Live Blog Here During U.S. Davis Cup at Tennis-X
by Staff | March 4th, 2009, 8:18 pm
  • 207 Comments

Watch the Tennis Channel with your laptop handy, and your browser pointed at Tennis-X.com as the U.S. Davis Cup team hosts Switzerland in Birmingham, Ala.

The Friday, Saturday, and Sunday matches will be live, and Tennis-X will have one of its blog personalities blog-inating live from inside the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Arena amidst the 16,000 sell-out crowd.

Add your comments to the live blog stream, which will occur on the comment section of this post, along with that of our on-site blogger capturing the atmosphere in Birmingham.

The U.S. squad of Andy Roddick, James Blake and the Bryan brothers went from underdogs to favorites after the withdrawal of world No. 2 Roger Federer, but anything can happen within the confines of the fervent international competition, where upsets are the norm.

Tune in here on Friday and each day over the weekend when play kicks off at 2 p.m. EST.


Also Check Out:
Sunday U.S. Davis Cup Live Blog — Roddick v Wawrinka
Opening Act
ATP Player Council’s Stakhovsky, Simon Ready to Take Down WTA Women’s Tennis
2009 Australian Open TV Schedule
Here’s What Novak Djokovic Has To Do To Finish 2013 No. 1

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207 Comments for Live Blog Here During U.S. Davis Cup at Tennis-X

Richard Vach Says:

If it’s not Sean Randall, will he be sent to blog from the Spain vs. Serbia tie? With his insight into Novak Djokovic, that should be a natural fit. I will personally pitch in $10 to start a fund for airfare.


Von Says:

Rich:

You’ve got a sense of humor after all! WOW, I never would have guessed it. I’ll pay $20. I’d bet the Djoko fans won’t give two cents — they’d want him as far as possible away from Djoko. Sean might just jinx the guy. Ha, ha.

Sean, you’ve really got yourself into a barrel of pickles this time. I can’t help but laugh at the whole situation, it’s so very, very funny. Again, kudos to your editor. He probably thought the threads needed some livening up. As George Lopez would say; “Whappa” – I got this.” and Steve Urkel would say: “Did I do that”? I wish there was some way to introduce intonation — you’d be laughing hysterically.


judy Says:

who is going to play number two singles for switzerland? mirka? patty schnider?


Mary Says:

Starting Friday, check these links for Davis Cup:
http://channelsurfing.net./
http://www.justin.tv/directory/sports

http://tiny.cc/Notsureifthesestillwork

Tennis Channel is showing it live.


tenisbebe Says:

Thanks Mary.


markrules Says:

judy, the number two player for switzerland is stanislas wawrinka coming back out onto court with those glasees with the big nose and moustache thinking that we won’t recognize him.


Richard Vach Says:

Stadium is starting to fill up, just ran into the venerable Peter Bodo in the media room. Talking with the USTA’s Tim Curry, he says Croatia is up 2-0 in their tie, and if things pan out they will likely be the U.S.’s next opponent — and the only country the U.S. has an overall losing record against. That would be a travel trip for the U.S. team to Croatia…


markrules Says:

how fast is the court?


Richard Vach Says:

James vs. Stan first match, the best chance for the Swiss to get a point today. Stan holds a 2-0 head-to-head advantage over James, but you can throw those out since they were both on clay.

The stadium is rocking pre-match with a gospel(?)-type choir as the stadium fills up…will be interesting to see just how much it fills up after the withdrawal of Federer. But that hasn’t dampened what already looks to be a LARGE red and white-wearing Swiss fan contingent.


Richard Vach Says:

The court looks to be very slick from watching the Swiss warm up, i think there will be a lot of rush and crush from both Swiss players today.


markrules Says:

mr. vach. will you be commenting on your sucky picks for the year end top 10 on your own contest which i will win?


Richard Vach Says:

Markrules, it looks well-suited to Andy and James’ games, not that it will hurt the Swiss if they come out aggressive.


Richard Vach Says:

A nice ovation for the Swiss fans, but this place gets DEAFENING when they announce Pat Mac, the Bryans, etc. And fireworks in the air! In an indoor stadium!


Richard Vach Says:

As one reader e-mailed in, hit F5 (or refresh) to keep up on comments.

Blake and Roddick are announced and it is literally put your fingers in your ears if you don’t want to lose your hearing. Birminghma fans are pumped.


Richard Vach Says:

Stan just ran off the court after the national anthem with that ‘I forgot to go to the bathroom’ look on his face. It’s 2pm EST so the Tennis Channel coverage should be kicking in.


Richard Vach Says:

James is looking natty in his fresh white Fila shirt and white headband. Stan is back from the bathroom wearing the Swiss red and white, and a huge cheer erupts as the payers take to the baseline for the warm-up. Alabama fans are pumped to see Davis Cup here for the first time, don’t be surprised if cheering breaks out when James takes his first drink on a chageover.

When either players hits a slice the ball stays WAY low, who will take advantage of that, making their opponent hit the pass?


Richard Vach Says:

Pete Bodo won’t throw out a prediction, is playing the “anything can happen” card. As it frequently does. he says he only makes predictions for TENNIS magazine when they hold a gun to his head.

First ball about to be hit. at the risk of sounding anti-American, i’m going to say Wawrinka has a good shot here…Wawrinka fies a nervous sitter forehand long on the first poit, never mind.


Richard Vach Says:

Blake holds easily for 1-0, and the competitive chanting starts, the “USA!” versus whatever the swiss are cheering.


Richard Vach Says:

Wawrinka and one of the 50-odd sections of Swiss go wild, standing and chanting a cheer.

Both players feeling out the groundies but Blake is opening up early with the forehand, always a good sign for him. wawrinka seemingly content to play from the baseline, not good for him against Big Game James.


markrules Says:

have you preparred your “james is choking” comments for the 5th set yet?


jane Says:

Go James Go James Go James!


Richard Vach Says:

Blake holds for 2-1, and the announcer says “Please welcome the Davis Cup house band!” One of the suites contains an entire band in red, white and blue, with 20 people in the crowd section below them dressed like modern-day Uncle Sams.

Stan’s second serve is a bit of a muffin, but Blake is not yet munching. Stan’s first serve is on, and he holds at love with a little help from jame’s wayward forehand. Score at 2-2.

Lots of aces thus far on the slick indoor surface. James bagins the game with an ace before hitting a bad 4.5-looking slice into the bottom of the net. Blake digs himself out of break point trouble twice before a “C’mon!” and a big hold, 3-2 on serve.


jane Says:

Blake’s being a bit too defensive, too far behind baseline, but maybe he’s going for that controlled aggression thing.

Great point there to get the Advantage though!


jane Says:

Blake gets it! Good for him. We’ll see if he can close out the set…


Richard Vach Says:

This place is 80-85% full and rocking during changeovers, a testament to tennis around here after Federer’s withdrawal.

Stan sees no need to go to the net, even when he has an approachable ball or Blake on the defense, which is a bad sign forthe swiss. Wawrinka is going to have to take this match to win, james looks to be in good form and is not going to hand it to him.

Lots of horns in the crowd, and one fan blows his while Wawrinka is tossing, and the Swiss fights off a break point, then a second for deuce. After an overrule in favor of Blake, the american puts away an overhead after an approach and the crowd goes nuts. A Wawrinka error leads to the break, and the crowd goes even nuttier with a standing ovation, Blake leads 4-2.

Blake now presses the issue, coming in and finishing points at the net as Wawrinka has yet to show the ability to hit a passing shot. Blake come in again, and finally the Swiss hits a deft crosscourt backhand pass for 30-30. Blake again comes in and cliches the game for the 5-2 lead, to the net aggressor goes the spoils. The house band plays its approval.


Richard Vach Says:

High school cheerleading teams take the court between changeovers, tossing each other up in the air. Probably something new to the Swiss fans, who are now subdued.

Did fila get Blake’s shirt size wrong? Because the sleeves come down all the way to his elbows and if it weren’t half-tucked into his shorts, the shirt could be a short skirt.

Wawrinka holds for 3-5, and the crowd cheers in anticipation of Blake closing out the set.

A relatively easy missed volley aside, blake serves his way to clinching the first set. The louspeaker responds with a cringing “Hit Me with your best Shot” by pat benetar, and oversized tennis balls are chucked into the crowd.

Wawrinka needs a plan.


Richard Vach Says:

jane, good point — was playing well behind the baseline, but has also mixed in some net approaches where the doubles gold medal-winning Wawrinka doesn’t want to go near the net.


Richard Vach Says:

Wawrinka holds to begin the second. His slice, when hit hard and low, is giving blake trouble on the backhand.

Blake starts his service game with an un-McEnroe like pop-up drop volley that Wawrinka slaps for a winner. But Blake follows it up by winning some points with net pressure, and pounding the Swiss from the baseline. At deuce Blake for some reason tries to come in behind a second serve, leading to a break for the swiss. the swiss cow bells are coming out, 2-0 wawrinka.

Wawrinka cruises to a love hold and a 3-0 lead.


tenisbebe Says:

blake looked too passive in those first games in the 2nd. looking more aggressive in this game.


Richard Vach Says:

it’s the swiss fans chanting and waving their arms versus the loud speaking playing the “it’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes” song. It’s surreal Davis Cup by BNP Paribas.

Blake keeps coming in, and now the Swiss is in a groove of hitting sick passing shots. Blake cranks up the forehand winner machine to hold for 1-3.

Some fans in the crowd are getting on the linesman for what they thought was a sligh against Blake. The American creates an opportunity on Wawrinka’s serve with some big forehands, then breaks back to bring it back on serve 2-3 when the Swiss backhand collapses.


Richard Vach Says:

tenisbebe, I agree, wawrinka was happy to sit on his lead but blake took it to him.


Richard Vach Says:

That Wawrinka backhand slice is a good defensive shot but he doesnt seem real comfortable going on the offense with it, ala the classic Aussies.

Blake holds for 3-3 with some sterling net play, staying aggressive.

On wawrinka’s service game the american shows his own backhand slice touch in winning short-angle points, but the Swiss holds for 4-3 on serve, and the loudspeaker turns the stadium into a dance club.


Von Says:

Richrd:

You beat Sean to Alabamy. The dog house will do that to you everytime. Where are you sitting Richard? I’m looking for you in the crowd but can’t find you. Are you the distinguished looking grey haired guy in the front row behind Stan Wawa? The commentating with Gimelstob and Robinson is a bit too blah. Tell them to liven it up will ya.

What’s with Pascal Maria? He seems to have a bias towards James. He was very biased against him and made him lose his match V. berdych in Ostrava when the US played against the Czechs. Tell him to behave himself and be nice.


Von Says:

Why isn’t there Hawkeye? Every DC match should have hawkeye, especially the hardcourt matches.


