Dudi Delivers, Sela Leads Israel in Davis Cup Win; France Upset
by Sean Randall | March 9th, 2009, 3:10 pm
  • 41 Comments

This will probably be the first and last time I lead off a post with Dudi Sela. That’s right, the Dudi Sela, the same guy who helped his Israel team pull off the upset of the weekend beating home team Sweden in Davis Cup first round play. Was there a better story or bigger performance by anyone else? I don’t think so.

The diminutive Sela and compatriot Harel Levy went the distance in all four singles rubbers, going five sets in each to finally turn away the floundering Swedes.

Sela won both his matches defeating the long-lost Andreas Vinciguerra 11-9 in the fifth Friday, then former Australian Open champ Thomas Johansson in five Sunday to set up Levy’s heroic 8-6 clincher in the final rubber. Great effort by both guys.

Of course the tie was played in front of as many fans as I play for – none – that due to Sweden’s inability to guarantee the safety of the Israeli team amid the backdrop of protests and violence in Malmo.

A pretty incredible outcome for Israel given the political climate. And yet further evidence of the decline of the once great tennis power Sweden. Israel now gets thrown to the wolves as they host Russia in July.

As for the other ties, everything went fairly according to form except France! I had France beating the Czechs and then winning the entire Davis Cup (woops!), but credit to Tomas Berdych and Stepanek who clutched-up when needed to secure the win. Despite their depth, France I felt made the right moves putting Gilles Simon and Jo Tsonga out there in singles, but I counted on the French to win the doubles which didn’t happen.

No surprise for the U.S. as Andy Roddick held firm leading his team into the quarterfinals against Croatia. Argentina crushed the Netherlands, they now get the Czechs.

In the marquee matchup of the weekend, Spain had its way with Serbia as Ferrer and Nadal won three singles matches without dropping a single set to Novak Djokovic and Janko. In fact, Nadal lost just a total of 12 games in six sets – can we give him the French trophy now? As I said going in, no shame in losing to Rafa on clay but I would have expected a bigger fight from Novak Friday against Ferrer, a guy he beat to win Dubai a week earlier. Spain next hosts Germany, a winner over Austria.

Of note in the oft-entertaining, oft-crazy lower group ties, the Brothers Lapentti took care of business in Toronto, stunning Canada 3-2. Down 2-1 and 2-1 in sets Sunday, Nicolas Lapentti charged back to overcome Frank Dancevic to force a fifth rubber, which younger brother Giovanni promptly cashed in for Ecuador.

In Asia, after Lleyton Hewitt fell in five sets to Dania Udomchoke, Chris Guccione saved the day for Australia by winning the decisive fifth rubber over Thailand.

And that brings me to Britain. How much money do they pump into that system? How many different coaches, tournaments, etc, do they have set up? From where I sit it seems like a lot compared to other countries, but unfortunately without Andy Murray their tennis program is in absolute shambles. With Murray sidelined with a virus, the Brits were hammered at home by the Ukraine losing all four live rubbers. That’s an outright failure.

And with that as a backdrop, Murray is now on a flight to the California to get away from it all. How perfect.

Of course the Indian Wells tournament starts tennis’ own version of March Madness later this week. I believe first round play for the men is Thursday with the seeds taking the court on Saturday. So ample rest for the Davis Cup guys. Let’s hope everyone’s is well.


Also Check Out:
Davis Cup Doubles: Israel Upsets Powerhouse Russia, U.S. Alive
Davis Cup Semifinals, Playoffs Preview
Davis Cup Wrap: Czechs at Croatia, Israel at Spain in Semis
Djokovic, Nalbandian Heroics: Davis Cup Wrap
Davis Cup Playoffs: Serbia Goes To India, Spain Travels To Brazil

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41 Comments for Dudi Delivers, Sela Leads Israel in Davis Cup Win; France Upset

ladyjulia Says:

Yes, please…let’s give Rafa the RG trophy right away…the guy deserves it outright.


Giner Says:

“In Asia, after Lleyton Hewitt fell in five sets to Dania Udomchoke, Chris Guccione saved the day for Australia by winning the decisive fifth rubber over Thailand.”

What.. aren’t you going to be adventurous enough to give credit to the guy Guccione beat? What was his name again, Kittipong Wacha.. ok, you’re off the hook.

