When it comes to Davis Cup, the Spaniards have got something that so many other nations lack, and that is depth. Quite what it is in the air in Spain that has led to them producing so many excellent sportsman is not known, but they're doing something right in the talent development stage over there, because they have put together one of the best Davis Cup squads you could ever dream of.
I mean, look at who isn't on the team. Robredo. Ferrero. Almagro. Garcia-Lopez. You could pretty easily field two Spanish teams and they'd both be contenders for the title. The Spanish tennis federation (whatsoe'er they may be called) should be lauded, because they are doing something very, very right... or at least they were when these lads were coming up, anyway.
The Spanish team clinched the doubles and thus the Davis Cup today - which was hardly surprising, considering they were able to field two fresh guys up against Stepanek and Berdych, who were both match weary. Stepanek is usually the lifeforce of that doubles duo - they were undefeated coming into the final - but he was listless and exhausted today (which happens when you lose a match you should have won after five hours). The Czechs, when it comes down to it, never stood a chance. It might have been a tournament of four on four, but they were simply outnumbered.
I don't know whether they'll continue to play the dead rubbers, but it really would be nice if the Czechs could score a point or two. They deserve at least one - and at any rate, they don't deserve to be whitewashed. They played too well and worked too hard en route to the final to get here. Congrats, Tomas and Radek and other Czech dudes. You did good.
But the day belongs to Spain. There's no hero like there was last year - all four guys played, and all four guys won. But, as I said yesterday, the hero for me has to be David Ferrer. By rights, he should have lost that match, but he didn't give in, didn't give up, and to the victor went the spoils. I'd love to see that match do for him what Verdasco's match against Acasuso did for Nando - I'd love to see Ferru deep in a Slam (preferably the Aussie), in a round that has the suffix -final. Quarters, semis, whatever. He's been so solid for ages, but he's fallen off a bit this year - here's hoping he's soon back on top of the world.
Davis Cup Final
Spain 3, Czech Republic 0
Lopez/Verdasco def. Berdych/Stepanek, 7-6 (9-7) 7-5 6-2
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago