So Andy Murray is chasing Fred Perry again. In 2013, he won Wimbledon 77 years after the legendary Englishman triumphed at the All England Club. Now, a mere 79 years since the Brits, led by Perry, last won the Davis Cup in 1936,  the 28-year-old Scot is on a mission to end the longstanding drought in quest of Harvard student Dwight Davis’ famous silver salad bowl.

The highlight of Britain’s 3-2 Davis Cup semifinal victory on the weekend was a thrilling 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4 nail-biter doubles win in a raucous arena in Glasgow by Andy and Jamie Murray (celebrating above) over Aussies Sam Groth and Lleyton Hewitt.

Conventional wisdom had it that Andy had to win all three of his matches and after a singles victory over Thanasi Kokkinakis on Friday and, once he and brother Jamie prevailed in doubles, it was no surprise he was able to clinch the tie the next day with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 decision over Bernard Tomic.

Saturday’s doubles was one of the most exciting matches of the year. With the score at one set apiece, Groth had a smash for a 5-2 lead in the third and missed it wide. With a point to give the Aussies a 3-0 lead in the fourth set – an Andy Murray service return caught the top of the net and landed good.

Then, facing match point trailing 6-5 in the fourth set tiebreak, Groth, sketchy on the volley, saved it for the Aussies with a gutsy poach finishing with a backhand volley winner.

It was more of the same in the fifth set with the Murrays leading 3-0 only to be caught at 3-all. Finally, Groth popped a backhand volley long on the ultimate match point and the brothers Murray had brought joy to all of Scotland and Great Britain. “We stuck together, like brothers should,” Andy would say afterward about the highly-emotional contest alongside Jamie, who is just 15 months and two days older.

It was also the last Davis Cup match of the 34-year-old Hewitt’s storied career.

Apparently Andy Murray had been bothered by a back issue leading into (and during) the weekend but two straight-set singles wins made things more manageable for him.

Now the big question is what happens with the final in Belgium from November 27-29. It appears it will be in the Flanders Expo in the city of Ghent.

David Goffin
Photo: Kyle Clapham/Tennis Canada

With a chance for its first ever Davis Cup after reaching the final in its debut year (1904 and losing to the team from the British Isles), it appears likely the Belgians, led by world No. 15 David Goffin (above), will decide to install a clay-court surface. It’s the least favoured by the British team and could pose troublesome questions for the visitors, mostly for main-man Andy Murray.

He is supposed to play the ATP World Tour Finals on an indoor hard court at the O2 Arena in London the previous week but has expressed second thoughts. “The O2 would obviously be a question mark for me if we were playing on clay,” Murray told the BBC. “I would go and train and prepare on the clay to get ready for the final.”

ATP executive chairman and president Chris Kermode reacted by stating firmly that the ATP World Tour Finals is mandatory. In six previous appearances in the year-end grand finale, Murray best results have been two semifinals.

If he made the semifinals or the final, it would only give him four or five days to travel to Belgium and get acclimated to the clay.

There are potential losses of millions of dollars in year-end bonus money for him and also in potential prize money – as well as possible sanctions for not fulfilling his obligation to play the World Tour Finals. But, especially after his heroic efforts in the three previous rounds in 2015, he appears to be a man on a Davis Cup mission.

It’s been a crazy year in the competition with Belgium winning its way to the final by beating Switzerland (without Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka), Canada (without Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil) and Argentina (without Juan Martin del Potro and Juan Monaco).

And it won all three rounds at home in Belgium. Similarly, Great Britain played its three ties at home. They were against the other three original Davis Cup nations – the United States, France and Australia. In each of those ties, Murray won both his singles and was twice victorious in the doubles with his brother.

The final shapes up as an interesting match-up. There’s probably no doubt that Andy Murray’s early exit from the US Open – in the quarter-finals against Kevin Anderson on the Wednesday nine days before Davis Cup began in Scotland – helped him be more rested and fresh than if he had reached the US Open semifinals or final.

Whether he has that much time, or more, before November’s final in Belgium, and whether a Belgian player like Steve Darcis can do a better job of wearing him out in the opening singles than Kokkinakis did in Glasgow, could be key in determining if Andy Murray is able to follow in the footsteps of Fred Perry one more time.

Canada and the 2016 Davis Cup

Photo: Kyle Chapham/ Tennis Canada

It’s always a fun parlour game in late September: who will Canada meet in the first round of Davis Cup action next year?

