Saturday, December 1, 2007
United States vs Russia Day 1 11/30/2007
I think this picture just about sums things up for Day One. Congratulations to James Blake for showing he can stay focused and win in a pressure situation. He was seen as the weak link and many wanted him thrown off the American team in favor of a guy riding the bench right now. Patrick McEnroe is to be commended for his coaching during the Blake match. His calm demeanor helped keep Blake in the moment even when it looked as if he was going to fold. He was the coach making all the right moves leaving Shamil Tarpishev unable to do more than sit and watch as the United States team defended the home court. Andy Roddick played what for him was an unusual style. It wasn't hit hard and harder tennis but more defensive and thoughtful. Yes I said it. Again PMac, often maligned here, gets major props for making sure Andy continued to do what he was doing and go on to win.
While Dmitry Tursunov was not allowed into his match Mikhail Youzhny was in his up until the end. The match he and Blake played was tense from beginning to end. The announcers on Versus kept reminding viewers of Blake's penchant for folding and while it got to the point that they seemed to be rooting for James to fail Blake played within himself and the two men,James and Mikhail, on a par with each other in terms of their tennis played the kind of match rarely seen on a lightning fast court, one that kept this fan glued to her set because there was actually strategy being employed.
Here are some pics that capture the feel of what I saw on television. Thanks to the Versus Network for carrying this live for fans in the United States.
Don't forget to visit Craig's blog and Talk About Tennis for special Davis Cup Coverage. The links are below.