Monday, 21 September 2009

A Deserving Loss

Great Britain did indeed lose their Davis Cup Tie against Poland- no real surprise, Andy Murray won his match fairly comfortably which meant the 5th and decisive match would be between our current number two (not by rankings just by who they've picked for today, a filtering process which I would recommend they change) Dan Evans and their number 2 Pryzsiezny (I spelt that from memory, I though you should know). Przysiezny ranked about 380 places below Evans who is just outside the top 300 should have been easy to beat.  But never underestimate the British ability to grab defeat from the jaws of victory.  Evans lost in 3 sets, and it seemed obvious to me from the outset that he would- not based on his abilty as he is tipped to defo break the top 100 (we're really aiming high).  But rather his body language during his first match, which he also lost in straight sets.  He was hanging his head and looking like a beaten man after the first set, he never looked dynamic or confident, not even a pretence of it.

Post match he said that he believed he played ok, and just needed to do 'more of the same' on Sunday.  Now I know that the score line doesnt always tell the full story and there are numerous factors within any sports, but to lose in 3 sets and say you're just gonna do 'more of the same', seems, well, mental?  Apparently this was also the advice he had recieved from his coaching team, kinda makes you wonder whether this was an elaborate punk- but who was being punked its hard to tell.  During these enlightening mini interviews I delcared aghast (to an entirely empty room, but thats a different story) 'its another andy murray'.   While some like Andy's monosyllabic-i never smile or look like I enjoy what I do- rough around the edges- totally not a media darling attitude to life, and while young Dan Evans is still only 19 and 19 yeard old men are , you know, like 12 and cant really be expected to be a press delight, I compared this to other tennis players of a similar age and fear the Brits come up short. 

Rafa Nadal won the Frech Open when he was 19, Andy Roddick and Marat Safin the US Open when they were 20, and although they may all have had unfortunate experiments with facial hair and probably written guitar ballads or epic poetry for their girlfriends entitled 'Jessica- A Ballad' or something... erm... Oh yes  Tennis wise they were mature physically and mentally, prepared for the pressures and ready to win.  Not all professional players will be that successful, in fact most wont be but for whatever reason our players appear to be mumbling and shuffling in the grand tradition of British teenage stereotypes, while in other countries teenage sports people are confident and mature.  Just something to think about.

It might be why Dan Evans ranked 380 places above his opponent lost, I should point out that his opponent had been as high as 190 (at least 110 places above Evans) in Spring this year...Dropped a rather alarming number of places, wonder what happened...I think though the most important factor for me, is that while I read in the paper today Andy Murray may not be motivated to play Davis Cup anymore as we are now relegated to Euro-Africa group 2 and he's far too fancy for that, Przyseizny described Davis Cup as the most tournament in his season.  Reason enough to say they deserved to win, and we deserved to lose.

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