Join the Live Davis Cup Doubles Blogging: U.S. vs. Switzerland
by Richard Vach | March 7th, 2009, 10:01 am

The Bryan brother put their career 14-2 Davis Cup doubles record on the line today in Birmingham, looking to break the 1-1 deadlock with Switzerland in the U.S.’s favor.
Bob and Mike Bryan will face Stan Wawrinka, who is coming off an upset of James Blake in singles yesterday, and Yves Allegro. Wawrinka is no stranger to doubles, last year capturing the Beijing Olympics gold medal with countryman Roger Federer, beating the Bryans en route.

“[It’s] a huge match for us,” U.S. Captain Patrick McEnroe said. “One-all in the doubles is an absolutely crucial match.”

McEnroe says the Bryan brothers have not only been the U.S.’s rock in terms of an almost-automatic doubles point, but they also provide some comedic relief.

“It’s always interesting with them around, I’ll tell you that,” McEnroe said, to laughter from the press corp. “Where they are, hilarity ensues most times, in a good way. I get a kick out of watching them practice. Even when they’re on the practice court, they start fighting with each other, I just think it’s hilarious. They always add a certain dynamic to the matches. On top of that, they’re the No. 1 team in the world. That’s always something that you want to have on your side.”

Allegro is 5-5 in career Davis Cup doubles matches, 0-2 with Wawrinka.

If the Bryan brothers prevail, Andy Roddick will have the opportunity to seal the tie for the U.S. in the first singles match on Sunday against Wawrinka.

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52 Comments for Join the Live Davis Cup Doubles Blogging: U.S. vs. Switzerland

Richard Vach Says:

Getting noisy in here, player intros coming up…

Richard Vach Says:

Nice intro ceremony as you’re probably catching this on the Tennis Channel; kids with the country flags, USTA honchos, team captains, large applause for both teams which is nice.

Richard Vach Says:

Ran into U.S. team member/coach Jay Berger coming out of a Starbucks this morning, he had coffee-run duties for the team apparently.

Crowd goes deafening-level for the intro of the U.S. team. bryans jog out, with Bob flinching as some fireworks spray out on both sides of them. Blake gets huge applause, which must be nice after his comments yesterday that he “let the team down.”

Pat Mac takes the mike, thanks Birmingham, USTA, etc., gives a little D-Cup history, give swiss team a welcome, Swiss crazies in the crowd, kind of nice and weird like the high school principal addressing the auditorium. Swiss captain also gets a chance at the mike which is nice. Also gives a shout-out to some of the Swiss fans in their native tongue which makes the fans go nuts. The U.S. and Swiss captains then exchage gifts.

Blake is rubbing Roddick’s head, admiring what looks like, even with Roddick’s short hair, an unusually-good case of bed head.

The Swiss team listen to their national anthem in an endearing arms-linked line. After a screaming rendition by a local performer of the American national anthem and some indoor fireworks, we are off..

Richard Vach Says:

Wawrinka looks to be going with an ornage shirt rather than the traditional Swiss red, while the Bryans and Allegro engage in a bouncing contest at the net prior to pictures and the coin flip.

The Swiss fans are chanting away, which engages the American fans to try and drown them out with chants of “USA! USA!”

The Bryans have their collared shirts buttoned-up high, so it is difficult to tell which one is Bob wearing the beads. OK, Mike in the ad court…

Richard Vach Says:

Due to some issues yesterday, the announcer reminds the crowd that the U.S. team can be penalized points for the crowd making noises during the service toss, as there were a couple incidents of horns/shouting yesterday. Free horns have been passed out to crowd members.

Both sets of fans very into it as the Bryans take to the court to begin, and a standing-o from the swiss fans for the swiss team.

The Bryans are a wall of volleys to go up 30-15. Lots of lobbing from the Swiss on returns, as you will likely see especially with Bob’s big serve. Bob serves it out for a 1-0 lead.

The orange-shirted Wawrinka starts serving for the Swiss. The swiss hold for 1-1, and the Swiss elected to play both back for Mike’s serve, with little result as the U.S. holds for a 2-1 lead.

