Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic via DavisCup.com
Sure, go ahead and bash him, but I really do think that Pete Bodo “brings it” on a regular basis. Here’s his pithy observations on the last weekend of Davis Cup action via Tennis.com:
In an astonishing show of either superiority or hubris, the Serbs decided that even at “50 or 60” percent effectiveness, Djokovic had a better chance of beating del Potro than did Troicki. Maybe Serb captain Bogdan Obradovic and his crew were just throwing numbers around loosely, but if I were Troicki I would have been more than a little bummed out by that analysis. And whatever else may or may not obtain, the one thing about which we can be sure is that Troicki would at least have played the match out to its natural conclusion, even if it was to be a swift and merciless one. For del Potro came to the ball ready to dance.
So that leaves the question hanging: was the decision to play Djokovic a wise one for all concerned—including the injured Djokovic? And who made the final call, given the potential risk of playing with a back injury? As Obradovic said afterward, “It was the decision of Novak and the whole team. On Saturday he practiced and felt a little pain. Then this (Sunday) morning he practiced and said he wanted to play. When the first player in the world is asking you to play, you let him.”
Djokovic himself was less politic: “At the end of the day it was my decision and it backfired.”
Random fact: The last time a Davis Cup tie was decided by a retirement was in 2008, when Nole retired with the flu in Moscow. Click here.
This weekend’s Davis Cup action has set my mind a reeling. Good thing we have the rest of the season, with all of its excuses and injuries, to ponder the implications. Per Bodo: “And while there’s no reason to overreact or panic, bear in mind that it was back problems that laid-low two of the most promising players of recent generations, Marcelo Rios and Miloslav Mecir.”
We all know how last year’s Davis Cup launched Novak Djokovic to Mount Olympus. So what gives, this year? Is it Del Po or bust?