You got a live fifth rubber, you want David Nalbandian on your team. Even an old, injured, rusty version. After Nikolay Davydenko pulled himself together and evened things up 2-2 in Moscow on Sunday vs. Leonardo Mayer, David took to the court vs. current World No. 14 Mikhail Youznhy and beat him in straights. Not bad for a grizzled veteran ranked outside the top 100, who recently rehabbed from hip surgery and has barely touched a racquet in the last three months.
Kolya’s a winner in love, at least. This passage from daviscup.com made me giggle:
Davydenko raised his game on orders from his wife!
“I said to my wife, I don’t know how I feel, maybe it would be better if I retire today. She told me, you started playing on Friday and you need to continue through till Sunday and win,” Davydenko commented.
Argentina will face France, in France, in September’s semifinals. France posted a 5-0 smackdown at home this weekend, with Gilles Simon beating Nicolas Almagro and Julien Benneteau taking out Feliciano Lopez in the dead rubbers on Sunday. Something tells me the Spanish squad isn’t crying too much about it right now.
I stand corrected – at least one Spanish DC team member was crying “like a baby” this weekend. (Via Marca via Google Translate)
Rafael Nadal had a smile from ear to ear after winning the title. Top seed Nadal was wearing a scarf and a Spanish flag and had their faces painted in national colors. “I cried like a baby,” said the champion of Roland Garros and Wimbledon.
Nadal, who before the game showed his excitement by attending the final World Cup live, explained his feelings. “We have to celebrate a whole year, because this is unbelievable. It is very difficult to repeat this,” said the Balearic tennis star.
Nadal is confident that the whole of Spain “will be crazy. Imagine, I was watching the semifinals and in Mallorca and I felt amazing. The whole country must be very proud.”
Here’s a video of Rafa in full World Cup fanatic mode. Love the scarf as headband look (Video via Nadal News)
Rafa with a more traditional scarf look:
And yes, Rafael Nadal bit the World Cup trophy, too!
I love how disheveled and sweaty Rafa looks – he was obviously cheering and partying like a warrior down there in Soccer City. Vamos!
I wouldn’t blame Novak Djokovic for going on a bender this week – not from pure joy, but from relief and frayed nerves. He clinched the tie for Serbia on Sunday in Split, Croatia, taking out a seemingly stunned Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 in the fourth rubber.
“Personally, I had a lot of responsibility with the package that I carried on my back before this tie, but right now I feel so relieved that we won,” said Djokovic via daviscup.com. “We won in one of the toughest atmospheres against a team that has a lot of success in this competition.”
Nole and Co. will enjoy a hometown advantage in September’s semifinals, where they’ll face the Czechs.
Props to Tennis Channel for showing this match, since Spain vs. France was already in dead rubbers on Sunday.
In WTA news,Agnes Szavay won her home tournament in Budapest for the second straight year, beating Patty Schnyder (also for the second straight year) 6-2, 6-4.
Aravane Rezai continues to put up the big results with her big ground strokes. She won her fourth straight final this weekend, this one in Bastad over Gisela Dulko: 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
Oh, almost forgot. Congrats to Mardy Fish for winning the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, Rhode Island, beating Olivier Rochus 5-7, 6-3, 6-4. This was Fish’s first grass court title – he’s now won a title on all the surfaces.
Also in Newport this weekend – the International Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremony
Class of 2010 Inductees
– Gigi Fernandez and Natasha Zvereva, who won 38 titles together, including 14 Grand Slam events.
– Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, the legendary Australian doubles team who amassed 61 ATP doubles titles including 11 Grand Slam championships.
– Owen Davidson, 12-time Grand Slam tournament champion and one of just 13 people to have won a calendar-year Grand Slam at the Tour level.
– Brad Parks, the pioneering founder of wheelchair tennis, a game that is played in nearly 100 countries. Parks will be the first ever wheelchair tennis inductee.
– Derek Hardwick, past chairman of the British Lawn Tennis Association who was instrumental in the transition to the Open Era, will be inducted posthumously.