Richard Vach Says:

The “Davis Cup House Band” is at it again, as are the cheerleaders throing each other in the air. The band regales the crowd with “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. It’s the ’80s all over again.

The Swiss hold for 2-2, despite some nice passes from the twins. Both Swiss are back again, but they can make little to no impacts on the Bryans, who display some deft hands in holding at love.

Richard Vach Says:

Still on serve at 4-3 as both teams are taking care of their serve well on the fast indoor court.

I was going to say “this is a match” until Allegro threw in three double faults to get broken, the last one an especially bad one on game point. That is tight.

Bob Bryan then brings some huge serving to take the set for the U.S. at 6-3 to a standing-o from the crowd.

Richard Vach Says:

Between sets the loud speakers again blare out Pat Benetar’s “Hit Me with your Best Shot,” which is two consecutive days too much of Pat Benetar.

Both teams hold for 1-1, bringing up Allegro who still has the double-fault yips. Four over the last six points? A badly-missed overhead by Wawrinka and a ripping return and the swiss are brokwn again at 2-1. The Swiss are coming unraveled, it looks like it will be a short day.

Richard Vach Says:

Both teams hold, with the U.S. maintaining its 3-2 break lead.

The Swiss ae displaying little ability to return the Bryan’s hard, flat serves off the slick surface. Down a break is a death sentence.

jane Says:

Cute to see Andy delivering drinks to everyone; also good to see the Bryans in control today.

Richard Vach Says:

Allegro’s serve is pathetic, with another double fault on the first point, and break points against before eventually holding for 3-4 down a break.

Von Says:

The Bryans look very crisp in their shot making. I’m happy to see they’ve already gotten a break in the second set. Wawa looks tired or maybe disgruntled, whatever. I suppose it’s not easy for him playing with Allegro. He misses his other doubles partner. Tough break Stan, ya just gotta go with the flow.

James appears to be in a better frame of mind and I hope that he comes out guns a blazin’ tomorrow, even though it will be a dead rubber; which translates to Roddick beating Wawa = 5th rubber = dead rubber. I’ve got Roddick beating Wawa tomorrow in 3 sets. It’s simple, feed Stan a diet of cross-court exchanges and serve to his forehand. Forget he has a backhand. Easier said than done, but Andy CAN do it. What does Nike say? “Just do it”.

Richard, say hello to my “swetheart” for me. Thanks.

Richard Vach Says:

The Swiss fans love the little cheerleader girls waving to them from the shoulders of the other cheerleaders, but they are looking a bit more subdued with more beers appearing as their squad remains a set and a break down.

Both teams hold, and the U.S. will serve for the 2nd set. and the cheerleaders rejoice.

Richard Vach Says:

Von, Wawrinka is very aggrivated with his partner, slamming a ball after one of his double faults.

Some tentative volleying by the Swiss and the U.S. easily serves it out for a 2 set lead.

Von Says:

Rich, I thought Wawa looked unhappy but I couldn’t put my finger on the problem. Thanks for the clarification. Wawa isn’t playing that great either, but better than Allegro. Federer has, on quite a few occasions, intimated when he plays with Wawa, that he “carried him”. So today Wawa is carrying Allegro and he’s probably feeling the weight. The song “you ain’t heavy, you’re my brother”, doesn’t work in that partnership.

There’s a special place on Fed’s butt, with a pair of lips engraved bearing the name
“Gimelstob”. This idiot has not stopped speaking about Federer- he goes on and on. Patrick McEnroe even asked him yesterday after Roddick’s match why are you bringing up Federer, and the fool replied, because you wouldn’t have had much hope for Sunday if Fed were here. Is Gimel retarded or what? To say that to your own country’s DC captain. Anyboldy got some crazy glue around? Just put a dab on Gimel’s lips so that he can shut up. I wish The Tennis channel had some better announcers. Geez the guy is killing my ears.

Richard Vach Says:

Oops, computer problem. But both teams hold for 2-1 on serve.

jane Says:

I am watching atdhe streaming so don’t have to listen to Gimel’s inane commentary, thankfully.

Richard Vach Says:

The bryans’ swinging volley is nasty, and wawrinka almost took a shot in the gut earlier.

Wish I had an audio where I can hear gimel screwing up on the Tennis Channel.

Big moment as the U.S. holds easily and Wawrinka is serving 15-all. The Bryans argue an out service that the chair immediately overrules. The swiss are taking their time at 30-all. Wawrinka launches a backhand long, break point U.S. The Swiss are playing the “Australian” doubles strategy at the net and getting looks at volleys but not putting them away. Mike tries a touch pass that goes badly awry, deuce again.

Warinka holds, Swiss lead 3-2 on serve.

jane Says:

Bryans’ first serve percentage is awesome – they’re currently at 86% for the match! And points won on 1st serve is 90%, 2nd serve is 89%. Wow.

Richard Vach Says:

Over the loudspeaker they play “Sweet Home Alabama” and the crowd goes bat-****, standing and clapping and dancing to the Neil Young-bashing tune. Don’t mess with Alabama.

the U.S. holds for 3-3, then the crowd goes nuts, clapping then booing after Wawrinka destroys his racquet on the court after failing to get a return in play with the Bryans serving at 40-30. Lots of frustration as they cant put a dent in the twin’s service games.

Allegro serving, a recipe for disaster, but the Swiss win a couple of long volley exchanges to go up 30-15. Allegro seems more pumped-up and focused after Wawrinka’s racquet-destroying event, and carries the hold with some key volleying, 4-3 on serve.

jane Says:

Bummer – just when I make the serve comment they go and get broken…is this going 4 then?

Richard Vach Says:

One of the rolled-up davis cup towels they chuck into the stands during changeovers lands in the media section, and women run for cover like someone flung a piece of poo, or a knife. no one is hurt, as the towel lands on a chair.

Mike Brya gets in some trouble on his serve, 15-30 then 30-40 before the twins are broken with a Wawrinka return, the Swiss have life! Wawrinka will serve for it at 5-3, and the crowd goes crazy in cheering on a break-back for the Bryans.

Some in the crowd are on the verge of tooting horns when the Swiss are in their service motion, and the chair umpire is not happy. A couple errant volleys and the Swiss are at 0-30. a big Wawrinka serve brings it to 30-all, and the crowd is getting nervous.

The wawrinka serve is carrying the Swiss, who close out the set to trail one set to two.

Richard Vach Says:

Both teams hold for a 2-1 lead on serve for the U.S., but they did not make it easy on Wawrinka.

It has to be intimidating for the Swiss, looking up and seeing the 32 davis cup championship banners in the rafters. the swiss are competing in their 80th year of davis cup, still looking for a championship, and they had some good teams with hlasek and rosset, and now federer.

allegro looks to be stretching his legs a lot, dont know if there is a problem there.

Richard Vach Says:

Bob wins a long volley point and pumps up the crowd with arms raised, swiss serving 0-30. Lufti is yelling at his team a lot but they seem to be ignoring him, he is trying to get some message across other than “Let’s go!” The Swiss eventually hold for 2-2.

Now the Swiss seem to be getting a bead on how to take some better cuts at the bryans’ serve. An overhead miscommunication by the bryans make it 30-all, but they hold for a 3-2 lead on serve.

Von Says:

Lucky you – Rich and Jane. I have to suffer through the insufferable Gimel retarded comments. I know his lisp is nature went awry, but his tone, the lisp, heavy tongue plus the nonsensical jargon makes for a lousy commentator. I suppose he got that job, and has been able to hold onto it because his dad makes huge contributions to the USTA, or else he would have been out a long time ago. Money talks and so does Gimel non-stop. I wonder if he talks in his sleep too. I know I’m beikng uncharitable, but he’s the pits, really.

Mike had some kind of racquet problem when he got broken. Even though I’m seeing some great tennis, I would have preferred it if they had finished it off in 3 sets. I see Roddick chomping away at his fingernails — that’s a bad habit Andy.

