Friday, July 10, 2009

Davis Cup Quarterfinals Open Thread

The United States is in the land of the giants this weekend.











No matter which team you're rooting for, talk about it here all weekend.

I see after Mardy lost his two-set-to-one lead, the comments stopped. I guess there's only so much frustration fans of American tennis can take in one week.

Salmon had this to say: After 10 Sets, Croatia 2-US 0.

The heartbreaking losses for the US both featured decidedly crappy play on both sides of the net, with no player able to sustain any sort of form. While the clay surface was picked by Croatia to disadvantage the Americans, it proved to be a much smaller factor than expected, as neither Croatian looked particularly sharp on the shifty red stuff, either. Cilic and and Karlovic both broke for the wins at the end of long fifth sets, benefitting from mental exhaustion on the parts of the Americans as much as anything.

(...)

For both Blake and Fish, this was their second back to back five set loss, counting the loss the pair suffered in the Wimbledon semifinals of men's doubles. It would be near impossible for these crushing defeats not to take a toll on them that will have an effect into Sunday's matches.


That just about sums it up, though I thought Karlovic's form improved as the match wore on. Salmon has complete Davis Cup coverage at his new site, so check it out.

24 comments:

Matthew said...

Really? Nothing yet?

This is crazy! Israel's about to go up 2-0 on Russia! RUSSIA! Dudi Sela is dropping a breadstick and a bagel on Mikhail Youzhny. That's insane!

Everything else is going about as I might have expected. I bet now that Roddick's out, Croatia wishes they'd gone with a fast court so that Karlovic and Cilic wouldn't have their ace-ability quite so stunted.

Michael said...

Thanks for the open thread, Craig. James Blake is up a set and a break against Ivo Karlovic now: 7-6 (5), 3-1. Playing well, it would seem. Karlovic has thrown in some doubles, including a bad one to set up the tiebreak for Blake in the first.

Israel is looking in good shape against Russia. They won the first rubber and Dudi Sela has only allowed Youzhny one game in the 2nd and 3rd sets. Is Russia in trouble?

Michael said...

@Matthew,
Looks like we are on the same page.

I like that Karlovic is taller than the Davis Cup paperboard background. Ridiculous!

Helen W said...

GO JAMES !!!!

Think he may be just a bit inspired by his absent team-mate Andy?

Matthew said...

Oh, wait - never mind. Youzhny takes the first three games of the fourth set.

That guy is such a headcase. He hasn't been the same player since he smashed his face in with a racket last year and bled all over himself.

Michael said...

I think Helen is right in this case (and most cases, actually).

I wouldn't be surprised in James is stepping up in Andy's absence, inspired by his Wimbledon run and being the team #1. Didn't Billy Jean King say something about pressure recently, that it could make you play better?

Matthew said...

Blake serves for a two-sets to love lead!

Matthew said...

Why the Germans lead with Andreas Beck instead of Nicky Kiefer, anyway? Granted, Beck took Verdasco to five, but Kiefer is ranked higher and is more experienced.

It's a shame Haas didn't play, but I can't say I blame him. He's got to be exhausted.

Matthew said...

Berdych-Monaco looks like it's going to go to five! I wish that there was a better way to fit Davis Cup into the schedule, because it can be a lot of fun.

Some really great match-ups and all the nationalist fervor that tennis can muster.

Craig Hickman said...

I'm taking advantage of the sun that has finally come to Maine. So I see Blake is about to drop a set after a great start.

I hope Helen is right and he remains inspired.

Matthew said...

I don't think anyone really thought that Russia could conceivably be out of the tie by the time the doubles finishes.

Michael said...

Blake holds to 4-3 in the 4th after being down love-30. His first serve % is getting better.

Helen W said...

Matthew interesting that you bring up Kiefer. I used to absolutely detest the man as being a horrible sportsman. But after having an injury, he did some self-reflection and experienced a real change in the way he conducted himself. I understand why folks are moved by the return of the prodigal son stories (even though little thought is often given to the feelings of the son who stayed home and did his duty faithfully). I admire the new Kiefer immensely, and always pull for him.

Matthew said...

I haven't been a tennis fan long enough to know Kiefer in his younger days. The first match I ever watch in its entirety was Federer-Roddick in the 2005 Wimby final, which made this year's final all the more painful!

But he does seem to have matured, and I think he looks better with short hair. He's kind of got an Andre Agassi kind of thing going on.

Craig Hickman said...

How many times is Blake going to watch the ball to see where it lands instead of preparing for his shot and executing it?

Craig Hickman said...

When you don't move your feet, you lose.

It's as simple as that.

tangerine said...

2 sets all for USA/Croatia. James needs to really buckle down now and take this fifth set. I'd hate to see him lose it after having a two set lead.

Craig Hickman said...

Blake has lost a Davis Cup match after being up 2 sets before.

Michael said...

After 5 service games in the 5th set, IK has lost ... 0 points on his serve. 21 points says the daviscup scores, but clearly it's 20.

scary. He slowed that down at the end of the 4th, which was similar.

Helen W said...

Sob.

Michael said...

Mardy Mardy Mardy Mardy!! Up 2 sets to 1 against Cilic. Keep it up!

I can't believe that was Karlovic's first 5-set win. JB has to be very frustrated. What could he do against that serve in the 4th and 5th? Not much, winning only 1 point against it over those 2 sets, other than the 3 double faults? Can that be right?

Craig Hickman said...

I see fans are gripped by the Davis Cup action this weekend.

oddman said...

Last I looked, James was down 2 sets to Cilic. Oh oh.

They have to win these two, no?

Boy, they need Andy.

Michael said...

Cilic has clinched for Croatia. Israel's win over Russia was very impressive. The Czechs have won, and Spain looks to be the only favorite in good shape, with Ferero serving for the 2nd set and up a set already in the 5th rubber against Germany.

I like Davis Cup. Too bad it didn't work out for Andy to be in Croatia and Mardy and James lost close matches Friday.