“I would have expected a bigger fight from Novak Friday against Ferrer, a guy he beat to win Dubai a week earlier. Spain next hosts Germany, a winner over Austria.”

Novak won Dubai because all the top players pulled out (Nadal, Federer, Murray, Roddick). It was his for the taking. Even Davydenko and JMDP didn’t play. That’s all of the top 7 skipping Dubai except himself. Novak’s hold on the No. 3 rank is tenuous at best. He will not be defending Indian Wells or Rome, and will slip to No. 4 by year’s end. Sorry, I like the guy but that’s how I see it.

“As for the other ties, everything went fairly according to form except France! I had France beating the Czechs and then winning the entire Davis Cup (woops!), but credit to Tomas Berdych and Stepanek who clutched-up when needed to secure the win. Despite their depth, France I felt made the right moves putting Gilles Simon and Jo Tsonga out there in singles, but I counted on the French to win the doubles which didn’t happen.”

I’m disappointed that France lost. Gilles Simon is such a promising player. He slew Federer twice last year, and Nadal and Djokovic once each. I’d like to have seen more from him in later ties. France has found a great foursome without having to call PHM, so that’s another year of wasted opportunity. The Czechs are good, but Berdych was a guy who had Federer at his fingertips and couldn’t put him away. I lost all respect for him after that choke.


jane Says:

Simon’s done okay this year so far; he lost in the Qs of AO to Rafa in straights, in the semis to Llodra at Marseille and Djoko at Dubai, and lost both ties in DC this weekend. It’s not like he’s doing badly, his results are about on par with Djoko’s so far this year. The good thing for him is that he doesn’t have much to defend until later in the season; Djoko has a lot to defend earlier on.

I don’t disagree that Djoko could very well slide to #4 by year’s end, but what have we seen from Murray on clay? That’s the one place I am uncertain on as to Murray’s abilities. Also, Novak has pretty much nothing to defend at Wimbledon, so if he can do alright until then, and then get deepish at SW19 then he could stand to gain. It’s the slams that may matter most in the end, and I guess the MS / 1000s or whatever they’re called now.


Andrew Miller Says:

I will say it again: I’d like to see Roger Federer WIN the french open (why not conquer ALL of your demons at once?). That is the ultimate challenge for Darren Cahill – he could not ask for a bigger one. Sure, getting Roger to get another Wimby title…he has so many. Maybe another hardcourt title? Few are better and only in fifth sets on that surface.

So that leaves the one and only area in the world where Federer is not the class of the field: Roland Garros (Sure, he’s been in the finals since 2006, but who really believed he had a chance in any one of them? Certainly Roger didn’t). The clay should give Federer a little more space to fight and work his game out, and it would be interesting to see if he can use that tournament as a learning opportunity.

Once upon a time, another diminished legend took to the dirt of Roland Garros and played some inspired tennis to resurrect his career. Now, Federer certainly could walk away from the game at any moment, and would certainly be among the top players of all time. He doesnt need any resurrection: he has not fallen into oblivion.

But why not look for a worthy challenge? A worthy player needs an outlandish challenge, and that to me is Roland Garros for Federer.

I want # 14 to come in Paris for Federer. I’d like to see him find his game among the obstacles and do something nobody expects. Heck, he arrives to finals now as the underdog: why not relish that. I’d like to see Federer change his language and say, “scoreboard says that Rafael Nadal is number one. I am not. It’s that simple” and then work through the field and solve the problems and then play the match of his life to win the shebang. That language would put Nadal on the defensive – suddenly he won’t be able to say, “I am not the best player in the world” – because Roger will say it for him – Roger will say, “Scoreboard says Nadal is the best and he is. It’s that simple, I must improve every day if I want to achieve good results.” It won’t be Roger Federer any more at the top of the kingdom – Nadal will have to see how lonely it is up there, and Uncle Toni won’t catch on to the new Federer, which is like Federer cerca 2003 at Houston:

“Q. How special is it to beat Andre for the first time here in the States?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, we haven’t actually played too much, you know, against each other. First time was in my home tournament in Basel, which was when I was 17 years old. I couldn’t expect to win there. But I came close in the Miami finals and, you know, I wouldn’t say finally, but it’s just nice to beat such players, you know, one time in your career.”

