New Balls, Please

"Climbing the Comeback Mountain with the Tower of Tandil."

  • Recent Posts

  • Unhealthily Obsessed With

    agnieszka radwanska alize cornet amelie mauresmo ana ivanovic andy murray andy roddick aravane rezai ATP ATP week ahead australian open beijing belgrade british tennis bstaad caroline wozniacki cincinnati daniela hantuchova david ferrer david nalbandian davis cup dinara safina doha dubai elena dementieva ernests gulbis estoril fed cup feliciano lopez fernando gonzalez fernando verdasco flavia pennetta francesca schiavone french open gael monfils gilles simon image is everything indian wells jelena jankovic jo-wilfried tsonga john isner juan carlos ferrero juan martin del potro juan monaco julien benneteau justine henin kim clijsters kuala lumpur li na lleyton hewitt los angeles madrid marat safin marcos baghdatis maria kirilenko maria sharapova marin cilic marion bartoli melanie oudin miami mikhail youzhny montreal munich nikolay davydenko novak djokovic paris masters philipp kohlschreiber queens radek stepanek rafael nadal richard gasquet robin soderling roger federer rome sabine lisicki samantha stosur sam querrey serena williams shahar peer shanghai sorana cirstea stuttgart svetlana kuznetsova sydney the withdrawal method thomaz bellucci titlists tokyo tomas berdych tommy robredo us open venus williams vera zvonareva victoria azarenka video wimbledon WTA wta week ahead WTFs yanina wickmayer
  • Categories

Archive for the ‘davis cup’ Category

Delpo Targets September Return.

Posted by gauloises1 on July 18, 2010

Tie a yellow ribbon around whatever you like: there’s signs of life on the Delpo front. He went to Minnesota last week to consult his surgeon Dr. Berger and confirmed via his newly verified twitter that satisfactory progress is being made and after some more strengthening work he should be ready to start hitting again. (Remember when he used to play tennis?).

Delpo was also interviewed on his way out to the States and said that he’s tired of not being able to play and that the September Davis Cup semi-final against France would be a ‘good time to return’ if he can be ready in time. This clearly means he’ll definitely be back then if not sooner and will beat Nadal and Federer at Flushing Meadows so that Roddick can win the US Open, or something.

As you might gather, I’m remaining cautiously pessimistic, because there’s no guarantee that when he starts hitting balls again, his wrist doesn’t just drop off or something. I’m just saying. But, you know, progress appears to be happening. This is a Good Thing. And hey, video.

Take your damn time, Delpo.

Don’t fall off, Delpo’s wrist.

That is all.

Posted in davis cup, juan martin del potro, video | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

Image is Everything: D Cup Quarter-finals

Posted by gauloises1 on July 12, 2010

Because nothing generates quite so much fantastic photoage as Davis Cup. You know it to be true.

sorry but ive to say i fcking won davis cup!omg

Pretty sure I could snap him like a twig. A twig.

Marin’s left arm makes a desperate bid for freedom.

Get the man a Big Mac, a big drink and a big vuvuzela.

“Did I leave the gas on …?”

This is not the face I’ve missed.

This is the face I’ve missed.

Put it away, Nole. Or I will come to Serbia and show you where to … never mind.

“Mr. President. What the hell.”

Nothing beats a good old-fashioned Serbian love huddle.

Eduardo Schwank looking in no way ridiculous.

Eduardo Schwank being no way ridiculous.

Kind of impossible to dislike Gael when he finds himself on this planet long enough to win a big match.

Tipsy wants a cuddle. No-one on this earth can blame him.

They shoot horses, don’t they?

Premature celebrating.

Yeah, Youzh better run.

Having beaten Spain at tennis, France take them on at the art of the manly hug. And win.

Have him caramelised and sent to my room.

Nole Major and Nole Minor.

Look who showed up to ‘help’.

“I’m a little lamb who’s lost in the woods …”

Kolya contemplates the many tragedies of life.

Shamil contemplates finding another job.

You’re not helping.

Homoerotic celebrations: must try harder.

Posted in david ferrer, david nalbandian, davis cup, eduardo schwank, gael monfils, gilles simon, horacio zeballos, igor andreev, ivan ljubicic, janko tipsarevic, julien benneteau, marin cilic, markko djokovic, michael llodra, mikhail youzhny, nenad zimonjic, novak djokovic | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

D Cup: Croatia 1 – 4 Serbia

Posted by gauloises1 on July 12, 2010

I have to say, this one got a bit short-changed for me this weekend; I was focused on Argentina and France. Much has been said and written about the political background to this one, and the sad behaviour of some fans in Split. But at the end of the day, the players all showed up, did their jobs, played some fantastic tennis and treated each other and the spectators with respect. So that’s what I’m going to hastily honour.

