Tag Archives: davis-cup

Weekend musing…..Lleyton Hewitt, more on the supplements scandal….

Chris Barwin HillsWell Thursday night we saw Lleyton Hewitt bow out of the Australian Open for the last time. I have never been a particular fan,hewitt but you have to admire the guy. He made it to Number 1 in the world at 20, he won two Grand Slam titles and the most singles matches ever for Australia in the Davis Cup. You also have to admire that he has kept playing despite the many injuries he has endured and his falling ranking. A pretty good career and I think he will be good in his role with the Davis Cup.

Let us hope he can harness the potential of the likes of Tomic, Kyrgios and Kokkinakis.

I didn’t want to comment further on the Essendon Supplements Saga, however, some of the comments I have heard from some pundits suggesting that the case is similar to the Lance Armstrong and 1384012800000Marion Jones cases has angered me somewhat. In those cases there was a lot of people who provided sworn testimony that both had used banned substances, that is a significant difference to the Essendon case. I am also constantly angered with people saying they did not know what they took. The club has a spreadsheet on all the supplements that the players signed up to and the comment has always been if they were administered anything else, they were not aware of it and it was not sanctioned. This is a very important distinction.

What I would like to know is who advised the players not to complete the ASADA forms correctly. Clearly they were obligated to completeUnknown
those forms honestly and whoever told them not to cite the supplements they were being administered has a lot to answer for as this omission seems to have played a significant part in the penalty that has been applied.

I now pledge not to make any further comment on this sorry tale.

Have a great weekend!

Weekend musing – AFL, Davis Cup revival, British Open

Chris Barwin HillsWell everyone seems to be touting Hawthorn as unbeatable in this years premiership on the back of the thumpings they have delivered to the Swans and Fremantle in recent weeks. I would be urging everyone to take a deep breath and consider the hype about Hawthorn when they trounced Geelong in Round 1. It was suggested at the time that they could go through the season undefeated, they lost the next week and lost a further three games out of the next seven. I would agree that there form since then has been extra good, but should both WA teams end up in the top two positions, they potentially may have to travel twice just to get to the grand final. They deserve to be favourites at the moment, but it is not a done deal.

Great effort by Australia in the Davis Cup last weekend. After losing the first two singles rubbers they won the doubles and the reverse singles to take out the tie 3/2. I don’t watch a lot of tennis, but I remember how much the Davis Cup was revered when I was younger and it is always good to see Australia get through to the semi-final stage.

The British Open Golf also threw up an interesting result with a three way play off, but I must say I was disappointed as I was hoping that Jordan Speith or Jason Day would get up and they both finished one shot out of the play off group. I have been pushing Jordan Speith’s barrow since he took out the Australian Open last year and had hoped that he would secure the third Major in a row to try and Unknown-5do the grand slam. It was a brave effort, but one bad hole cost him. I have also been pushing Jason Day as well, given that he continues to put himself in prominent positions in majors, but he cannot seem to get over the line. Marc Leishmann who featured in the play off is also starting to build up a list of prominent finishes in majors without saluting.

Have a great weekend!

Aussie men’s tennis gets much needed shot in arm with Davis Cup win

Coors lightHaving languished in the doldrums for more than enough years (for that read since the mid 1970’s), Australian men’s tennis seems to be on the long road back. That recovery is evidenced not only in the better results during the recent Australian Open, but by the weekend’s 3-2 away win against the Czech Republic in the Davis Cup. Remember the Davis Cup? That trophy Australia has won on 28 prior occasions since it was first competed for in 1900. Recently we have not featured at the top level and even when we have, have usually come away empty handed. This is reflected in the fact that this was Australia’s first win in a Davis Cup tie in the Championship division since 2006.

We at Sportzfan Radio have been rather critical of Bernard Tomic’s seeming inability to keep his mind on the job and play at a level expected with a person of his talent. In Ostrava, Tomic certainly led by example and won both his matches giving him an impressive 14-2 win/loss singles record in Davis Cup play. The tie also saw the emergence of Thanasi Kokkinakis who won his first match and confirmed Australia can now call on a number of talented young players to champion the cause. Although Lleyton Hewitt was used in the doubles match with Sam Groth, Australia’s fortunes no longer solely rest on the ageing Hewitt’s shoulders.

Sure, it can be argued that the Czech Republic were weakened by injuries to Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek but Australia also was unable to select talented Nick Kyrgios due to a back injury.

A review of the men’s ATP rankings sees Australia with five men in the top 100 being Kyrgios at #36, Tomic at #38, Groth at #69, Marinko Matosevic at #72 and Hewitt at #98. Contrast this with the fact that several years ago, we did not have one player in the top 100 and it is easy to see why results have improved.

