Tennis With An Accent: Davis Cup, Marin Cilic, & More

Tennis with an accentThe 2018 tennis season is over but the conversation continues at Tennis With An Accent.

Our offseason podcast series begins with a set of reflections. Saqib Ali and Matt Zemek start with the last Davis Cup, which ended in France on Sunday. Croatia captured its second Davis Cup championship, with Marin Cilic winning two matches.

Saqib and Matt try to make sense of why the Davis Cup ended and why certain arguments convinced enough of the power brokers in tennis to change their ways. You might not like the fact that the Davis Cup is no more, but it is important to understand how tennis arrived at this point. Saqib and Matt explain that what matters to tennis federations and decision makers isn’t what often matters to fans.

We continue our conversation by appreciating the career of Marin Cilic, who answered every challenge and responded perfectly to every urgent moment in the Davis Cup Final against France. Our discussion explores the foremost aspect of Cilic’s career which should be mentioned before anything else.

Lucas Pouille was part of the losing French side in the Davis Cup Final. Saqib asks if France has left money on the table in the past 15 years of Davis Cup play, given the depth on its roster. Matt evaluates Pouille as a reflection of French tennis in the early 21st century.

The conversation also examines Davis Cup in a more personal way, as Saqib and Matt turn to the countries where they grew up: India (Saqib) and the United States (Matt). They reflect on the moments which defined important tennis players within a nation-specific context. Saqib discusses the example of Leander Paes through the prism of the Olympic Games and Davis Cup. Matt explains that even though Pete Sampras created an incredible Davis Cup moment in his career, most American sports fans will remember him for reasons other than Davis Cup. This exploration of tennis identity also deals with the complicated experience of tennis in Argentina, where Roland Garros is hugely important… and Davis Cup matters a lot as well. Saqib raises a central question in response to his personal observations of Argentine players and fans over the years.

It’s the kind of conversation you won’t find anywhere else, new this week at Tennis With An Accent.

Thanks for listening!

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Music provided by Teknoaxe and used under the terms of CC (Creative Commons) 4.0 license.

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