This past weekend, the United States Davis Cup team had a wide-open opportunity to upend Spain in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Davis Cup, but was unable to do so. Everything was in favor of the U.S. prior to the competition getting underway. The matches took place on home soil in Austin, Texas number one, and second-ranked Rafael Nadal of Spain was out of the matchup resting after an intense run to the Wimbledon finals. Should Nadal have played against the United States, it would have been an automatic win as Nadal never loses for his country in Davis Cup play.
New United States captain Jim Courier chose to battle with American veterans Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, and the Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike. Countering the U.S. roster, Spanish captain Albert Costa would send out Feliciano Lopez and David Ferrer for singles play, and the team of Fernando Verdasco & Marcel Granollers in doubles. In my mind, there was a very good chance that the U.S. would be able to get through the Spaniards, but boy was I wrong.
First to do battle was Mardy Fish and Feliciano Lopez. Lopez who had a magnificent Wimbledon run looked to still be hot with his monster serve and forehand. No matter, with a rowdy American crowd, and playing on hard court, Mardy Fish should have been able to beat Lopez in straight or perhaps four sets. Why would that be the case though? Spain has more heart and put forth more effort in Davis Cup play than any other country out there. Lopez was able to outduel Fish and the rowdy American crowd, coming through in five sets, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7(2), 8-6. This thriller of a first match put Spain on top 1-0 with Andy Roddick and David Ferrer to follow.
You might as well have just given Spain the second point before Roddick and Ferrer even got underway. After Roddick's embarrassing performance at Wimbledon, I have no confidence in him to win a big match ever again. Not like I had any confidence in him over the years in the first place, but going up against David Ferrer in Davis Cup play, he stood no chance. The only light at the end of the tunnel that Roddick could possibly of had in this match was playing on a hard court. Perhaps Roddick’s serve could of helped him out, but it actually failed him along with the rest of his game. Seriously, did you think Roddick would be able to beat Ferrer who is ranked sixth in the world, when he couldn’t even beat Lopez (ranked 28th) just last tournament? Ferrer, as per usual, showed his opponent no mercy and stepped all over Roddick, winning in straight sets, 7-6(9), 7-5, 6-3. The first two sets, I’ll give Roddick the benefit of the doubt, but 6-3 in the third was the equivalent of lying down on the mat voluntarily and letting Ferrer get the pinfall. I have nothing left to say about Andy Roddick until his next embarrassing loss or perhaps surprising win.
Down 2-0, the United States sent out what usually is a sure point for the U.S. in Davis Cup play, the team of Bob & Mike Bryan. The Bryan Brothers did what they do best and were able to take down the Spanish duo of Verdasco & Granollers, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. With the score now 2-1 in favor of Spain, the singles matches would flip, matching Mardy Fish against David Ferrer and hopefully do what Roddick couldn’t. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be as Ferrer proved to be too strong, coming out with a 7-5, 7-6(3), 5-7, 7-6(5) clinching victory for Spain.
The last match between Roddick and Lopez would not affect the outcome of the overall result. The decision was then made to cancel the last match scheduled between Roddick and Lopez. I could write you a brand new article ripping Andy Roddick and the United States for not playing this match, but frankly why bother? You would think Roddick would want some revenge against Lopez, but instead, he runs away with the rest of the U.S. team. Playing on your home soil and choosing to cancel the final rubber match is simply embarrassing. Somewhere in the world, Rafael Nadal is sitting on his couch with his feet up and a big smile on his face, knowing he had to do nothing for Spain in this matchup and can now come back if healthy to do battle with France in the Davis Cup semifinals.