Photo: AP Photo/Eric Gay via Daylife
Well, it was one hell of a tie, I’ll give it that. But why, oh why, did Mardy Fish have to lose the fourth rubber? And in such valiant style, too, rallying to win the third set off the Feisty Ferrer, breaking back almost in time in the fourth, looking so stoic in his terry headband? He kept the dream alive just long enough for me to consider cancelling my afternoon plans to watch Roddick play Lopez in a live fifth rubber. (It was the meaningless final rubber that ended up cancelled.)
“It was probably pretty high quality match for the most part,” said Fish, who was visibly upset by the loss. “The crowd was incredible. I had so much fun all weekend playing. I badly wanted to get to the point where we could get Andy out there to play in front of them, but it just didn’t work out.”
“That’s the hardest part for me,” said Fish (of killing the dream of a live fifth rubber). “To not deliver and let him (Roddick) take that last match would have been a great ending for the tie.”
The Spanish, of course, have many reasons to celebrate on 6th Street tonight. Not only have they beaten the U.S. team on American soil for the first time, they’ve also made a semifinal date with France on home (red) soil. (Argentina will play in Serbia.)
Photo: REUTERS/Mike Stone via Daylife
David Ferrer was spectacular this weekend, displaying all of the tools, talent, and toughness that make him a Top 5 competitor. Lopez, too, showed off the kind of form and confidence that could reap huge dividends going into the US hard court season. The Spanish Armada, even without Rafa, will be a major threat at America’s major.
But I think American tennis fans – especially the grizzled, stubborn set who remain devoted to Davis Cup – are the ultimate winners of this weekend’s tie. I was dang proud to see the 16,000 plus fans packed into the University of Texas stadium each day to support an international competition that so many in the media keep wanting to declare dead. Boo!
Photo: REUTERS/Mike Stone via Daylife.com