Thursday, November 29, 2007

Davis Cup: Band of Brothers

Updated December 4, 2007

Davis Cup Trophy Presentation




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Updated December 2, 2007

1st Singles: Roddick def Tursunov 6-4 6-4 6-2
2nd Singles: Blake def Youzhny 6-3 7-6(4) 6-7(3) 7-6(3)
Doubles: Bryans def Andreev/Davydenko 7-6(4) 6-4 6-2
1st Reverse Singles: Andreev def B. Bryan 6-3 7-6(4)
2nd Reverse Singles: Blake def Tursunov 1-6 6-3 7-5

USA: 2007 Davis Cup Champions!

"We've been the ultimate team, and it's just been a blast and it's been an honor to be a part of that." — Andy Roddick

We are the champions! Is anyone else feeling hungover (besides Andy, who was trying very hard to look and act normal and keep a straight face throughout today's dead rubber matches, hence the spaced out look on his face. Mardy Fish was also feeling the effects of a long night, once falling asleep on John Roddick's shoulder and then at another point he stole Andy's watch to play with.)

Video of championship point, with team celebration, and on court interviews:


It was mentioned to me that SkySports did not broadcast the part where Andy and James were hugging their moms in the stands, so I made a .mov file of it which you can download here.

DOWNLOAD highlights from Day 2 doubles here (video courtesy of claire. Thanks, claire!).

Here's a YouTube video of the beginning of the player's press conference yesterday after the Bryans won. Laughing and soaking wet with beer and champagne, you can hear Andy yelling at the press "Don't ask me any questions!"

The video came from a cool blog hosted by Willamette Week about one person's experience at Davis Cup. Lots of videos and original photos were posted. It's a funny read, so check it out.

Speaking of blogs, fellow tennishead and Roddick fan Craig Hickman attended the Davis Cup final in Portland and was fortunate enough to have tracked down the DC team at McFadden's where he met the friendly, happy players and got several photos of them. Click here.

Here are some more animated .gifs that I made to celebrate the USA win.

Mardy hugs AndyAndy hugging Bob Bryan

Click on the links to view the other gifs:

Bryan brothers celebration
Andy and James hug their moms
USA team with flag
Group celebration

More updates later. We can make this DC win a week-long celebration!

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1st Singles: Roddick def Tursunov 6-4 6-4 6-2
2nd Singles: Blake def Youzhny 6-3 7-6(4) 6-7(3) 7-6(3)



DOWNLOAD highlights from the matches here (video courtesy of claire).

Here are two more videos from the first singles match. The first video is the last point of Andy's match with Tursunov. Andy later said that it was one of the coolest moments in his life when the crowd gave him a standing ovation. The second video is part of Andy's on-court interview afterwards.

Somebody at Versus/Tennis Channel has a sense of humor: they used Andy's photoshopped photo from Men's Fitness magazine as his profile picture.


Animated .gif I made. I love how Andy was so pumped up after James' win.


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Stuck at work/school/got no Tennis Channel? You can read all the blow-by-blow action live here at Gamewatch.

You can listen to blow-by-blow action live on the radio here at the Davis Cup website.

You can also e-mail your questions to the Davis Cup radio hosts Eli Weinstein and Chris Bowers at live@daviscup.com.

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"In terms of similarities, I think off the court we're actually pretty similar. He probably wouldn't want me to admit it, but he reads a lot. He's actually a lot smarter than he pretends to be. I'm actually a lot dumber than I pretend to be, so we're pretty close in that regard." — James Blake, on the similarities between him and Andy Roddick.

I don't know about you all but I'm so excited about this final I can barely stand it. There's so much going on in terms of news and videos that I will be updating this website in pieces throughout the day, so check back for updates.

2007 Davis Cup Final: USA vs Russia
The draw:

Friday, November 30, 2007
Singles
Andy Roddick (USA) vs Dmitry Tursunov (RUS)
James Blake (USA) vs Mikhail Youzhny (RUS)

Saturday, December 1, 2007
Doubles
Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA) vs Igor Andreev/Nikolay Davydenko (RUS)

Sunday, December 2, 2007
Reverse singles
Andy Roddick (USA) vs Mikhail Youzhny (RUS)
James Blake (USA) vs Dmitry Tursunov (RUS)

Click here for US and International TV schedule of the Davis Cup.

