By Paul Moran, special to USTA.com
From the 2011 World Team Cup in Tshwane, South Africa, Team USA's Paul Moran is not only competing in for the men but also writing a blog for USTA.com. Hear from Paul throughout the tournament as he provides insights and observations from the very first World Team Cup to originate from the African continent.
Greetings from South Africa!
Pretty amazing day yesterday: The team took an afternoon trip to a nearby game reserve/zoo and we got to go inside an enclosure and play with two young lion cubs. They were both the size of golden retrievers, but built a little lower to the ground. Of all the players, I had the best experience with them. The young lioness came back up to me to play, gnawing on my leg a bit (playfully - although her brother left some marks on my teammate Jon Rydberg's leg!) and then she rolled over to have her belly rubbed. So cool! I have video, but I am having some issues with my camera and battery that will hopefully be resolved soon enough.
This year I am joined by our finest American players, Jon Rydberg and Steve Welch, two guys who are top 10 players when on top of their game. Consequently, if they stay healthy I may not get a lot of playing time, but I am ready to contribute if needed in any way I can; if that's how it turns out, it's fine with me.
I am now told that we don't start playing until Tuesday in Group 2, where we ended up after I went winless in the #1 spot in Nottingham in 2009 when we were in Group 1, and then Jon and I lost to Sri Lanka in Turkey the last year. To get back to Group 1 we need to finish in the top 2 and we have tough competition with Japan and Sri Lanka in our group.
Time to head back to the courts for some lunch!
Other blogs from the 2011 World Team Cup: