Archives for February 2012

The US Davis Cup team as shaped by Captain Courier

FROM THE US VS. SWITZERLAND DAVIS CUP TIE IN FRIBOURG – Throughout his playing career, Jim Courier was known as one of the great workers. He wasn?t short of talent, but while the likes of Ilie Nastase, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer got to the top by finding a work ethic to go with their sublime natural gifts, Courier belongs in the category of those whose determination to make the most of what he had drove him to the very top.

Those attributes are starting to show in the US Davis Cup team Courier is now captain of. He is too smart to take the limelight away from his players, notably John Isner, the architect of the USA?s astonishing 5-0 victory over Switzerland, but there’?s no doubt the culture Courier is instilling into the US Davis Cup team is one where defeat can be tolerated, but only as long as the task has been approached in the right way.



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A first day stunner in Switzerland

Big John stunned Federer


Mardy Fish gutted out the most important win of his career when he outlasted Stanislas Wawrinka in five sets and then John Isner absolutely shocked Roger Federer to give the United States a stunning 2-0 lead against the Swiss in a first round Davis Cup tie on indoor clay in Fribourg.

Props go to both players for maintaining self- belief, but a lot of credit must go to US Captain Jim Courier, who kept both guys focused on the task and somehow convinced them that on the US

The Rock: Davis Cup stunner over Switzerland part of US lore

Courier captained a US team to a win over Federer and as player won some DC classics. Ron Cioffi/

The United States 3-0 shutout of Switzerland away on red clay this weekend is not only one of the biggest upsets in modern Davis Cup history considering that US men have fallen off on dirt since the retirement of Andre Agassi and that they managed to beat arguably the greatness player ever, 16 time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, and a very good one in Stan Wawrinka away, but may just be the greatest road victory in the US

Davis Cup thrills everywhere

All Canadian eyes will be on Milos. MAL TAAM PHOTO

Outside of what should be a thrilling U.S. vs. Switzerland World group tie (see Chris Bowers’ article on this site), there are seven others ties about to go off on Friday. Here

Federer Appears Ambivalent About Davis Cup

Federer doesn't seem very inspired by the Davis Cup. Lum photo


By Chris Bowers, Special to


Fed Cup drama: Germans in tears, Azarenka pulls out vs Mchale

There were no smiles for Lisicki this time around


There is nothing like an Olympic year to produce interesting Fed Cups ties, as many players must participate in order to maintain their Olympic eligibility.

The most intriguing World Group tie is taking place in Stuttgart, where Germany lost two close matches to the defending champs from the Czech Republic. The Germans have a strong team, but both Sabine Lisicki and Julia Goerges left the court in tears and they were unable to get over the line at home. The competent lefty Iveta Benesova upended Lisicki 2-6 6-4 6-2, while Petra Kvitova overcame Goerges 3-6 6-3 10-8. The tie is not over yet but it will take rapid emotional turnaround for the Germans to get it done.

There was a bit of craziness in Biella, Italy, where Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine stunned Francesca Schiavone 6-1 6-2. The tie is now locked at 1-1 as Sara Errani bested Kateryna Bondarenko. One would have to think that Schiavone is either ill or hurt and that Roberta Vinci might get the call for Sunday singles.

As expected, Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova easily won matches for Russia against Spain. Belgium and Serbia split matches with Jelena Jankovic besting Kirsten Flipkens 7-5, 7-5 and Yanina Wickmayer overcoming Bojana Jovanovski 6-4, 6-4. That