Davis Cup Final to be Played on Indoor Clay and Federer to Play in the IPTL

Hey folks. I hope all is well. It’s been a bit quiet since the Swiss defeated Italy in the Davis Cup but recent news is that the French decided on indoor clay for the Davic Cup final which takes place on the weekend after the Masters Cup, and we have already been discussing it on my Facebook page. It was always gonna be indoors but it wasn’t known which surface the French would opt for. In the end indoor clay makes the most sense for them for the following reasons:

  1. The Masters Cup is played on indoor hard and of course Roger and Stan will be there while it’s unlikely that a French player will be there. This will give the French players plenty of time to prepare on the clay while Roger and Stan will have less time to prepare on a different surface from which they played on at the Masters Cup.
  2. The fact that Roger and Stan will play the Masters Cup means that they will be more tired than the rested French. They will have a few days to recover after London but they will be off to France to start preparing for the Davis Cup tie and deal with the media. And given that clay is the most physically demanding surface this makes sense for the French too. If Roger and Stan play doubles they will have to play three best of five set matches in three days. Now that is a lot of tennis and could take its toll. In this way the French can force Roger out of the doubles. We know the French have a lot of depth and many good doubles players, while the same can’t be said for the Swiss. If Roger does not play doubles, which is a good possibility, then the French will probably win the doubles. This is still OK if Roger wins both his singles matches. If he sits the doubles out he will be expected to do so, while Stan will probably play doubles and therefor has a bigger chance of being tired and losing a singles match.
  3. Then there is the question of clay being the Swiss number one’s least favorite surface. We all know Roger is a great clay court player but he is just better on hard court. So I think the French figured if they can force Roger out of the doubles then clay is the surface on which they have the best chance to steal a singles win over him. Tsonga did straight set Roger in that French Open semi last year and Roger only just scraped by him in Monte Carlo this year. So he could be a danger to Roger on clay. But then again he could be a danger to him on hard court too. And as far as Stan goes his favorite surface may be clay, so that could backfire for the French.

In the end I don’t think the surface is such a big deal but of course the French had the advantage of choosing the surface and they were gonna try to make the best of it. But we have seen how choosing clay backfired for the Swiss when they chose it at home against the USA in 2012 and they got whitewashed 5-0. So this is mostly speculation and like I said we know Fedrinka are very competent cay court players.

Will we see something like this again come November?

Now onto something different namely the fact that Roger will play in the International Premiere Tennis League on December the 7th and 8th in Delhi, India. This decision comes after the withdrawal of Nadal after his usual injury excuse, even though he has made it clear he will play a full indoor season. I guess he is not even trying to hide anymore. So the first thing that bothered me about this decision from Roger was that he is replacing Nadal. This means Nadal gets needed rest while Roger misses out on needed rest. The Australian Open next year will be very important for both players and now it seems like Nadal is doing the wise thing while Roger is not. I don’t know how long Roger will be in India. Someone on Twitter said two weeks. The matches are only a set long and it is only two matches, but it is the travelling and the dealing with media.

I am not saying it is the wrong decision, but I do have questions about it. Roger is usually very good with scheduling but in the past there has been a few questionable decisions regarding exhos he played. Most notably the one he played at the end of 2007 with Sampras in China and then falling ill with mono. Then there was the South-American tour at the end of 2012 where he developed the back problems afterwards. It just seems to me that after a busy season it is better to take a break than going on tours. He already has the exho with Stan as it is. That said, Roger is not the selfish type and it is also important that he thinks about the sport as a whole and to give back to the sport that gave him a great life. I am not second guessing him. I am just raising a few questions because 2014 has been such a great comeback season and I’d like him to keep the momentum going into 2015.

I am especially looking forward to the Australian Open because Roger may not have reached his best level yet after the long slump of 2013 and all the changes he made since. He may also be able to get the #2 ranking by the end of this season which could help his draw a lot at the Australian Open. So I don’t want to see him jeopardize any chance of winning #18 at a slam where he has been very consistent over the years. But I am in no position to question his decision anyway since he has a very good record with scheduling and I don’t know his thought process. I am just speculating some more for the fun of it and I was wondering what your thoughts are on these issues?

