Tuesday, September 29, 2009

San Juan Update

Although so far, nothing has been officially confirmed, it now seems more and more likely that David will play his first match not at the Copa Argentina in Buenos Aires but a week earlier in San Juan. There, David's former coach Martin Jaite is currently setting up an exhibition, the Copa Transandina, scheduled to take place on December 12/13 and featuring four players: David, Gaston Gaudio, Guillermo Cañas and Nicolas Massu (with Gaudio and Cañas apparently replacing Juan Monaco and Fernando Gonzalez).

According to this article from a San Juan newspaper website, it has yet to be decided at which venue the event will be held. But apparently, the organizers are still confident that they'll be able to release an official statement about the exhibition and its participants next week or, at the latest, by the end of October. The article also claims Gonzalo Bonadeo (you may remember him from the "TV interview", he was the one who interviewed David) to have announced that Argentine TV channel TyC Sports will be broadcasting the Copa Transandina. So there is hope that in case David plays his first match(es) in San Juan, there might be a stream...
But - nothing has been confirmed yet.

What has been confirmed, however, is that David will play the Copa Argentina.
Here's a new logo they've come up with for this year's edition:

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Vamos David goes ".com"

I'm happy to announce that Vamos David has a new address:

The old address (http://vamosdavid.blogspot.com/) will continue to work as well, so you don't have to update your bookmarks - unless you want to, of course. ;)
You can contact me at julia@vamosdavid.com.

Apart from that, the comments section is now open to everyone, including unregistered users. I hope that this will help solving the problems some readers have had in the past, trying to leave comments.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

David to play the Copa Argentina in December

According to new articles from Ole and canchallena.com (thanks, Tamar), the organizers of the Copa Argentina have confirmed that David will play the exhibition tournament held at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club from December 17 - 20. This year's Copa Argentina will feature a field of six players and David will be joined by Juan Monaco, Carlos Moya (also coming back after a long injury pause), Marat Safin, Marcos Baghdatis and Fernando Gonzalez.
The Óle article also claims that "the latest reports on Nalbandian's recovery are very positive and indicate that he'll make his official comeback at the tournament in Sydney to get some match practice before the Australian Open".

Meanwhile, David is currently in Barcelona for his check-up with Dr. Ruiz-Cotorro. Canchellana.com quotes an interview with David for the DPA news agency:
"I'm not able to do full training yet, but every week, every day I'm doing better. This week in Barcelona is important because I'm doing checks to see how well I've recovered. For now, fortunately everything is fine."

"The hip is better now than it was before, we must see how it'll be when I play matches. In theory, taking a little bit of care, it should be okay to play. It is quite normal."

"I'll have to see how it goes with the hip when I return but the goals remain the same, though it won't be easy."
About the Davis Cup draw, David said (according to Ole) that Argentina will have "a good chance" to beat Sweden. The draw in general he called "tough. It's complicated, but we have the team to win anywhere" and "with Juan Martin in good form and myself in good form we'll have a good chance."

So, great news! And we'll get to see David play again before the end of this year. :)

I just found a new photo of David, training...

(Gentileza Clarin/mundod.lavoz.com.ar)

And there's a new article on David's official website, saying that David may play another exhibition event in the city of San Juan on December 12/13, i.e. prior to the Copa Argentina. But only if he gets the okay from Dr. Ruiz-Cotorro at the end of this week.
According to another article on the official site, David now trains for one hour each day, including "controlled lateral movements". And he has also begun to practice his serve again.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Davis Cup 2010 Draw - Argentina to face Sweden first

The draw is out for next year's Davis Cup. And it's not exactly a good or easy one for Argentina... They've been drawn in the top, i.e. Spain's half, which looks like this (* = home team):