Nenad Zimonjic and Janko Tipsarevic, or as I mentally refer to them ‘Errol Flynn and Crazy Eyes’ won their doubles rubber.

Marin once again veered wildly between thrilling …

… and enormously disappointing.

Markko Djokovic was there as a reserve for no adequately explained reason.

And Nole did the absolute business, winning both his matches to put Serbia into their first ever Davis Cup semi-finals.

A fine effort, but less clothing and much more wetness required for full marks, Serbia.

R1 – N.DJOKOVIC (SRB) def. I.LJUBICIC (CRO)
7-6(3)  6-4  6-1
R2 – M.CILIC (CRO) def. V.TROICKI (SRB)
6-4  7-5  6-2
R3 – J.TIPSAREVIC / N.ZIMONJIC (SRB) def. M.CILIC / I.DODIG (CRO)
6-3  6-2  6-4
R4 – N.DJOKOVIC (SRB) def. M.CILIC (CRO)
6-3  6-3  6-2
R5 – J.TIPSAREVIC (SRB) def. A.VEIC (CRO)
6-2  7-6(5)

Posted in davis cup, janko tipsarevic, marin cilic, markko djokovic, nenad zimonjic, novak djokovic | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

D Cup: Chile 1 – 4 Czech Republic

Posted by gauloises1 on July 12, 2010

Er, I have no idea what happened here. I didn’t see any of it. I know that Nicolas Massu asked to be tapped for Saturday’s doubles to make up for his performance on Friday. How’d that work out for you, Nicolas?

Huge effort from Ivo Minar, Lukas Dlouhy and Jan Hajek to take a Berdworm-less Czech Republic into the semi-finals. As for Chile … well, they really need Gonzo, don’t they? And so do we all.

R1 – I.MINAR (CZE) def. N.MASSU (CHI)
6-0  6-2  6-3
R2 – J.HAJEK (CZE) def. P.CAPDEVILLE (CHI)
6-0  6-2  6-1
R3 – L.DLOUHY / J.HAJEK (CZE) def. J.AGUILAR / N.MASSU (CHI)
7-6(3)  6-3  3-6  6-3
R4 – J.AGUILAR (CHI) def. L.DLOUHY (CZE)
6-1  7-6(6)
R5 – I.MINAR (CZE) def. C.SAAVEDRA-CORVALAN (CHI)
7-6(2)  6-2

Posted in davis cup, jan hajek, jorge aguilar, lukas dlouhy, nicolas massu | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

D Cup: France 5 – 0 Spain

Posted by gauloises1 on July 12, 2010

Bad news for Spain? Fairly comprehensive Davis Cup humiliation for the reigning champions. Good news for Spain? Pretty sure nobody in Spain noticed. Bad  news for France? None. They were awesome.

A fantastic team effort from Les Bleus, starting off with Gael Monfils playing the kind of tennis that makes him almost impossible to not warm to against David Ferrer for two sets on Friday. Then, being Gael Monfils, he was distracted by something shiny, and lost the next two.

It looked very much like Ferru, five-set Davis Cup warrior that he is, would pull off another amazing comeback, and in some ways he perhaps deserved to. He certainly put in around 90% of Spain’s effort this weekend. However, Gael raced ahead in the fifth and even Ferru breaking serve as Monfils served for the match couldn’t get it done.

I missed the Llodra-Verdasco match but I wasn’t completely surprised by the result; Llodra has put in some great Davis Cup performances (albeit in doubles), can drive any player to distraction on his day, and Verdasco has been having a torrid time of it lately. Still a huge upset win for Llodra, who at 30 seems to be playing some of his best tennis lately.

This set up a fairly mouthwatering doubles clash between Benneteau/Llodra and Lopez/Verdasco, both great doubles teams that have delivered for their countries in the past. For two and a half sets it wasn’t much of a contest, though, as Bendra came out absolutely on fire; energetic, aggressive and intense. By contrast, Verdasco at times seemed hardly in the match and his serve wasn’t making much of an impact (I’ve not been keeping up with the injury latest there, but it looked to me like something was up). A sudden and inspired fightback at 4-2 down in the third kept Spain in it and the fourth was closely contested, especially after Spain saved three break points on Lopez’s serve. Crucially, a double-fault from Verdasco gave France the lead in the tiebreak and Benneteau served it out. Then came one of the most gleeful celebrations I’ve ever seen.

This is why we stalk them at Queens.