Q. When your forehand went off in the first set, were you always confident it would come back in time?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it’s true, you know, I could also feel it myself. I was missing by a lot, you know, so which didn’t help. But, I don’t know. He always puts you on the run, you know. Kind of once you have a chance, you feel, “Now I’ve got to be aggressive.” This is when you overhit. I knew that if I just don’t freak out, you know, mentally, I could — my forehand would come back eventually.”

Q. Did you get big confidence from beating Andre?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I’m just coming off that win, you know, so I have to see how I play the next match. But, no, the group is tough. I have bad records against everybody. So it’s a great start, you know. I’m very, very happy the way it went today. I hope I can just play as good again, back to back matches would be great.

Q. Both Andy and Juan Carlos have got a bit more of a chance at the No. 1, not to say that you’re out of the running.

ROGER FEDERER: Almost (smiling).

Q. There’s still a chance. Is that in your mind at all this week, or is it just a matter of winning the title?

ROGER FEDERER: I wasn’t thinking about it during the match, really. After the match, one time, I thought, “Oh, I’m still in the race, am I?” But as long as it’s not in my, you know, power, I don’t even know what needs to happen. But I think Andy’s not allowed to win a match or something (laughter). If that’s the case, it definitely can happen because, you know, he’s playing against good guys. But, still, the chances are rather small, so…”


Ezorra Says:

Hi Andrew Miller,

This is what Nadal had said in his recent interview after davis cup:

“If Federer told me I was the best, I would love it, I would be happy.” (source: http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5h6s2hEyN44ST2_tyuXmstdnueqtQ)

I think, he is ready to hear that from Roger.


Von Says:

I vote we put Richard in “Who’s got the Funk” for his excellent blogging this past weekend in Birmingham, Ala. Also, about time Sean’s given a reprieve and taken out of the trunk. Some fresh air and sunlight would do wonders for his psyche.

Has anyone seen this picture? I don’t know if it’s a gimmick, but it’s so funny.

http://tennisplanet.wordpress.com/2009/03/08/people-are-already-starting-to-lose-their-shorts-against-nadal-and-thats-a-legit-no-3-in-the-world-rest-better-come-strapped-with-a-chastity-belt-on/

Maybe I’ll be put into the trunk for posting this picture, that is, if the link is enabled. Sorry, but computer stuff is the pits for me. here’s hoping ….


Von Says:

Simon seems to have picked up where PHM left off. Poor guy he was in tears and that scene was very reminiscent of PHM, who has never been the same after his DC losses. I only hope Simon does not go down that path, but remains positive bearing in mind his success playing against the top players, especially Federer.


Twocents Says:

Ezorra,

Fed said this at AO09 before his 3rd round match with Safin:

Q. Still seems a bit strange when you said “former champion like me.”

ROGER FEDERER: Former No. 1 I said.

Q. Former No. 1. Does that seem a little bit strange?

ROGER FEDERER: For both of us. I didn’t say former champion. I said former Grand Slam champion and former No. 1.

Q. I misspoke.

ROGER FEDERER: Exactly.

Q. Does that still seem a little bit strange, to use the word “former”?

ROGER FEDERER: That’s the way it is. It’s a fact, right? I was a very proud man for a long time and still today about the record. Today Rafa deserves it because he’s hung in there for a long time. He could have lost his No. 2 position for a long time against Djokovic, so he deserves it. It’s fine.

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2009-01-21/200901211232521799546.html


Ezorra Says:

Hi Von. How are you? Congratulations on your country’s win in Davis Cup against Switzerland.

BTW, this week is not a great week for me. We lost in 2 sport events that the people of my country love the most. We lost to China (specifically to Mr. Lin Dan) in the final of Badminton (All England) and lost to the America’s Natalie Grainger in CIMB Kuala Lumpur Open in Squash event. Both Lee Chong Wei (badminton) and Nicol Ann David (squash) are the current world number 1, so to see they lost is a bit disappointing for me.

