Wednesday, September 26, 2007

U.S.A. in the Finals of Davis Cup

Don't get me wrong, it's great to be back in the Davis Cup final, but it's not like we did anything that spectacular over the weekend in Sweden. Sure, Andy Roddick came up big, but I would have been absolutely floored if he had lost any of his two matches. Roddick's first opponent, Joachim Johansson, hadn't played a tennis match since February, at least not to my knowledge. His opponent for the reverse singles, Jonas Bjorkman, is almost twice as old as some of the current ATP Tour stars. That said, it's not like Roddick controls his schedule of play. He took what was put in front of him and got the job done.

As usual, though, it was the Bryan Brothers who really did it for Team U.S.A. After James Blake stumbled to a wretched four-set loss at the hands of Thomas Johansson, it was tied up 1-1 heading into Saturday doubles. While you always have to feel good about the Bryans' chances, especially in Davis Cup, I wasn't about to chalk up an automatic win before the match was even played; not with them facing a veteran doubles standout in Bjorkman and one of the reigning U.S. Open champions in Simon Aspelin. The first set went just about how I thought the whole match would go: it took 24 points just to decide the first-set tiebreaker! The Bryans prevailed 13-11, probably demoralized their opponents and the Swedish fans, and cruised the rest of the way. With the U.S.A favored in both reverse singles affairs, that all but sealed the fate of this semi-final Davis Cup rubber.

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