Sunday, September 23, 2007
Davis Cup semis
The blazing Roddick serve carried US hopes this weekend, as the US beat Sweden 4-1 in the Davis Cup semi. Predictably, Roddick opened during the first rubber and won, surviving three tight sets against Joachim Johannsen. Thomas Johannson was up next, against perennial Davis Cup choker, James Blake. I love James, but not in Davis Cup. Blake went down in four sets. This pattern has repeated itself just too many times, and with a bench made up of talent such as Querry and Isner, if I were Pmac, I'd start thinking real hard about some substitutions.
Luckily, it didn't come down to that as the Bryan Bros. played an outstanding doubles match to win the second point for the US. They faced Jonas (Jonas!!!) and Simon Aspelin, who was part of the team that took out the Bryans in the US Open this year. This could have been trouble for the US, but the Bryans exhibited some just unbelievable tennis. Jonas and Simon didn't play badly at all...but they were just no match for the twins.
So, again, everything going according to script. US up 2-1 heading into the final day, and Roddick is once again in the position of 'closer'. The tie was on his racquet, and even a Swedish substitution couldn't throw him off. Jonas again put up a good fight, and I think it was a good choice to put him in instead of TJ (who got throttled by ARod at the Open...not a good matchup for TJ). Jonas is one of the best returners in tennis...but after three sets, it was the US team that was celebrating.
Finally! A Davis Cup final IN THE UNITED STATES!!! Russia helped us out here by winning 3-2 over Germany. I was *sorely* disappointed by Germany's decision to not play Haas in the fourth rubber after the Germans pulled off a stunning doubles victory to pull ahead 2-1. With Andreev on clay lurking in the fifth rubber, that was a *bad* decision. And it cost them. Youhzny and Andreev pulled through...especially Andreev, who won both of his singles rubbers this weekend.
The site for the final will be announced later this week, with Winston-Salem and Portland supposedly the two citites left in the running. There are some rumors that San Diego is still being considered as well, but some places are reporting that SD is out. If WS is chosen, I'm going to try my damnest to go...not too far away!!! And seriously, when would I get another chance to go to a DC final?!?
It won't be easy, even though it is going to be in the US. Roddick is not sure bet to win, depending on who he faces...though I like his chances against most Russians, but Tursunov, Youhzny, even Andreev could sneak by him. And Blake...oh, we can't count on Blake against ANYONE!!! I wish we could, but he just isn't a DC player...he gets way too nervous, and nothing he has tried is working. Depending on who Russia brings, I think Querry could do some damage, especially on a fast surface. So, Blake is not favored, Andy is pretty well favored, and the Bryans heavily favored...unfortunately, the doubles only counts for one point.
Other notable news in DC...
*Even the mighty Fed could not save the Swiss, as they fell 2-3 to Radek Stepanek and the Czechs. Unfortunately, Stan was *not* the man this weekend...he lost both of his singles rubbers, and Fed and his buddy Yves lost in doubles.
*Serbia advanced to the World Group with a win over Australia. Serbia has a deep team, led by Nole, filled out by Janko, and includes a doubles specialist in Nenad. Look for them to make a run next year!
*Tim Henman played his final match on the grass as he helped Britain defeat Croatia (who was without Luby). Good-bye Tim, we'll miss you!
Henman and daughter Rosie:
*Israel, led by Dudi Sela and Erlich and Ram, are back into the World Group as well, with a stunning victory over Chile. Gonzo and Massu must be crushed!
*Hyung-Taik Lee led Korea back into the World Group...yay!
*Other victories included Romania over Japan, Peru over Belarus (and the Beast), and Austria over Brazil (and Guga).
So, I wonder how much tickets are going to be? *smile* That's what they made credit cards for, right?!