The Davis Cup is back in focus this weekend with the World Group semifinals and an assortment of interesting, if not intriguing, qualifying playoff ties featuring just about all the big names in tennis.
On the big stage, Spain hosts the U.S. and the Russia visits Argentina in the semifinals. I won’t spend much time discussion Spain-U.S., as I think the depleted U.S. team without Bob Bryan but with Andy Roddick and Sam Querrey is not going to put fear into the hearts of Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer, at least not on a red clay court. And hell, Spain might even beat them on a grass court. So barring a Federal Reserve bailout of the U.S. Davis Cup team – don’t laugh, not a 100% impossibility – Spain might not drop a point in this one.
Argentina v. Russia looks like the better and the closer tie with David Nalbandian v. Igor Andreev followed by Juan Martin Del Potro and Nikolay Davydenko later today. JDMP will be thrust into the spotlight like never before, so I’ll be interested to see how he fares with the pressure.
But I think Argentina gets through in the end to host Spain come December. And maybe one of my predictions will actually come around!
What I can’t figure out is why I can watch Argentina v. Russia LIVE on the Tennis Channel right now, but the tie between the country I live in, the U.S., and Spain is NOT ON! It’s on Vs. on TAPE DELAY in a few hours. As if I should be surprised…
Fortunately, as I said earlier I don’t think the US v. Spain will be that compelling a tie (Nadal has already beaten Querrey in four sets), so I’ll likely not be missing much.
Among the World Group playoffs – meaning the winner gets into the World Group – Roger Federer should lead Switzerland back into the “show” as they host Belgium. The Brothers Murray will have to win their doubles if they are going to beat Austria and Novak Djokovic will try to get his Serbia squad past the Slovak Republic and into the 2009 main draw.
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