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Davis Cup!

I think I have reached the point where I need to stop playing DJ Max Black Square on the train.  Songs rated 9 and above are beginning to induce RSI-like symptoms.  Besides, the Persona 1 remake has been burning a hole in my gaming pile for a while now.
 

Anyhow, this post is about the Davis Cup on the weekend!  It was Australia VS Japan, and the match necessary to decide if Australia could make it into the World Group Playoffs this September.  Considering Hewitt dragged himself back from Europe's claycourt season just for the event, it was a pretty sure deal for Australia.  I mean, Prince of Tennis and huge population disparity aside, tennis isn't exactly huge over there compared to here.
 
 
They resurfaced Pat Rafter arena - normally hard court - to clay for the event.  It was the first time I'd seen a match played on clay live!  There were a surprising amount of differences, not just in the play styles, but in court and player maintenance.  Like on every change of court a team would come out and sweep the court to even it out. 



And you COULD actually check where the ball landed by the marks on the court, which involved the chair umpire jumping down off his chair when he was unsure and running over to look.  There was also the player ritual before every point in tapping the clay off their shoes with their racquet.  Seems annoying!  Makes me wonder why people like playing on clay.

...Probably because of all the sliding.  It was epic.  *_*
 
Australia won the first two rubbers on the Friday.  I got to see the doubles rubber on Saturday - Paul Hanley and Lleyton Hewitt.  These guys apparently have a lot of doubles experience together, but it really didn't seem like it considering they stuck to their own sides of the court and any time a ball was in question Hewitt would be all 'yours!' or 'mine!'  Ah-Un strategy, anyone?  XD

To my amusement, the Australian formation did indeed get utilised a number of times.

 
The first set was actually pretty boring, until the Japanese team broke Hewitt's serve, at which point it was as though he woke up and started taking the match seriously.  Which didn't make it that much more exciting, honestly.  The Japanese team didn't even get on the board in the third set.  Final score was 7/5, 6/4, 6/0.  Yeah, their spirit was pretty thoroughly broken after they lost the second set.
 
Hewitt is still really annoying, though.  Must you go 'Come on!' after every single point, Hewitt?  I know it's a catch phrase and all, but I'm starting to think you're some kind of pokemon.

 

On Sunday it was reverse singles.  First match was Hewitt vs Yuichi Sugita.



That's Yuichi there.  This was actually a pretty exciting match!  Hewitt was never in any real danger - won 7/5, 6/2 - but the level of tennis was a lot higher and faster than Saturday's.  Also, Yuichi was some kind of crazy master of cordballs.  The ball hit the net only to drop like a stone onto the other side at least half a dozen times!  Hewitt was also less of a show pony - I think he must have only said 'Come on!' once, maybe twice.  Shock!

There was some kind of issue with Yuichi's cap partway through - he swapped to a different one, presumably because the first had become sweaty and gross by then, but it must have violated some sponsorship rule or something so they told him to take it off.  Still not really sure what the deal was with that.  Didn't seem to make any difference, though - he just played without for the last couple of games, the stadium is shaded, after all.
 
Second match was Carsten Ball VS Tatsuma Ito.  This was a crazy kind of match, in that it was way, way faster than any of the matches before it.  

 

This pic cracks me up.  Also fails to showcase just how freakishly tall this guy is.  Especially compared to Tatsuma Ito.



Seemed a bit unfair!  Carsten won 6/3, 7/6.  He actually broke a string on his racquet!  That's how hard he was hitting the ball.  Got a ridiculous number of aces, too, which is really surprising for clay.  You blinked and you missed it.  He must be terrifying on grass - come to think of it he gave Nadal a good run for his money at the Australia Open earlier this year.  Should be an interesting player to observe the next couple of years, and a consolation with Guccione being out with an injury for so long.
 
By the end of it, it was pretty sad that Japan didn't even manage to get a set.  I was quietly rooting for them on the Sunday.  There was a decent contigent of Japanese in the audience, and as embarrassingly patriotic as the mostly-Aussie crowd could be they were still polite and cheered any comeback attempts, but it had to feel a little lonely.

Still!  Exciting to get to see some tennis in the off-season here!

 

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
ixtey
May. 11th, 2010 12:21 pm (UTC)
Oh my gosh. Where'd you find that doujinshi? It's awesome. :))

lol ah-un strategy, they must've watched Prince of Tennis. :P I know practically nothing about rl tennis, though D:
sinnatious
May. 11th, 2010 12:25 pm (UTC)
It was one of aku-tenshi.org's scnalations I believe. There's more to the doujin if you want to go read the rest.

You know, I do seriously wonder how many of the tennis pros have sat down to watch Prince of Tennis at some point. Surely some of them must know about it!
makaioh
May. 11th, 2010 06:48 pm (UTC)
Tennis is awesome :D You're lucky to get to see a Davis cup match!

I think Hewitt likes to yell. Maybe he's Nanjiroh ;)
sinnatious
May. 12th, 2010 12:24 pm (UTC)
I know! I was stoked when I heard it was going to be here! This makes me hopeful for future events.

It's an interesting comparison. It should be interesting to see how his kid grows up!
firedraygon97
May. 12th, 2010 01:37 am (UTC)
Hahaha, awesome icon, and that doujin is FANTASTIC. XDD I wish I could have some national pride when watching tennis, but doubles isn't broadcasted and there are no good Canadian singles players. D:
sinnatious
May. 12th, 2010 12:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks, sillk made this icon, I do not have enough opportunities to use it.

I imagine it's difficult to get lots of tennis practice in Canada, what with snow for half of the year. :( Can't believe they never broadcast the doubles, though! Surely at least the finals-!

And national pride isn't all that great, really. Quite franky, it's getting kind of embarrassing at sporting events here. ^_^; I blame the Sydney Olympics.
agentlerain
May. 13th, 2010 06:09 am (UTC)
...You know when I asked you if I'd recognise any of the players, I do at least know Lleyton Hewitt. I am not that much of a hermit. :P And Australia versus Japan! *__* I am regretting not bugging you more about it, even though I am fail when it comes to tennis terms.

You said you were secretly rooting for Japan. :| You forgot about your curse and jinxed them.
sinnatious
May. 13th, 2010 10:24 am (UTC)
XD Well, at the time I didn't think Hewitt would be playing? Seeing as it clashed with some other big tournaments in Europe. He probably sacrified a couple of places in the rankings to attend the Davis Cup.

GASP! You're right! Oh noes!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )