Davis Cup Di­ary

The Herald - Sport - - TENNIS -

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.

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