A couple interesting stories:
In the say-it-ain’t so category, Rafael Nadal is not planning to show up in Austin for the Davis Cup quarterfinal tie vs. the U.S.A. this July 8-10. According to Spanish sports journal La Marca, Nadal does not relish the prospect of boarding a Texas-bound plane the day after the Wimbledon final to play on American hardcourts. La Marca reports that after playing more matches than anyone this season (55, of which he’s won 48), Rafael Nadal has decided he needs a month of recovery time after Wimbledon winds down.
Captain Costa has confirmed the following line-up: David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco, Feliciano Lopez and Rafael Nadal sub Marcel Granollers.
Great news for Jim Courier and Co., crap news for everyone but the most fervent fans of Team U.S.A. Like when Roger Federer ducked out of the 2009 tie in Birmingham, Alabama, I imagine ticket holders of all nationalities are feeling a bit miffed. Yes, I understand the problems with scheduling, fatigue, etc. but as a Davis Cup fan-zoid I just really, really wish the big international stars would show up to play Davis Cup in the States every once in a while. Sigh. . . at least Roger Federer is confirmed – for now – for Team Switzerland’s sad little Europe/Africa Group I tie vs. Portugal in Berne. Not that it will be televised here.
In the slasher film category, Tennis.com has more first-hand details on Serena’s recent medical problems:
Serena Williams’ longtime hitting partner and friend Sasha Bijan tells the Serbian newspaper Vecernje Novosti that on the night she cut both of her feet in a Munich restaurant, she had just had a pedicure and was wearing slippers, when a waiter dropped a glass on her feet. “It was the most blood in my life have I seen, even in films by Quentin Tarantino,” Bijan said.
Bijan also said that when Serena suffered a pulmonary embolism in February that the situation almost go tout of control.
“She suddenly started to vomit blood through her mouth. It was a disaster. We were all in a panic, but we were calm enough to take her to the hospital. In those moments, no one knew what was happening, it was chaos.”
To go from vomiting blood to the second week of Wimbledon in less than six months is quite extraordinary. This underlines last week’s theme: Wimbledon Is Special. Click here for more on that.
By the way, Serena was asked at the start of Wimbledon if she ever considered legal action against the restaurant with the butterfingers waiter. I thought this was interesting, since I was wondering about it, myself. Here was her answer:
Q. Do you hold the restaurant where the incident took place culpable?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. At the end of the day, they can’t do anything for me. I can’t do anything for them. There’s absolutely nothing that can be done. I don’t really dwell on the past. What can I do? What can they do?
Q. You come from a litigious culture. You’ve lost $6.5 million potentially that you could have earned as the result of the negligence. I mean, what was the restaurant called?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Honestly, I don’t know the name. I can tell you, I’ve never been like that. I’ve never been like a greedy person. I’ve been sued before. It was a terrible feeling. I would never want to put anyone through that. It was what it was.
Serena plays Marion Bartoli in Monday’s Round of 16.