So next year's Davis Cup campaign will start with a trip to Sweden and chances are that David's first Davis Cup match after his comeback will be against the Swedish #1 - Söderling. The same Robin Söderling David beat in that epic five-set Davis Cup quarterfinal match in 2008, the very match that played a decisive role in aggravating his hip injury.
But Sweden isn't the only team close to Argentina in the draw that they have faced in recent years. If Argentina get through to the quarterfinal, their opponents could very well be Russia - again. (They've played Russia four times over the last seven years.) Just like in the first round, this would be an away tie for the Argentine team. And then, in a theoretical semifinal, possibly another encounter with Spain (and yet another away tie)...
In short - it's a really tough draw. I don't know whether David was listening to the radio broadcast but if he was I'm sure he cannot have been too happy about what he heard. One thing is clear, though. If Argentina want to stand any chance of getting through a draw like this one, with its series of strong opponents and away ties, then David and Delpo will have to work together as team. And they'll have to prove that everything now really is okay between the two of them.

The first-round ties will be played March 5-7, 2010.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Davis Cup Draw - Preview

Tomorrow at 11.30am CEST (6.30am Cordoba/Vamos David blog time) the draw for next year's Davis Cup will be pulled at Geneva, Switzerland. A live radio broadcast of the draw ceremony will be available via the Davis Cup website.

There are 16 nations in the World Group, eight of them seeded, including Argentina, and eight unseeded (those that qualified in last weekend's World Group playoffs). This year's finalists, i.e. Spain and the Czech Republic will be placed at the top and bottom of the draw - like the #1 and #2 seed at a tournament. So the Argentine team will find itself either in the Spanish or the Czech half.
As one of the seeded nations, Argentina will face an unseeded team in the first round. The unseeded teams are France, Sweden, Switzerland, Serbia, Belgium, Chile, Ecuador and India.
Which makes for some very different, possible first-round scenarios:
France or Sweden - away tie for Argentina
Chile, Ecuador or India - home tie for Argentina
If the Argentine team draws Switzerland, Serbia or Belgium, however, the right to play at home will be decided by lot. Usually, the choice of ground is determined by which side hosted the previous encounter between two nations. But Argentina and Serbia have never faced each other in Davis Cup before. And the last ties against Switzerland (1952) and Belgium (1948) took place too long ago to be taken into account by the ITF's reckoning, the deadline being 1970.
In other words, from an away tie against France to a home tie against India pretty much anything is possible for Argentina in the first round...

Let's hope they'll get a good draw. For the first round and the rest.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Videos

There are two new videos of David...

In this one (thanks, tennisace), David is hanging out at some sort of horse racing or riding event and he's talking about his rehabilitation. Everything is going well, no pain, no discomfort. At the end of the month he'll be going to Spain, i.e. Barcelona again for a final check-up with Dr. Ruiz-Cotorro. There, they will determine whether everything is indeed going according to plan and how far he is now from being at 100%. - I think he looks really good in this clip. Very cool with his shades... ;)

In this clip from ESPN Deportes, David talks about Delpo and the US Open final, basically saying the same things that were in his statement on the official site and the La Nacion article. The difference being that you can see him, talking about it. And I think he looks pretty comfortable. He also adds that he hopes Delpo's triumph will inspire lots of Argentine children to pick up a racquet and play tennis.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Congratulations from David

In the wake of Delpo's triumph at the US Open, where he defeated Roger Federer yesterday to win his first Grand Slam title, David has issued the following statement on his official site. At first, it was only available in Spanish and I was just about to translate it but now there's also an English version. So I'll just quote it here:
What Juan Martin did was really good because of the way he played, the way he worked hard during key moments. I congratulate him because he played a great tournament and it is not easy to play the first [Slam] final. He was a bit nervous at the beginning, mainly during the first set, but he played really well. This kind of achievement changes your life. Let’s hope with this he settles down and uses this as experience for later on because it is a springboard to his career, to another kind of experiences. We should not forget that Federer is always Federer; he was playing well and it is not easy to defeat him. This is good for the tennis world, an important step forward which does not happen every day. It is really good for Argentine tennis, and let’s hope we can go on making people happy.

Here's a brief article from La Nacion about how David watched the match back home in Unquillo and what he said afterwards...
A few blocks away from the house of David Nalbandian the bar Mumú Mamá, owned by the tennis player, was filling with patrons gathering in front of the TV to support Juan Martin Del Potro. At the house of King David as well, it was the TV set that was attracting all the attention. Coffee and toast on the table, a couple of life-long friends to discuss the match with and mama Alda nearby, David followed the final with a bit of nerves. After a little over four hours of ups and downs, when Delpo dropped to the ground at the Arthur Ashe stadium, Nalbandian let out a spontaneous "How great is that?!"

Afterwards, the thoughts of Nalbandian, who was a semifinalist at the US Open in 2003, were filled with praise for the man from Tandil. "It was a spectacular triumph. There's always a bit of nerves when you watch a match like this but Juan Martin played a great match. And it's always very difficult to play against Federer. Juan Martin went from playing not so good to great. He was the better player and he was able to prevail although Federer was playing well. He has shown that he has enormous confidence and that he's [playing] at a great level."

David followed the tournament during the two weeks. Of each of Delpo's matches he saw at least some part. But the one yesterday he really didn't want to miss. "Will the rise of Juan Martin continue now? The challenge will be to maintain this level and continue winning at the majors, which are the tournaments that mean the most points and prestige. To keep it up is more difficult than to get to this point. Where he is now, it's more difficult to go up one position [in the ranking] than to go up from #100 to #50. But he is very young and still has much to give. I hope it stays that way. His triumph is not only very important for his career but for Argentine tennis in general. It's a very important impulse for approaching the Davis Cup. Hopefully, we can win it next year."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

David on Screen - Part 2

Drama. Missed chances and silly re-breaks. Glorious winners followed by horrible errors. Matches that drive you up the wall as a fan - David's specialty. Still, I guess I'm not the only one who really misses the drama...
Therefore, this edition of David on Screen is dedicated to those dramatic, nerve-racking, almost unbearable matches that David likes to torture us with.

Once again, all credit belongs to Krystle for uploading these matches from her collection and making it all possible. Thank you so much!

Masters Cup Houston 2003, Round Robin vs Andre Agassi
Part 1: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=926C2ZJN
Part 2: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=ZP8O28YU
Part 3: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=A3K3NLXI
Part 4: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=DFFN3FMM
[This is the only match David ever played against Agassi.]

Masters Rome 2006, semifinal vs Roger Federer
Part 1: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=W6PHF0HD
Part 2: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=4UWR75E6
Part 3: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=D1Z2MDCA
Part 4: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=Q73C7LFB
[I've posted a YouTube highlights clip of this match before.]

US Open 2007, Round 3 vs David Ferrer
Part 1: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=SH0R6BNY
Part 2: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=OB25DYW8
Part 3: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=3C9HYP07
Part 4: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=8AJURFMY
Part 5: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=MSEXT4WT
[This one I found particularly gruesome to watch live...]

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Photos and a new Video

Today is the day David probably doesn't care too much about tennis or his recovery. Today, it's all about football... As Argentina get ready to take on Brazil in a crucial World Cup qualifying match tonight, David has travelled to the city of Rosario to be there at the stadium and watch the match live. There, he did an interview with the Argentine sports channel TyC Sports. A video clip of that interview can be watched here (sorry, I couldn't embed it). In this clip, David briefly mentions that it's good to back on court again and that he doesn't feel any pain or discomfort. And then he talks about football - but it's worth having a look. Trust me...
(Note: there are four more, older David videos you can watch on that site, the one where he looked rather bloated in his orange sweater but also three other ones plus an interview with his doctor Ruiz-Cotorro.)

Apart from that, I still owe you the photos that Tamar managed to have taken at the press conference for David's foundation (25/08/09). She has allowed me to post them here. So here are the first three she has sent me:

Update - more photos from Tamar...