Monday, September 24, 2007

Thoughts on the USA Sweden Tie-

USA over Sweden 4-1 to advance to the Davis Cup final.

A review

by GVGirl

This was one of the best weekends for Davis Cup in a long time. The World Group Semis which featured the parings of Germany/Russia and Sweden/ USA was exciting, but the competition in the World Group playoffs, probably eclipsed the main contenders! Joining the usual suspects in the World Group for 2008 will be the improbable nations of Israel, Peru and Korea! Talk about a diverse World Group. Congrats you World Group newbies!

Let’s focus on the US/Sweden tie. The USA came into Sweden as an overwhelming favorite to advance to the Davis Cup final despite playing on the road in Sweden. With the tie in Sweden and the Americans anti-clay sentiments, Swedish Captain MatsBallsWilander chose a fast surface to cater to the strength of his players rather than to the weakness of the Americans. Well Mats, your theory backfired along with the health and choice of the players.

USA 4 Sweden 1

Day 1

A-Rod defeats Pim-Pim 7-6 (4) 7-6 (3) 6-3

Talk about a battle of the serves and service winners. About a million aces were fired between Andy Roddick and Joachim “Pim-Pim” Johansson who was impressive for someone who hasn’t played in months. Johansson played Roddick point for point, but Andy played the big points well as he usually does in Davis Cup. Roddick has said in the past that his love for Davis Cup came in 1992 when as a 10 year-old he was in attendance at the Tarrant County Centre in Fort Worth Texas to watch the US beat Switzerland in the Davis Cup final 3-1. This explains why Roddick almost always has something extra in his Davis Cup matches.

USA 1 Sweden 0

ToJo schools JB
6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3

Thomas Johansson, the former Australian Open champ was on fire from the start, and James Blake never entered the “building” mentally until the 3rd set. ToJo’s serve and play was so consistent. Blake was broken in the very first game of the match and it all went downhill from there except for a brief interlude in the 3rd set when he seemed to find some of his form and took the set. Blake I don’t know where you were during this match, but the US is going to need you in November.

USA 1 Sweden 1

Day 2

Doubles delight.

The Bryans def Aspelin/Bjorkman 7-6 (11), 6-2, 6-3

The first set of this match was a keeper with 4 of the best doubles players at their volleying best. The ATP needs to put the highlights from the first set in their “Doubles Revolution” promos. Top-notch play with only 3 unforced errors and a competitive nerve-wracking tiebreak. After the first set, the Bryan Twins broke Jonas Bjorkman’s serve three times and that’s all she wrote.

USA 2 Sweden 1

Day 3

Andy over Jonas 6-2, 7-6, 6-4

Everyone in Sweden was looking forward to a rejuvenated ToJo matching up against A-Rod, but it never came to pass. Bjorkman replaced an ailing Thomas Johansson at the last minute. As Andy has done 8 times before, he clinched the tie for US hammering 16 aces along the way. Andy is 9 for 9 in closing out Davis Cup ties for the USA. Will he make it a perfect 10 for 10 in December in the Davis Cup final?

USA 3 Sweden 1

"Dead rubber Specialist" Blake mops up Aspelin 6-1, 6-3

Aspelin? Apparently Joachim“Pim-Pim” Johannson was so sore after the Roddick match on Friday that he couldn’t move. Enter Bjorkman’s doubles partner to act as a sacrificial lamb for Sweden. "Dead Rubber" Blake wins! End of story!

USA 4 Sweden 1

The Final

The US will match up against Russia in the Davis Cup final at the end on November on US soil. The three cities in the running to host the Davis Cup final are: Winston – Salem, North Carolina, Portland, Oregon and San Diego, California.
However Roddick apparently spilled the beans about the Davis Cup Final as noted in an article on “Roddick appeared to tip off the site selection during his post-match comments when he promised that "We're going to try to export all of the clay out of the state of Oregon. … I don't know if they have clay courts in Oregon, but hopefully they'll cover them up during that weekend." For the full story go to ESPN

It will be the first time that the US has played on home soil for the Davis Cup since 1992. Roddick, Blake at the Bryans better be at their best to compete with mighty Russia. Russia is trying to defend last year’s Davis Cup.

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