Friday, February 6, 2009

A Word To Channel 7

Why is Davis Cup so absolutely frickin' massive when Fed Cup is forgotten about totally?
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I don't get it. I really don't get it. There was this big fanfare and pomp and ceremony over Davis Cup last year, and it really made the career of Fernando Verdasco, who seems to have learned a lot about himself and how to play tennis and stuff from the experience. It's right at the end of the season, when the players can't possibly have any other commitments, and even plays who played Shanghai (London now, I suppose) have got a little time to recover. But Fed Cup? No. I can tell you that Russia won last year, but I couldn't tell you who they beat... but I can tell you that pretty much none of their top women played. No Safina, no Sharapova, no Dementieva - I don't even think Kuznetsova was there, though I can't really remember. It just doesn't seem to be such a big deal?
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WHY NOT?
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Seriously, Fed Cup is exciting! I know I go on and on about how tennis is an individual sport and how nation doesn't come into it - but that's what makes competitions like Davis Cup and Fed Cup and the Olympics all the more intense! It's the only time that players do get the opportunity to play for their countries, adding that extra little bit of intensity. You have to be the best in your country to get onto the team, and each country is different in their level of skilled players. Nando Verdasco's motivation in Mar del Plata was wanting to be a hero for Spain. Look what that did for him. Lleyton Hewitt used to light up in Davis Cup matches too. But can you think of a single player whose career has been made by Fed Cup?
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Maybe it just needs better marketing or something. But the fact of the matter remains that Channel 7 will televise Australian Davis Cup ties, but Fed Cup? What's Fed Cup? I mean, sure, men's tennis has been a darn sight more interesting than women's tennis for the last little while, but let's look at Australia's teams here, comparatively. Our Davis Cup squad is spearheaded by the on-the-way-out Lleyton Hewitt, with Chris Guccione, Carsten Ball and assorted others singing backup. Looming ominously in the background is Bernard Tomic, but I think we need to give him a little while before he really becomes a superstar. So, on the whole, it's Lleyton, Gooch and a bunch of 'sorry, who?' players.
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Fed Cup! Dokic! Dellacqua! Stosur! Names, names, names. Should one of them be injured, Gajdosova/Groth/whatever-she-is-now and Rodionova are there, and Jess Moore isn't far behind. Now, wouldn't you rather watch that? I rest my case.
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Our girls did fabulously well yesterday, incidentally - Dokic had the day off to get over that bug that's been troubling her, but it didn't even matter. Dellacqua had a massive win, then Stosur backed it up - between them, they lost five games. Then Stosur and Stubbs teamed up in doubles and hammered the point home. Another 3-0 sweep. Bye bye, Chinese Taipei. Now we're playing New Zealand in the group final - and you've got to think that Marina Erakovic is really the only one who could cause issues there. I think we're on the way, Australia. Maybe next time, you should think about televising the tie.
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Today's Results
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SA Tennis Open (Johannesburg)
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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Kristof Vliegen, 6-4 6-1
David Ferrer def. Marcos Baghdatis, 7-5 6-2
Frederico Gil def. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 7-6 (8-6) 6-3
Jeremy Chardy def. Sebastien de Chaunac, 7-6 (7-4) 6-3
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Movistar Open (Vina del Mar)
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Tommy Robredo def. Juan Ignacio Chela, 0-6 6-3 6-4
Jose Acasuso def. Sebastian Decoud, 6-4 6-2
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PBZ Zagreb Indoors (Zagreb)
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Marin Cilic def. Antonio Veic, 6-2 7-6 (8-6)
Jan Hernych def. Mischa Zverev, 5-4 retired
Viktor Troicki def. Sergiy Stakhovsky, 6-3 6-2

2 comments:

Naf said...

Hey, Jodi!
Don't you think Fed Cup -- and Davis Cup -- would be better if they played the whole event at the same time instead of spreading it out over the year?
Besides that, Fed Cup definitely gets no love compared to the guys. It it unfair. But I think that overall, women's tennis lacks any marketing effort at all.

allineedisapicketfence said...

Russia beat Spain in the final of the Fed Cup last year, and actually, I'm pretty sure Safina and Kuznetsova played in the finals. And the other girls you mentioned, Dementieva, Petrova and Sharapova, played other ties during the year. Though Sharapova only played so she could get on the Olympics team, she's usually not a Fed Cup fan. But Russia's got such a strong line up that they rarely put all their stars on at once. The team that's really lacking was the US team, the Williamses didn't play last year, and they had to put Vania King on. Yes. Vania King.
But I do agree with you, the Fed Cup, and women's tennis in general rarely get the attention it deserves. But the Aussie women's field is stronger than the men's right now, so I'm hoping that'll change. It's certainly nice to see a blogger follow the Fed Cup anyhow. :)