Do S And Don Ts For The Us On This Years Davis Cup

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The expectation for the US team for the Davis Cup quarterfinals is high. The United States is forecasted to beat Chile on grass in Rancho Mirage, Calif. And France is given around a 45% chance of winning at Russia in the opposite quarterfinal tie, which could hinge on the status of Russia’s Marat Safin, still trying to regain his form after being sidelined with injuries.

Those are encouraging lines in regard to Winston-Salem’s efforts to land the Davis Cup semifinals in September. The U.S. will serve as host if the U.S. and France win and USTA officials have already tabbed Joel Coliseum as a possible site. If the U.S. loses, obviously, it won’t be the host of anything in September. If the U.S. wins and Russia beats France, the U.S. would travel to Russia.

What I do not understand is why some U.S. players pushed so hard to play the quarterfinal against Chile on a grass surface. That’s been the subject of discussion since the site was announced in late February. For example, Roddick does seem to come easier to play on grass; he won his only Grand Slam title on hard-court in the U.S. Open. Grass is not the best court for doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan. And Francisco Gonzalez, Chile’s top player, reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals last year before losing to Roger Federer. Those aren’t persuasive reasons to demand grass.

This week’s Nasdaq 100 in Miami is being played on hard-courts. After the Davis Cup, the Chileans will head to Europe for the clay-court season, but the Americans will either go to Houston or take some time off. So maybe it will all work out and the U.S. will benefit from playing on grass, and Winston-Salem will wind up getting its Davis Cup.

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