Richard Vach Says:

Wawrinka finally presses the net issue on Blake’s serve, but the American is up to the occasion with the pass. Up 40-love on serve, Blake plays some sloppy points then gets burned at the net on a Wawrinka pass, creating break point for the Swiss, but Blake brings it back to deuce after an extended rally. Big Game then crunches a forehand winner, but a failed serve and volley attempt puts it to deuce again. A few more deuces, a few more instances of the Swiss fans standing and chanting between points, a few more of Wawrinka going for too much on the backhand, and Blake holds for 4-4.

The overhead music/video collage comes on as whoever is running the club music sound system thinks its a changeover. Blake looks at it transfixed for 15 seconds, then looks at the chair umpire and shrugs his shoulders, and the chair umpire has to make an announcement asking for it to be turned off. Oops.

Wawrinka cruises to 40-love, eventually holding for a 5-4 lead on serve. The Swiss fans leap to their feet and the cowbells ring.


tenisbebe Says:

Von:

Agreed – but they always whine that it’s too expensive.


Richard Vach Says:

Von, I am in one of the corners. And yes, no Hawkeye is a bummer for the players and especially the fans.


Richard Vach Says:

Serving to stay in the set, James is very aggressive, living and dying by his spotty volleys, coming in the first three points of the 4-5 game. Maybe a little over-aggressive, and trying some difficult volleys. wawrinka gets some net cord love off a passing shot, setting up a break/set point. Blake comes to the net in another winning effort to bring it to deuce. However beautiful warinka’s backhand is, it has been spotty thus far. But a spottier Blake backhand gives the Swiss another set point and he converts, one set all.


markrules Says:

no hawkeye is an embarassment to the usta.


Von Says:

Put a sign on “I’m Richard Vach” so that I can see you, and as a precaution just in case you get lost. Ha ha

ATP should make Hawkeye mandatory for all DC tournaments. Did you watch the ’06 final between Safin and Nalbandian where they had unlimited challenges? I think Safin had something like 40 challenges. Every other shot was a challenge — it eventually became somewhat of a joke.


markrules Says:

unlimited challenges are stupid. dc needs hawkeye b/c it’s too easy to claim homecourt calls.


Richard Vach Says:

Went to the bathroom after the second set (in the media hallway) and in the bathroom is — Blake! Players have to go too during set breaks.

At one-set all it will be interesting to see who comes out aggressive — Blake was very aggressive in the second but lost it, more aggressive than the first ste which he won. Time to temper the aggression a bit?


Von Says:

After the first set Blake appeared somewhat tired to me. He was sweating bullets and his face had an awful grey tinge to it. He doesn’t seem in the pink of health, or maybe it’s the lights.

Blake had better be careful, he could let this match run away from him and then we’ll be in a bad position. We don’t need to fall behind on the first match.

With the loss of his serve, Blake will again be playing from behind. That’s not good at all.


markrules Says:

how soon for blake to start whining about everything? i do not like his lack of mental toughness.


Von Says:

Did Blake say hello to you?


jane Says:

That was an important hold to keep the third set level. Now James needs to try to pull ahead. Seems, based on streaming coverage, there are a goodly number of Swiss fans there.

Richard – it’s great to read your descriptions of the atmosphere as it’s difficult to get a sense of it on streaming.

Is it just me or are there a lot of bad calls against Blake? Maybe not?


tenisbebe Says:

markrules:

did you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?

GO BLAKE!!!


Richard Vach Says:

Wawrinka holds to begin the second, and is picking up his net aggression. Blake shows he is going to keep coming in, but his shanky backhand creates another swiss break opportunity, which he serves away for deuce, then holds, closing out the game at the net with an overhead, tying the set at 1-1.

Wawrinka holds a tough game for 2-1 on serve.


Richard Vach Says:

Jane, Blake is getting some tough, close calls — Hawkeye would be really welcome.


Von Says:

Pascal Maria seems to have it out for Blake and does not overrule. In fact, I get the feeling he doesn’t like the Americans. He was terrible in the Czech Republic and wouldn’t budge an inch even though he was clearly wrong. I don’t like him.


Richard Vach Says:

Wawrinka serving at 2-2 while I experience some wi-fi issues. Stan’s backhand is flaking on him.


jane Says:

Both of their backhands can be wingy. Blake had a chance to go 40-30 up there but he missed the down the line forehand – too bad.


Richard Vach Says:

both players holding tough, as is the house band during the changeover, plenty loud enough to drown out the swiss chanting.


Von Says:

I’m beginning to get nervous by some of Blake’s shots.


MMT Says:

I’m sorry, but can’t FILA come up with a better outfit for James Blake? That’s those are the worst new duds I’ve seen in years. I mean, he looks like he’s playing in Thomas’s hand me downs…oof!


jane Says:

But at least he’s coming into the net Von and finishing up points quickly. Longer rallies might favor Wawrinka. Blake’s better at hitting a winner and moving on, usually.


tenisbebe Says:

Von:

re: DC. Do any of the venues have HE? I don’t think they do. It’s approx. $100,000 per court and another 5-figures for yearly maintenance. Pricey for temporary venues.


tenisbebe Says:

Ouch – James would like to have that smash back – let’s see if he can break here.


Richard Vach Says:

someone fill in for me as I grab some food before the free media buffet closes down…


jane Says:

Again, a lost opportunity for Blake there. He’s creating them but he needs to convert! Oh well, keep trying Blake! Most importantly HOLD!


Von Says:

MMT:

I appoint you as Richard’s replacement — a very good one to boot. Carry on smartly.

