Five thoughts on a Monday.
Federer is never going to win the Davis Cup.
Increasingly, it looks as though Roger Federer is never going to win what the Spanish call ‘The Salad Bowl’ (maybe in the Swiss cantons they also have an affectionate name for the Davis Cup trophy, ‘The Fondue Pot’ or something, but we digress). He has almost everything else in his portfolio of trophies – the four slams, the year-end championships, an Olympic gold. True, that gold was in the doubles, which he won alongside Stan Wawrinka at the 2008 Beijing Games, but you could see Federer taking gold in the singles on the Wimbledon grass this summer, especially as the matches will be best-of-three-sets, not the longer form used at the slams. It’s just not so easy to imagine him ever becoming a Davis Cup champion, after Switzerland lost at home in the first round to the United States. Like a puff of clay-court dust, another chance just disappeared from view.
Much was made of Federer’s comments about his friend and doubles partner Stan, the world number three apparently reportedly Wawrinka’s play. “I played well in doubles, but Stan not so much. He didn’t have his best match in singles. It’s a shame,” Federer, who lost his Friday singles rubber to John Isner, was quoted as saying, though some at the tie, including the player’s biographer Rene Stauffer, claimed they never heard such disparaging remarks. If Federer really did say that, that is hardly going to help his already skinny chances of holding up the Davis Cup. Rafael Nadal and Spain have won the team competition, so have Novak Djokovic and Serbia. But Federer could well be left with a blank. Federer is just going to have to make so with his 16 slams, with being the most successful player of all time.
A fine weekend for Dan Evans, the former nightclubber.
One weekend in a Glaswegian shopping centre, at the Braehead Arena, and Evans is no longer best known for his run-ins with the tennis authorities, for having his funding cut by the Lawn Tennis Association after he was once caught in a nightclub during the Wimbledon Championships. Evans won twice during the zonal tie against the Slovak Republic, in the opening and fifth rubbers. It will be fascinating to see what Evans, currently ranked the wrong side of 250, does next, both in his solo career, and in the Davis Cup, with Britain to play Belgium in April.
We will be seeing a lot more of Jim Courier’s suit
Unless it’s hot, when he will be wearing “slacks and a collared shirt”, the American captain is going to be wearing a suit. “It will be my uniform,” Courier said.
The Korda Scissor-Kick is back.
Fourteen years ago, Petr Korda won the 1998 Australian Open and then scissor-kicked. At the weekend, his golfer daughter Jessica was in Melbourne (so back in the same city as her dad’s triumph) to win her first professional title, and to celebrate she did what her father did, and bounded into the air.
Chris Evert is going through “a spiritual time”.
After 18 grand slam singles titles, and three divorces, Evert is still trying to work out who she is. She has been having therapy and “thinking about my life, my growth, my mistakes”. “It’s almost like I went from tennis to being a mom and then, being married a few times, I never really had a lot of time on my own, to improve myself and to be myself and love myself,” Evert said in an interview with The Times. “It’s been a spiritual time for me, too, going inside myself. Everyone goes through it. I think that everything with my kids growing up and not needing me as much, is a painful thing for me because I was always a mom. After tennis, that was my identity.”