Now, I hope that Arsenal (my favorite football team, I mean… soccer team) can do something to win their second match against AS Roma in European Champion League tomorrow night. Gunners Rulez!!!


tenisbebe Says:

Von:

Re: your picture, it’s not a gimmick. Check out this clip that shows the point that it happened.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cy0zzfHBqoY


Ezorra Says:

Hi Twocents,

I know Roger will fine. It just that assuming Nadal will feel lonely (as stated by Andrew Miller) if Roger does exactly what Nadal did to him (praise him all time even after he beats Roger) sounds pretty doubtful to me. This is because Nadal has more backup by his surrounding to support him (off the court), mentally and emotionally when he loses his concentrations. Honestly, I don’t think Roger has backers (that are closed to him) more than what Nadal has. I believe he has more fans than Nadal but based on my observations; I would say that the only person that is really closed to Roger all the time to support him no matter what is Mirka. It’s good but I don’t think its enough though. In fact, he doesn’t even have a coach to support him physically (I mean before AO09) whereas Nadal has the whole camp to help him.


Von Says:

Ezorra:

Thank you very much for your good wishes on our DC win. I was a little doubtful after Blake lost the opener, but then that seemed to motivate Andy even more and then the Bryans played a very good Doubles to put us ahead. Nothing in DC is a given, so I’m very thankful we won.

I’m so sorry regarding your country’s losses in their two favourite sports. That’s a terrible downer, especially when it’s country-wide. Cheer up something good is around the corner because there’s only so much bad that can happen before things begin to change. And, I think the change will happen when your team (Arsenal) wins in Soccer. Speaking of Soccer, my whole family loves soccer, and I’m the only tennis freak.

I’m sorry for GBR also, because they’re my mother country and I had hoped they’d do well in DC this year with Murray in the team. Unfortunately, as you know, he got sick, hence the loss. That’s DC for you.

Anyway, in just a few days, beginning on Saturday, we’ll have IW, and the buzz will be huge due to so many rising young stars playing. I’m looking forward to watching it on TV — the Tennis Channel will be showing 8 hours of matches per day and that’s wonderful compared to live streaming. I hope you’ll have TV coverage too in your country. Enjoy when you watch and goodluck with Arsenal winning.


Von Says:

tenisbebe:

thanks for the video and confirmation. I thought the picture was a gimmick because Tennis Planet sometimes posts goofy stuff like that. It must have been pretty embarrassing for Djoko to lose his shorts. I don’t know if you remember the FO when Safin wickedly mooned the crowd. That was so wicked of him.

I was thinking of you this evening because I hadn’t seen any posts from you since your Saturday evening post regarding the clock change. Glad to see you posting again. I hope you enjoyed the Sunday DC matches.


Giner Says:

“I don’t disagree that Djoko could very well slide to #4 by year’s end, but what have we seen from Murray on clay? That’s the one place I am uncertain on as to Murray’s abilities. Also, Novak has pretty much nothing to defend at Wimbledon, so if he can do alright until then, and then get deepish at SW19 then he could stand to gain. It’s the slams that may matter most in the end, and I guess the MS / 1000s or whatever they’re called now.”

Jane, Murray a few years back said he had better chances of winning the French than he did of winning Wimbledon. That’s because he went to train in Spain at around 14 till he went pro, so he was bred like the east europpean clay courters. He turns out to be quite capable on faster surfaces, but clay should not be a weakness for him. He probably speaks a bit of Spanish too.

Andrew Miller:

“So that leaves the one and only area in the world where Federer is not the class of the field: Roland Garros (Sure, he’s been in the finals since 2006, but who really believed he had a chance in any one of them? Certainly Roger didn’t). The clay should give Federer a little more space to fight and work his game out, and it would be interesting to see if he can use that tournament as a learning opportunity.”

Roger always believed (or at least said he believed) he could win the French and beat Rafa, even after the 2008 drubbing. It could just be the power of positive thinking, but deep down I think he does believe he has a chance, though he’s aware of how difficult it is. Some of his matches against Rafa on clay have been close, and he did win one in Hamburg, so to me it’s not a question of whether he can. Rather it’s a question of desire. Does he really want it that much? I don’t think he does, and he’s made no secret of his priorities. After he lost at Wimbledon, he said “losing Paris was nothing, but losing here is a disaster.”