Oh it’s the clothes which makes James look like he’s not well.


jane Says:

Oh No! Blake…


Von Says:

tenisbebe:

That missed overhead smash coupled with the one he missed at 30-40, would have given James the break. I become extremely nervous watching james play in DC.


markrules Says:

tennisbebe: cheering for your team and intelligent commentary are separate. i hope blake wins. i can’t stand his lack of effort when things aren’t going well for him.


jane Says:

Blake has a tall hill to climb. Blake actually created more bp opportunities but couldn’t convert. Shame. But Roddick will win his tie and the doubles team will win theirs so I think the USA will still win this one. Can Blake win in five? That’s the question.


tenisbebe Says:

Dammit!!!!


Von Says:

Right now things don’t look well for us. Blake already has his shoulders drooping.

I wonder why he played lead-off.


Richard Vach Says:

Blake has hit some strange-looking slice backhands this match. Some poor shots lead to Blake dropping serve for 3-5. Stan will try and serve it out as the Swiss fans turn up the volume.

Blake’s body language is showing a lot of frustration, but Stan is also tight, double-faulting for 15-all. Stan dumps a volley into the net, but in the end is the more aggressive of the two during the game and closes out the third set. Swiss lead two sets to one.

What is in the media dining room, to answer an e-mail? Chicken, macaroni and cheese, green beans, salad, bread, cake. Not the Four Seasons but a nice spread. A nice free spread. Unfortunately no adult beverages like the Euro spreads, but a nice effort.


tenisbebe Says:

markrules – don’t care WHO you root for – it was the tone of comments that were super negative, using words like stupid, sucks, etc, etc. Cheer on for the swiss if you like, or whoever. Cheers.


Von Says:

jane: Can he win in five? That’s a tall question.


markrules Says:

what, blake not trying? hard to imagine.


Richard Vach Says:

Blake holds to begin the fourth, and coach P-Mac is working hard on the sidelines to pump up his charge. Getting away with some bad volleying but staying aggressive.

Stan fights off a break point in his first game of the fourth and finally has a tough hold for 1-1. Can James stretch it to five? can you already picture the Tennis Channel graphics people prepping their graphic of James’ five-set record?

The drama!

For the record, Powerade Zero is kind of gross. Zero calories, zero taste.


Von Says:

Blake is beginning to get that glazed look in his eyes. He’s just not concentrating. How many opportunities does he need to break?


jane Says:

Von, does Andy usually lead off? I was actually wondering that earlier.

I don’t think it’s that Blake is not trying markrules; I think it’s mental with him. If things aren’t clicking he has a tough time staying positive mentally. He “slumps” as Von says.

But he tries. And he can be awesome. As a person, he’s exceptional.


markrules Says:

when i say he doesn’t try, i mean he goes on the court with one game plan and when it doesn’t work he doesn’t try a different strategy, he doesn’t try to clean up his game, he doesn’t try to play intelligently, he doesn’t try to win. he hits away and usually flames out when he starts to lose.


jane Says:

markrules I can see your point; he’s not the best strategizer on the court and he can be moody too. But I still maintain that he tries and I will support him until the day he retires. He’s been in some breathtaking and fun matches, but it can be a bit frustrating to root for him at times because of his inconsistency.


tenisbebe Says:

Agree with you Jane. If it goes 5, would Blake have the edge conditioning-wise? I’m not so sure.


Richard Vach Says:

stan turns a bad ball into the chair umpire and gets booed. ouch. take it easy birmingham.


Von Says:

jane:

Andy always leads off. In fact, James at one time only won the dead rubbers. He did win a live rubber at the finals when we won, but most times he’s a very iffy proposition.


Von Says:

Wawrinka is not getting in many first serves but he’s still finding a way to win points. I would love to see James do more on the second serves, but he just rips it wild. We need a miracle.


Richard Vach Says:

huge backhand pass from stan to set up break point, but blake erases with more fine net play. will blake’s aggression be his savior or downfall?


tenisbebe Says:

Good question Richard.


jane Says:

Stan is serving way more aces though; how many does he have versus Blake? Never knew Stan could hit so many aces. Kind of surprising.

Von I had thought that Andy always leads off. I wonder why they decided to swtich it up.


Richard Vach Says:

big hold by stan for 4-4. now to see where james’ nerve is at. am visiting some friends in the upper deck where you get the goodyear blimp view of the court.


jane Says:

Anyone ever heard of Stan hitting 18 aces over not even 4 sets!? Sheesh.


jane Says:

Go Blake come on!!!


Richard Vach Says:

stan’s serving is spotty with a double fault but me makes up for it with his 18th and 19th ace and abackhand ripper to hold for 5-5.

the swiss fans sprain their wrists shaking their cowbells in a frenzy.

blake cruises to 40-0 then a 6-5 lead. the level of play is pretty high, who will blink?


Von Says:

Blake keeps hitting to Wawrinka’s BH, when is he going to learn he needs to avoid hitting to the BH, when the match is over? Wawa has 16 BH winners and 15 aces. what’s wrong with this picture?


tenisbebe Says:

C’mon, do it NOW James!!


Richard Vach Says:

players getting a little testy? blake misses a forehand and stan looks right at him and yells “yes!” and blake glares


Richard Vach Says:

breaker time and the crowd gets to its feet…


jane Says:

Bummer – well….go Andy?!!


;o Says:

holy crap
Since when does Wawrinka serve 135s


Richard Vach Says:

and there you have your “anything can happen in davis cup” as switzerland takes a 1-0 lead. next up: andy roddick in an effort to even the tie on day one, more to come.


Richard Vach Says:

submit any questions you’d like james asked in his post-match conference (or stan)….


Von Says:

Unbelievable.


tenisbebe Says:

gimbelhead – bringing up roger twice in the on-court. Richard, go slap him for me, would you?


Richard Vach Says:

tenisbebe, did not hear that, don’t think they put the interview for the whole crowd to hear (and I’m scrambling to the media center to catch the post-match interviews).

Next match could be another surprise — Roddick has never faced Chiudinelli, who has had some big Davis Cup wins. Roddick is still the overwhelming favorite, but could be interesting.

What did you think about Blake’s net game — doing or undoing?


tenisbebe Says:

Undoing – did it too often without the best approaches sometimes & Rinka knew it. Although I am glad to see him coming to net more, this was too much.


jane Says:

Well, the net question is difficult to answer – but if stats are anything to go by, Blake actually did quite well at the net. He went up there 16 times and won 11 times – not bad at all.

In my opinion it was Wawrinka’s 19 aces that made the difference and won him those few points – that and Blake’s inability to convert on the break point opps that he often created. No shame in that loss. A few too many UEs, but they both hit a ton of errors – 61 Blake, 54 Stan. Also, as Von or someone mentioned, Stan won more points off his second serve.


jane Says:

Did I say go Andy? GO ANDY!!!


jane Says:

Marathon between Sweden and Isreal – Sela just won it at 11-9 in the 5th~!


Jill Says:

Richard, if/when you go into the McEnroe/Roddick press conference, could you ask PMac if he still feels good about his decision to pick James over Fish? Seems to me based on current form, Fish would’ve had a better shot on this kind of surface. Seems like one of the first times in his whole captaincy that McEnroe made a big mistake here.


Richard Vach Says:

Blake in his post-match looks like someone just ran over his cat — very depressed, head resting on hand, not looking up as he answers question. Exceedingly disappointed.

Says as long as the U.S. gets to three points he will be happy. “I feel pretty down right now about letting the team down…I want to do everything to prepare for possibly playing a fifth match.”

Spoke at length about the Bryans brothers and their contribution. Said the crowd took a little while to warm up but was great. “Birmingham definitely kept me on this match.”

A note that the U.S. is 3-0 when Blake leads off in singles, win or lose.

“My real close friends know to stay away from me for a couple hours after a loss…”


Richard Vach Says:

Jill — P-Mac addressed that prior to the start, and I’m sure his answer would be the same (no press conference for him as he has to be on court with Andy). Essentially he said that while Fish/Querrey have had some flairs of late, Blake has maintained a Top 10 or near-Top 10 standing, and reached the 4th round of the Aussie Open, etc.

But many others have also put this idea forth. I know P-Mac would not backtrack on that decision, win or lose for James. Fish is quickly closing the rankings gap with James though…


Mary Says:

Where is the sold out crowd? Is there some kind of sale at the local Piggly Wiggly?

Marco is cute. Hello, to him!


MMT Says:

How does this man win tennis matches with a serve like that? It’s awful.

This has got straight sets written all over it.


Richard Vach Says:

Roddick breaks to start against Chud, then consolodates with a hold. James said he will grab a quick bite to eat then go out and support Andy.

Chud holds to trail by a break 2-1. And the band goes nuts. This is like being at a high school football game, sitting too close to the band, even though in this case the band is on the other side of the stadium.


tenisbebe Says:

Yes – I may have to start rooting for Marco in the future (not today of course). He’s way cute. And an Italian/Swiss too…..


Richard Vach Says:

Going to skip some of this first set to check out the Wawrinka post-match — which, by the way, will be done in French first. Allez!


MMT Says:

Again with the big clothes…I really don’t understand this at all. It just looks awful. What is the appeal? They’re constantly fidgeting and adjusting it, moving things around. Seems to be very uncomfortable, not to mention dumpy looking.


Von Says:

I mentioned when Roddick played against Querrey at Memphis that PMc might want to think about substituting Sam for James. PMc, I believed feels some sort of obligation to remain faithful to James but Andy always has the pressure on him to clean up. It’s happened many times.

Jane:

I felt James was not doing enough on Wawa’s second serves and going to much to his BH. Wawa got 18 BH winners, you’d think James would have figured it out an d changed hi strategy. Once he begins to get that glassed look in his eyes, forget it. — he’s spazzed out, and it’s all downhill.

I hope James wins his match on Sunday.

Tenisbebe:

I heard Gimel ask Wawa about Fed; how’s he doing, is he talking to him, etc. Wawa says Fed’s fine.


Richard Vach Says:

someone pick up the roddick play-by-play. his court coverage so far is impressive…


MMT Says:

Wow – what a half volley.


MMT Says:

Roddick appears to me to have lost some pace on his serve, but his movement is good, and Chiudinelli appears to lack fire power on his strokes. It has all the choppy, jerky essence of Jim Courier’s strokes, and none of potency.

I wonder if Roddick ever played Courier…


tenisbebe Says:

MMT – you’re up!!


Von Says:

MMT:

The clothes is the reverse of the women’s which are too tight and riding up. Fila’s clothes are always ugly similar to Reebok. It’s the type of material that’s used — the knitted cotton stuff which loses shape and just hangs. The spandex mix clothes keep their shape, e.g., Nike and Adidas. I like lacoste.


tenisbebe Says:

Von:

Gimbelhead asked Stanz a total of 3 questions – 2 of which were about Roger. I thought it was classless – the man just won a huge match for his country (& an underdog I believe) & it was hardly acknowledged. Oh well, just my opinion.


Von Says:

I saw Courier in the crowd with a woman. I wonder if she’s the new girlfriend he’s supposed to be seeing. Not much of a looker.


Von Says:

tenisbeb:

Gimel wlll never win the award for subleties. I wish we had a better commentator on TC.


jane Says:

Okay I don’t get the Marco cuteness factor – those eyes are too beady. LOL.

I do get the sloppy clothes thing; what’s up? They going for the hip-hop look?

Von – yes, that’s very true about the backhand factor. I too hope Blake wins his match Sunday, whether it’s a dead rubber or not. Poor guy: he’s clearly down about the loss. All in all though he didn’t play a horrible match. Stan just had way too many aces up his sleeve today.


jane Says:

Andy’s on cruise!! With some help from Chud.


Von Says:

Gimel is obsessing about Fed since that talk with Stan. He’s saying it was a very painful decision for Fed to skip DC, blah, blah. Fed takes DC very seriously, blah, blah, etc., etc.. I suppose he’s on Fed’s speed dial.

By the 3rd set Chuidinelli will be exhausted.


tenisbebe Says:

Nothin’ wrong with those eyes Jane……

Did you see the Step/Tsonga match? I had terrible reception on JustinTV & couldn’t find it anywhere else. Tsonga’s stats were fantastic!!


tenisbebe Says:

The Chudmeister holds. Yes, Von, at this rate he’ll were himself out in no time.


jane Says:

tenisbebe, guess it’s a matter of, um, perspective? I just don’t find him cute and find that style of facial hair somewhat outdated. What can I say, I’m picky! :D


Von Says:

Chiudinelli is tired already. He’s groaning. He and and Blake will out-rip each other’s shots when they play. Someone will knock himself out — I wonder who?


jane Says:

Chud seems exhausted already. He’s hit WAY too many balls long; he’s giving away points. It’s not that he’s not using the court well, but he needs more power and precision on his shots.


jane Says:

Von – six beer.


Richard Vach Says:

stan has a really good head on his shoulders, really polite, etc. not the most exciting guy, but in his post-match he basically said it’s time for everyone to stop talking about Federer because we’re here and look what we’re doing. Well said.


Richard Vach Says:

Is chud getting his teeth into this match?


MMT Says:

Federer casts a long shadow, but Wawrinka has just given Switzerland their only chance of winning this tie. Doubles will be crucial now.

This Chiudinelli is rather disappointing – I really can’t believe Verdasco and Ferrer, but neither of them were exactly stalwarts and that was 2 years ago.

As for the choice of Fish rather than Blake, I think if he went with Fish it would do such a damage to Blake’s psyche, that he probably wouldn’t be able to use him again in the future. Fish, on the other hand, is entirely to flash to make what would amount to be a permanent decision on Blake for his benefit in a match that the US really should win either way given Federer’s absence.

When you think about it, had Federer played, we’d probably be in the exact same place with Fed and Roddick winning their opening rubbers, although that’s debatable the way Wawrinka is playing. I just really hope it doesn’t come down to a deciding 5th rubber for Blake, so I really hope the Bryan’s take care of business and Roddick drops the hammer on Wawrinka.


tenisbebe Says:

He doesn’t seem exhausted to me just trying too hard and definitely over-hitting in the 1st set. Probably felt he had to go for everything in order to have any chance of beating Andy. They’re on serve so we’ll see if he calms down.

Jane – was just teasing you.


Richard Vach Says:

Have the announcers said why Courier is here in the crowd?


Duro Says:

Hello to Jane! If it’s a blog of Sean the Cochon Randall, I would never write a letter here anymore.


Richard Vach Says:

Nice athletic volley by Roddick, who is playing to the crowd now and they love it in Birmingham. Now a chance to serve out the second set.


jane Says:

Good job Andy! Way to get the crowd into it as well!!

Hi Duro!

tenisbebe – oh, duh. Well, you got me.


jane Says:

Great lob Andy!

He’s play footloose and fancy-free right now!


Duro Says:

Someone explain me, if IW begins Monday, and there is a great chance that Spain-Serbia prolongs to monday, than what? My Nole is defending the title, how can he possibly be on time? This Davis cup suks, only a time and energy losing thing. Everything is already clear with every tie.


tenisbebe Says:

Duro – all the players both the Spaniards & the Serbs will be equally disadvantaged due to the Monday DC final. IW should give ALL those players a Weds start.


tenisbebe Says:

MMT says:

“Fish, on the other hand, is entirely to flash to make”

I don’t understand this part of your sentence.


jane Says:

Duro,

I know it will not bode well for the Spanish and Serbian teams if they have to prolong everything; the DC website says they can even play until Tuesday or Wednesday!!! Then, in that case, I have no idea how IW would compensate.

However, keep in mind that these guys want to play for their countries’ teams, and that’s generally a considerate thing to do.


Richard Vach Says:

Doesn’t IW traditionally start in the middle of the week? I believe it starts Wed. or thurs.


jane Says:

I just checked. IW runs from March 9 -22nd accordingly to their website:

http://www.bnpparibasopen.org/1/home/default.asp


Duro Says:

Bebe thanks, Jane thanks, but it doesn’t satisfy me at all. I know it will affect the Spaniards as well but to be in Europe Monday afternoon, fly for 10 hours, rest at most 6 hours, no practice at all and switch surfaces…? This is so pointless. This DC sucks! No patriotic bull… will buy me. I want Nole to be ready!!!


tenisbebe Says:

The qualies are the 9-11- Main draw begins on Thursday the 12th


Sean Randall Says:

Just a heads up, with byes the top guys will be playing their first matches Friday/Saturday in IW. So Novak/Rafa could very well have until Saturday to recover/travel if needed


Sean Randall Says:

Sorry, that should be Saturday/Sunday. The women will play 2nd RD Friday/Saturday.


