Roger Federer is pretty much the man, and he totally deserves his time off. That's all I have to say about that.
He revealed in his post-match press conference that he's suffering from fatigue-related injuries in his arm and leg and he 'needs to do some baby-sitting' so he's sitting out until at least October 5 - though truth be told, I'd be very surprised indeed if he showed up in Tokyo. You've just got to applaud the fact that he took to the court in this rubber against Italy when you have to think that if he didn't, Switzerland would face relegation - Wawrinka probably would have scored another rubber, but I don't know where the magical #3 would have come from. You da man, Roger. That's all I've got to say.
Both Israel and Croatia managed to score a consolation rubber, with Harel Levy scoring a win over Feliciano Lopez (a very decent win in and of itself) and Lovro Zovko managed to save some Croat pride by beating Lukas Dlouhy. I expected this whitewashing from Israel - Spain is swimming in excellent players, even with Nadal and Verdasco sidelined - but I really thought the Croats were going to, if not pull this out, make a better showing than this. They won the Davis Cup a few years' back basically on the back on Ivan Ljubicic, with Mario Ancic singing back-up. I thought the Cilic/Karlovic dynamic was even stronger, but apparently not. Not that this tie wasn't full of drama, especially in that first day, but it felt a little anti-climactic in the end.
All credit to the Czechs, though, who seriously stepped it up.
Other winners include Sweden, Serbia, Belgium (who knew they had blokes who played ball?), France and India. Other heroes include Robin Soderling, Steve Darcis, Somdev Devvarman and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. I always get into Davis Cup whenever it comes around, but it is so terribly shafted. I wish it was better organised. I wish it was better publicised. I wish... I wish...
Oh well. Pout.
Davis Cup (semi finals)
Czech Republic 4, Croatia 1
Jan Hajek def. Roko Karanusic, 7-6 (7-4) 6-4
Lovro Zovko def. Lukas Dlouhy, 6-3 6-4
Spain 4, Israel 1
David Ferrer def. Andy Ram, 6-3 6-1
Harel Levy def. Feliciano Lopez, 7-5 6-2
China GDD Guangzhou International Women's Open (Guangzhou)
Shahar Peer def. Alberta Brianti, 6-3 6-4
Bell Challenge (Quebec City)
Melinda Czink def. Lucie Safarova, 4-6 6-3 7-5
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago