Google Down the Line!: VANtage Point: DAVIS CUP '09 begins - can Spain defend?

Monday, March 2, 2009

VANtage Point: DAVIS CUP '09 begins - can Spain defend?

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) 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?

- 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?
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.

Van Sias writes the blog Tennis Talk, Anyone?

(image via getty)


  1. So I guess that if I place any bets I should bet Netherlands over Argentina, France over the Czechs, Switzerland over U.S., Chile over Croatia, Sweden over Israel, Romania over Russia, Germany over Austria and Serbia over Van I love your work but so far you've sucked at the prediction thing.

    Actually I agree with most of your picks but vehemently disagree with your assertion that the Czech Republic will beat France. How are you going to say that about my boys? If I learned something this year it has been that French love conquers all.

    *Remembers all the fantastic displays of French bromance.*

  2. Sara: Are you sure you're not basing this France over Czech Rep decision on the hopes of a little French man-on-man action post tie? You do enjoy that a lot (not to mention a few others who will remain nameless).

  3. Rich! How dare you insinuate that my predictions are based on anything more than the quality of tennis these players have shown. :)
    Seriously, though, I genuinely believe that France are the better team and will win the tie. Either way, we should see some French bromance. If they win it'll be celebratory bromance and if they lose it'll be in an effort to comfort each other (and me).

    Either way, I expect their pictures plastered all over your blog.

  4. >>Rafael Nadal. How’s he feeling?<<
    *offers to feel Rafa and report back*
    Uhhhh...that IS what you meant, isn't it???? ;)

  5. Hi Van!

    Nice post. I agree (sorry Sara!) that the Czech Republic has a real chance with Radek and Berdych. I'd much rather have the French win it but you can never count on the French team, especially when they're considered the favorites!

    It would be nice if the Swiss team got one win in the early goings, just to make it more exciting for TV. I think your 4-1 prediction sounds about right. Poor Stan.

    I'm really looking forward to Spain vs. Serbia!

  6. GOTOTENNIS, you're on my list.

  7. • Hey Sara. Actually, I'm right below .500. If I were in baseball and that was my average, I'd be making millions! So, if you look at it like that, I'm doing pretty good! : )

    Maybe there'll be some Czech action for you? The "Worm" is out there playing.

    • Natch, it's all you!

    • Freakyfrites, thanks for getting my back! Yeah, that Spain-Serbia tie is Must-See TV. Spain's number 2 has to be on their toes, whoever it is.

  8. Is any of Davis Cup going to be on tv or are we depending on live streams??

    Spain all the way. It's Clay. Rafa could play with one hand tied and still win. I definitely don't think he's the weak link there. I'll just say i would be shocked if Serbia came out the winner there.

    France has a fantastic team - I see them winning their weekend pretty solidly.

    Sweden & Israel, the real shame is that nobody can get in to see it. :(

  9. Thank you B2012

    Van:"Maybe there'll be some Czech action for you? The 'Worm' is out there playing."

    *throws up in her mouth at the thought of the worm*

    I would rather lick the bottom of my shoe or worse yet, fight the Rafanatics over Rafa's gym socks and that is a battle not even Rafa himself could win.

    *is still fighting back the waves of disgust inspired by the worm*

  10. I thought all talk of "The Worm" was banned from DtL's comment section because it caused acute illness in many readers (hence Sara's vomit moment)?!

  11. I'm really hoping Spain can defend the title. I'm saying they totally win over Serbia.

    France vs. Czech Republic is hard to predict... Can't name a winner there.

    Germany vs. Austria: Usually I'm not really patriotic, but in this case I just have to be. Jürgen - I don't like you, but go kick the German's asses! ;-))
    (It's gonna be tough tho')


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