In the U.S. on the Versus channel:
Friday, Nov. 30, 2007, 4:00pm EST to 10:00pm
Saturday, Dec. 1, 2007, 3:30pm EST to 6:30pm
Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007, 4:00pm EST to 9:00pm

Monday, November 05, 2007

Back in Action in Shanghai

Updated November 14, 2007


RR: Ferrer def Roddick 6-1 6-3
RR: Federer def Roddick 6-4 6-2
RR: Roddick def Gonzalez 6-1 6-4
RR: Roddick def Davydenko 6-3 4-6 6-2



Expected loss to a white-hot Ferrer. Too bad Andy had to end Shanghai on two bad notes but the good news is that he got at least two good matches under his belt and some good match play practice all around. Other than tweaking his back in the semifinal, he should be good to go come Davis Cup time in about a week's time. So Andy, rest up, relax with your friends and family, and eat lots of healthy turkey on Thanksgiving Day and we'll see you on Nov. 30.

Another day, another loss to Federer. Roger was playing very well (as he always does against Roddick. Something about Andy brings out the best in Roger) and the player formerly known as Andy Roddick barely showed up. Gone were the penetrating forehands, backhands, and everything in between. Roddick claiming earlier that he would be able to "swing freely" during this match never materialized. This song and dance is getting old and boring.

The best part about last night's match was Andy annihilating his racket in frustration. I hope that's not the injured heel he busted it on. RIP, busted Babolat No. 3,876. Download the video here (thanks again to claire)

Andy plays David Ferrer next in the semifinals. David Ferrer beat Andy in their last meeting in Cincinnati. David Ferrer is high on confidence and is playing out of his skin this fall season. David Ferrer returns well against big servers and can run down any ball. David Ferrer will be Andy's next nightmare match. Good luck to Andy. I hope he can find a way to win.

"Some days you have good days where everything feels pretty clean, and this was one of those. I wanted to take his time away. I didn't want to let him set up and try to hit those big shots. I thought I did that pretty well." — Andy Roddick, on his strategy for Fernando Gonzalez.

Download highlights of the Roddick-Gonzalez match here (video courtesy of claire. Thanks, claire!) and also here.

You can watch Andy's full post-match interview here. The official ATP interview with Andy after he defeated Gonzalez can be viewed here. More match highlights from sina.com here.

You can view other match highlights and player interviews over at tennis.com here. If you can't view the videos on their website here's Andy's interview after defeating Davydenko and Roddick-Davydenko highlights on YouTube.

Glory hallelujah, the ATP finally figured out that many fans such as myself were unable to view their "free" videos on their Masters Series TV website because they did not support Mac platform. They have recently started uploading their free content onto YouTube. Thank you, thank you, ATP, you finally did something right. I would apologize for all of the profane hate mail I sent due to their shortsightedness but I guess it all worked out in the end.

Now I'd like to see the ATP take the next step and start uploading complete match highlights from every tournament, not just the Masters Cup. YouTube can provide excellent, global exposure for a sport that desperately needs as much exposure as it can get, especially in the United States. Honestly, does it really help grow the sport at all if the Copyright Police are wasting their time going after the fans who are only trying to share the excitement of this great sport by uploading great shots, plays, and moments in tennis history? Where is the logic in that? The ATP should embrace this new media instead of trying to fight it. It can only help the sport.

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Posted November 12, 2007


RR: Roddick def Davydenko 6-3 4-6 6-2

"As [for] smashing racquets, for as many times as it's helped me, it's hurt me that many times also. It's just part of my personality. I've always been pretty expressive and emotional on the court. Sometimes it helps, sometimes not so much." — Andy Roddick


Here's a video of Andy's entire post-match interview. Thanks to claire for the find. Download the Roddick-Davydenko highlights here.

The two winners of the Red Group meet Wednesday night: Roddick vs Gonzalez. Federer will play Davydenko in the loser's RR. Let me repeat that: Federer in the loser's round robin. Can you believe that?

Speaking of Fernando' Gonzalez's shock win over Federer today, I feel that this hurts Andy's chances of beating Federer more than it helps him. For one thing, Roger was very angry about his loss today (his first RR loss at TMC ever) and all I can say is, Thank goodness he's meeting Davydenko next and not Andy. I don't want Andy to be on the receiving end of Roger's wrath. I'm not particularly anxious to see a repeat of their Australian Open semifinal match. With Federer being backed into a corner he now has to beat either Davydenko or Roddick to make the semifinals. Andy looked good in his match with Davydenko yesterday but obviously, after so many weeks off, he's still got the rust to dust off.


You can download highlights of the Federer-Gonzalez match here. There is also a short post-match video interview with Andy here.