Posted in Davis Cup, Uncategorized.

16 Comments

  1. Hey Ruan, this is the first time m commenting on the blog though have been following it for 3 years now. I hope you can recognize me as I keep commenting on your fb page. Now back to the development with Roger, the first thing that came to my mind after he opted to play in the league was God this seems like the south American exhos n he again would be fatigued for the new season but as you said he is smart scheduler so let’s hope and trust in him. I am excited he is coming to India :-) hope you doing great there in Thailand.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Hey Rhitik, great to hear from you after all this time and yes of course I recognize you! At least this is not the same distance as S-A and he won’t be there as long. I’m happy for the Indian fans.

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  2. You’re right Ru-an, even I feel Roger will be better off resting in the off-season than playing IPTL. But he’s coming to play in my country so it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to go watch him play. Hope I can make it! :-) He has a huge fan-base in India too, so definitely the fans here will be delighted.
    Regarding the Davis cup, I feel the Swiss will win it. Roger has set his goals clear already so I hope he achieves it!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah I think the Swiss will win the DC too but the AO is more important, and therefor I don’t like that he is going to India, especially replacing NAdal to do so. Nadal is setting up for another big run at Roger’s slam count next year and Roger could really use that one extra slam to make it harder for NAdal. I think he could be shooting himself in the foot.

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    Nakul Reply:

    The fact that he replaced Nadal makes it sound even more bad actually. If he had initially agreed to play then we would have digested this news better. But I think Nadal won’t have easier paths to any grand slams in the future(except FO maybe) since the young guys are stepping up and Djoker will be back stronger next year, especially at AO, since it’s his best slam. I wonder what Murray has left for the future though.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    It looks like Murray’s slam winning says are over Nakul but now there is Stan who can be a serious threat even though he is inconsistent, and like you said several young players are coming through. And you are right. If Nadal has not withdrawn or if he didn’t play in the first place it would have been easier to digest Fed’s decision.

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  3. Yeah, stupid decision to play IPTL (sorry to fan in India). I get it doing it for the greater good which I think he has already done enough. DC on clay is going to be brutal so extra rest is needed which I think both exho and IPTL is really a stupid decision. Just don’t get Roge sometimes.

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  4. Ru-an, can’t believe myself how I am so certain what I think Roger should do and what he should not do that in the end I’ve decided to go back to being just a FAN. And whatever tours etc., he decides to play I’ll just hope for a good outcome…..but can’t help thinking why did he have to replace Nadal!!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Same here Elizabeth. I don’t like that he replaced Nadal but what can you do? Just gotta accept and hope for the best. But yeah I can’t help but repeat that the replacement of Nadal bothers me.

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  5. Hello all,

    I don’t mean to change the subject, but I have a feeling that Nadal’s career is about to be finished. Does anyone else have a similar feeling?

    I won’t be surprised if he wins another slam or two, and feelings are just feelings – and suspect for that reason – but I’m just saying… it kind of feels like the 11th hour for him.

    :-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t think he is quite finished yet Joe, even though the body is breaking down more and more. He will have at least one more strong run where he wins slams. I still think he will catch Roger and depending on whether Roger wins another slam he could surpass him as well.

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  6. The organizers probably offered him a cool 2 or 3 million (USD) to come over to India. Think about it, he gets a ton of money for not much work, gets to visit India for the first time where he has a lot of fans, would have been hard for him to turn it down. Basically a paid vacation.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Agree. He would be crazy to say no.

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  7. There are a lot of very very rich people in India these days looking to invest in sports other than cricket. Take the IPL, many cricketers make more for a few weeks of cricket than they probably made in their whole life. Tennis is next. It will be interesting to see how the Grand Slam organizers respond. Obviously they are the most prestigous, but there’ll be more and more tennis events in the future (especially in Asia) where the pros can make as much if not more money than the slams.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Right Sridar. Roger is thinking about the future of tennis. He is selfless like that.

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    Charlie Reply:

    Yeah it has always been this way, even in the 70s, 80s and 90s there was the Grand Slam Cup which paid $2 million to the winner, which is worth more like $5 million now due to inflation, there will always be these sort of competitions that pay obscene amounts of money.

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