Richard Vach Says:

Stan serves at 2-3, and crowd is desperate for a Bryan break, but it’s not going to happen on the Wawrinka serve, which has been hot for two straight days.

Blake commented yesterday how Stan didn’t even need to come to the net much during their match because he was serving so big, there was no volley to hit.

Allegro and Stan are both hitting some stunning one-handers. The Bryans nevertheless hold for 4-3 on serve.

jane Says:

A break here would be nice for USA

Richard Vach Says:

was that a shaky allegro hold or what? now stan’s turn to deal with the pressure to hold to stay in the match…

Jill Says:

This match turned around out of nowhere. what in the world happened? Bryans not serving nearly as well now as in the first two sets.

Richard Vach Says:

nice holds, and i hate to say it, but now it is allegro choke time. he has struggled with double faults and now the pressure is huge.

Dammit, i missed the media meal and now have to do the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving dinner, pretzels and popcorn.

Let’s see if the Swiss can hold their nerve…

Von Says:

Mike is having great difficulty with his serve. He seems out of sorts. Hopefully Allegro will cave in and the bryans will take the match. I don’t like tie-breaks for the Bryans in this kind of situation.

Jill Says:

their returns have been really sub-par lately.. missing TONS of opportunities

jane Says:

pretty tense – looking like a tiebreak and if it goes to 5 i can’t stick around and watch! finish it bryans!!!

Richard Vach Says:

allegro gets a net cord to dribble over that would have been a double fault, yikes.

lots of booing as the swiss argue what looks like they thought was a let cord, now the swiss go down 15-30. some driving swiss volleys bring it to 30-all, crunch time. allegro comes up with a huge forehand volley down the line for 40-30, but Wawrinka stones a volley at the net for deuce. The Swiss eventually maintain a HUGE hold, now tiebreak time and crunch time for the Bryans who dont want a fifth set…

jane Says:

well they got a good lead here at 4-1 — go go~!

jane Says:

Alright Bryans – congrats to USA & fans. I’m off. Have a good one all.

Richard Vach Says:

The swiss are going for the steal, as through the first two sets they werent even getting a sniff of the bryans’ serve, but their service games fell off.

The Bryans jump out to a 3-0 lead, and while the crowd has been loud, the Bryans are trying to pump them up further. Now 4-0 Bryans, then 4-1.

5-1 after a great Bryans’ return of serve, rolling now and running around the court pumping fists.

Now on the verge of a win, 6-2. An overhead ends match point, and the bryans leap into each others arms, the U.S. takes a 2-1 lead in the tie. Not as easy as everyone thought, with the twins starting at a very high level serving, but then falling off when the Swiss got more looks at second serves.

Next up tomorrow: Roddick vs. Wawrinka

Richard Vach Says:

Von, you picked it, but Allegro held his nerve pretty impressively on that service game before the tiebreak.

Von Says:


Thanks. Yes, yes and oh yes, for the Bryans/USA. This tiebreak, 15 tiebreak wins puts them as the all-time winners for US doubles team.

One last pearl on my “favourite” commentator. That net volley Wawa made, Gimel’s response: “OOOH, Federer, who is Roger Federer?” Is this guy nuts or what. I wish there was radio commentary available similarly to baseball. I would love it.

Tomorrow is D-Day, let’s hope Roddick finishes the job as the “closer”. C’mon Andy.

You’re doing a good job Rich, keep it up. Blow by blow commentary. I vote you replace Gimel in the commentator’s booth. I would have loved to hear Leif Shiras and Sam Gore or the big guy, Doug Adler. Wishful thinking. Anyone know what’s happened to Doug Adler? I haven’t heard him for a long time. Maybe he’s too busy chatting up Judy Murray. Ha, ha.

TD (Tam) Says:

Von- “There’s a special place on Fed’s butt, with a pair of lips engraved bearing the name “Gimelstob”. This idiot has not stopped speaking about Federer- he goes on and on. Patrick McEnroe even asked him yesterday after Roddick’s match why are you bringing up Federer, and the fool replied, because you wouldn’t have had much hope for Sunday if Fed were here. Is Gimel retarded or what? To say that to your own country’s DC captain. Anyboldy got some crazy glue around? Just put a dab on Gimel’s lips so that he can shut up. I wish The Tennis channel had some better announcers. Geez the guy is killing my ears.”

Say it again, dear. I’ve never been so embarassed listening to an interview before. Why does the Tennis Channel employ him anyway? He is a known misogynist and his unprofessionalism is exposed every Davis Cup, not to mention he looks like a sweaty hog, all filthy and gross to look at AND listen to. Yuck!

Go go USA! Roddick will clean up tomorrow and then Stan and his team can go home. What a shame they had to deal with Federer’s long shadow this weekend when it was they who showed up to play, not Mr Dubai Moneybags. The Swiss team deserves more credit.

tenisbebe Says:

TD says:

“…not to mention he looks like a sweaty hog…”

I can’t stop laughing about this one.
Did you hear Bob &/or Mike (I can’t tell them apart) proclaim in the post-match that Roddick would win tomorrow – in front of the Swiss team and their fans? I was not happy about that. Patriotism is all well & good but that’s just disrespectful in my book. And uncharacteristic for them, too.

In any event, Go USA!

Donkey Says:

Donkey and the US team must have paid Fed dubai-level money so that they can have a chance in this tie. Would have been fun to see Fed spank the donkey’s butt like the bitch he is. 16-2? what a sick record….. makes even me feel pity for the stupid donkey and his fans like TD.

donkey and his fans should thank god that they can get a break from the regular flogging the top 3 give the donkey. looking forward to donkey’s excuse to skip this year’s clay season :)

tenisbebe Says:


Why don’t you find another ass to talk to.

Von Says:


Something tells me you’re in uv with Gimel. Has there been a bigger jerk on TV for tennis in all the years gone by? I don’t think so. I miss Doug Adler’s nice, soft voice — it’s so awful Gimel is now part of the Tc team. I suppose I’ll have to watch without sound.

Tomorrow, we need some good vibes. Talk to you later.


You mean bray to, don’t you?

tenisbebe Says:

Touche Von!

koalakoala Says:

TD: Federer deserves all the money he has earned.

It is Gimelstob who was stupid. Why blame Roger?

margot Says:

Hi Von, don’t know who this Gimelstob is but yessterday on the beeb we had Andrew Castle really dissing Murray in a way only someone with access to Andy’s medical records should feel able to do. Almost implying he was faking cos he didn’t want to waste his energy on the Davis Cup. Steam is still coming out of my ears!
Hi Jane, did not see match but have just seen score and, judging by that, at least Novak did not get a “thrashing.” In fact I feel J. is one of the few players who could beat Rafa on clay, not that that seems likely in the near future.

Donkey Says:

Tennisbebe :

Pull your head out of TD and Von’s butt and do the preaching to them. Why blame Roger when Gimelstob (another american dumbass like the donkey roddick) is the moron.

Stop the licking and kissing already. anyways, Cant wait for the top 4 to come to US and kick some donkey ass! then we will hear the real braying from donkey and his fans – all the way till the french open, when some one will wipe the red clay with donkey’s ass….

jane Says:

margot, thanks for the commiseration; honestly i think the Serbian team wanted to high-tail it out of Spain. Not that they didn’t try, but it was not to be.

Do you know if Murray will be good to go for IW? Any news on that? (Ignore that wanker Castle)

margot Says:

Jane! I did not think you used language like that…but you are completely right in your assessment! Yes, he might be, apparently got to the gym today. Did I see you posted on another thread that France had lost? Oh no, must just go and chase that one. Bye.

jane Says:

margot, apologies for the profane comment. Yes, the French lost. I am going to see what I can dig up on Murray – glad to know he’s on the mend.

Richard Vach Says:

am starting a new post for today’s singles…

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