The following is a contribution from one of the USA Netheads attending the Atlanta Tennis Championships. The “Netheads” are group of Â fans who cheer for the US Davis Cup squad around the world. It does not reflect the opinions of Global Village Tennis News.
The real tournament began Monday.Â Â Appropriately enough for the first US Open Series tournament, it was USA day on the stadium court.Â Â It started out with Michael Russell taking out Benjamin Becker, followed by Mardy Fish defeating John Ward.Â Â Last but not least, the finale was all-American doubles with the Isner/Blake team eliminating Ginepri/Sweeting.Â Â Â The doubles had the added regional flavor of a Georgia Bulldog (Isner) battling a Florida Gator (Sweeting).
None of the matches were exceptional.Â Â Russell played well but Becker definitely helped Michaelâ€™s cause by being a little off.Â Â Mardy was very workmanlike in defeating John Ward.Â Ward hit a few good shots but he played as if he did not want to draw attention to himself and to the fact he is from Great Britain.Â Â Â I am sure he may have been thinking there could be no better way to remind folks about the BP situation than to have a Brit knock out a popular American.
The doubles match was the most fun match of the session.Â Â Some of that may have had to do with the sun having set and life was much cooler and less humid in the stands as well as on the court.Â Â Isner started slow, struggling with return of serve, but got his game together in time to help Blake pull out the match.Â Â It was nice to see James smiling on the court since that has been a rare sight in the last few years.
The tennis was enjoyable, but for me, it seemed something was missing.Â Â Â It came to be during the Fish match.Â Â The silence in the stadium was deafening to me.Â Â From the point of this Nethead, Davis Cup junkie, it was just too darn quiet in the stadium.Â Â No â€œGO USA.â€Â Â I only heard the most obvious cheer, â€œGO FISH,â€ once.Â Â The quietness was driving me crazy.Â Â If you have ever been to a Davis Cup tie, youâ€™ll know what I mean.
Not only was the noise missing but also the intensity on the court and in the crowd.Â Â A scenario like John Ward apologizing to some patrons because his serve bounced on to their champagne table at the end of the court will never occur at a Davis Cup match.Â Â Champagne tables and apologizing are just too laid back for Davis Cup.
But Iâ€™ve got to remember there will be over 40 singles and doubles matches as opposed to 5 matches in a Davis Cup tie so the fans have to pace themselves.Â Â Iâ€™ve got to remember youâ€™ll have American playing against American so â€œGO USAâ€ cheers wonâ€™t always work.Â Â Â And Iâ€™ve got to realize that a fan driving 15-30 minutes to see a match may not have as much at stake as Netheads flying 7-12 hours to get to a Davis Cup venue.
Even so, I was disappointed during the Gilles Muller match on Saturday.Â Â Trying to be a friendly member of the host city, at one point I stood up and yelled â€œLUXEMBOURG.â€Â Â Â Â But as hard as it is to believe, there was not one other Luxembourgian in the crowd who stood up and yelled with me.Â Â I guess Luxembourgians are not as intense as Netheads either.