It was only a matter of time before recently appointed Australian Davis Cup Captain Wally Masur made a 'fantastic' decision that surely proves that he has a heart the size of a pea. The next round of Davis Cup matches happens to include one in Darwin, that's not the issue, well done Darwin on securing the Quarter Final Tie between Australia and Kazakhstan.
The issue is the surface, why is it grass ? Is this the best surface for Australian Professional Tennis players and is this the surface that they train on regularly ? The answer is simple, NO Wally it's not. However I am positive that Wally would have gone back to what he can remember most from when he played the game and came up with one word, grass.
I don't believe that this decision can even be called 'playing it safe' as surely grass is not a 'safe' surface for any player quite simply for the following reason; No one practices on grass except for a few weeks of the year in the lead up to the grass court season in London. So why would both Wally Masur and the selection committee for the Davis Cup in this country go with a grass court against a lowly ranked country such as Kazakhstan ?
Because who ever is making these decisions has about as much faith in our male tennis players as most voters currently have in our current leader Mr Abbott. A neutral hard court would be suffice to get Australia through to the semi finals, no risk at all however just like Mr Masur this country is still in the dark ages with many things in relation to tennis.
Never mind evolving, let's go back to the days of black and white television, HQ motor cars, safari suits and grass tennis courts. Despite the outcome of the tie it is open to a rather large debate as to whether or not this current crop of players are in fact having a say in the court surface.
Are they simply forced to go along with it for one reason or another ? Wally believes that by playing on grass it gives Australia the best chance of making it through to the semis.
I disagree, Australian tennis players are currently strong enough to win on ANY surface against Kazakhstan just as they were against Uzbekistan. Surprise, surprise, they also played that tie on grass.
Grass is not a proven surface of advantage to anyone except a player of Roger Federer's grass court ability. All other players with the 'regular' style are not proven winners on that surface. The decision lacks 'balls'.
The European players go with clay, the Americans go with hard courts, (usually anyhow) and Australia, well we go with a surface that gets played on for less than a month per year on the pro tour. So how is this surface of an advantage to Australia ?
Wouldn't a win over Kazakhstan on a hard court be a larger confidence boost going into their semi final no matter who or where they played ? Wouldn't that prove that they are good enough to win on a surface that provides a more consistent bounce and prepare them stronger mentally for perhaps a clay court semi ?
As usual I have a theory, 'romance' with Lleyton Hewitt. They want him to play this tie as it may be his last ever in Australia and grass apparently is his favourite surface. If it was played on hard court then he wouldn't stand a chance of being picked over Kyrgios and Tomic. He is a chance to be picked for singles in this particular tie.
What does a win on grass however give them if they play a semi on clay except a false sense of security ? Or is Australia just happy to make it to the semi finals so they can say just that ? The way I read the current draw is that Australia will probably play France in France on clay in the semis. Grass aint going to do Australia any favours if that match up occurs in the following round.
To Tennis Australia, the Davis Cup Committee, Wally Masur and all others involved in this great game in this country I wish you all the best with your latest decision.
My last chapter was titled 'Weak As Piss', I may have to switch some titles around..........