Monday, September 22, 2008

Heard Around 9/22/2008

by Savannah
The DC tie to be held in Argentina in November has already generated trash talk.
Juan Martin Del Potro when asked by a reporter about Rafael Nadal coming to Argentina is reported to have said "Yeah... we're gonna pull his underwear out of his ass". When asked to repeat the comment he declined.

Despite his showing in yesterday's semi Igor Andreev has been a solid member of the Russian team, their fifth set live rubber specialist so to speak. Not quite sure what happened but it looked like he wanted no part of Juan Martin and he played like it as well.

The revamped United States Davis Cup team won one rubber, the doubles, and lost all of their singles matches. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the results would've been any different had James Blake made the trip. Is PMac perhaps looking to rotate his older players out for the next generation? Who knows? Until we field a team that can play clay court tennis, and break away from some of the preconceived notions of how tennis should be played and focus on how it is being played we'll continue to have to play ties on clay overseas.

In other Davis Cup news the 2009 Davis Cup seedings are out. Here is the complete ITF announcement. All highlighting is mine.

Argentina and Spain head the seeds for the draw for the World Group of the 2009 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, which takes place in Madrid on Tuesday 23 September at 12:30 local time (10:30 GMT).

1. Argentina
2. Spain
3. Russia
4. USA
5. Croatia
6. Sweden
7. Germany
8. France

According to the Davis Cup Regulations, the two finalist nations are seeded No. 1 and No. 2 in the World Group for the following year, and will be drawn in opposite halves. Seeds 3-8 are in accordance with the latest Davis Cup Nations Ranking. The seeded nations will be drawn against Austria, Chile, Czech Republic, Israel, Netherlands, Romania, Serbia and Switzerland.

Seeds for the Zonal Group I and Group II competitions are also based on the latest Davis Cup Nations Ranking. The Group I seeds are as follows:

1. Slovak Republic
2. Belgium
3. Great Britain
4. Belarus

Other nations: Italy, Macedonia FYR, Poland, South Africa, Ukraine

1. Australia
2. Korea, Rep.
3. India
4. Japan

Other nations: China P.R., Chinese Taipei, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Uzbekistan

1. Brazil
2. Peru

Other nations: Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay

All the draws will take place at BNP Paribas’s Madrid offices and can be heard live on Davis Cup Radio on the official Davis Cup website:

US vs Switzerland anyone?

Idle Chit Chat

The USTA, in an effort to address some of the glaring deficiencies in American tennis has hired former Roger Federer coach Jose Higueras. According to the USTA Announcement Higueras title will be Director of Coaching for the USTA Elite Player Development program. According to the announcement

Higueras will oversee all of the program's men's and women's coaching efforts and will work at the USTA Training Centers in Boca Raton, Fla., and Carson, Calif. as well as Palm Springs, Calif., where Higueras lives. He will report to Patrick McEnroe, General Manager, Elite Player Development.

This follows Tennis Australia's recognition that clay is the best surface to learn on. I don't think the USTA will go as far as the Aussie's did though and admit that the de-emphasis of clay court training and play is the cause of the decline of Australian tennis. Then again, maybe hiring Higueras is the USTA's admission of that fact.

Svetlana Kuznetsova has relocated her training base from Barcelona to Russia and hired Olga Morozva as her new coach. Sveta says that she leaves the Sanchez Casal's organization on good terms and said it's not the end of the world that she hasn't won anything this year.

Young Marko Djokovic has a WC into the Thailand Open where Main Draw play starts Tuesday. He is the next oldest of the Djokovic brothers. There is a lot of controversy about his getting the WC though. Serbian tennis sources say he is not the top Serbian Junior, per the ITF his combined junior ranking as of September 15 2008 is 419, and that based on his play the Wild Card is not justified. His older brother is the draw for Thailand and I guess he wanted his brother there as well. His first match will be against Jarkko Nieminen.

Amelie Mauresmo went out in three sets to Dominika Cibulkova in first round play in Beijing. It hasn't been a good year for her at all.

Michaella Krajicek has hired Kim Clijster's former coach Mark Dehous to work with her through the end of the year.

Dinara Safina is giving herself a rest and withdrew from Beijing. She and her big brother will be playing Hopman cup together. Lleyton Hewitt will make his return to tennis in Perth as well. He will be paired with Casey Dellacqua.


Karen said...

Hello Savannah. Nice write up. Switzerland v. USA - lol. Man, would I love to see that or what?
I notice that everybody and their mother has been singing the praises of Dinara Safina. They have her as the next No. 1, the next best thing since sliced bread etc etc etc. Somehow I just cannot get it out of my mind that thsi is the same Dinara who could not string a couple of wins together consistently. I realise that she has matured and that she has won some serious hardware this season, but I for one am not jumping on the bandwagon. I watched the Tokyo final and all I can say is meh - maybe her game needs to grow on me a little bit more but I really was not that overwhelmed by her. Your thoughts.

Savannah said...

I've been a Dinara fan since her comeback against Maria Sharapova a while back. I can understand how you feel though. I mean she went through a time after that where she would mentally and emotionally take herself out of matches and seemed barely able to string two points together let alone two wins.

I heard Tokyo was kind of gnarly and I'm glad she took some time off.

Keep watching. She's never going to be a great mover but she is faster and she has learned to keep herself in emotional check.

dan said...

Hi Savannah, you failed to mention that what del Potro said was a joke. Jaun and Nadal are good friends. Even Rafa has already responded saying that delpo's declaration didn't bother him 'cause it's an inside joke that they have.

Savannah said...

Hi Dan. Welcome.
I've read that since I posted the comment.It's still out there so I left it as it is.

The alleged "sudaca" thing, that doesn't involve JMDP, hasn't gone away though. Someone put the vid up on menstennisforums and in my very humble opinion it doesn't prove anything.

Savannah said...

Dan do you know what the right nick name is for JMDP? I've seen Delpo and Juanma.

dan said...

There are lots of it Juanma, delpo, the dwarf. But the most used is delpo. The Argie crowd chants: Ole, ole, delpo, delpo!

Savannah do you know why do I have to sign up every time I want to post a comment? everytime I try to write the password, the answer is that it is an incorrect one but it's the password I use for everything.

dan said...

Yeah and the sudaca thing, I've seen it also and I don't hear anything either but if it's true it hasn't gone beyond the tennis court 'cause Rafa is close to every Argie player in the tour (including Gaudio, the guy he had the fight with) and he has lots of fans in Argentina and southamerica.

Savannah said...

Dan I don't know why you have to keep changing your password. Sorry.

Thank you for the nick names.