Davis Cup Diary
A saltire was sighted here yesterday with a large yellow smiley face planked in the middle of it. It wasn’t the Glasgow’s Miles Better logo, rather the Acieed symbol back from the days when acid house ruled. Anyway, as strange a sight as this was, it was somehow appropriate, because at times the atmosphere in the Flanders Expo Centre in Ghent has resembled that of a 90s rave.
Apparently choices of music at change of ends on Davis Cup duty boils down to the preference of the home team. Leon Smith, presumably a big Rolling Stones fan, chose Start Me Up for Britain’s tie against France in July, while it was back to the Bay City Rollers, Proclaimers, Loch Lomond as crowd pleasing choices for the Glasgow semi-final with Australia. This does all rather beg one question, however. Who in the Belgian team is the guilty man with the predilection for DJ Otzi and a dance version of Sweet Caroline?
Andy Murray told the boisterous British crowd to bring it on during Friday’s singles rubber against Ruben Bemelmans, and further details are coming to light about what the pesky home crowd were up to. Instead of hissing as the world No.2 prepared to serve, as was first reported, they were just very loudly saying ‘ssshhh’.
Partially because of such antics, the role of the Davis Cup captain is growing arms and legs. At times this weekend, Leon Smith and Johan van Herck have been prowling about menacingly in the vicinity of umpire Carlos Ramos in the way that Jose Mourinho might do in a football technical area.
It has been a glorious weekend for British sport, with Tyson Fury shocking Wladimir Klitschko to become the heavyweight champion of the world, Jamie Vardy breaking the Barclays Premier League goalscoring record, and the first British Davis Cup win since 1936.