For Rafa, the desire is always equal, no matter where he plays. He will always want to win another French, and another Wimbledon. He’s not going to rest on his laurels and say, ‘that’s enough’. And I bet he will be hungry to beat Federer yet again in Paris.

“I’d like to see Federer change his language and say, “scoreboard says that Rafael Nadal is number one. I am not. It’s that simple” and then work through the field and solve the problems and then play the match of his life to win the shebang. That language would put Nadal on the defensive – suddenly he won’t be able to say, “I am not the best player in the world” – because Roger will say it for him – Roger will say, “Scoreboard says Nadal is the best and he is. It’s that simple, I must improve every day if I want to achieve good results.” It won’t be Roger Federer any more at the top of the kingdom – Nadal will have to see how lonely it is up there, and Uncle Toni won’t catch on to the new Federer, which is like Federer cerca 2003 at Houston:”

Rafa doesn’t care about any of that. As recently as a week ago, Rafa was in the headlines saying “Roger is still the best.” He is counting total slams won instead of most recent slams won or head to head. I don’t think he even notices the pressure. I saw him lose a number of times last year, but I can’t say any of those losses were down to pressure. He’s been under pressure in Paris since 05, and he always delivered in the end, so I don’t think it will be an issue this time.

I do know that walking out first on court in Australia incensed Federer, as did Sandy Roberts referring to him as the ‘No.2 player in the world’ during the presentation. Mentally he is more likely to have difficulty adjusting than Rafa will.

Ezorra:

“If Federer told me I was the best, I would love it, I would be happy.”

“I think, he is ready to hear that from Roger.”

Whenever Roger has called him the “No.1″ or “best” player in the world, he always qualified that statement with “at the moment.” This is a clear message that he concedes nothing, and he is out to reclaim what is his. If he’s going to acknowledge Rafa as being better than him, he’s going to do it begrudgingly. To be fair he does have a lot of respect for Rafa (more so when Rafa was #2 perhaps). During the Australian Open when people wrote off Rafa’s chances he was the one saying Rafa was more a favourite than Murray and that people shouldn’t forget about Rafa. At the US Open he said he preferred Rafa to get through to the final over Murray because they had such a great rivalry.


Twocents Says:

Hello, Ezorra,

I think Andrew’s more on Fed’s getting a refreshing mindset than on Nadal’s feeling lonely.

Von,

Don’t let Gimselstob spoil your joy. I recalled Gimeboy said that he consulted Fed on Rolex selection and vacation spots somewhere on Si.com. No wonder he acted the way. Just turn him off. Internet over TV.

Way to go USA and Roddick. And Sela — very solid player.

Pity I missed DC actions. But I treated myself with a visit to Agra, India, triggered by the in flight movie “Slumdog Millionare”. Taji Mahal is such a beautiful “tear drop on the cheek of time”. India seems one of the very few places where east, west, religion, politics, technologies, the rich, the poor all find its own place and prosper.

Jane,

I still remember the awed look of Daniel Nestor when he beat world no.1 Edberg. I lived in Ottawa for a while. I share your feeling about TSN favouring curling over tennis :-)). Do Canadians actually watch curling on TV?


Von Says:

Two Cents:

Thank you ref: Gimelstob. He’s a character alright. I can’t believe some of the statements he makes. The guy is really off the wall. That’s hilarious about his consultations with Fed on Rolex et al. I have to suffer through IW listening to him.

I can’t believe you went to India and left me here all by myself. Shame on you! Did you enjoy your vacation? You must be exhausted from such a long flight, but why am I feeling sorry for you? You probably travelled in the lap of luxury with a flight attendant catering to your every need. Did you fake a headache so that your temples could be massaged?

Slumdog Millionaire won a ton of Oscars. How was the movie? I’m waiting for it to hit pay-per-view which is probably going to be 6 months or longer. I don’t like cinemas/crowds.

Yeah, GO USA!!!


jane Says:

Giner,

It is true Murray trained in Spain and he got to the semis of RG as a junior, but he won the USO as a junior. Since 2006, his overall worst results have been on clay. In 07 he got to the R64 on two MS events; in 08 he got to R32 in RG and Rome and R16 in Monte Carlo and Hamburg.

I know he’s turned a corner now, after 08 Wimbledon seemingly, and I can see how his game would lend itself to clay, especially his defensive style and shot variety, but this will be the year that he should prove himself and gain some points on clay. In my opinion, the jury is still out on his clay results.

