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?