Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nothing's Out Of Reach If You've Got Long Arms

If you're sick of talking Davis Cup, stop reading now.
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Let's start with the Argentinians today. They are, I feel, a perpetually underestimated tennis nation, and yet they're always up here in Davis Cup. I can't remember a time they weren't in the last four... that said, my Davis Cup memory is not the best, as I don't normally follow it as closely as normal tour tennis. Nonetheless, this Davis Cup week is pretty interesting, and the performance of the Argentinians is going to be intriguing.
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Nalbandian and del Potro are the singles players, which I think is a very smart move. Argentina has tennis depth, but, unlike Spain, who are arguably the deepest nation in men's tennis at the moment, they don't have any players that are massive superstars. At the moment, that is - Nalbandian has been a superstar, but he hasn't been playing like one this year. Del Potro is well on his way to being a superstar, but he's got a way to go yet. He is only about twelve years old, we must remember.
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The outcome of this tie is going to be very much on Argentina's racquet, I feel - more particularly, on the racquet of David Nalbandian. Despite his otherwise mediocre record this year, he is flawless in Davis Cup. Both Andreev and Davydenko, the singles players for Russia, are capable of beating him. That said, he is more than capable of beating both of them. He is more talented than Davydenko and more refined than Andreev, and if he can pull out a GoodDave, as opposed to a LameDave, performance, then I would put good money on Argentina to win.
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I'd normally go for Russia every time in this equation - the Tursunov factor - but I find myself pulling for Argentina this time, just a bit. Mostly because I think a match up between them and Spain would be incredibly compelling. What happens when you put Nadal and Nalbandian on a court together? WHAT HAPPENS?
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Another tie that is going to be very interesting is Croatia vs. Brazil playoff. You'd have to go with Croatia, who are playing Karlovic, Cilic and Ancic, but Brazil's team might be a dark horse. Presumably they're playing Melo and Sa, their gun doubles team, and probably Thomaz Bellucci too... hey, we could see a Cilic/Bellucci Stars of the Future Showdown! Move over Grapple in the Apple!
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Meanwhile, Australia has finally named their team, though I suppose they are still capable of pulling a swap - we have up till an hour before we take the court, yesno? Guccione and Luczak are the singles players (Luczak has to play Gonzalez first, poor bugger) and then Smeets and Ball will play the doubles. Groth, Tomic and Klein will have to watch from the sidelines, I guess. Still, Aussie Aussie Aussie!
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There was a great quote from John Fitzgerald today - someone asked him if thought Gooch was going to be able to bear the burden of being team leader, and he said 'he's got big shoulders.' I loved that. Who knows? We'll need a miracle to win this one, but nothing's out of reach if you've got long arms.
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In other, non-Davis Cup news, the nightmare continues for Ana Ivanovic, who got beaten by Nadia Petrova in Tokyo... I thought not being #1 would settle her down a bit, but obviously not....
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Today's Results
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Toray Pan Pacific Open (Tokyo)
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Jelena Jankovic def. Flavia Pennetta, 6-2 6-1
Nadia Petrova def. Ana Ivanovic, 6-1 1-6 6-2
Elena Dementieva def. Alizé Cornet, 6-0 6-3
Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Ayumi Morita, 6-1 6-1
Agnieszka Radwanska def. Marion Bartoli, 6-2 6-3
Katarina Srebotnik def. Francesca Schiavone, 6-4 6-3
Kaia Kanepi def. Virginie Razzano, 6-4 6-2
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TOE Life Ceramics Guangzhou International Women's Open
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Vera Zvonareva def. Xu Yi-Fan, 6-1 7-6 (7-4)
Zheng Jie def. Ioana Raluca Olaru, 6-4 6-0
Peng Shuai def. Lu Jingjing, 6-3 6-4
Arantxa Rus def. Gisela Dulko, 6-4 6-4
Tamira Paszek def. Pauline Parmentier, 6-2 2-6 6-3
Camille Pin def. Alla Kudryavtseva, 2-6 6-0 6-2

1 comment:

John said...

I really do hope that this will be our year. It was painful to loose in 2006. Now we have a chance to complete this destiny.

Argentina have not won World Championship in any sports since 1986. Let's hope we break that jinx in 2008.

But Russia will be tough, that's for sure. It will be great match.

So what is your prediction for this game? Would love to hear your thoughts/comments.

http://mundoalbiceleste.blogspot.com/2008/09/davis-cup-argentina-ready-to-face.html