———————————————–

Twocents,

Good lord, you could’ve picked a more exciting city than Ottawa :-D!! And yes, people do watch curling, people running on ice, sweeping a broom into colored circles – go figure eh?


Andrew Miller Says:

I think Giner is right. That is a better analysis that mine was. I was not aware of Federer’s full awareness of his need to improve in order to face everything in front of him – including Nadal. Federer’s hiring of Cahill is certainly a pragmatic move – he’s clearly fully aware that he needs a change-up and Cahill is a pretty skilled, confident choice. So for me to say that Federer is not seeing things straight or suggest that, means that I am fully mistaken.

All of that said: I’d like to see Federer take the French Open this year. Perhaps Nadal runs every ball back, but Federer is basically the other guy who has some pretty top notch conditioning. Federer should be able to keep up with Nadal until the bitter end, like Wimbledon, and be able to pull out a win at that bitter end. I would prefer it happens at Roland Garros: it’s a fitting place because of what it represents: all these years it has foiled Federer. It is like his quest for #14: so close, and yet so, so far. So if he takes Paris, that’s a worthy goal. It’s no longer, “Wimbledon is my turf and my home.”

It’s

“Anywhere can be my turf and my home.”

I think that prospect – of winning at a place that does not let him win – would be huge. It would be sweet.

The only thing sweeter?

Probably James Blake pulling out a grand slam win at the US Open, that would be a big event. Another might be Baghdatis winning the Austrlian. On the women’s side, I think a big win would be Dokic taking a grand slam, or maybe Mauresmo winning the French Open, all equally huge events.

[I'm not going to say much more, because then you'll see me hoping that Maria Kirilenko wins Wimbledon or something crazy like that :) ]


Andrew Miller Says:

Yes, I am on Federer changing up his dialogue!


jane Says:

Anyone see the IW Draw? It’s out! Fed has Murray on his side; Rafa has Djoko.

Djoko and Roddick are in the same quarter – again! Fish, Chardy and Ferrer are in Roddick’s section, which doesn’t look too tough given his current form; Step, Querrey, and Wawrinka are in Djoko’s; Step could be a challenge given his form, Querrey maybe too.

Nadal has Berdych and Monfils, also Safin and JMDP in his quarter.

Fed’s quarter has Karlovic, Gonza, Blake, Verdasco, Gasquet, Davydenko, Tipsy, Hewitt etc.

And Murray’s quarter has Ancic, Noshikori, Gulbis, Andreev, Tsonga, Cilic, Simon, etc.

What a field!!!!!! We’re lucky. Now if I could just skip work the next week and a half…


Twocents Says:

Von,

I had some meetings at Dehli. Just took a weekend tourist trip from there to Agra. It’s not a vacation. Only all headaches from meetings and no messages — I hate someone else manuever my head. Tennis is one good pain killer.

Slumdog is not one of those Hollywood fad which has to be enjoyed on big silver screen. So you’re right on waiting for PPV. I quite like it.

Jane,

I played curling a couple of times. Was fun. But never could watch it on TV.

On Murray’s clay chance, he may have to add mroe spins to his shots.


Ezorra Says:

“Roger Federer has decided to resume his Australian coaching connection, hiring Darren Cahill to guide him in his return to the ATP Tour.” – Report by Robert Grant

(source: http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,25166580-23210,00.html)


Von Says:

Here’s my attempt of providing the link for the IW Draw. Hope it works.
http://www.bnpparibasopen.org/4/assets/common/TrackIt.asp?file=/4/assets/pdfs/draws/09ATP_MDS1.pdf


Von Says:

Whadda ya know it works. I did it!


Von Says:

Two Cents:

Ok you’ve been redeemed since it was business. I mean your going off just like that and DC is being played just a few hundred miles away from the Lone Star State.

Thanks for the info on “Slumdog”, I’ll wait for pay per view.
_____________
jane:

I’ve already rearranged my schedule — I can make up some of my hours at night and am free on Friday and Monday, all day.


Ezorra Says:

Von, this is for you :)

Tennis champ Andy Roddick makes a guest appearance in singer-songwriter Michael Tolcher’s new “Speed Feels Better” music video.

