I would really, really be lying if I didn't say that I was disappointed.
Belgium was an eminently beatable opponent for Australia. But once again, we proved that we just really don't have the depth. Rochus, Darcis and Bemelmans really does not make a worldbeating Davis Cup team - nowhere close. But apparently Hewitt, Luczak and Ball... well, that's even worse.
It really highlights the dependency of the Australian team on Lleyton Hewitt, which is incredibly dangerous. Even if he'd been able to play, I don't think he would have had much success - he came so close to losing to Bemelmans that I really didn't see him coming through Rochus. But Luczak should have been able to make things happen. And Ball... well, I think people just expect a lot more of him than he's capable of, to tell the truth. He and Guccione make a great doubles team, but I just don't know if he's ever going to be any more than that.
Australia really can't rely on Lleyton. He's been so good for so long, but come on, the dude's been on his way down for years. We can't manufacture talent out of nowhere, but we need to stop pinning all our hopes on one guy so much - it's not fair to him. This is exactly what is going to happen to Bernard Tomic and Jason Kubler, if they ever make good on their respective immense talents - reliance, to the detriment of the squad. And then we're going to end up like the UK, losing to Lithuania.
I suppose there's nothing really you can do. If you don't have the players, you just don't have the players. And I think the venue decision was as smart as it possibly could have been - the hot, steamy conditions of Cairns should really have benefited the Australians. But it just didn't happen. Story of Davis Cup in Australia for a long time now.
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago