So I had another thought about Davis Cup. I've already covered the wondrousness of the Spanish team in general, for being wonderful individual players and for being a great team with a second string almost as strong as the first. We've covered this. Spain = good, no?
But... France has nearly the same amount of men in the top hundred - Spain has a few more, but not many. They've got some really excellent singles players, even if they don't have anyone quite as spesh as Rafa Nadal. They've got a pretty dedicated tennis federation.
So why isn't France doing anywhere near as well?
Spain is better. End of story. They're just awesome. But France really, really should be making it to the semis and finals. I mean, look at them! They've got Tsonga, Simon, Monfils, Gasquet - and then they've got tough doubles dudes (as in Slam-winning) like Llodra and Clement to add to their singles string. This shouldn't be a weak team at all. And yet they keep freaking losing.
This isn't the most coherent ramble, so I'm sorry if this next bit doesn't make any sense, but I have a notion that this might have been fostered at the talent development stage. What do we know about French players? They're full of flair, they're spectacular to watch when they're on but almost painful when they're off, due to the fact that they're largely enormous headcases and tend to implode.
Surely this isn't some kind of national trait...? You can't be born this way, surely? Somewhere along the line, the French guys are trained to be this way.
Don't get me wrong - I love French tennis. But the headcase aspect of it (and the habit they have of being easily injured) is spectacularly trainwreck-y.
So that's my thesis, I guess. France should be good at Davis Cup and isn't. Make them so.
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago