Davis Cup: Switzerland vs USA Wrap (by LJ)
Okay, so I’m a little less pissed and more coherent than I was on Sunday morning, but I’m still perplexed…like most of you… with the Tennistical Fuckery that was the Swiss Davis Cup campaign over the weeked.
So the last time we left the Swiss Davis cup team, they were doing this…
We were all celebrating the fact that Stan the Man finally grew some Davis Cup cajones and we were all looking forward to a possible run by the Swiss at the big prize this year. On paper it looked like a given, the US on slow clay AT home, in Swissyland…perfect right? Uh…not so much.
Of course most of us dismissed the actual stats. Mardy Fish ranked 8, John Isner, 17. Mike Bryan, one half of the world’s number 1 doubles team. But don’t worry…the yanks are shit on slow clay…so we thought. Nevermind that John Isner was the first person ever to take Rafa to 5 sets at Roland Garros…oh no…but that was a total fluke right?
yah…these guys thought so too…
And you know what? maybe a little too much fun. When Fed came out in the pre-tie presser saying win or lose he’s happy just to be with the boys something went uh-oh in my head. It almost seemed like the Swiss were a little laissez faire going into the weekend.
So in the making of the perfect example of why Davis Cup is about team depth and Captaincy, the US team came in well prepared, and hungry…hungry to WIN. Although his suit wasn’t to the levels of Swiss snappiness, Captain Jim Courier was all levels of business. He had ONE job to do this weekend…and it was to win.
In the first rubber, Wawrinka and Fish dueled in a 5 set fest of sloppy tennis and chokeage. Up 2 sets to 1, Wawrinka collapsed in the 4th, giving Fish all the momentum in the 5th. Wawrinka played mostly reactive tennis, reacting to Fish’s kick serve and reacting to the pummeling of his backhand. When he broke back late in the 5th, he did so with 3 crosscourt FH winners…a shot that he basically shied away from the entire match…and thus we had this…
Yeah, if i came across this dude in a dark alley, you better be believin’ I’d be running for my life. After winning a tight but manageable 1st set where Isner was broken early, Fed get’s broken in the 2nd set after Isner hits 3 screaming winners off Fed’s wide serves. And soon the issues with the court were getting obvious.
At 2000m above sea level, the court in Fribourg was making the ball bounce high but the clay itself wasn’t slow enough. It gave ample trouble to both the 1-handed backhands of Wawrinka and Federer, but it gave just enough time for the likes of Isner to pound his groundstrokes.
I decided to sleep after the 2nd set (at this point I’d been up for 21 hours) and woke up to a 4 set loss. A result I entirely expected. It had the hallmarks of the Soderling match at FO2010, Federer was given no riddum to work with and Isner was teeing off on his serves and groundstrokes.
Also Fed was pissed at the bad bounces on the court. I thought the court at Royal Sydney was bad but obviously the guys at Fribourg took a page out of the same book. And when Fed is frustrated…the results usually aren’t good. Frankly I should start betting on tennis since I’m doing quite a good job of predicting final results after the 2nd set.
So fuck…yeah, the Swiss go into the doubles 0-2 down. Now after watching Federinka at Royal Sydney last year, I was not impressed. People harp on about how they won the Oympics yadda yadda yadda…Folks…that was FOUR FUCKING YEARS AGO….and it was best of 3 (bar the final)
Again like at Royal Sydney, Federinka comes out guns blasting and win the 1st set. But soon in the 2nd, the wheels start falling off. The silly errors start and they stop communicating. Against a Bryan and a prettty good dubs player himself, Fish, you just can’t afford to be that shite.
I’m not going to go as far to say the Olympics gold was a little flukey, but as a pair, these guys are just not best of 5 quality. And possibly because they’re usually gassed after their singles rubbers on day 1. But at times both had some mind blowingly FACEPALM-worthy errors in the match.
So anyway, USA go on to sweep the tie 5-0 (Lammer and Chiudi fought bravely but alas)…here’s some manlove…
Kudos to Courier for coming in with the perfect gameplan (To not let Roger Federer play tennis supposedly) and kudos to his team, especially Isner for executing the plan perfectly. I don’t like playing blame games but a few big things let the Swiss down in this tie:
- The court and location shot the Swiss in the foot
- Lack of focus, authority and gameplan exerted by Severin Luthi
- Lack of focus and cajones from Wawrinka.
- Lack of fight and refocus from a one Roger Federer, after tight 3rd set losses, happened in Australia and happens here again against Isner.
I never thought this tie would have been a easy gimme for the Swiss like some media outlets said. But had Wawrinka won the first rubber, Isner would not have had as much freedom to swing as freely as he did. And we could have woken up today to a 3-2 win by the Swiss. But this is how close tennis gets…a few games here and there late in the 5th set decides everything.
So yeah, I was pissed…and angry…albeit mostly for selfish reasons really. I stayed up almost 21 hours to see both 1st day singles rubbers, I paid 10 bucks for the ITF stream for the weekend and FUCK…I expected more from the Swiss team…
…but hey, we all have our bad days right?
…but promise to try harder next time alright?
P.S. How ahmazing are Swiss Tennis crowds? I will forever cherish the sound of a GIANT cowbell…