with the physio it will be 1 month.

Gee compared to say 10 years ago,this is very speedy indeed.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 09/21/2009 at 09:03 PM

Well time to take Peter for his physio

Bye for Now.

Posted by Carol (Rafa will be back soon) 09/21/2009 at 09:08 PM

And this is the last news about Murray's wrist

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/8266173.stm

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 09/21/2009 at 09:28 PM

Another one for a profile on Nico Lapentti. He sure does have endurance.

I was a bit surprised that Melo/Sa lost their dubs match.

I'm liking all the DC posts.

Helloo btw :)

Posted by Game Lover 09/21/2009 at 09:28 PM

I'll be happy if Justine comes back!!!

Posted by Master Ace 09/21/2009 at 09:39 PM

Serena and Venus Williams are at the Miami Dolphins football game. Miami is playing the Indianapolis Colts. 10-all

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 09/21/2009 at 09:40 PM

Hernan Gumy was Canas's coach when he was in the Top 10, so he definitely has the skills to coach a top player.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 09/21/2009 at 09:48 PM

Spacie the Argies don't have a dubs team, which I think is crucial. Monaco can play dubs but who should be his partner. Nalby and Delpo are automatic for the singles berth but they need a dubs team PRONTO.

Posted by rafadoc 09/21/2009 at 10:06 PM

Hi Y'all!

Count me in for Davis Cup love! How can you NOT like something that so many great players love. All the Spanish guys, Nalbandian, Berdy, the Worm, etc. And how about Nico Lappentti getting a chance to be a hero-and taking it!

Also, Davis Cup brings great sports stories. How about the underdog Israeli team who last time played with no audience and won? They seemed to enjoy the buzz in Murcia, even though most of the crowd were for the home team. They really seemed to enjoy the experience.

I also saw pictures of a football game that the Israeli team evidently challenged the Spanish team to. I have no idea who won but I don't think that was the point.

Camaraderie. Got to love it. :)

Posted by rafadoc 09/21/2009 at 10:08 PM

^^ I guess the Israeli's won 5-2. Here is a picture:

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=169702941561&ref=nf

Posted by Carol (Rafa will be back soon) 09/21/2009 at 10:28 PM

Lastest news about Rafa injury:

"Due to the acute right muscle abdominal fracture, he will remain 10 days inactive"

He's not going to play in Bangkok and they are not sure if he could play in Pekin, depends how the fracture heals
The problem is that he was playing and playing and everything became worst
Anyway is not serious but he has to rest and taking care

Posted by rafadoc 09/21/2009 at 10:41 PM

Carol: Thanks for sharing. I am glad Rafa is resting. Hope he can end his year competitively.

Random thought: In the picture above, MAndy is wearing a Nike "Eugene jacket", something usually adorning my fave, Rafa. Random, I know.

Muzz looks so frustrated there. I do have to acknowledge that it was very sporting of him to try to get Great Britain a win.

Posted by Carol (Rafa will be back later) 09/21/2009 at 10:52 PM

rafadoc, you're very wellcome!! I hope this time everything is going to work well and....... not more injuries Rafa, please!!!

Posted by rafadoc 09/21/2009 at 10:54 PM

Carol: Me too. This seems to be a fairly "benign" injury so rest should do the trick. And then of course, training in such a way that the tum tum gets the appropriate level of work leading into the next tourney.

Posted by Carol (Rafa will be back later) 09/21/2009 at 10:54 PM

Sorry, I meant "welcome"

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 09/21/2009 at 11:11 PM

Please this is a Ruptured Tear to his Ab area

He will need physio as well as rest

This isnt light stuff we are talking about here.

I am angry with him for starters,its about time he starts thinking about his body more and playing through pain

He is not a little boy any more.

Posted by Carol (Rafa will be back later) 09/21/2009 at 11:23 PM

AM, I agree, he's not a little boy anymore, but I can see he doesn't like to be "inactive" at all.
During the USO Uncle Toni said, "he'is in pain, he is not doing better". I'm sure Toni ask him to stop to play and Rafa's answer was "NOT"

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 09/21/2009 at 11:25 PM

Carol Well wait till I get at him when he visits Melbourne next year

I will tell him in no uncertain terms

I may be the ex Madame President by then.

Posted by annove 09/21/2009 at 11:30 PM

Ryota,

I'm with you on Henin's return, I could care less. I don't follow the WTA that closely, so excuse the question if it's ridiculous: did Henin set the fans ablaze or was she just a darling of the tennis pros that cover the sport? I remembered them bemoaning her retirement and the loss to the sport,etc.

Returning Henin seems like a yawn to me but maybe not?

Posted by rafadoc 09/21/2009 at 11:31 PM

AM: When I said it was a "benign" injury, I meant it can fully heal and not be recurring. I didn't mean to imply it wasn't serious. As I said, rest and rehab...that is the mantra. :)

And-yes-Madame President-he needs to sit down and have a one to one with you. :) Seriously-that young man needs a talking to!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 09/21/2009 at 11:34 PM

I am now learning Spainish in 3 easy steps lol!

Gee I started last year was going well,until family problems took over.

I will take him out to ST Kilda beach and try to talk some sense into him

Yes the water is calming

Posted by Carol (Rafa will be back later) 09/21/2009 at 11:35 PM

AM, poor Rafa, hope you wont tell him too much "in no uncertain terms", but he would deserve it, hehe

Posted by VC 09/21/2009 at 11:43 PM

Very glad to hear that Ernie has got himself a good coach. I really believe this guy has everything, just needs a bit of direction. Loved watching him against Murray in the US Open.

Can someone who has been following India's DC fortunes regularly post which opponents would give us the best chance of getting a home tie and advancing? It's been a while since I remember India being in the World Group.

Posted by rafadoc 09/21/2009 at 11:43 PM

AM: Good for you for taking up Spanish again. :) I remember you had started that. Well, plenty of time for you to practice. He needs to be in that final for Madame President, no?

President Obama is on David Letterman tonight...off to watch...

Good night all.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 09/21/2009 at 11:45 PM

VC I hope Earnies new coach will be good for him.He has all the talent in the world.Needs to know when to unload his shots.His serve is so fluid I love watching him.

Posted by Carol (Rafa will be back later) 09/21/2009 at 11:46 PM

AM, you have to tell him:
"Escucha Rafa, tienes que cuidarte mas, ya no eres un niňo, eres un Campeon y tienes que ganar mas torneos y trofeos"

That means: "Listen Rafa, you must to take care more yourself, you are not a little boy any more, you are a Champion and you have to win more tournaments and trophies"

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