They may not be best friends, they may not be great tennis players all of the time, and they may have disagreements from time to time. But after this weekend they both share one unbreakable bond:
Daniela Hantuchova hates them both equally.*
In what was hands-down the most ridiculously dramatic tie of the weekend, Team Serbia overcame every fucking obstacle thrown in their way to stage in improbable comeback to take the tie over Slovakia 3-2, thus avoiding relegation to World Group II.
I'm going to guess that the only person who is happier than JJ, Ana, Bojana, and Alexandra about Serbia surviving this dicey tie is Dejan. When he announced on Friday that he wasn't putting in JJ to play a singles match on Saturday, people (read: me) were like "THE FUUUUUUUUUUCK????" You're *not* going to play the Serbia #1 and player who's been making quarterfinal and semifinal runs for the past month and a half? Watchu smokin' and can I have NONE OF IT.
No one was providing any clarification other than "I just think it's the right move." We would find out after the tie that JJ wasn't feeling well so she essentially tapped herself out of Saturday's action. I totally get why Dejan wouldn't say that in the first place. But seriously, it would have saved everyone a lot of heavy drinking.
Shit could have been baaaad after Saturday. Bojangles couldn't hold on to a one-set lead over Domi and collapsed in three, shifting the pressure on Ana. AND WE KNOW HOW MUCH ANA LUUUUUUUURVES PRESSHA!
Actually, she lurved it quite fine. She threw down the best Fed Cup performance of her career, beating Dani easily, and no there was no squeaking so don't even start with me, Dani. WHEEE!!! 1-1 after day one. Surely Dehan would put JJ in on Sunday and Ana and JJ would win their rubbers, hop on a plane, and go broker some peace in the Middle East.
After dropping the first set 63 to Domi, Ana was up 3-0 when she went for a backhand and felt a twinge in her abs. Yup, the same abs that forced her to retire from Hopman Cup earlier in the year. After dropping three straight games after that, she pulled the ripcord and retired from the match. Oh, and when Ana retired in tears, Domi danced around and celebrated like she won a Slam.
And that's when the Tennis Gods were like, "HAIL NAWWWWW, MIDGET."
Help us JJ-Wan Kenobi. You're our only hope.
And so, like death and taxes (which are due today, btw #PSA), JJ summoned Falkor (anyone?) and rode in to save the, what turned out to be, very very very long day. First she needed over two hours and 45 minutes to beat Dani, 7-5 in the third. Then she powdered her nose, took some time to explain to AK-47 what it means when Aunt Flo comes for a visit (mentoring!), and took the court for the decisive doubles match. Which turned out to be nuts.
Clearly the fact that it was a decisive doubles match wasn't dramatic *enough* for Team Serbia so they decided to make it interesting: by going down a set and 5-1, 30-0 to Dani and Rybarikova. Just for shits and giggs.
Final score? 26 75 97. Serbia advances, Slovakia relegated.
I honestly had no idea whether those guys were Serbian coaches who were celebrating via dog pile, or Slovak fans who bumrushed the court to tear JJ's head off. Either way, that looked kinda scary. But also very very awesome.
A gutsy Sunday for JJ who should totally get a Heart Award for spending over six hours on court, and a wonderful win by TEAM Serbia. Ana secured a point, JJ secured a point, and AK-47 comes through YET AGAIN in a decisive doubles rubber. And before people even try to slag off Bojana, let us not forget that much like Tipsy's DC heroics from last year, Serbia wouldn't have even been in a position to get back into World Group if not for Bojangles' Heart-Award-Worthy performance in the first round against Canada.
As for all the stuff on the Twitter about pitting JJ fans against Ana fans and all that nonsense (if you don't know what I'm talking about don't worry about) all I have to say is this: Whatever. This is a great accomplishment and result for these four ladies and I would personally rather spend my energy celebrating that than trying to turn shit all negative. It just seems so unnecessary. For now, let's pop some champagne, link arms, and sing made up songs that involve words like "ajde", "idemo", and "swimming pools". We can all return to throwing poo at each other tomorrow.
That's Fed Cup, people. It brings people together for a united cause. Crazy shit happens when you stich that flag on your kit. Sorry, did I say "crazy"? I meant AWESOME.
(Pics: AP, Fed Cup Site)
*No, I do not know why JJ was dressed like the Hamburglar.