Friday, March 6, 2009

Not really into Davis cup…?

Well you should be, because I gotta say the matchups for the first round this year are pretty cool and that’s not just cuz we’ve got a Nadal-led Spain facing Djokovic’s Serbian squad.

For starters, if you’re a fan of Marat Safin, well he’s in action this weekend and he won his first singles rubber today against Romania’s Victor Crivoi in straights. The Davis Cup is the one place where Safin has managed not to be a disappointment, and if you crave the sight of the Russian winning, then the Davis Cup is definitely a good place to check him out.

Another thing is that some of the squads are really strong this year. I mean besides the withdrawals of Roger Federer, Nikolay Davydenko and both Fernandos, Gonzalez and Verdasco, most of the top players showed up for their duties, which means way better tennis for us fans.

The French have traveled to the Czech Republic with a lethal squad headlined by world number 8 Gilles Simon, who is also joined by 11th-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 24th-ranked Richard Gasquet, and doubles pro, Michael Llodra. Surprisingly, Tomas Berdych managed to upset Simon in today’s opening rubber and Tsonga is currently trying to level the tie against a dangerous Radek Stepanek. This tie is definitely worth our attention.

The Americans are also ready with their big guns, Andy Roddick, James Blake and the Bryan brothers, as they face a Federer-less Swiss squad, which is now in the hands of the next best thing, Stanislas Wawrinka. 13th-ranked Blake opens against 16th-ranked Wawrinka today in Birmingham, Alabama (seriously those Americans need to be creative enough to name their own towns instead of just copying them off other cities around the world). Well it’s obvious that this tie should go to the Americans, but it would be interesting to see how Wawrinka holds up against Roddick and Blake in the singles rubbers.

The Croats are also pretty strong and they’re already 2-0 up against Chile, who are without their star, Fernando Gonzalez, but despite the predictable result, it’s always nice to see Mario Ancic kick ass, don’t you think?!

All this finally brings me to the ultimate tie; Spain vs Serbia, which features 7 top 50 players and the 8th contestant is number 4 in the doubles rankings. Unfortunately this highly-anticipated tie was delayed due to crazy winds (up to 90km/h) that destroyed parts of the venue in Benidorm, Spain. The tie which obviously seems too good to be true for us fans, might stretch till Tuesday, or could risk being rescheduled altogether, however decisions will not be made until inspections take place following the repair attempts happening right now. Djokovic is scheduled to face David Ferrer first on court Saturday morning, assuming the stadium would be ready for play.

Check here for complete Davis Cup results.

1 comment:

Sue said...

I miss Marat in Davis Cup *sigh*