Monday Musings: Well-socked inspiration.
As the American media will no doubt cover USA’s inspired victory over Russia, I’d like to congratulate the Australian Fed Cup team on thrashing Ukraine 5-0 to put our country back in the World Group, on ANZAC Day to boot! Our girls are real troopers, yes they are! Skippy the kangaroo for y’all!
Italy, USA, Belgium, yer all going down-wown-wown-wown-wown next year. Just you wait til Dootsie starts the smacktalk and the irritatingly bogan ‘oi oi oi’ thing. JUST YOU WAIT.
Over in Rome, Italy is the ‘Spain’ of Fed Cup, as Flavia Pennetta closed out the third match against Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic to put her team through to its 4th Fed Cup final in 5 years.
Meanwhile, Bethany Mattek-Sands became the unlikely hero of the weekend in Birmingham Ala, finding just enough tenacity and just enough determination in her to win both the singles rubber to save US from defeat, then the doubles match, executed with a look of determination.
Of course determination is a lot easier to muster up when you have Lizel Huber to fall back on as your partner.
There you have it – the Fed Cup final will once again be decided between Italy and the USA. One, a team of seasoned and stylish veterans, known for their maturity and creativity on-court. The other, a somewhat mismatched team of fashion gurus, pit bull terriers and the Queen of doubles, united by a common inspiration.
Who else is a little intrigued this year?
In other world group play-offs: France and the Slovak Republic will be joining Australia in the World Group next year, as they defeated Germany and Serbia by a slim 3-2 advantage yesterday.
In Belgium, victory was assured but the mood was gloomy. The so-called “dream team” came down in a flash as injuries plagued Henin and Clijsters. The one-pinkied Justine was shocked by Kaia Kanepi in 3 sets, while Kim pulled out of her singles rubber with a foot muscle tear which could see her sidelined for 6 weeks.
Yup. You read it right – 6 weeks, French Open included. Clijsters however isn’t giving up hope.
“When the doctor tells you six weeks, then you start panicking. [But] I am someone who heals reasonably fast.”
But as far as the Fed Cup was concerned, Wicky could always be counted on to uplift the team in a time of trouble.
On the penis side of things, Fernando Verdasco defeated Robin Soderling 63 46 63 to clinch the title in Barcelona.
The optimists amongst you might think he’s headed on a road of good form leading – as all roads do – to Rome. Not sure that I buy that yet.
Dasco’s wins this week have been the result of tenacity more so than authority, lethargy more than energy, and the constant reminder of injuries creeping up on him rather than a happy concoction of health, form and state of mind that some players (read: Nadal) need to go on a tear.
In other words, I’m not convinced about Nando’s chances in Rome, Madrid and Paris yet. But for now? There is still time to enjoy the champagne.
As for the unfortunate loser, Abu Dhabi 2010, Indian Wells, Miami, Barcelona: all respectable results, some close matches, a lot of expectations raised and dashed.
I can’t explain how Bobby Sod, the man who pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the last decade, can’t seem to find the ‘go-getter’ in him in key matches, but I still am expecting another wow-moment from him at some point this year.
Don’t let me down, Soddybums.