Archive for the ‘Davis Cup’ Category

Canada's Pospisil reacts after losing to Serbia's Tipsarevic after their Davis Cup semi-final tennis match in Belgrade
The last thing I want to do is make this a dear diary post, but it matters in this context. ‘Matters’ is being used loosely.

My love for tennis was the biggest thing I had in common with my dad growing up. We used to play a lot until his knees no longer allowed it. We lived and died on every point Pete Sampras won or lost. It was the same with Roger Federer. When I lived away from home our calls would focus on what happened in Rotterdam or Gstaad. Wherever the tour set up shop for the week.

My dad is no longer the person he once was. Age, issues both external and internal have conspired to make him unrecognizable. My family has battled through, but in the end we face the inevitable. We’re just riding out the last few years. Writing that one year ago would’ve been a lot more difficult, but here we are.

Canada almost made the Davis Cup final. They almost did the impossible, beating Serbia, on clay, in Serbia. A bunch of Canadians with great cutouts made their presence felt in Belgrade. Milos Raonic gutted out an intense five set win over Janko Tipsarevic on Friday. Milos Raonic gutted out a five set win on clay. That will never sound normal to me.

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On Wednesday, Rafael Nadal will make his long awaited return, entering an ATP world tour 250 event in Chile. Tennis Channel will carry the match live at 4 PM. The major networks are leading their Tennis pages with the Nadal story. Undoubtedly, it’s big news. The sport needs Nadal on the court, not on the sidelines.

But why is he garnering the headlines today? The timing is curious considering a scintillating weekend of Davis Cup tennis just concluded. Led by Milos Raonic, Canada will make their first foray into the second round after beating powerhouse Spain in Vancouver. Sam Querrey battled back from a set down in the final rubber to send the States past underdog Brazil. The Czech Republic and Switzerland contested the second longest match of all time. Emergency replacement Fabio Fognini led Italy over Croatia, setting up a match-up with the Canadians on April 5th.

In brief, the Davis Cup creates story lines the tour cannot. Frank Dancevic is not going to beat Andy Murray at Wimbledon. That didn’t matter on Friday night, when the 151st ranked player in the world gave Canada a 2-0 lead. Nicolás Almagro and Radek Štepánek don’t play in Grand Slam finals. It’s a different story when their country is involved. The 2012 Davis Cup final was an epic, lasting four sets. Stepanek emerged in the end, and the Czech Republic captured their second Davis Cup title. Watching the ensuing celebration at the O2 Arena in Prague was pretty damn cool.

Unfortunately, the Cup is on the verge of irrelevancy. A wonky schedule and the absence of stars have combined to make it a non-event in the eyes of casual tennis fans and more frighteningly, the players themselves.

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