Yes, He's Alive and He's in Shanghai


Tennis.com reports that Andy Roddick never thought for one second that he would not attend Shanghai. That's great Andy, but when people were e-mailing you asking why you weren't going then why didn't you release a short statement saying so? It would have spared your fans some unnecessary anxiety (speaking for myself, of course).
American Andy Roddick, trapped in a high mandarin collared shirt and looking uncomfortably like a turtle, said it’s "unfortunate" that tennis has been receiving so many unfavorable headlines. Roddick, who said he’s never been approached by anyone to fix a match, also scoffed at the notion of a player being poisoned: "I'm not scared to eat. All it takes is one person saying one thing to make a story."

Roddick himself has had a persistent rumor swirling around him in recent weeks, regarding whether he would turn up to play in Shanghai. Following the U.S. victory over Sweden in the Davis Cup semifinal in September, Roddick has spent much of his time rehabbing from heel bursitis and it was whispered that he would skip the trip to China to save his energy for the Nov. 30-Dec. 2 Davis Cup final against Russia in Portland, Ore.

Not so, according to Roddick. The top dog of American tennis said he never gave thought to not making the journey to Shanghai.

"I got a couple of emails about it, but it was always my intention to play here," Roddick said. “Playing here was probably one of the reasons along with Davis Cup why I wasn’t able to go to Paris [for the Masters event there earlier this month). Davis Cup is probably my top priority this year, but you’re not going to get in any better workout for Davis Cup than playing against this field.

"And, you know, it's such an honor, it’s an event unto itself here, so I was always coming."


There are videos available from the Masters Cup ceremony here (Andy appears 7:40) and here (Andy appears at 4:00).



Roddick Demands Hat on His Warrior


From People's Daily Online:
Capturing the confidence in Roger Federer's smile required some reflection, while Novak Djokovic's short hair demanded finesse. But Andy Roddick was the only one who requested a do-over — at least when it came to his trademark baseball cap.

All the players were given pictures of their statues before the tournament and were asked to offer suggestions. Roddick was the only one with a quibble. He apparently felt his baseball cap was a part of his public image and that it belonged on his terracotta. Sculptor Shen Xiaonan said the cap was not initially sculpted on his head because they thought it would obscure the statue's face.

"Roddick made the change. Originally it was without a baseball cap because it cast a shadow on the face," Shen said of Roddick's statue.

Here's another video about Novak Djokovic. Towards the end they show him joking with Andy about his habit of bouncing the ball dozens of times. Funny guys.

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Posted November 5, 2007

Missing in Action



Have You Seen This Man?


Matthew Cronin of Fox Sports recently spoke with Mike Bryan and Mike let it slip that Andy may or may not be going to Shanghai. Fans revolt in the streets. Roddick better hire a bodyguard if he's serious about not going. Sometimes I can't tell whether he's teasing, joking, or just being a blockhead.
Like close friends Andy Roddick and James Blake, it's the Davis Cup that's on the Bryans' minds. The U.S. hasn't won a title since 1995, and when the squad faces Russia in Portland, it will be the first time the Americans have played a home final since 1992. Roddick is so focused on the tie that he skipped Paris this week and may not show up in Shanghai, which he has already qualified for (he'll incur a huge fine if he doesn't appear). Roddick isn't injured, but is at home training in Austin, Texas.

Mike Bryan says that Roddick is "50-50" to make the trip to China.

"I know that a lot of people want him to play — his sponsors do and so does the tour and fans, but he's not sure yet," said Mike, who spoke to Roddick a few days ago. "He doesn't care if he finishes the year ranked No. 2 or No. 6. It's been his dream to win Davis Cup, and that's what he's thinking about and working toward. Maybe it would be good for him to go to Shanghai and gets some matches in and maybe get a win over Federer. The top guys — Federer, Nadal and Djokovic — have kind of distanced themselves from him this year and Andy doesn't want them to pull away any further, but Davis Cup is what's getting him going right now."

I have to wonder what Andy's thought process is if he really thinks that not playing any competitive matches before Davis Cup would help when he faces a strong Russian team full of good players who have been playing matches all season long. The Pros of playing Shanghai far outweigh any Cons. It's admirable that Andy is determined to win Davis Cup but his tunnel vision could also backfire on him. If he's skipping all of these tournaments in order to avoid injury then, ironically enough, he risks injuring himself even more after such a long layoff from competitive playing. Fabrice Santoro gave Andy a good workout in Lyon two weeks ago when Andy got bounced from the first round, but one good match isn't going to cut it.

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