Why is the Davis Cup so under the radar? It's like the World Cup! Hmph. Anyhow, to my great joy Rafael is back on the courts in style, helping Spain into the semifinals no less. He beat baby-faced beanstalk A. Zverev of Germany after defeating the other German Kohlschreiber also in straight sets.
So the semi-finals lineup will be: USA vs. Croatia, and France vs. Spain. All very fine, except that said semis will be played in September. Eh? Hmm. Maybe this inexplicable schedule is why no one cares much about the tournament?
Almost as fun as all this news was watching Rafa on tenterhooks as his compatriot David Ferrer battled against Kohlschreiber. Ferrer, ever consistent, eventually came through, albeit at a score of 7-6 (7-1) 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 7-5 in difficult conditions. ("There was a lot of windy" confirmed the adorable Ferrer.) No wonder Rafa was in such a state! But it's great to watch the teams' camaraderie in this event. Especially the Spaniards since they are decked out in that paprika-red.
He claims his hip is in fine shape. Well, clay season is here, and the dastardly Federer is sitting it out. All this points to what I can only hope for: that the Rafster will give us a repeat of 2017. Who knows, Nicolas Almagro from the Roland Garros 2008 match against Rafa might well have been hilariously prescient. Click here.