I will try to be back for Rome, though I make no promises. It's planting season, after all.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Sunday, April 08, 2012
Years ago, I often repeated a kernel of truth that Jim Courier often proclaimed. American men's problems on clay, he said, stem not from some inability to play tennis or construct a point, but from a mental barrier that causes them to over-adapt their games to the surface instead of relying on their core strengths.
Years ago, I often said that John Isner was a big match player who would relish the pressure of a Davis Cup tie and that if the previous captain wanted to take more risks, he'd put the giant American on the team, even when his ranking didn't warrant it.
Today, Captain Courier has led the US Davis Cup team under top American John Isner to two straight victories on clay away for the first time in forever.
Today, the 3-2 victory over France proves, if proof in tennis even exists, that the 5-0 victory over Switzerland was no fluke. That was indoors, this was out. No, he hasn't done it alone, but Isner hasn't lost a rubber. Stanislas Wawrinka, Roger Federer, Gilles Simon and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga couldn't counter the bigness of his belief or his big game. His belief in his big game. On clay. Away.
In women's tennis, Serena Williams won her second title in Charleston on the green grit, dropping a single game in the final. If she can bring that form to the final stages of a Slam, she can win big again. If she can't, then she probably won't. It's entirely up to her.