I’d be seriously remiss if I let the weekend go by without talking about Men in Tracksuits i.e. this weekend’s Davis Cup World Group First Round.
Here’s who’s playing:
Defending champs Serbia (no Nole) vs. India in Novi Sad, Serbia
“It’s definitely a great opportunity for all of us to show that we are a strong team even if Djokovic is not here,” said Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic,
Sweden (le Sod) vs. Russia (uh, Tursunov) in Sweden in Boras, Sweden
Czech Republic (Berdych, no Worm) vs. Kazakhstan (Korolev) in Ostrava, C.R.
Argentina (Nalbandian the Godfather, Monaco) vs. Romania (Hanescu) in Buenos Aires, Argentina
“Davis Cup is completely different from the tour… the pressure, the people, the team. I enjoy very much playing in front of my own crowd,” says Nalby.
Chile (Massu, no Gonzo) vs. USA (ridiculously stacked team of Roddick, Isner, Bryans, Courier) in Santiago, Chile
“I think I’m the right amount of nervous,” (new DC captain) Courier said. “I have that excited kind of nervous which is what I’d expect to have at the moment. I’m not sure what I’ll exactly feel like tomorrow when we walk out there but it’ll be a different experience. I’ve thought a lot about it.”
Belgium (Malisse, Rochus) vs. Spain (ridiculously stacked team of Nadal, Lopez, Verdasco, Ferrer) in Charleroi, Belgium
“If I’m here, it’s because physically I’m 100 per cent,” says Nadal. “I’m very motivated to play against a great rival like Belgium in a competition as important as this.”
Croatia (Cilic, Karlovic) vs. Germany (Kohlschreiber) in Zagreb, Croatia
Austria (Melzer) vs. France (Llodra, Simon, Chardy and my least favorite tennis player) in Vienna Airport Hanger 3, Vienna, Austria
Now for the fun part:
Juan Monaco, the James “I don’t give a flying f*ck” Franco of tennis:
Nalbandian In the Drivers Seat is the headline at DavisCup.com. Duh:
Hanescu, the definition of strong, silent, mysterious. The man’s either a spy, a 1950’s illustration, or a GI Joe figurine, I just can’t tell which:
Wow, that Cilic guy sure is short:
You play tennis, remember?
Belgium decides to prepare for the unexpected:
Maybe they’re going overboard. . .
The Spanish are unimpressed, or perhaps just confused:
Do not underestimate Ferrer:
Lopez can’t quite find the joy in everyday interactions:
Though he puts on his bravest model face:
Courier’s feeling confident about his team’s chances vs. Chile – or is he stuck in a state of perma-smug?
Soderling vs. Mr. Kirilenko:
Photo: Srdjan Stevanovic via DavisCup.com