The Davis Cup Quarterfinals were played at the Frank Erwin Center on the University of Texas campus this weekend. The USA team competed against current first-ranked team, Spain. Davis Cup matches have never been played in Austin before. The event was sold out.
A team needed three wins to advance to the next round. Two singles matches were scheduled for Friday, one doubles on Saturday, and then two more singles matches as needed on Sunday. Each day started at 2 PM with a parade of flags representing all participating countries. Players and coaches were introduced, followed by each country’s national anthem. Local blues musician Ruthie Foster sang the Star Spangled banner on Saturday.
The first match between American Mardy Fish and Spaniard Feliciano Lopez took 4-1/2 hours to play. Bill had warned me that Davis Cup matches are noisy. Despite chants of “U-S-A” and “Let’s Go Fish,” Mardy Fish lost in five sets: 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7, 8-6.
On Saturday, twins Bob and Mike Bryan played doubles against Spaniards Fernando Verdasco and Marcel Granollers. Doubles is more exciting to watch…especially since the Bryan boys won: 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Doubles is faster too. After Friday’s marathon, I was pleased that we walked out of the Erwin Center before 5 PM.
The USA team needed to win two matches on Sunday to advance to the semifinals. Bill was prepared to stay as long as they had a chance; I was getting dangerously close to my too-much-tennis-in-one-weekend limit. Mardy Fish played David Ferrer in the first match of the day…and lost in four sets: 7-5, 7-6, 5-7, 7-5. Since Spain had already won, the second match between Roddick and Lopez was cancelled. And so we left and went home.