Whilst i have a break from my early childhood chapters I ponder at the rather unusual circumstances that gave Switzerland the Davis Cup Title this year. There was more than just one situation that surely will have people talking about for quite some time in the future, especially the French.
Now the Country that we refer to commonly as 'romantic' due to it's classic country side and architectural brilliance that is the back drop for many movies is in fact France.
This part of the World is known for people to forget common sense and facts and figures regarding marriage success rates.
It is possibly home to more marriage proposals, particularly at the Eiffel Tower than anywhere else in the World. France has had a love affair with their Male Tennis Professionals for quite some time also and currently has 15 players in the top 115 money earners on the tour. The French have almost an embarrassment of riches as far as Tennis Professionals are concerned with Spain being the only other Country close to their success rate.
So as far as the Davis Cup Final that was held in Lille in the North of France on the weekend it comes as a rather large surprise that the French team did not fair better. There is a site on the Web called '145 things to do in Lille, France'. Perhaps the team Captain was more interested in doing some of these than fielding the strongest team.
Gael Monfils was the exception, a man who held two match points against Federer at the US Open in September and who troubles most players with his flair. Gael was always going to play. Jo Wilfred Tsonga has not performed well this year and his inclusion in the team over Gilles Simon, especially on current form seems to be the biggest mystery.
Simon pushed Federer all the way in Shanghai just recently as he lost by a whisker in two tie breakers. He also pushed US Open Champion Marin Cilic to 6-3 in the fifth set in their Fourth Round match.
Simon was the form player for the French team without a doubt. The decision to play Gasquet over Simon will have French tennis fans shaking their heads in disbelief for at least another week . As good as young Aussie Nick Kyrgios played at Wimbledon this year it is still hard to believe that with nine match points up for grabs the much more experienced Gasquet couldn't nail one against him.
What about the Men's Doubles ? Another mystery . Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin won the French Open Title this year and made the semi finals of the year ending Tour Finals yet they did not get paired up together for the Davis Cup final. Why also would you play Gasquet in the doubles ? When was the last time you heard of Richard Gasquet troubling anyone in doubles ?
What about Michael Llodra ? There is a man who is another doubles specialist and has won three Grand Slam titles including Wimbledon with current French Davis Cup Captain Arnaud Clement. Surely even if Roger-Vasselin was injured Llodra had more doubles experience than Gasquet.
The Swiss would have been licking their lips at the thought of their two big guns Roger and Stan taking on Benneteau and Gasquet , with no disrespect leveled at Benneteau of course. They knew though that this team was not as finely tuned as they were. There could be an argument against Fed and Stan being a 'credentialed' doubles team but have you ever seen Fed play dubs ? Unbelievable.
And what about the much publicized Federer back injury ? My view on his straight sets loss to Monfils is this : Why risk the back in his first match when he still had a pivotal doubles rubber to play plus another singles ? They knew they were basically over the line if they could snatch the doubles win after Stan's opening victory. Going all out against a red hot Monfils would have been a dumb decision and possibly would have cost them the Title.
Interesting Davis Cup Final this year, that's an understatement. I think that the French Captain Clement will have plenty of time to sample those '145 things to do in Lille, France' this time next year. Somehow I can't see him retaining his current status for too much longer......