Duro Says:

Lets cut to the short, I’m cheering Spain vs Serbia to be postponed for October if possible! IW will lose the most if not. Defending champion, world number 1, pointless, so pointless…


Richard Vach Says:

Right, main draw at IW doesnt start until Thursday.

Time to pay attention to this match again (at least for me) as Roddick looks in danger of letting this go to a fourth set. Which would disrupt a lot of dinner plans. C’mon Andy, take care of business here…

Props to chud for hanging tough this set against someone ranked so highly above him.


Richard Vach Says:

Hey Sean, welcome to the conversation. And thanks for the info. Your boy Andy is in dangerous territory here, letting Chud hang around.


jane Says:

Chud has some life here – could we be going to a fourth??


Duro Says:

Sean again… Listening from the corner… I called you names today.


Richard Vach Says:

Am hanging out in the media room, where everyone is begging Andy to finish this. if Chud wins the breakers, I’m heading back out to the stadium.


jane Says:

4-3 – go ANDY! Pull some aces out from under that cap! Chud is screaming bloody murder!


Richard Vach Says:

Wow, andy unleashes a forehand winner then a string of expletives, he is pumped to end this.


Sean Randall Says:

I have been watching on/off all day. What were Andy’s words at that forehand screamer to go up 4-3?


Richard Vach Says:

Wow again, Roddick runs Chud ragged.


jane Says:

GREAT RALLY!


tenisbebe Says:

Yes, Chiud is ranked 341st – wow what a point!!!


Duro Says:

If you don’t know French it means… I’m sure do. Why is editor cheering for Andy? Is it an American, the others not allowed, sight only?


Richard Vach Says:

Sean, saw at least two f-bombs in there, good stuff.


Sean Randall Says:

The chud isn’t exactly light on his feet now is he?


Richard Vach Says:

he’s done it! thanks for hanging out everyone, will do it again tomorrow when the Bryans attempt to put the U.S. in the lead.


jane Says:

Good job ANDY! And a good effort from Chud in the 3rd set in particular.


jane Says:

Duro,

Personally, I am proud of these guys who play for their countries. I hope Novak, Tipsy, Zimonjic and Troicki can at least push those Spaniard around on their beloved clay.


jane Says:

Thanks R.V. for keeping us in the moment.


Duro Says:

Impossible task!


Richard Vach Says:

Duro, the only cheering I was doing is for Andy to close it out so i could get to dinner. For me it is let the best player win — and for the record, earlier in the live blog, I said Wawrinka’s chances of beating Blake were pretty good. I am an American, but am trying to just be an observer/journalist, as hard as that is sometime to remain objective.

Have a great night…


Duro Says:

Jane, can you love more than one man at the time? No passion if so! Focus your energy and fight!


tenisbebe Says:

Enjoy your dinner Richard & thanks molto.


Duro Says:

Richard, fair enough. At least you admit what’s natural and normal. But never forget you are professionals, so act like ones. In the close room root for whome you like. But, since it’s a DC event, it’s ok to root for your own country. I made a misspelling, but…


tenisbebe Says:

Duro:

The top players/seeds at IW should get a 1st round bye so the earliest they’ll play would be Saturday. Even though most played DC, they should all be fine as DC is just 3-day event – they are professionals after all.


Duro Says:

Thanks for clearing it up. It’s a relief for me now.


Duro Says:

It’s 2 am in Montenegro. Time to go to bed (and I’m even working tomorrow). So long to Tenisbebe, Jane and Richard (I don’t speak to Sean). Have a good evening!


tenisbebe Says:

Duro – you’re welcome.

BTW – do you know what players have have committed to the new Serbian Open? I noticed it’s sandwiched b/w 2 masters events and was just curious if you had heard anything.


Duro Says:

Nole, Stepanek, Moya, Ljubičić for sure. I’ll check in a minute for the others.


jane Says:

Duro – you bet, and I have passion to spare! “Loads and loads of lovely love,” a girl who I admired once sang; i’ll stick with that.

Cheers All – see you next round!


Von Says:

The Tennis channel has advertised early rounds play for IW begins March 14th at 2:00 pm. Fret not Duro, these guys are athletes not babies. Boo hoo.

Andy was letting out some F bombs at Chud. Andy hates groaning. He got upset with Tipsy at Wimby because he was groaning when Andy was serving, and that threw off Andy. Maybe the umpire should have mentioned something to Chud.

Gimelstob is the biggest jerk out there. He asked PMc about Fed and PMC stated why do we need to talk about Federer. How dumb can someone get.


Von Says:

“I don’t speak to Sean”.

Duro, you sound like a little kid. Fu-n-n-y.


Duro Says:

Jane multipractic! Bebe, no official confirmings for the others, but since Sampras is a promoter and Nole will invite some strong players, I’m expecting a good show definitively!


Duro Says:

Von, that’s exactly the point!


tenisbebe Says:

Von says:
Gimelstob is the biggest jerk out there. He asked PMc about Fed and PMC stated why do we need to talk about Federer. How dumb can someone get.

He is an idiot. And, I believe, a women-hater looking at the comments he made last year on the radio. I can’t believe he kept both his jobs after that.


tenisbebe Says:

Duro:

Thanks for looking it up. Sounds like the start of a good line-up – Tipsy will be there too I’ll bet. Night, night….


