Google Down the Line!: VANtage Point: FED CUP follow-up, Rome rules

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

VANtage Point: FED CUP follow-up, Rome rules

(Hey readers! I'm sure you've noticed a significant slow down in DtL posts. Well, you AREN'T insane, at least not right now. Life has decided I need to focus on some other things in my personal world like, oh, work that actually pays me something. I will PWP - post when possible. In the meantime, enjoy another edition of VANtage Point!)

Hey everyone and welcome back to VANtage Point, your weekly dose of up-close glances at tennis tournaments around the world. When last we left off, VP predicted the U.S. could put on a decent showing against the Czech Republic, but little did we know the squad had bigger goals than that! What will happen this week? Stay tuned! (You’re supposed to read that with an announcer’s voice for added effect!)

Anyway, let’s get on with the Point, shall we?

A Look Back: The Fed Cup finals are set now as both Italy and a surprising U.S. team both pulled off upsets this past weekend over Russia and the Czech Republic, respectively. Both squads really pulled together with big performances at crucial moments. And I have to tell you this: Admittedly, I’ve been kind of lukewarm about Fed Cup in the past, but if you get action and clutch play like what was on display this weekend, then sign me up as a full-fledged fan!

This Week’s Spotlight:
Ever since I was a wee VANtage Pointer, the ATP Masters 1000 Internazionali BNL D’Italia has been one of my favorite tournaments on tour. I became a fan of it waaay back when, in 1989, watching Andre Agassi and former Argentine Davis Cup captain Alberto Mancini duke it out in the finals, with Mancini winning. Novak Djokovic is the defending champ. What? A clay tournament without Rafael Nadal holding the title? He lost early last year and Roger Federer lost in the quarterfinals. They’re back, with all the usual suspects. And what’s this? Sightings of Americans in a clay-court tournament draw? Well, one of them is already gone as James Blake has already lost. To a qualifier, no less.

Players to Watch: You know who I think is rounding into decent form and could make a good run here? Nikolay Davydenko. I think he’s gradually getting his legs under him after missing so much time this year. Also, I think Tommy Robredo can make a good run at the event. Andy Murray has a pretty tough draw, and I’m anxious to see what he does in the second round against Juan Monaco.

The Final Four: Shock of shocks, I’m picking Nadal to get that far and take out Davydenko. On the other side of the draw, I think it’ll be Robredo versus David Ferrer, with Ferrer winning that all-Spanish matchup.

And the Winner Is: It’s déjà vu all over again as Rafa takes out Ferrer for the second week in a row.

Van Sias writes the blog Tennis Talk, Anyone?


  1. Thanks Van, as always, for your insights!

    I agree - this weekend has made me a Fed Cup fan. I would've loved to see the Italy vs. Russia tie as well, but U.S.A. vs. Czech Repub. offered a ton of drama, anyway.

    Hats off to Mary-Joe for forming such a clutch team. Really impressive.

    Rich - We all miss you! Hope you'll be back soon. (Totally understand the work vs. blogging vs. life conundrum.)

  2. Rich, do you mean to tell me that ogling pictures of Rafa all day long isn't paying me anything? Well hell, I gotta go find real work, too.

  3. Gosh Narik, if *that* pays, I'd be one of the richest woman in the wurrrld.

    Good luck Rich. I just had a job interview today. The nerves almost killed me.

    And Van, I always enjoy Vantage point!

  4. Narik,
    You need a rimshot. I mean that in every way possible.

    I cry myself to sleep at night without you. WHY Tennis Channel doesn't call you for a weekly program is beyond comprehension. Oh, *hits self on head* that's right, they're idiots.

    I'm not into Fed Cup, but maybe Mary Jo should coach Federer. Just sayin'.

    Van or Richie, thanks for the Rafa pic! natch very happy now. :D

  5. Good to see you back even if it's just an italicized notation! I hope real life treats you well.

    I've been to several blogs and been somewhat surprised to read picks for Ferrer to make a deep run at Rome. I just didn't see it happening. It seemed like the back-to-back tournament thing would depress his chances of making it into the second round or barring that, out of the second. Currently the scoreline in his match is sadly proving me correct. ;_; I think Fed has a relatively easy ride into the semis, if he has his game face on. Murray's draw is pretty tricky and could understandably upset him but ranking could also hold true so toss-up. Strangely enough I find myself giving the edge to Davydenko should he get far enough to meet him. Nadal's draw is definitely tough from 2nd round to (potentially) last; I see him coming through though. Djokovic's draw has tough opponents but he'll get to the semis and it's a toss-up between him and Fed in my opinion.

  6. ¿Querés saber los motivos que llevaron a Guillermo Coria a decirle adiós al tenis profesional?
    Entonces, no podés dejar de visitar Tenis en Español

  7. Yes Rich, you are very well miss, but its completely understandable what you and many of us are passing in this tough moments... and like Béla Károlyi said "shake it off baby...shake it off"!!

  8. Hey Rich, Guillermo Coria announced his definitive retirement from tennis yestarday during an interview. You can get more info at Fue Buena. Certainly a baller we all miss.
    Aaaaaand, Gastón Gaudio won a match! Challenger match, but hey, we can't get too picky whith this guy, right?

  9. I just watch Juan Monaco beat Murray....I always forget how hot Monaco is until clay court season rolls around...we need to get this guy in a speedo :)

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  11. Aw, Coria is such a cutie. I will miss him for sure.

    Terry Lee,
    You said a mouthful! ;)

    *waves to Richie, blows kisses*

  12. I thought Davydenko and Ferrer were in good shape here going in: I guess not! Looks like my anxiousness about Murray-Monaco was right: I guess that's more Monaco for you all to see!

  13. well u'll have to redo ur final four...cuz davydenko and ferrer area already out and tommorow Robredo goes against Djokovic, so I doubt he'll advance!

  14. Once they're picked Anon 12:15, I stick with them!


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