Davis Cup dreams. . .AP photo via Yahoo!
After watching the emotional Davis Cup final between Spain and Argentina this weekend, Van Sias wonders what a Davis Cup title means to a player’s legacy.
Serves and Returns: Does the Davis Cup Still Matter to a Player’s Legacy?
By Van Sias
When it’s all said and done on his playing career, there’s one thing you’ll be able to say about Feliciano Lopez: He’ll always be a Davis Cup champion.
It’s something David Nalbandian — who more than likely, is out of the running for a Grand Slam singles title — was hoping to become this weekend. The premier team event in professional tennis is generally considered to be one of the game’s most prestigious titles. Everyone’s heard the tales of the dominant American and Australian teams of the past—and it seems if Spain, this year’s champ, is trying to emulate that.
Four of the five active Grand Slam winners in the top 100 of the ATP rankings — Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick and Juan Carlos Ferrero — have been part of Davis Cup-winning teams. The only one that hasn’t is Roger Federer.
But does he need it? His achievements are legendary. However, would a Davis Cup title put an end to any talk about who’s the greatest ever between him and Cup winners Pete Sampras or Rod Laver?
So the “serve” this week: Does the Davis Cup still matter to a player’s legacy?
My Take: Admittedly, I’m a huge fan of the event—even in its much-criticized current format. I believe it is important, legacy-wise, and can be measured on a player-by-player basis. For instance, with Nalbandian, it would be a nice cap to a career, especially as injury has slowed his prospects for other major titles. With Federer, I think it should matter more than an Olympic Gold medal in singles. Davis Cup and Olympic Gold both are achievements made under a national banner. However, Davis Cup is a part of tennis, while at the Olympics, the sport becomes a bit of an afterthought in the grander scheme of things.