pics of what? We've already posted a few here in this thread... hello btw!!!
And ya gotta love The Bud
US set to roll the dice with Ginepri at casino
By Bud Collins, Boston Globe Columnist, 2/6/2004
UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Legendary 17th century leader Chief Uncas of the Mohegan tribe clearly had vision as he led his people to settle on the banks of the Thames River in the wilds of Connecticut, where one day they would prosper in the aleatory arts.
Where roebuck once roamed, roulette balls now roll and tennis balls will bounce over the weekend as Andy Roddick and the United States Davis Cup team hope to divert clientele of the Mohegan Sun Casino from the tables to the adjoining Arena for a few hours to see if they can cast snake eyes at some tourists from Austria.
"Dwight's pot" -- the 104-year-old Cup, so monickered in 1900 by Boston cronies of donor Dwight Davis -- is up for grabs again as the 16-nation World Group starts swinging in such locales as Adelaide, Australia; Bucharest, Romania; Minsk, Belarus; Agadir, Morocco. But none quite as glitzy, untennisy -- and controversial -- as a gambling den.
Numerous longtime supporters of the US Tennis Association have questioned the wisdom and propriety of showcasing the national team at a casino. Ted Schroeder, a Hall of Famer, prominent in winning the Cup four straight years (1946-49), has complained, "What kind of message is this from an organization supposedly dedicated to youth and family recreation -- to display your team in a gambling atmosphere?"
That's my feeling, too. But the USTA is hitting a jackpot, probably in six figures, and, as we know, all sports, including tennis, is about wampum.
Nevertheless, the show goes on, a best-of-five series with rookie Robby Ginepri, No. 25, winner of the Jimmy Van Alen Cup last July at Newport, R.I., leading off against lefthander Jurgen Melzer, No. 76, whom he beat in that final on grass. The surface this time is a carpet of a synthetic nature. Next comes Roddick, demoted from No. 1 to No. 3 by his Australian Open loss to Marat Safin, and No. 94 Stefan Koubek, a holder of three career titles.
The singles are reversed Sunday, following tomorrow's doubles. Making their second Cup start -- doubling the fun and the family involvement -- twins Bob and Mike Bryan bring their No. 1 ranking to bear against Melzer and Julian Knowle.
Interestingly, the Austrians are presenting a solid southpaw lineup, the first such array ever to oppose the US. It could be somewhat puzzling for a while. However, a harder 6 for the Austrians than that at a craps table may be the 6 closing out a set. Their captain, Gunter Bresnik, conceded, "It's not going to make a big difference" how his guys play against Roddick. "Andy Roddick is not going to be affected by anything."
Candid man. But Bresnik doesn't have anywhere near the 1990 Austrian team, bulwarked by Thomas Muster, who beat both Andre Agassi and Michael Chang on Viennese clay. Only Chang's gritty rebound in the fifth match to beat Horst Skoff, 3-6, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3, saved the Americans, 3-2, enabling them to go on to the Cup over Australia.
Daringly, US captain Patrick McEnroe has already publicly stated that his team will win the Cup, thus busting an eight-year drought that began with a 1996 loss to the Czech Republic. The Americans' latest Cup was taken, 3-2, over Russia in 1995, a tour de force for Pete Sampras: two singles and a doubles in Moscow.
Most painful thirst experienced by the US was the 1927-36 decade, a dry spell ended by Don Budge & Co. over Great Britain at Wimbledon in 1937.
Closest that Roddick, in his fourth campaign, and his mates have gotten to the Cup were peeks at the huge punchbowl in a glass case at the Australian Open. Hosts to Sweden, the defending Aussies are getting worked up about an almost sure-thing quarterfinal against the Yanks in Sydney Easter weekend.
"We'll be there if they are," said Roddick, who has buzzed his hair, and looked razor-sharp in workouts. "These have been high-level practices, and we're all hitting well."
Novitiate Ginepri is "really excited" about earning a start ahead of previous regulars James Blake and Mardy Fish. "This is something I've looked forward to since I started playing as a kid," Ginepri said.
"We're all rivals on the circuit," said Roddick, "but we're a very tight group when we get together for the Cup. We get excited about it and we're determined to get the thing."