At 7-5, 5-0 for Arnaud Clement in the fifth rubber today, umpire Carlos Ramos had to ask Horacio Zeballos for help. In the stands behind his chair, there was a noisy party going on, the Argentine fans singing and celebrating, with Michael Llodra right there with them. On court, Tito Vázquez was moved to tears by this last display of support. Minutes later, Clement sealed the fifth victory for France of this weekend and the whitewash for Argentina. Still, both teams parted on very amiable terms, with lots of hugs and the exchange of many nice words. The only one who missed both the party in the stands and the friendly end of this tie was David. He left after the fourth rubber to get on the way back home.
On Friday, after the defeat against Monfils, David's criticism of Tito Vázquez sent a shock wave through the Argentine press and public, big enough to put Argentina's captain into question. David's criticism concerned Tito's choice of Juan Monaco as singles player and not Eduardo Schwank, which would've granted David the #1 position and a first match against Llodra instead of Monfils. However, before the match David seemed quite confident that he would beat Monfils, saying his negative record against him wouldn't stay like that for much longer. After the lost match however, David thought that a first-day encounter between him and Monfils should've been avoided at any price, basically saying that Vázquez was to blame for his defeat, for "not having had the guts" to play Schwank instead of Monaco. A dubious statement to say the least but in any case one that should've remained behind closed doors.
Before leaving for Argentina today, David took a moment to do some major back-pedalling...
There are no problems between Tito and me, my words have been misinterpreted, everything is perfect and the dream is to win the Davis Cup.But is everything perfect now? Or has it ever been - after all, David wasn't too happy when the AAT appointed Vázquez as Mancini's successor, as David (and a couple of others) wanted David's former coach Martin Jaite for the job. Later, there was the meeting between David and Delpo that Vázquez promised but failed to set up, which prompted David to say that "Tito should stop talking crap" (see post). Back then, the AAT considered sanctions against David but Vázquez spoke against it.
I talked about what we talked about on Wednesday. There was nothing fixed, it was all uncertain, so the risk could've been taken [of playing Schwank] but Tito didn't want to. It could've worked out but it didn't. I'm not unhappy with Tito, on Wednesday he told us that he wouldn't take that risk.
The tie was even, bad luck, have to wait for another year. We had a good year, if you look at the team, we made it in Sweden, we made it in Russia and with injured players, Pico, Delpo and also myself. It's been a good year in terms of the results, it's not all bad now because we've lost. We didn't make it, although we prepared well for this tie. I'm hoping for a good draw and that we'll get to play at home. We have a very good team and hopefully, we'll also have a bit of luck.
Perhaps, this Davis Cup season with the great victories at Stockholm and Moscow would've deserved a better end than this - and not just in terms of the score. David's obsession with his beloved Copa Davis will, as always, remain unchanged. That much is certain. But what the next year will bring, when Delpo returns to the team - and with him the apparently still unresolved problems between David and him - who knows.
The Davis Cup madness continues next March.