I promise this is my last Davis Cup-related post until the finals!
I just saw something that's kind of big: The matchups for next year have been released, and there's a pretty huge one that caught my eye. The U.S. team will be hosting the Swiss next year! I'm definitely holding off on making any bold, crazy, what-have-you predictions on that one because if Roger Federer plays, it could be a wrap. I mean, what surface would you choose to have a shot against him? Nails? The best chance would be if Stan Wawrinka got tight, but that's not entirely likely.
You can't even say the doubles point would be a given, because look what happened in the Olympics, where R-Fed and Stan (or Federinka, as I saw on GoToTennis!) took out the Bryans. Yeesh! Talk about tough matchups! This one worries me more than the one against Spain did, which wasn't due to Rafael Nadal, but was more about how I thought David Ferrer could be a weak link.
Speaking of Spain, their 2009 path won't exactly get off to a cakewalk-type start as they host Serbia, which will be probably be led by Novak Djokovic. Again, I'm pretty sure Rafa's going to be OK, but anybody else you name, you have to be concerned with them going against Djoko.
France plays the Czech Republic away, which can be a toss-up because both squads feature players you don't know what you're going to get from them: France could throw out Gael Monfils or Richard Gasquet and the CR will probably feature Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek: unpredictable, all.
Croatia hosts Chile and I'm pretty sure they're going to pick glass or something as fast and slick to play on to help its big servers. Russia's traveling to Romania, which should be a cakewalk for Nikolay Davydenko and the boys. Israel's going to Sweden, and I would assume the Swedes should be OK there, save for the doubles, where Israel's Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram should be able to handle anything the hosts have to offer.
Argentina, which I guess never has to play an away tie again, it looks like, is hosting the Netherlands, which I think is even weaker than Romania as a World Group participant. If the Dutchmen take a set, I'd be highly surprised. And the final matchup has Austria against Germany, who's playing host. Germany is going to have to be careful as to which surface it picks. I think Jurgen Melzer's capable of beating any aging star (Tommy Haas, Nic Kiefer, Rainer Schuettler) Germany throws out, on any surface.
Again, sorry for the extra Davis Cup post. Just look at it this way: At least you won't have to read a preview here next year when the matches go down!
An old friend of mine and I used to talk tennis for hours, whether it was our own games or what was happening in the pros. I've started Tennis Talk, Anyone? to, well, talk tennis with an even broader crowd! My name is Van Sias and I've been playing for 20 years now, and not only am I player, I'm a huge fan of the game as well: pro, amateur, you name it. I'll post links to news items related to the sport, and offer my own personal opinion, predictions and hopefully get some of yours as well.