Both teams appeared more than a little hungover for today’s dead rubbers, with Gilles Simon and Julien Benneteau defeating Nicolas Almagro and Feliciano Lopez in straights. But it’s kind of understandable, given that this is the first time since 1932 that France have beaten Spain in Davis Cup – and without their highest-ranked player in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, too. They will host Argentina in September and have a great chance of making it to the finals.

Hence the ritual jumping around in the showers.

As for Spain … well, they’ve won the last two. It’s only fair that someone else should have a go. I have to credit Ferru, though; not just because it felt like he was the only player who really showed up for this tie on that side, but because after the last dead rubber was done and the others exited as quickly as possibly, he stuck around to congratulate the French and sign autographs for the fans on his way out.

Pictured: class.

R1 – G.MONFILS (FRA) def. D.FERRER (ESP)
7-6(3)  6-2  4-6  5-7  6-4
R2 – M.LLODRA (FRA) def. F.VERDASCO (ESP)
6-7(5)  6-4  6-3  7-6(2)
R3 – J.BENNETEAU / M.LLODRA (FRA) def. F.LOPEZ / F.VERDASCO (ESP)
6-1  6-2  6-7(6)  7-6(5)
R4 – G.SIMON (FRA) def. N.ALMAGRO (ESP)
7-6(4)  7-6(7)
R5 – J.BENNETEAU (FRA) def. F.LOPEZ (ESP)
7-6(3)  6-4

Posted in david ferrer, davis cup, gael monfils, gilles simon, julien benneteau, michael llodra | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

D Cup: Russia 2 – 3 Argentina

Posted by gauloises1 on July 11, 2010

Yes, you read that right. Argentina, without their #1 and #2 players Delpo and Pico, are in the Davis Cup semi-finals. How did that happen? Five words: Gervasio Esteban David Ezequiel Nalbandian.

A legend in his own lunchtime.

With no realistic chance of Mayer or Schwank winning a singles point for Argentina, this tie was always going to rest on David’s broad shoulders, and I didn’t think he could do it. Who did think he could do it? He hasn’t played since Monte Carlo, for god’s sake. How could he possibly turn up and beat Davydenko and Youzhny?

By being David Nalbandian, that’s how.

No, seriously, Kolya was looking pretty rusty in Friday’s match and although it wasn’t the highest quality from either player, David’s willingness to be aggressive really made the difference. It was nervy, with lots of breaks and rebreaks, and Kolya had plenty of opportunities to find his feet, including an early break in the first, serving for the second and breaking David’s serve when he was serving for the match, and then having two set points in the third. Still, David pulled off some amazing shots when he had to, kept taking risks and it paid off. Never one to mince words, he called the performance a ‘disaster‘ afterwards, but honestly I thought it was pretty incredible given his lack of matches in the past, well, year.

Tito approves.

Sadly Horseface had a ‘mare against Youzhny, evening the tie at 1-1. Tito decided (wisely, as it transpired) to rest Nalbandian and tapped Zeballos and Schwank for the doubles against the seemingly-dead-on-their-feet Kolya and Kunitsyn. I had my doubts about Horacio reproducing the doubles form he showed with Nalbandian against Sweden, especially without an old hand by his side, but I was so wrong. He was absolutely brilliant for almost the entire match, kept Schwank going and with the exception of one small wobble was the better half of the better team. Well deserved win.

With Schwank as expected unable to do much against Kolya in the fourth rubber, it all came down to a live fifth between Youzhny and Nalbandian. I thought this would go to a headcasey five with David running out of legs. I was so happy to be wrong.

David was, and I’m sorry to be repeating myself here, quite brilliant. OK, the first set was edgy and the second set maybe even more so, but David kept himself in it with great serving and huge returns, almost visibly growing in confidence so that the third set was almost a foregone conclusion. You could almost see Nalbandian at something like his best resurfacing, with that laser-like backhand and assurance at net that he never gets enough credit for. Sigh. I am a fangirl today.

Nalbandian seemed almost incredulous to have won and played so well, and frankly, so was I. After such a protracted absence from the tour and his many aborted attempts to return, to show up and do what he did in a situation like that is both staggering and indicative of the fact that Davis Cup brings out the best in David Nalbandian.

Now please please please bring some of this to the tour.

So Argentina, wildly unfancied (well not strictly unfancied, but you know what I mean), are in the semi-finals where they’ll face France away in September (which Pico should be back for). Amazing stuff. Drinks all round.

R1 – D.NALBANDIAN (ARG) def. N.DAVYDENKO (RUS)
6-4  7-6(5)  7-6(6)
R2 – M.YOUZHNY (RUS) def. L.MAYER (ARG)
6-3  6-1  6-4
R3 – E.SCHWANK / H.ZEBALLOS (ARG) def. N.DAVYDENKO / I.KUNITSYN (RUS)
7-6(7)  6-4  6-7(3)  6-1
R4 – N.DAVYDENKO (RUS) def. E.SCHWANK (ARG)
4-6  6-3  6-1  6-4
R5 – D.NALBANDIAN (ARG) def. M.YOUZHNY (RUS)
7-6(5)  6-4  6-3

By the way, as usual VamosDavid have match reports, highlights, quotes and all sorts. Check it out.

Posted in david nalbandian, davis cup, eduardo schwank, horacio zeballos, mikhail youzhny | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Hand of David.

Posted by gauloises1 on July 8, 2010

Let’s see how Argentina’s Davis Cup squad are preparing for this weekend’s tie against Russia, shall we?

Actual training footage.

Let’s not lie, the Argies are up against it and unsurprisingly much of the focus is on whether David ‘El Rey’ Nalbandian, the bad daddy of Davis Cup, can pull off another amazing rescue. Except this time he hasn’t played since Monte-Carlo and will have to face Nikolay Davydenko, Mikhail Youzhny and probably play the doubles as well.

Quietly confident, I assure you.

Anyway. Let’s all look at pictures of the Argies. Quick, before they start having to cry and recriminate.

Fine body of men.

If nothing else, he’s improving his fanboying immensely.

I swear to god, I just want to stick my face in his stomach and keep it there for an hour or so. In other news, here’s some words he said.

Bonus peeled Onion in video form:

Heading to the official dinner.

David does some practice in between sledging with Safin.

And the boys doing some serious physical work (David’s reaction at the end killed me):

As usual, I can only recommend you visit the amazing VamosDavid, who do a great job covering these ties. I’ll just be over there, looking at this photo and sighing a lot.

Posted in david nalbandian, davis cup, eduardo schwank, horacio zeballos, leonardo mayer, video | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Does the Pope Know About This?

Posted by gauloises1 on May 9, 2010

After that miserable news, how about some random Davis Cup doubles to cheer you up? Enter Simone Bolelli and Potito Starace, who clinched their zonal group tie against the Netherlands in four sets in the doubles today.

Outrage.

Tenderness.

Between you and your god.

Update: Further Italian awesomeness courtesy of Flavia Pennetta’s doubles win with Gisela Dulko in Rome …

Posted in davis cup, flavia pennetta, potito starace, rome, simone bolelli | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Further Adventures …

Posted by gauloises1 on April 14, 2010

Speaking of hot Tandilese, injured wrists and the inherent fail that arises when the two are combined … Pico will take at least two months out after Roland Garros to have surgery on a recurring left-wrist injury.

And yes, he will miss the Davis Cup quarterfinal against Russia.

This may make his straight-sets loss to Michael Berrer in Monte-Carlo today easier to understand, or it may not. Don’t look at me, I’m just the messenger.

Posted in davis cup, juan monaco, monte carlo | Tagged: | 12 Comments »

LTA Appoints New Davis Cup Scapegoat

Posted by gauloises1 on April 12, 2010

In news that surprises nobody, the LTA has announced the appointment of Leon Smith to succeed John Lloyd as captain of Great Britain’s Davis Cup team.

“This is a huge honour and an irresistible challenge for me,” said Leon. “I know the players, and I know that together we can get Britain back to winning ways in the Davis Cup.”

source

He reportedly added, ‘You know what? This poisoned chalice is really shiny.’

Smith is best known, in the highly specialised sense of those words that mean ‘not really known at all’, for having coached Andy Murray as a young teenager. For the last two years, he’s been the LTA Head of Player Development for men’s tennis. So a proven track record of success there.

You know, I have nothing against Leon Smith, and if he can make something of the resources he’s got available to him Davis Cup-wise, then so be it. Honestly, I wish him the best of luck. But really, is this what we’ve come to? I can understand the arguments against appointing a ‘celebrity’ coach (bless you for trying, Greg, and congratulations on staying well clear, Tim), but are you seriously telling me that after those two, the best we could come up with is someone who’s not only never represented his country, but who’s never played professional tennis on any level? I’m sorry, but shepherding a talented adolescent like Andy Murray through four years doesn’t seem to qualify you for this job. And what other world-class players has he worked with? Top 50 players? Top 100?

Not to mention the hiatus between the announcement being ‘leaked’ and confirmed. Are the LTA actually doing things now based on trying to avoid the censure of the media? Good luck with that, Draper.

You know, I don’t want to do this any more. I don’t want to be this bitter, cranky, negative person. Well, I sort of do, but I don’t want to mean it. Why do you have to do this to me, British tennis? Why? Why?!

Urgh. I’m going to look at pictures of bunnies for a bit.

Posted in british tennis, davis cup | Tagged: | 2 Comments »