“I stalked Michael until he let me into the video,” Roddick joked to JustJared.com. “But no, Michael was nice enough to play a charity event of mine a couple years ago, did a great job, so when he asked if I could be in the video I jumped at the chance to be here and repay the favor.”

Also featured in this video are some sports greats: swimmer Amanda Beard, football player Barry Sanders, figure skater Kimmie Meissner and St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Rick Ankiel.

source: http://justjared.buzznet.com/2009/03/09/andy-roddick-michael-tolcher/

—–
Ezorra: Just to tell you that i watched Behind The Baseline: Andy Roddick last night. I like his persona on court but frankly speaking, I never know about Roddick (off-court) that much before but after last night, I think I want to know about him more. He is a very nice person and funny too.


Von Says:

Ezorra:

Thank you so very much for sharing that video with me. That’s so very Andy. He likes the care-free look. I like the song. I love Kimmie Meissner — she’s an ice skater and it’s one of the other sports I love to watch. Unfortunately, Ice skating is only shown in the winter — the season is short, but it ends just when Tennis is in full swing, so it all works out just fine.

I see Andy got a new fan — the person who wrote the message to you.


new world order Says:

i hope a non-american player wins indian wells! otherwise it will be a crime to tennis!


jane Says:

I think the biggest threat for Fed getting to the semis is Verdasco and it remains to be seen if he’s a threat; i.e., can he keep his AO form? Otherwise, most of the guys aren’t at their best at present: Karlovic hasn’t been doing much; nor has Gonza; Hewitt is just coming back from the surgery, and Davy is coming back from injury; I don’t think Blake or Gasquet have the mental fortitude to beat Fed, or they haven’t shown it of late; Tipsy is a crap shoot. If Fed does make it to the semis, it depends whom he meets, but really only Murray would be a threat. I think Fed can beat Tsonga. Simon or Murray could be threats, but Simon is in a mini-slump and Murray is just coming back from a virus.

Fed has a very good shot at the finals; mind you, he’s coming off an injury too, but he’s got a new coach in his corner, which could be refreshing.

Rafa looks unbeatable, but on hardcourt it’s tough to say; one draw analysis I read has Roddick beating Nadal and losing to Fed in the final. There are others who have been able to beat Rafa on this surface, but has Rafa turned a hardcourt corner? I guess we’ll see.

Djoko, who knows? He could be beat by Step who is hot right now. He could also be ousted by Roddick. I really can’t say. I will say that I’d be pleasantly surprised if he managed to defend his title.

I have a hard time seeing Murray get through his side of the draw only because there are a lot of tough young guns and Murray has been ill. I guess we’ll see where he’s at healthwise at this event.

To me the most likely to do something here – outside the top 4 – are Roddick, Tsonga, and Verdasco.


jane Says:

And maybe Stepanek – the worm might surprise everyone. The Czechs ko’d France after all…


MMT Says:

I don’t see anyone beating Nadal at this moment, unless he’s injured like in Rotterdam. Otherwise, I think he wins in a walk – Miami might be a tougher task, but nobody comes to tournaments as prepared as he does.

I don’t see Federer doing much given that he hasn’t played. I don’t think he’d get past Tsonga, as he’s in good form. Roddick’s Davis Cup performance is not a good indicator – I don’t believe I’ve ever seen him beat someone really good in Davis Cup – he’s a great competitor, but when the chips are down I think the best are beyond him.

Is there anyone who’s not coming off an injury at this tournament?


jane Says:

MMT,

Good point about the seemingly endless injuries / illnesses.

The reason I think Fed can beat Tsonga is that Tsonga plays the style of aggressive tennis that Roger actually likes, and seems to be comfortable at defeating such opponents. However, the defensive players, the tenacious Murrays, Simons, and Rafas get to Fed – maybe Verdasco would slot in here? Not sure.


Von Says:

jane:

“maybe Verdasco would slot in here? Not sure.”

I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on Verdasco — he’s like the stock market.

“Good point about the seemingly endless injuries / illnesses.”

I suppose there will be quite a few injury/trainer calls at IW — hard-court.

Looking at the draw Fed’s got quite a few old guys in his part of the draw.

