First, all credit to Team USA who took advantage of a sunken Swiss team to pull the shocking Davis Cup upset of the weekend and one of the bigger wins in American history.
Jim Courier made the right move going for kill shot Saturday by subbing in Mardy Fish for Ryan Harrison, and the US got it by downing a lackluster, uninspired Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka tandem.
Afterward, while the US danced and cheered, Federer brushed off the defeat and the put some of the blame on his friend and partner Wawrinka.
“Sure, it’s disappointing, but we’re not too down about it,” Federer said.
“I played well enough in doubles, but Stanislas not so much,” Federer said via AP translation.
He added that Stan, who was seated next to him in the interview, “didn’t have his best match in singles. It’s a shame, because of that defeat we weren’t able to put the U.S under pressure.”
Federer a gracious loser? I guess not.
Fact is, both Wawrinka and Federer stunk. Stan was choking on Friday and continued his gag routine on Saturday. But that doesn’t absolve Federer of his poor play in either of his matches, especially yesterday when he looked downright dreadful – missing easy volleys, whiffing setting up match point, etc.
I heard the court was bad. The surface was the wrong choice. The altitude didn’t help, but on clay at the very least Federer has to beat Isner and with Stan that team has to beat the US.
For Federer, it’s his third straight best-of-5 loss (singles and doubles, including Nadal at the Australian Open) and at 30 you have to always wonder how much of his game is in deterioration. Let’s face it, it is.
The former No. 1, though, won’t have much time to dwell on his disappointing weekend. Federer will be the top seed tomorrow in Rotterdam were he’ll play Isner’s victim in the longest match in history, Nicolas Mahut, in the first round. Juan Martin Del Potro and Tomas Berdych are also in the field.
As for the rest of the Davis Cup first round, things went accordingly for the most part. Aside from USA’s upset, Austria pulled a minor one beating a Russian team led by new member Alex Bogomolov. With Davydenko/Youzhny on the bench, the top 40-ranked American-turned-Russian simply melted under the weight in his debut winning just one set it two singles matches.
Later today France will try to finish off the pesky Canadians. Yesterday in a mild surprise Benneteau/Llodra got a straight set win over Nestor/Raonic to put France up 2-1.
JW Tsonga will now go for the win against Milos Raonic. With the US tie over, Tennis Channel might have coverage of the match today – they teased if after the US clinched the doubles.
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