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USTA FL Friday Blog: Serena Robbed of No. 1? Courier Talks Jacksonville Davis Cup

December 7, 2012 10:06 AM
courier and pat mac
Current U.S. Davis Cup captain Jim Courier and former captain Patrick McEnroe wrist wrestle to see who is the better captain
After playing all three Davis Cup ties on the road in 2011, the U.S. team will finally host a home tie in February against Brazil.
 
In a conference call this week, U.S. captain Jim Courier touched on his likely line-up for the tie in Jacksonville, and what he is expecting from Jacksonville and tennis fans attending from across the U.S.
 
"From our team standpoint, I think what we saw in Spain is probably the nucleus of what our team will be for the next couple of ties unless we see Mardy Fish back out there feeling good," said Courier, referring to Fish who will miss the 2013 Australian Open due to health issues. The 30-year-old had an operation in May to correct a form of arrhythmia in his heart. "Obviously his tennis, when he last left off, was excellent. He made the round of 16 at the US Open, had played well through the summer. If he can get his physical challenges taken care of, he'll be a big part of what happens with our team going forward. [John] Isner, with [Sam] Querrey, with the Bryans [Bob and Mike], I think that's likely what we'll be looking at early on until Mardy Fish gets back up and running."
 
Courier pointed out that the Bryan brothers could face the stiffest challenge against a team they have found themselves on the losing end of on more than one occasion.
 
"Definitely the [Brazilian] doubles team [Marcelo] Melo/[Bruno] Soares is a veteran team, one of the better Davis Cup doubles squads around that plays a lot through the year," Courier said. "Bob and Mike Bryan have a lot of experience against them. They've played them several times and lost to them I believe a couple of times as well. There won't be a lot of surprises I don't expect on the doubles court."
 
North Florida and Jacksonville host a Davis Cup tie for the first time in the history of the competition dating to 1900, but Courier says Jacksonville fans should be no strangers to large events.
 
"It is important that the [Jacksonville] crowd is behind it," Courier said. "One of the beautiful pieces of Davis Cup tennis is the partisan crowd aspect, the atmosphere that's more like a college football game, which I know Jacksonville area fans are well attuned to, given they have the world's largest outdoor cocktail party every fall with Florida/Georgia football. It's that kind of ambience that you're pulling for the United States team that we anticipate and we certainly desire as a team. I think certainly there will be plenty of people in the Jacksonville area that will be present and participating. I think we'll also draw from the region, as Davis Cup typically does, the tennis and sports fan that want to be part of something that's international in scope and has a different flavor to a normal tennis event."
 
SERENA WINS THREE MAJORS, FINISHES NO. 3?
 
venus_serena_olympics
Venus and Serena practicing for the Olympic doubles in London. Which they also won, for the third time in their career after 2000 Sydney and 2008 Beijing. 
It was an odd year for Florida's Serena Williams, who due to injuries played a limited schedule in 2012, winning three "majors" (Olympics, Wimbledon, US Open) but finishing third in the WTA Rankings.
 
Despite the limited play, Serena fans are miffed that their girl finished No. 3 behind two players she absolutely dominated during the year. Victoria Azarenka finished the year No. 1, and lost all five meetings against Serena in 2012. Maria Sharapova, who finished No. 2 ahead of Serena, lost all three of her meetings against the elder Williams sister, averaging only four games won per match.
 
Serena was subsequently named the WTA Player of the Year by the WTA, the second time she received the honor after not finishing the year No. 1 (the other in 2008 when she finished No. 2 behind Jelena Jankovic).
 
Is it time for the WTA Rankings to receive a tweaking if it is so off base?
 
USA Today pointed out that if the WTA Rankings were still allotting "quality points" (which they put a halt to after 2006), Serena would finish No. 1 for 2012, and Azarenka would drop to No. 3.
 
"I'm not thinking about that (not being No. 1) so much," said Serena, who compiled an amazing 32-1 record to end the year after losing in the first round of the French Open. "For me, I'd rather have Grand Slams and victories. I've been No. 1 before and believe me, I'll be No. 1 again. It's just a matter of time."
 
Who is your year-end No. 1 player on the WTA Tour? Cast your vote here on our Facebook page.
 
The USTA Florida Friday blog is written by USTA Florida Communications Coordinator Rick Vach. E-mail here to have a question answered or comment or rant included.
 
 
 
 
 

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