________________
MMT:

Roddick beat Berdych on clay in Ostrava — his home. He can only beat who’s in front of him and he nearly beat Ferrer in Spain, and I’ll say it again, but for the overly-rowdy crowd, which upset him. He played a very good match against Nadal too in Spain, especially seeing that clay is Nadal’s forte and Roddick’s kryptonite.

For some reason Tsonga seems to become all thumbs when playing against Federer, same as DelPotro.


Ezorra Says:

Von says:

“I see Andy got a new fan — the person who wrote the message to you.”

Von, I think I’ve confused you a little bit. Actually, when I state

“———
Ezorra: -comment-”

that means that the comment is mine. It just my writing style, maybe. Sorry for the confusion.

p/s: Arsenal win. Yabedabedoooo!!!!


Von Says:

Ezorra:

Thanks for clearing up the confusion. i’m glad you like Andy’s witty personality. It’s one of the reasons I like him too.

Yaaaaay!!!! I’m happy for you on the Arsenal team win. WAY TO GO ARSENAL!!!!!


tenisbebe Says:

Von says:
“I was thinking of you this evening because I hadn’t seen any posts from you since your Saturday evening post regarding the clock change. Glad to see you posting again. I hope you enjoyed the Sunday DC matches.” You are so very kind. Yes, life has gotten in the way of my posting – did not have a chance to see Andy’s match on Sunday but checked the score from time-to-time & when he was up 2 sets, I breathed easier.

One of the interesting things for me about DC is to see how players perform when having a coach present, particularly in tough matches (like James’ 1st match) – it depends on the coach, of course (ie: Guy Forget). Andy seems to thrive in the “team” atmosphere.


Giner Says:

jane:

“Djoko, who knows? He could be beat by Step who is hot right now. He could also be ousted by Roddick. I really can’t say. I will say that I’d be pleasantly surprised if he managed to defend his title.”

You’re going to hate me for asking this, but IW is a desert right? Is it hot in IW? Do they have an extreme heat policy?

“Fed has a very good shot at the finals; mind you, he’s coming off an injury too, but he’s got a new coach in his corner, which could be refreshing.”

Can someone tell me when, how, and where Fed injured his back? He hasn’t played since Melbourne. Did he have an accident?

tenisbebe:

“One of the interesting things for me about DC is to see how players perform when having a coach present, particularly in tough matches (like James’ 1st match) – it depends on the coach, of course (ie: Guy Forget). Andy seems to thrive in the “team” atmosphere.”

Admittedly I’m merely an armchair commentator, but I’d always thought that have a coach and a camp that watches you closely every match would just put more pressure on you. Performance anxiety you know. I know I would do better if no one was watching me. A team and captain watching would be even tougher. If I could be a player, I’d like to be completely solo or maybe with a fitness trainer, masseuse, stringer and people not involved in the technical side of things. Of course that assumes I’d be capable of doing everything myself which isn’t realistic.

That was a major reason why I admired Fed. It’s worked so well until now.


C.M. Says:

This particular blog is about Davis Cup, right? Two words: Beware Croatia. Winning record against the US AND will play the tie at home.


tenisbebe Says:

Giner says:

“You’re going to hate me for asking this, but IW is a desert right? Is it hot in IW? Do they have an extreme heat policy?”

Yes, IW is part of a “necklace” of towns in the desert that includes Rancho Mirage & Palm Springs. I assume you are in Britain? This area was a Hollywood “getaway” for golfing & tennis in it’s heyday & my sister swears there is a particular, intense “energy” that is palpable in P.S. which was another part of its allure – I must admit I can feel it when I’m there. According to the tournament website, there’s no extreme heat policy – I don’t remember it ever getting ungodly hot – and remember it’s dry heat so big difference from Miami for instance.


jane Says:

Giner,

I don’t hate you, but I do get your satirical tone. Djoko played the finals at IW in 07, won it in 08, and is now in the quarters in 09. He’ll be fine. He actually likes the weather there, or so he’s said on record. Maybe it was a bit hotter at the AO; maybe there were other issues too. In any case, he’ll be fine.


tenisbebe Says:

I said
“I don’t remember it ever getting ungodly hot”

Should have said “I don’t remember it ever getting ungodly hot during the tournament” – the summer is another matter…

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