Saturday, November 22, 2008

Davis Cup Final actually to be a contest

Feliciano Lopez won a mighty victory against Del Potro
photo credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Wozniacki won, Zahlavova lost, Rus won, Malek lost and Roddick hired Larry Stefanki to listen to his excuses for the next six months.

Nalbandian beat Ferrer and Lopez roared Spain back into contention with a mighty victory against Del Potro who also injured himself. Do the Nadal-less Spain now have a chance against the might of Argentina? Davis Cup is the only time in the whole year that doubles becomes important. For the rest of the year you can safely ignore doubles and the antics of doubles specialists in the secure knowledge that they are either failed singles players or singles players practising. But for the middle day of D-Cup suddenly doubles screams back with a vengeance and we all of us must pay attention to the whims of this most irrelevant of tennis oddities, the doubles match. Now, we know that once doubles was important, once doubles titles were well-fought for and eagerly anticipated but that time is gone. In the current era no top singles players play doubles or take it seriously if they do. Doubles is left confined to those who cannot or will not play singles and is rightly ignored but both fans and tournament organisers. But today all will focus on the doubles teams of Acasuso / Calleri and Lopez / Verdasco, or whoever the captains finally choose, because the country that wins the doubles will only have to win one of the two reverse singles while the loser of the doubles will have a mountain to climb. Today (but only today) tennis belongs to doubles.

So what is it with Feliciano Lopez? We all wrote him off years ago as a good-looking, chronic underachiever and suddenly he does this to Del Potro in the final of finals? What’s going on here?

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