The draw will be done on Wednesday at 6 p.m. (EDT) in Santiago, Chile, site of the International Tennis Federation’s annual general meeting and where it will elect a new president to succeed the outgoing Francesco Ricci Bitti of Italy.

Here are the teams Canada can face and the possible locations:

  1. Great Britain (draw)
  2. Belgium (home)
  3. Czech Republic (draw)
  4. Switzerland (draw)
  5. France (away)
  6. Argentina (home)
  7. Serbia (home)
  8. Australia (draw)

Going strictly by the numbers, Canada has a 62.5% chance of playing at home, and 37.5% away.

The past few years some people have hoped for a possible opening-round tie against the United States, Australia or Great Britain.

Instead, Canada has played France (home), Spain (home), Japan (away) and Japan (home) since 2012.

There’s no chance of the USA (ranked No. 12) next year because it is not among the eight seeded countries, and Canada is not as well at No. 10. Similarly, it cannot be Japan (No. 14) for a third year in a row because it is also one of the unseeded nations.

Some might wonder whether Switzerland or Serbia might not be fun opponents – but Roger Federer has basically said he will not compete in 2016 and Novak Djokovic is also a question mark.

The first round of Davis Cup in 2016 takes place from March 4-6, the weekend before the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.

Wednesday’s draw will be live-streamed at at 6 p.m. (EDT).

Frank en fuego


That Frank Dancevic can play tennis, and play it very well, is known to many in the tennis world. That he can also play it well and do so in streaks is also widely known.

In 2011, he set a record by qualifying for all four Grand Slam events – an unbeaten 12-0 run in the qualifying in Melbourne, Paris, London and New York.

He may not have bested that feat by winning three Futures events – Calgary Tennis Club (Calgary), Donalda Club (Toronto) and Tevlin Futures (Sobeys Stadium – Toronto) – over the past three weeks because he didn’t beat anyone ranked higher than No. 260. But he has won 15 matches on the trot and is entered in this week’s $15,000 Futures event at the Mayfair Parkway Racquet and Fitness Club in Markham, Ont., just north of Toronto.

In compiling a 15-0 streak, he has won 12 matches in straight sets, with just three going the distance.

In the final in Calgary he beat Gonzalo Escobar of Ecuador 6-4, 6-3, at the Donalda Club on clay he defeated Tennys Sandgren of the U.S. 7-5, 6-2 and at the Tevlin Futures he outclassed Sanam Singh of India 6-3, 6-2.

“I was struggling with my confidence, struggling to get my game back,” Dancevic told Tennis Canada. “So I thought it was a good move to take a step back, play some smaller events at home and just regain some confidence. I think I’ve really done that the last couple weeks.”

Dancevic started 2015 at No. 149 but was No. 277 before the first of his Futures wins in Calgary. Now ranked No. 220 without the points from the Tevlin event last week, he will go to close to No. 200 regardless of how he does this week at the Mayfair Parkway tournament.

His recent results should guarantee him a spot in the Australian Open qualifying next January. He has played the qualifying every year since 2011 except 2012, reaching the main draw in 2011 and 2014, the year he memorably “saw Snoopy” in a harrowing first-round loss to Benoit Paire in brutally hot, humid conditions.

Top-seeded at this week’s event, Dancevic will play qualifiers in his first two matches as he begins his bid to sweep the four Futures events, possibly finishing with a win in the final on Sunday, which would incidentally be the day after his 31st birthday.  

Bouchard surfaces

After her fateful fall in the locker room at the US Open late on Friday, September 4, Genie Bouchard had only once appeared on Twitter – to post this emoji below the following day. On Sunday, she posted the tweet above.

As of the end of last week, Bouchard had still not been on a tennis court practicing, but there’s a chance she may play somewhere before the end of the current WTA season in late October.

She is entered in the three upcoming tournaments in Asia – Wuhan (China) next week followed by Beijing (China) and Hong Kong.

If she doesn’t play them, or only plays one or two, her only other option would be events in Luxembourg and Moscow the week starting October 19th.

Pennetta’s street cred

The following tweet by Flavia Pennetta shows a tribute to the newly-crowned 2015 US Open champion.

It appears to be on the street outside somewhere where she was – possibly during her seclusion for a few days after her big victory – and it translates as, “Flavia you are great.”

In her Twitter response, she wrote, “What a spectacle! Thank-you-ou-ou-ou ❤️”