Monday April 14th, 2008

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WhoWhy They're Up
Davis Cup winners
The A-team semifinalists: Russia, Spain, Argentina and the U.S.
Maria Sharapova
Russian returns to action and wins Bausch & Lomb Championships at Amelia Island, Fla., her first clay title. She's now 22-1 on the year. (Mattek and Uhlirova on the doubles.)
Sharmil Tarpishev/Marat Safin
When Russian captain Tarpishev picked Safin (pictured) to play Davis Cup singles over Nikolay Davydenko, the Miami winner last week, one wondered, "What's he been smoking?" Then Safin won and one wondered, "Where do we get some of that?"
Tennis Educational Merit Award winners
Todd S. Ellenbecker of Scottsdale, Ariz., Sharon Rosenburgh of Indianapolis and Kathleen Ann Stroia of St. Petersburg, Fla. The Tennis Educational Merit Awards are given annually to individuals who are U.S. citizens or residents that have made notable contributions in the tennis education field at the national level. Award winners have repeatedly demonstrated leadership and creative skills in tennis instruction, writing, organization and promotion of the game of tennis.
Ryan Harrison
Fifteen year-old American defeated 37-year-old Alex Reichel 6-1, 6-4 for a spot in the main draw in Houston. Harrison lost just eight games in qualifying, dispatching of the No. 4 seed Phillip King 6-1, 6-2 on Saturday. Already turned pro, Harrison is a career-high No. 7 in the junior rankings this week.
Deuce
WhoAll tied up?
Lindsay Davenport
Reaches Amelia Island semis but then has to withdraw with illness. Still, her play on clay suggests that she might want to reconsider her plans for Paris.
Roger Federer
Only top-10 player not to play Davis Cup. But do we give him credit for the wisdom to retain José Higueras for the clay-court season.
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Justine Henin
World No. 2 pulls out of Charleston, S.C., with a knee injury, joining the Williams sisters as absentees.
Richard Gasquet
You're France's top gun -- and you had beaten Andy Roddick on a fast court at the last year's Wimbledon -- but you don't play Davis Cup on account of a blister. Then you avail yourself for the meaningless dead rubber?
Davis Cup format
It was a week of hotly contested matches and intrigue. Now the competition will reconvene (wait for it) Sept. 19-21.

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