Australia now hosts Kazakhstan in a mouth watering quarter final and given the team’s form look set for a long run in the 2015 tournament.

Friday musing…..the Ashes, Australian Open, Hewitt, Arsenal…..

Chris Barwin HillsWell the Aussies wrapped up the Ashes in record time and in the end it was great to win and win well, but it was something of an anti-climax given the meek way the English capitulated. Clearly their batting let them down throughout the series and the only ones who could put their hands up would be Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes. Michael Carberry was passable, but he got a lot of starts at the top of the order and only once went on to make a 50. He reminded me a bit of Usman Khwaja, not how he batted, but the fact he continued to get a start and didn’t go on and post a decent score.

One of the quirkiest statistics from the recent series was the batting performance of Nathan Lyon. He batted six times for sixty runs, but was not dismissed in any of those six innings and as a result did not have a series average. I am not sure about the record for the most consecutive number of “not outs” in Test cricket, but it must be right up there.

While the Aussies won the series 5-0, their batting was still brittle at times and the forthcoming series against South Africa will reveal how much progress has been made. It has been widely discussed how well Brad Haddin batted in the series and I think he was the first batsman ever to score greater than fifty in five consecutive first innings of a series. Certainly he was the first to do it in an Ashes series. If Australia need to rely on him and the tail to bale them out in South Africa we will be in for a rude shock. Rogers, Warner, Clarke & Smith all made two centuries in the Ashes series, but to be successful against the Proteas we will need more partnerships. I doubt we can win the series, but it would be good to be competitive.

Moving away from the cricket to the tennis, it was good to see Lleyton Hewitt win a tournament in Australia last weekend. I have never been a particular Hewitt fan, but there is no doubting his competitiveness, his passion for the game and his passion for the Davis Cup. He has battled a lot of injuries over the last five years and most other sportsmen would have given up by now. It is hard to think of too many former Number 1 players who have hung around well after their star has dimmed. Good on him and I hope he does well in the Australian Open.

Bad news about Theo Walcott from last weekend, but one small positive is that at least it happened in January so they can utilise the transfer window if they wish. Better news with Oxlade-Chamberlain fit to resume, Giroud & Ozil likely to play and Ramsay & Gibbs pretty close. It is time to extract revenge on Aston Villa after that poor start to the season.

Have a great weekend.

Sportzfan Radio show #264.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!16 September 2012 264.2 – The Professor and the Gelding talk Davis Cup tennis and the tie between Australia and Germany with the winner to get back into the World Group. They then talk soccer with Mark Fiorenti. He discusses the Socceroos loss to Jordan in the World Cup qualifying tie. He also looks at the Champions League and Premier League. Paul Dalligan comes on to talk rugby league and the NRL finals. Paul tries to keep the lid on after the Rabbitohs big win and into their first preliminary final for some time. His Rabbitohs taking on the Professor’s Bulldogs and he sees a Rabbitohs win! He’s hoping to be at Homebush at the Grand Final in two weeks time. There is a discussion between the Professor and the Gelding on the SFL division one preliminary final between St Pauls and Chelsea Heights. They are critical of the VFL playing their Grand Final on a Sunday at Etihad Stadium.

Sportzfan Radio show #234.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!12 February 2012 234.2 – The Panel discuss the test series between Australia and India with the question being whether Australia has improved that much or was India that bad. Paul Dalligan feels it has a lot to do with new bowling coach, Craig McDermott. Even Sportzfan Stan gave the Aussies the thumbs up with a nine out of ten. Tennis is also on the agenda with a look at Australia playing China in a Davis Cup qualifier being played in Geelong this week. The Panel agree that Lleyton Hewitt and Bernard Tomic have the advantage over Ze Zhang and Di Wu. The Professor raises the question whether Australia will get back into the Davis Cup top 16. Mark Fiorenti comes on to discuss soccer, beginning with Sydney’s coach, Vitezslav Lavicka ‘resignation’ this week. Names rumored to replace him include Italian great, Gianfranco Zola, former Sydney FC player Dwight Yorke and Graham Arnold. There will be other coaching vacancies at the end of ther season and these are also discussed. Paul Dalligan looks at the pros and cons of Harry Kewell’s signing by Victory and whether it was a good thing. Internationally, England’s coach, Italian Fabio Capello, announced his resignation after the F.A’s decision to strip Chelsea’s John Terry of the England captaincy over racism charges during a Premier League match. In rugby league, Paul Dalligan was pleased that the independent commission is off the ground after four years in the making and he discusses the future of the ARL with the coming media rights negotiation.