Duro Says:

So, what’s that March the 9th then!? Qualifications for 5 days? Ok, if so.


Von Says:

Roddick tied Agassi’s match wins of 30 for Davis Cup. Yippeee. That’s my boy!


Duro Says:

Of course for Tipsarevic, Čilić very probably, it’s gonna be pretty strong tournament. Where are you from Bebe?


Von Says:

IW always begins mid-week. They play the qualis first then the seeds receive byes, which means first rounds don’t begin for the top seeds un til Friday or Saturday. This time it’s Saturday.
____________
MMT:

Roddick did a Becker with that fantastic shot.


Duro Says:

Jane, passion to spare… Laser doesn’t spear. Try to be a laser, you would cut deeper. You are so benevolent and mild. If you were from Europe you would cheer for only one, never go “defense” on a basketball match, but uaaa, buaaa, ha ha ha!


tenisbebe Says:

Also they have to qualies in for the women as well so they need 3 days to do it. Duro I’m from Chicago.


Duro Says:

Jane loves us all, we all love Jane, Sean loves Andy, nobody loves Sean, Duro loves Nole, Americans (but Jane) don’t, Rafa loves Fed (for beating him regularly), The Swiss don’t like Rafa, Nole doesn’t like haters, haters love Nole (to hate), etc, etc. This a wonderful tennis world!


tenisbebe Says:

I like Tipsy. And a lot of other players too.


Duro Says:

Say hello to Luka Janković! He is my brother, born and live in Chicago!


Duro Says:

I was in the States twice, Washington DC and Charleston SC, but never to Chicago. If you happen to hear ever or see Luka, say hello from me. He is 25, studying political science or something… Have a good night, Tenisbebe (strange spelling).


Ezorra Says:

Duro says;

“Jane loves us all, we all love Jane, Sean loves Andy, nobody loves Sean, Duro loves Nole, Americans (but Jane) don’t, Rafa loves Fed (for beating him regularly), The Swiss don’t like Rafa, Nole doesn’t like haters, haters love Nole (to hate), etc, etc. This a wonderful tennis world!”

Hi Duro. You’re so funny. Happy to read your comment :)


jane Says:

Duro,

I do, I do love Nole!! But he’s got a girlfriend remember. I love watching other players too, but when Novak is playing, well, I almost always cheers for him. I am Canadian b.t.w. – that’s why I am such a pacifist. I agree – it’s a “wonderful tennis world.”


TD (Tam) Says:

And we’re off to watch the Davis cup weekend!

Von- “Where are you sitting Richard? I’m looking for you in the crowd but can’t find you. Are you the distinguished looking grey haired guy in the front row behind Stan Wawa?”

He was the one crying for Federer and waving the Swiss flag. ;) Everybody knows Richard hates the Americans, especially Roddick. I’m sure he’s disappointed that Andy tied up with the Swiss today, just one more reason for Tennis-x to bash him! :p


Duro Says:

Thanks, Ezorra. Gotta go to work, afterwords tennis only!!!


Duro Says:

Jane, you are our lovebird! Flying all over the continents spreading tennis love everywhere! People, love tennis, hate no one!


new world order Says:

nadal will establish a new world order in 2009 that will rock the sporting world!!!


margot Says:

Hi Von, you must be very pleased with your Andy! And I’m very pleased about my Andy, cos according to Judy he does not have glandular fever. Phew! However, he is still confined to quarters so goodness knows when he will be fit to play tournaments.
I wanted to ask was there a tactical advantage to playing Roddick second? Also, I was surprised Blake played, haven’t seen him play much but, when I have, he’s looked as if he’s on the way down. Whereas Fish definately looks on form.
GB is sure getting whopped, is there a zone z…I wonder…


new world order Says:

nadal is just gruesomely murdering tipsarevic 6-1, 6-0!!! i told u nadal will establish a new world order!


jane Says:

margot, that’s great news about Murray (I mean it not being mono).

Serbia are getting whopped too, so I know how you feel. Sigh.


margot Says:

Hi Jane! British doubles pair has just lost the third set, 2 1 down now! I can’t watch anymore!
Mutual commisarations( that spelling doesn’t look right but the sentiments there!)


Mark Nicholas Says:

Wow, Rafa really is the GOAT.


Von Says:

Margot:

Yes, I’m very happy for my Andy. I hope he wins tomorrow too.

I don’t know what PMc was thinking putting james as the lead off man. James canot take the pressure of being lead-off man or closer. After last year’s SF where we lost to Spain, and James opting out of playing, I felt PMc had finally realized that James is not up to playing too many matches, hence, I had hoped he’d use Mardy or Sam.

MMT is correct in stating if James were to be dropped it would hurt him psychologically. I don’t think James would bounce back from such a blow. We’ll just have to chug along with him until he of his own accord decides to step down. Those are the breaks.

I’m so sorry about the Brits, but next year they’ll do better — I promise.

I’m also very, very glad to know Andy M doesn’t have mono. I told you, it’s burn out. He’s got to be more careful in the future to take things easy or else he’ll get a relapse.


Von Says:

NWO:

If you want to bring about a “new world order”, you must first crash the current system. Nadal hasn’t done that yet and he never will. Tennis has been around long before he came into being and will be around long after he is gone. No man is an “island”.

Top story: No. 2 Halep, Kerber, Venus Exit at US Open, Federer Advances; Djokovic, Murray Saturday
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