Photo Credit to: Bettauer Tennis
Written by: Robert Bettauer
***Bettauer has an extensive history as a senior sports leader in Canada. He is currently the CEO of PISE (Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence) in Victoria, B.C. with previous roles as the founding President and CEO of the Canadian Sport Centre Ontario, and the Director of Tennis Development for Tennis Canada. As an athlete Robert won several national tennis titles and was a member of Canada’s Davis Cup Team, while also holding an ATP Tour world ranking in singles and doubles. As a national coach Robert ran Tennis Canada’s first Western Canadian high performance training centre at UBC, and helped coach the Davis Cup team leading to coaching Canada’s tennis team at the Olympic Games in Seoul and Barcelona. Bettauer has provided television commentary and analysis on tennis for over 25 years at the Rogers Cup, Olympics and Davis Cup. He is currently the Chair of the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame, a Board member of the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame and continues to be an active tennis player and coach. He recently won the Canadian Tennis Championships in 55-59 age category, qualifying him for the 2014 World Senior Team Championships to be played in April 2014.***
Robert Bettauer’s Blog can be found by clicking here.
In the end the Canadian Davis Cup team literally died on the court with their boots on falling on their sword. A little graphic, but sums up that compelling last match point with Vasek Pospisil valiantly diving for one last drop shot and seriously injuring himself in the process while Janko Tipsarevic stabbed desperately while falling himself to secure a well-earned spot in the Davis Cup final for his team. The Serbian team was full value for their victory and handled themselves with class both on and off the court throughout the tie. They set a very high standard.
On the final day of this dramatic World group semi-final Serbia responded to the challenge and proved they were the stronger team as forecast before the tie. To Canada’s great credit, they made them prove it pushing them to the limit leading 2-1 in matches going into the final day and forcing Novak Djokovic and Tipsarevic to bring their best. They did. And that’s a big compliment to Canada and also a measuring stick of what the next steps need to be for this young, skilled and very promising team. The world has definitely taken notice.
In the opening match on Sunday, world number 1 Djokovic, played like….well, the world number 1. While Milos Raonic pushed him in the first set and had his chances, Djokovic had the answers as he so often does against all comers and put on a gymnastic display of outstanding defense, coupled with his stellar return of serve and relentless ground game. Just too good. For Milos, there is no better test to know exactly where your game is at then playing the best when they are dialed right in and playing big ball. Raonic has regained his form, and then some, since teaming with Ivan Ljubicic as his coach. His more aggressive play and stronger returning helped him win that stirring come from behind win against Tipsaravic on Friday and made for quality tennis on Sunday, even if Djokovic was able to comfortably assert himself after the first set. Raonic is on his way of staying in the top 10 on a permanent basis as he is doing the work, paying the price and learning the lessons needed to get there. You can see and hear the respect from Djokovic and that’s powerful validation.
To view the full article, please go to Robert Bettauer’s Blog