Thursday, November 29, 2007

Russian Role Reversal, or the Rankings Mean Nothing

Being number four in the world doesn't get you into the singles lineup for the Russian Davis Cup team--at least on day one. Russian Captain Shamil Tarpischev bypassed 4th-ranked Nikolai Davydenko and picked 35th-ranked Dmitry Tursunov and 19th-ranked Mikhail Youzhny for singles Friday. Sixth-ranked Andy Roddick will play Tursonov first (both pictured here), followed by Youzhny against 13th-ranked James Blake in the second match of the afternoon.

Davydenko and 33rd-ranked Igor Andreev are slated to play the top-ranked doubles duo of Bob and Mike Bryan on Saturday, but the Oregonian reports that U.S. Captain Patrick McEnroe is suspicious that the doubles lineup will change before Saturday. Both Russians are known for the singles prowess, not tandem tennis. Tursonov and Youzhny played doubles in Russia's win over Germany in September.

And speaking of the Oregonian, be sure to check out the paper's blog for more Davis Cup news, photos and videos. Doug Perry kindly referred to my blog as "literate musings" on tennis. (I guess that means I'll have to write harder this weekend.) He also has a good trivia question on the page that only the most knowledgeable (or perhaps lecherous) of tennis will be able to answer.