DUDE WHAT KIND OF CRACK ARE PEOPLE ON TODAY.
Davis Cup win impressive ... up close
By Bill Begley
The Daily Times
Published December 6, 2007 - Updated 39 minutes ago
An up close look only confirmed what Chris Crawford suspected.
Some pretty good tennis is being played these days.
“Tennis certainly has changed since my time playing in the Davis Cup,” Crawford said Tuesday after returning from Portland, Ore., to attend the first Davis Cup on American soil in 15 years.
A past Davis Cup team member, Crawford was invited to attend the match between the United States team and defending champion Russia at Memorial Coliseum in Portland.
He was courtside as the U.S. team — with Andy Roddick and James Blake and the top-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan — beat the defending champions 4-1.
It was the first Davis Cup win for the U.S. in 12 years — the longest dry spell for the Americans, a void that began with a Pete Sampras-led team bringing home the Cup after taking the finals, appropriately enough, in Moscow.
“It was quite a thrill to be there,” said Crawford, the head teaching professional at the HEB Tennis Center in Kerrville. “I had a seat right behind the team — I sat next to (U.S. great) Stan Smith and Pancho Segura — and got to see some unbelievable tennis.
“Roddick and Blake were something to see, both playing great. It might have been the best I’ve seen Roddick play.”
Roddick, ranked No. 6 in the world, and Blake, No. 13, gave the U.S. a 2-0 lead heading into the weekend with singles matches on Friday, and the Bryans wrapped up the title with a doubles win on Saturday.
The last time the U.S. hosted a Davis Cup final was 1992, when a team that included Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier and John McEnroe defeated Switzerland in Fort Worth — and Roddick was there as a young spectator.
“When I played, we used wooden rackets and we played on a grass surface,” Crawford said. “This was played indoors on a hard surface.
“I could not believe how fast the ball was moving at times. If a guy served 120 mph, it was returned back at 130 or 140 mph. It was really something to see.”
Especially up close.