To paraphrase a famous bird, “I’m coocoo for Davis Cup!”
Sorry, I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Welcome back to VANtage Point (or just welcome if you haven’t seen this before). Before I start talking about my favorite time of the year, there were some pretty solid performances last week to acknowledge, particularly down in Mexico.
A Look Back: Hard, clay, nails, whatever. I guess it wouldn’t matter what surface you put Venus Williams on the way she’s playing right now. She picked up her second title in two weeks at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco over the weekend, beating my pick Flavia Pennetta. As for the men there, my runner-up pick, Nicolas Almagro, defended his crown and took out Gael Monfils.
This Week’s Spotlight: Davis Cup - need I say more? Well, that’s what I get paid the big bucks for (yeah, right)...to say more! For all the longtime tennis players out there, remember when you were a kid and thinking you’d want to go pro? And how cool it would be to win Grand Slams? My dream was always to be on the Davis Cup team. What can I say? I guess I’m just a patriotic cornball! Anyway, 2009 action kicks off this weekend and the World Group has some great ties going on with defending champ Spain vs. Serbia, the U.S. vs. Switzerland (sans Roger Federer) and the Czech Republic vs. France, among them. I can’t go into great detail here about every tie, but I’ll definitely be following them all!
Players to Watch: Tell you what I’ll do. I’ll give you a PTW for each tie, how about that?
- Argentina vs. Netherlands: David Nalbandian. Rough loss in Acapulco; how’s he playing?And the Winners Are: Here’s my tie winners and the scores: Argentina, 5-0; Czech Republic: 3-2; U.S., 4-1; Croatia, 3-2; Israel, 3-2; Russia, 4-1; Austria, 3-2; and Spain, 3-2.
- Czech Republic vs. France: Tomas Berdych. The Czechs are hosting, but that French team is ferocious. Radek Stepanek’s been playing lights out; can he get backup from the Berd Man?
- U.S. vs. Switzerland: James Blake. He can’t go out there and lay an egg against Stanislas Wawrinka when they play.
- Croatia vs. Chile: Nicolas Massu. The former Olympic gold medalist has to snap out of his funk for Chile to have a chance.
- Sweden vs. Israel: Harel Levy. Israel can pull off an upset here as that Swedish lineup is lame beyond lame, but the Israeli veteran has to come through.
- Romania vs. Russia: Marat Safin. What can you say about him that hasn’t been said?
- Germany vs. Austria: Jurgen Melzer. If he plays up to his ability, Austria can pull off the upset.
- Spain vs. Serbia: Rafael Nadal. How’s he feeling?
Van Sias writes the blog Tennis Talk, Anyone?
(image via getty)