I have totally been taking this tie for granted all week. "Pfft. There's no way Serbia loses this one. Not at home." And then, somewhere between this morning's draw ceremony and all the Qatar outrage, I flipped.
"Shit. They could totally lose this."
I'm not sure whether it's my incisive tennis analysis or my tendency to adopt the Serbian "doom and gloom" paranoia when something doesn't look like a sure thing. All I know is that the frazzle came and I'm not sure what to do.
I mean, everyone is picking you guys to win. Pete Bodo thinks it'll be a 3-0 sweep! Augh! Stress!
First up tomorrow will be Tipsy vs. Gael. Despite Viktor recent form (win in Moscow), I think this is the right call. Janko has been a DC stalwart and he has the guts to step on court in front of 18,000 screaming Serbs and focus to get the job done. Despite the fact that these two have engaged in the worst trash talking ever ("You're nervous." "Bish, please, I ain't nervous. You should be nervous."), I think this match is a total toss-up. I am really interested to see how Gael will deal with this raucous crowd (in the undercard of crowd vs. umpire, I'm going with the crowd).
Gael won their last match at the USO, but if I recall, Tipsy was physically spent from his Roddick match. Someone on the FD FB page said that Tipsy may be carrying an injury into this tie. Take that with a grain of salt, but...FRAZZLE ROCK.
Guy has indeed tapped Gilles over Llodra -- in hopes of saving Mikey's energy for dubs and maybe reverse singles -- to face Nole in the second rubber. On paper, this looks like a straight set win all the way. Gilles is 1-5 against Nole, with that first win coming in their first match ever. Their last match, in Beijing was a 63 62 shellacking. To me, there's no way Gilles is going to win this match. All he and Team France can hope is that he makes it a long one and drains some of that Nole energy for Sunday.
This could go down as an MJ/Coco decision for Guy. Personally, I think it's the right move. In the event the Sunday rubbers are live, I'd rather throw a relatively fresh Mikey out there. He has the maturity to deal with the crowd, a psychological edge in that he beat Novak less than a month ago, and all the pressure will be on Novak to pull out the win. But if you play him on Friday, you're putting him up against a relatively more relaxed Novak, you drain him for doubles (which is an absolute must win for France), and then you either have to throw him out there again on Sunday or bring in Gilles.
Tactically, I think it's the move you make, though if it doesn't pan out you'll get killed for it.
So anyway, yeah. I'm worried. That Gael/Janko rubber is HUGE.