Davis Cup – Australia vs Switzerland Days 3/3.5 Wrap aka Maker of Men (by LJ)

Where do we start the story of Stanislas the Manislas? He who was made extra manly on this Sunday in history. PJ below has but already expounded on his manliness so I guess let’s start at the beginning of the day.

My inner circle of federites arrived early hoping to catch our man practicing but alas as he was playing the 1st match he was done by the time the gates opened. Instead I amused myself by reminiscing about my childhood tennis watching days seeing these guys out on court.

Davis Cup - Australia vs Switzerland - Day 3

Lleyton was practicing and he looked sharp and ready to go. He looked like he was going to “Cut a bitch” today. I was scared for Stan, but then I didn’t even know if Stan was playing, I spent the majority of the day thinking I was going to cheer on poor Marco who was going to be destroyed.

Davis Cup - Australia vs Switzerland - Day 3

Rog started off blisteringly against Tomic, taking fast aggressive grass court tennis to the teenager. Shutting down his slices with venom, and like always showing who’s freaking BOSS.

Davis Cup - Australia vs Switzerland - Day 3

But then Mirkaland happened along wind, leaves/twigs and stuff littering the court and tarpaulins blowing off makeshift broadcast towers in the 3rd…causing complete distraction. Tomic then took it with his own brand of aggressive tennis, and I was impressed with his effortless power. If the kid can dial his game and tactics on the hard courts, he’s going to be top 20 for sure.

Davis Cup - Australia vs Switzerland - Day 3

But then by the 4th, it ended just as fast as it started. Rog was pushed but he was never really in danger.

Davis Cup - Australia vs Switzerland - Day 3

So…tied at 2-2…we heard that Stan would be playing the final deciding rubber. I had all but given up hope for a Suisse win. Gimpy Useless Stan against Lleyton “I will cut your heart out with a spoon and eat it in Davis Cup ties” Hewitt on a dinky grass court in Sydney? All signs pointed to a steamroll by Hewitt.

So I took my leave of the court in the break between matches and chilled by the railing outside waiting for Roger to come by. Dude took his freaking time, the 1st set was over before I went back in again and all because I wanted to take photos like below for all you perverts out there.

Davis Cup - Australia vs Switzerland - Day 3

So I get back into the main court. On serve 2nd set. Then Stan pulls a break near the end to take the set. Okay we thought, he has a set, he can lose without embarrassment. And then the 3rd set happened. Breaks were traded like the WTA and at 5-4, Stan had BP 30-40 to take the set. Rusty drops it short at the net, Stan comes in for an easy backhand pass up the line…and he MISSES IT by inches….OUUUUUUUUUT.

Davis Cup - Australia vs Switzerland - Day 3

I threw my hands up and went “STAN YOU NOB!!!!!!!” I thought that was it. Rusty comes back, drives off another few BPs in that game and holds later to take it to the tiebreak. Up a few early minibreaks, Stan brainfarts 1304987102397109273 set points and loses the 3rd in over 70min. We all thought, this is it…Hewitt will roll through the 4th.

Davis Cup - Australia vs Switzerland - Day 3

I should also mention that at this stage it started getting ridiculously cold in the stands, the sun was going down, PJ had a flight to catch, we ALL wanted the match to be over and done with so we can go home to hot chocolate or something.

But then something happens in the 4th. Rusty double faults a few times, clearly not having enough leg strength to push off on the serve and suddenly…Stan wins the 4th…the stands are going FUCKING NUTS!!!!…WE WERE GOING FIIIIIIIIIIVE…my Swiss flag was out and I waved it obnoxiously around all the Aussie supporters around me.

Davis Cup - Australia vs Switzerland - Day 3FUCK YEAH STAN!!!!

Suddenly we all started caring…like WHUT??? but 2 hours ago, we were all happy for Stan to just lose and get it over and done with…what the hell happened? It was getting tense…and dark. So cold and dark that I stopped taking pictures. We all feared the worst, BAD LIGHT, will it get called off before it finished?

At 2-2 Stan somehow broke again, I don’t remember much of it other than utter disbelief that he broke, and then cheering like a madwoman. At 4-3 Pat Rafter had a long argy bargy with the UMP, I thought it was going to be called then but no…2 more games the UMP said. Stan Holds…5-3 and it finally gets called. Mutters of discontent ring around me. Personally I was glad they freaking called it, I couldn’t survive a “real life version of Wimby 08” and I don’t think Roger would have appreciated it either.

So we all got on the buses and went home, with none to return the next day. It would be up to fate we gathered. But in our conversations afterwards we were all incredulous at Stan’s effort, pretty much summed up in this gem of a quote by Princess Rog. That night we would all do anything for Stan.

After such a performance the Day before, there was no way that I would be happy unless Stan won the match. It only took 1 game on the morning of the 4th day to decide it. Against a seriously injured Hewitt, all Stan had to do was keep the ball in play and thus as anti-climactic as it was…the tie was won. Le Suisse was back in the world group and Australia again has to spend another year in the wilderness of group I.

Davis Cup - Australia vs Switzerland - Day 3

I’d also like to take this opportunity to talk about Hewitt. What an absolutely tenacious human being. You know, I used to hate him with vigour, everything he embodied irked me. But in his old age (for a tennis player) he’s really hard not to root for. And he left himself out there on that court, he fought, he struggled and he almost took it. He put in possibly the most effort of all the players in this tie and it must be gutting to not have pulled out the win.

Davis Cup - Australia vs Switzerland - Day 3

Davis Cup is a maker of men and fraught with more drama than Dynasty. It’s where tennistical battles are fought, leaving courts bloodied in the wet salty tears of a country’s favourite sons. One only has to watch the utter agony of Djokovic retiring to Del Potro to understand that there is something intrinsically more to Davis Cup than just tennis.

So it is that which makes Stan…THE MAN…of this tie. He went in a gimpy boy, sulking at his own misfortunes and came out a man whom made his own destiny in the twilight of a Sydney spring. We can no longer question his commitment and tenacity in Davis Cup. After this gutsy performance Wawrinka has proved himself and we are all better for it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this collection of mishmash wraps and photos from the Davis Cup tie. I myself felt nothing but complete privilege to witness 3 days of amazing tennis and drama…and of course…Roger Federer on grass. Certainly a dream come true and nothing less. It was a completely epic and captivating tie and will leave me an experience to cherish forever.

Davis Cup - Australia vs Switzerland - Day 3

I’d like to thank the following PJ, JodiMcA, Ceciliase7en, Lizibef, Specifite, Amy and cb_s for sharing it with me.

We hope to bring you some FPF before Shanghai kicks off with more tennis next month.


~photos by moi – Day 3 all here


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About LJ

Sup, I'm LJ, media producer/director, photographer and all round addict of various cultural pursuits...including food & tennis (the latter with an irrational attachment to a certain swiss potato nose genius).

14 responses to “Davis Cup – Australia vs Switzerland Days 3/3.5 Wrap aka Maker of Men (by LJ)”

  1. PJ says :

    Enjoyed every single word and every single porny Roger photo. Lovely lovely wrap on the drama of yesterday! Had so so so so SO much fun with you guys…also I think I was the most animated/yelled the loudest ALL WEEKEND at that beginning of that 5th set. 😛

  2. Matt Zemek says :

    Tremendous write-up, LJ. The salty tears of a country’s favorite sons.

    The Doots Crew (PJ and LJ) plus the Fondue Crew (Woger and The Manislaus) and a brave, brave Mr. Hewitt makes for special weekends.

    Cheers! Great job, EVERYONE! (Literally – Fence carriers, the players, the captains… everyone and everything but the substandard venue itself.)

  3. flo says :

    That was awesome. Really captured the spirit of these DC ties. Great job.

  4. jandemom says :

    Thanks, LJ & PJ, for your highly entertaining reports from the Davis Cup. Sounds like you & your friends had a fantastic time – lucky ducks, being so close to the action in such a high-stakes situation 🙂 Congratulations to the Swiss guys for making it back into the World Group; surely it will add another level of eeek! to an Olympic year. Good health to Rog & Stanley & good luck, too.

