Serbian tryst with success augurs well for future of Davis Cup
In a sport fuelled by individual feats of brilliance, Serbia illustrated on Sunday that the Davis Cup still holds a cherished place in tennis's rich folklore.sports Updated: Dec 06, 2010 23:36 IST
In a sport fuelled by individual feats of brilliance, Serbia illustrated on Sunday that the Davis Cup still holds a cherished place in tennis's rich folklore.
When Viktor Troicki hit a backhand winner past France's Michael Llodra to clinch Serbia's first title in the 110-year-old competition, the eruption of joy that followed it threatened to take the roof off the Belgrade Arena.
The proud nation has blessed the sport with the likes of Novak Djokovic and former top-ranked women Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic in recent years but until Sunday only basketball and soccer victories would spark such wild celebrations.
That world number three Novak Djokovic, who won both his singles rubbers in the 3-2 victory, rated the triumph as the best moment of a career that has already brought one grand slam title, spoke volumes about the health of the event.
"We should not forget the Davis Cup is not a requirement, it's a free choice to participate," ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti said. "It's totally different from all the other tournaments. We are very happy with the final and it shows that the Davis Cup is strong." Djokovic always plays with his passion for his homeland stamped on his sleeve and the 23-year-old was his country's talisman for three intense days on the banks of the River Danube which provided a fitting end to competition.
Not only did he play stunning tennis when it most mattered to claw back 0-1 and 1-2 deficits against the competition's aristocrats, he fuelled the partisan home support that ultimately overwhelmed the French players. While some of the world's top players have not always shown total commitment to Davis Cup, Djokovic has made it his priority to turn Serbia into one of the competition's big guns.
2010 has been a big year for Indian tennis
New Delhi: Tennis stalwart Mahesh Bhupathi feels it has been a "big" year for Indian tennis, capped by Somdev Devvarman's exceptional showing at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
He, however, was amused that people were surprised at the Indian players' performance at the Asian Games and said the country had dominated the Asian tennis circuit for the last 25 years. India won two gold in the men's singles (Somdev) and doubles (Somdev and Sanam Singh) events, a silver in mixed doubles (Sania Mirza and Vishnu Vardhan) and a bronze in women' singles (Sania) and men's team event. Somdev also won the singles title in the Commonwealth Games where tennis made its debut.
“It has been a big year for Indian tennis. Somdev has had a great run dominating the Commonwealth Games and then the Asian Games. He has been in and out of top-100 and it's time that he cements his place in the top-100. Next year is going to be a defining year for him," Bhupathi said on the sidelines of a function organised by the Mittal Champions Trust.
(With inputs from Reuters/IANS)
First Published: Dec 06, 2010 23:33 IST