Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Davis Cup: You know it's bad when Andy Roddick sits.

Blah blah blah. I could go on and on about how screwed up the Davis Cup system is, couldn't I? How stupid it is to spread this event out haphazardly throughout the year, tossing whatever momentum that's begun to mount right out the window. Oh, and then there's the unbelievably brilliant move to set it up at various sites through the world, making it really hard to keep track of all the matches.
Well, it's clear that organizers couldn't care less what we useless fans think. But when the players begin to pull out, maybe -- just maybe -- it's time to reconsider. Consider this, the ITF, that one of the top five players came out to play for their country. It's March. The next major is in two months! Yet Roger Federer (scheduling conflict -- and you know what that means. Tanning bed.), Rafa Nadal (various and sundry injury), Andy Murray (Great Britain's not allowed to play in Davis Cup until they get more good players, basically) and Juan Martin Del Potro (injured) begged out. A little farther down to the top 10, and we have Robin Soderling representing for Sweden, Marin Cilic coming out for Croatia and Fernando Gonzalez playing for Chile, considering what they've been through.
Another notable name, though, who didn't make it last weekend was Andy Roddick. Yes, the same Andy Roddick who won't even go to the Olympics, but will go to the ends of the earth to play in Davis Cup. Until this year. He finally drew the line, and it looks like he realized that, basically, the Davis Cup ain't the Olympics. For one thing, the Olympics doesn't just convene about eight times a year, whenever. For another thing, although no one could give a damn about curling, they will watch it on television because the IOC know a little something about creating interest in a sporting event. Think Michael Phelps would just ditch the Olympics? Because when Roddick and Federer ditch, that's the equivalent. They're saying, "Yes, this is a worldwide competition, and the prize is supremacy not for me, but my country, but I don't care. I have an appointment at a tanning salon. Hello!?"
Meanwhile, David Nalbandian, who hasn't done anything in ages, returns to Davis Cup play and fights valiantly to get his team past Sweden, in doubles and in the deciding singles. And who cares?


Yolita said...

A lot of people care about Nalbandian's performance. He's a hero in the eyes of many!

As is Djokovic, who was prepared to jeopardize his chances in Indian Wells to play for his country.

If you saw any of the matches you'll realise how different the atmosphere is. Nothing to do with ATP events!

Del Potro, Nadal and Davydenko didn't play Davis Cup because of injuries, they normally play. Federer has never been too interested and was also recovering.

And the reason Roddick didn't play this year is, in my opinion, that he knew the US were going to lose with or without him and he didn't want to be part of a losing team.

Kudos to Querrey and Isner for stepping up and doing so well.

Naf said...

Welcome, Yolita. I care about Nalbandian's performance, too. The point I'm making is that no one knows about Davis Cup because of the way it's organized. If they had it in one place for, say, two weeks in a place where the people would come out, Nalbandian's heroics wouldn't go by virtually unnoticed. I don't know if I agree with you about Roddick. I think he wants to focus on winning another major and all this traveling for Davis Cup doesn't help. I agree that Isner, especially, stepped it up. It's time for the Americans to bring up their youth anyway. Obviously Roddick and Blake can't play forever.

yogahz said...

I think the way it's done is very inconvenient for the players. But it does bring professional tennis to areas that don't normally get to see the pros play.

Naf said...

Hey, yogahz. You have a good point there, but Wimbledon's at the same place every year. And tennis fans know when it's happening and they don't miss it -- one way or another. If the players don't come, then getting the matches to remote locations doesn't make much of a difference anyway. Davis Cup is too good an event to fit it in the tennis calendar whenever.

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There's the unbelievably brilliant move to set it up at various sites through the world, making it really hard to keep track of all the matches.