    Sounds like Tomic is growing up a bit, and as a result is growing on at least some of the Aussies who are regular Fence sitters. Seems like he’s got some good skills & will be around for a while – so it’s good that you’re liking him a bit more. And, of course, Hewitt refuses to give up – a quality you’ve got to admire whether you like the guy or not.

    Besides some exciting tennis, we got some great Federporn out of this Davis Cup tie – always a good thing, no? Thanks for that! And I love that red hoodie with the big Swiss cross Roger is wearing; looks so comfy.

  5. Pika says :

    I couldn’t help but notice how oddly Tomic swings his racket before making contact with the ball. It looks like he makes a conscious effort to make it look effortless? hahaha I can’t quite explain it. It actually kind of reminded me of how MAndy swings his racket before hitting his forehands. ANYWAYS… GREAT RECAPS, LJ & PJ!!! Love both of you for doing this!

    Also, as happy as I was for the Swiss victory(their first against Australia, no??), watching the last game was painful. I was never a Lleyton fan. Didn’t hate him, but I didn’t really like him either. Except I always admired him for his tenacity. Like Rafa. The never-say-die attitude is nice to see, but now… body is paying heaps for that mentality.

    Still, you’re right that Stanley losing the match would’ve been just as tragic. Switzerland better do well next year!! hahaha xD

    • LJ says :

      tomic has a very very short backswing, especially on the backhand, he almost scoops the ball. On the forehand when he unleashes power, its also short and flat, he doesn’t loop like most players. Very interesting technique but power comes also from good timing.

  6. Van says :

    An entertaining post: Thanks for the play-by-play!

    What do you think of Stan and Peter Lundgren breaking up? I don’t know about that one.

    • LJ says :

      hmmm, I think probably that was from coming off a dissappointing USopen this year than anything else, considering he beat Murray, last year in the 4th.

      Probably discussed it prior to davis cup. I think i was talking to someone over Davis Cup weekend and they mentioned that Rog tends to suck out all the worthwhile knowledge from all his coaches and discards them useless for anyone else. Lungdren, Roach, Higeras all didn’t do much after coaching Roger. So to aspiring tennis stars, keep away from anyone Rog has used before …lol

  7. Rain Delays Play (@raindelaysplay) says :

    A small group of Rafa fans (at least one of whom thoroughly enjoys reading The Picket Fence) decided we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see Roger play on grass, and arrived in Sydney for Davis Cup from several corners of the country armed with signs saying RAFA FANS FOR ROGER, ALLEZ SUISSE, and STAN THE MAN, somewhat heartbroken after the USO Final and not entirely sure we were ready for more tennis…

    But Fed and Stan really cheered us up and we had a fantastic time! What a tie! What a great experience watching Roger play on grass! And as for Stan? WOW! I think he knocked everyone’s socks off! Awesome win. Instead of being the lacklustre task it could have been given the recent disappointments for both Roger and Rafa, Davis Cup turned out to be the perfect antidote for both of them and all their fans. Never count them out!

    Thanks to all the Federites who accepted our ‘pseudo Fed fan’ status. We had some pretty mixed reactions to our sign on the first day, but I think our very loud cheering won people over eventually! HOP SUISSE!!! Welcome back to the World Group!

    • LJ says :

      hiya, we totally saw your signs in the stands, how uber epic and also Channel 7 gave some good coverage to your signs too. Awesome that you enjoyed DC as much as we did and hope that Sydney was good to you all.

    • PJ says :

      I just have to say – I LOVE those signs. I quite regretted not tracking you guys down to say HI and to take a photo of the signs.

      And glad you had fun watching our man and his man play on grass!!

    • dootsiez says :

      Baaaaaaaaah why was I not there?

      (Thanks LJ, most excellent photo of Roger at the end there. EPIC!)

  8. Puffin says :

    Lovely write-ups on the Davis Cup and gorgeous pics – thanks alot, LJ and PJ. 🙂

    Agh! Switzerland have been drawn against the USA for the opener in 2012! Why do they always get the tough opening draws – they can’t seem to catch a break! 😦

    Only upside is it’s at “home”. Allez Suisse!

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