This weekend marks the finals of the Davis Cup between Russia and Argentina. Of course you wouldn’t know it if you live in the U.S. and don’t have the Tennis Channel, because the tie isn’t on. Imagine that.
But since it’s the holidays I won’t go into my lack-of-tennis-on-tv-in-the-U.S. rant. I’ll save that for later. ADHEREL
Quite an incredible day one, really. After an expected Davydenko blow out over Chela, Nalbandian came through huge for the Argies but putting a straight set beat down on Safin. Marat wasn’t happy after taking shots at the selection of the medium-paced synthetic court, which he said suited David just fine.
But give credit to Nalbandian for playing some pretty sound tennis. When he’s on Nalbandian’s clearly one of the best ball strikers in the game and I’d put his two-hander up against anyone’s.
I know he gets a lot of heat for not being as razor-thin as say his countryman Chela, but the guy can grind. Plus ya got to feel for him after losing his 9-year-old godson in an elevator accident just last month.
As for tomorrow, with Russia now up 2-1 following their doubles win this afternoon, decisions will need to be made. Assuming Nalbandian takes care of Davydenko – which is very possible given David’s won three straight – in the first match, Argentina is going to need someone to beat Safin and win it, and it isn’t Chela. The last time Chela won a big match was somewhere around never (I can’t think of one, can you?).
Too bad Canas is riding the bench. I would play him. As a practice partner I don’t think he can play. And as a doper he would have surely gotten into Safin’s head, plus he’s beaten the Russian twice before. So I guess Argentina could and should go with Acasuso, who’s a perfect 3-0 in D-Cup singles play this year including a five set win over Hewitt, and if that’s not enough he sports a 2-1 head-to-head edge over Marat. Heck I would play fat Maradona over Chela.
In the Russian camp I can’t see Shamil taking out the World No. 3, Davydenko, in favor of the flaky Tursunov. I know Dmitry won a big one against the U.S. over Roddick but you probably have to go with your top guy, and right now that’s Nikolay.
Either way, it should be fun. Just which I could watch it all go down.
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