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Mardy Fish and Rajeev Ram’s beef goes on after the USA is denied a spot in the semi-finals by Italy

Mardy Fish will have to answer the Rajeev Ram question for some time after the USA loses in this Davis Cup quarter-final

Mardy Fish Mardy Fish (AI / Reuters / Panoramic)

Mardy Fish had only one way to avoid answering again about why he didn’t pick Rajeev Ram, winner of the US Open and the ATP Finals with Joe Salisbury, for these Finals: winning. But the United States team went down on Thursday against Italy, and to add to the US captain’s pain it was due to a loss in the doubles. So obviously it all came back to him: why didn’t he pick Rajeev Ram for the Finals? Any regrets?

The whole controversy has been raging among the US ranks since Ram blasted the team for omitting him. “I’m very disappointed. I put in a lot of hard work this year to help the team get there,” said Ram. “I felt like I had earned the spot if you will. So I was quite surprised when I wasn’t picked, and even more surprised to be honest that they only went with four players instead of five. That was the choice. But, yeah, I was hoping to be on the team for sure.”

So nobody in the tennis world missed Ram’s tweet on Thursday just a few minutes after Tommy Paul and Jack Sock lost the decisive doubles. As young people say: if you know, you know.

Back on the wall, Fish still stood by his choices and even added that his team would have anyways lost even with Ram.

Mardy Fish is not backing down

“We’ve got a lot of great players that play for the U.S. Rajeev is one of them. He wasn’t on the team this year, and that’s my choice. This is the team that I put on the court, and so if anyone has an issue with that, that’s on me. Rajeev has played. He’s played and he’s played well. He’s played for us a few times with Jack, and this is a team that I was excited to see. Also, Jack and Frances are a phenomenal team. They have played and beaten some really good teams in some competitions as well, and so we had a lot of options. This was the team we went with today. But if Rajeev was here or not, those guys were going to win today. They played well and they’re too good.”

A statement that seems quite extraordinary to make as there is actually no way to know how Ram playing today could or could not made a difference, but that shows that Fish has zero wish to start questioning his team’s choices. He clearly wants to close the door on the kind of controversy that has been the seed of many captains’ turnover in the past in a team competition where ego can be the enemy from the inside in a sport where usually a player is his own boss.

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