ST. PETERSBURG, FLA., NOV. 30 -- The Australian Davis Cup team may be competing half a globe away from home, but they probably won't be suffering jet lag.
Several of the Aussies own condos at a Florida tennis camp run by fellow countryman Kim Warwick and they spend a good chunk of their year here.
Meanwhile, the Americans are holed up at the posh Don Cesar Hotel in St. Petersburg Beach. Fit to Be Tied
With words like "deuce" and "love" and "lob," tennis has always had its own vocabulary. But the Davis Cup adds another twist to the tennis lexicon, with terms not commonly used in any other tournaments.
Though it may sound strange, the United States and Australia are competing this weekend in a final round "tie." That's Davis Cup lingo for match. And there's more.
Today's singles matches and tomorrow's doubles are "rubbers" -- any match that is best-of-five sets. (All matches are scheduled as "rubbers," but if one team takes a 3-0 lead, the final two matches become best-of-three sets). . . .
American doubles player Jim Pugh did not appear with his teammates when the players were introduced at the Thursday draw ceremonies. According to team captain Tom Gorman, Pugh has "a little bug." Gorman said it isn't serious and that Pugh would be ready to play doubles on Saturday. . . .
The normally neon-clad Andre Agassi wore the U.S. team's official (and very conservative) dark blue jacket and red tie for the ceremony. Perhaps in deference to the solemnity of the occasion, he forsook his dangling earring and settled for a hardly discernible stud in the left ear lobe.
It may have been the first time that another player had a flashier outfit than the Las Vegas kid's. Australian Pat Cash wore a hoop earring along with the Aussie uniform of blue blazer and striped tie.
Agassi has never been known for tact when he opens his mouth. Asked to respond to Australian team captain Neale Fraser's repeated remarks during a Thursday news conference that "all the pressure is on the Americans," Agassi couldn't resist a snide remark.
Agassi had heard Fraser's comments over a loudspeaker in an adjoining lounge. His thoughts? "It sounded like someone stuck a quarter in him."