Daily Dispatch: Stepanek Accuses Del Potro of Gamesmanship
Davis Cup weekend has officially begun. The injured del Potro won in straight sets over Radek Stepanek in the opening rubber vs the Czech Republic, but he had some alarming comments afterward:
“It’s difficult to play when you have some pains, and dangerous pains like my wrist but I am playing here in my country with this fantastic crowd, it’s amazing for me and I really enjoy it,” del Potro said.
The more information del Potro reveals about the wrist, the more concerning the injury sounds. Unfortunately for him, his compatriot Juan Monaco could not close out his own singles match against Tomas Berdych, and so del Potro will certainly have to face Berdych on Sunday, with the countries tied at one-all.
An intriguing exchange from the AP write-up of the match revealed that Stepanek accused del Potro of gamesmanship:
Stepanek, who complained about the crowd noise at Parque Roca, suggested Del Potro was exaggerating the injury. Speaking in Czech, he said Del Potro looked “absolutely healthy.” Stepanek said Del Potro’s tears at the end seemed “blown out of proportion.”
Told about Stepanek’s comments, Del Potro replied: “I wish I were perfect. I’m surprised to hear what he said, because it’s not what he said to me.”
American John Isner lost another five set match to Nicolas Almagro, falling to 1-5 in five set matches this year, and 4-10 in his career. Spain took a commanding 2-0 lead on the United States, the reliable David Ferrer taking out Sam Querrey to start the tie.
Elsewhere in the World Group Playoffs, Switzerland took a 2-0 lead over the Netherlands, thanks to the services of World No. 1 Roger Federer and his sidekick, Stan Wawrinka. Australia and Germany split the rubbers, Bernard Tomic earning Australia’s win, while Germany’s Florian Mayer defeated Lleyton Hewitt in straight sets. Canada’s Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil both earned straight set wins over a depleted South African team.
Credit to the folks who run DavisCup.com, the Davis Cup Twitter account, and the Davis Cup Facebook account: they have done an excellent job of making the Davis Cup one of the most accessible tennis tournaments in the world for fans.
Even better, the Davis Cup offers a great way to watch all the ties online live: Davis Cup TV, which is available for a reasonable price. A day pass costs $4.95, a weekend pass $9.95, and a year subscription for both Davis Cup and Fed Cup costs $49.95. The streams are available in lower quality for those with slower Internet connections, and in high quality for those with high speed Internet.
The website Black Tennis Pros contacted Sheila Townsend, Taylor Townsend’s mother, and published an enlightening interview. They get into the nitty gritty details of exactly how the USTA handled the situation with Townsend. It’s an excellent read, and provides some background information that nobody else has explored.
Via @nicosport24, Radek Stepanek’s amazing Davis Cup shirt:
I love hockey, so here’s a silly video made by my favorite NHL team, the Philadelphia Flyers, with two of their players, Andrej Meszaros and Matt Read imitating John McEnroe’s famous temper in a promotion for an event with McEnroe in Philadelphia.
An emotional moment captured at the Davis Cup after Monaco lost his match against Berdych: