Thursday, 25 September 2008

A Very International Affair...

This last week all the publicity seems to be over Davis Cup so lets get that out of the way to begin with.
Let me state right out that historically I haven't been a great fan of Davis Cup. To me it always seemed to be operating at a level below the main tour - a poor relation of the premier ATP events.
Its detractors have various theories as to why this is the case, but even ardent fans sometimes agree that it can be difficult to muster up the same level of interest and passion without the involvement of the top players.
Still I'm beginning to be won over as we've had some very decent matchups this year - in particular France v US earlier in April and of course Spain v US this last weekend.

There was little doubt that Spain would win last weekend, but I was pleased to see competitive matches between Roddick and Ferrer and particularly between Querrey and Nadal - I mean most people probably wrote the guy off the second the draw was released. The fact that he was able to take a set off of Nadal in what must have seemed the most imbalanced of matchups (on clay against arguably the greatest clay courter of all time backed by a partisan Spanish crowd in a Madrid bullring - I mean Querrey must have thought 'Are you guys kidding with this setup!?') bodes well for his future.
He held his own and even though he lost the other sets, didn't appear to wilt.
Against Nadal, Roddick unfortunately got a dose of what Federer experienced at this years French Open Final - that he got the crowd on his side albeit for a fleeting moment (best moment of 2008?), was amongst the few positives that he could draw from this encounter.

I guess thats what rescues Davis Cup for me: the atmosphere. The crowd and the antics of the players' bench really do make this event something special, however I'm still not completely sold: for every matchup like last weekend we also have debacles like Great Britain v Austria - only Andy Murray's involvement in that fiasco prevented it from being a complete write off.
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