Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Copa Claro Preview

(La Nacion)

UpdateII (11/02)
With the start of the Copa Claro now drawing near, David talked to (the website of the Argentine sports channel) about his take on this tournament, the current state of affairs and, of course, the Davis Cup...
"For me, playing the ATP event in Buenos Aires is very nice, most of all because of the people. It's nice to think that those, who follow you on TV at the different tournaments throughout the year now get the chance to come and see you. That's why I really enjoy playing here. This tournament is a very important part of my calendar and has been for some years now."
About his current physical state, David has the following to say:
"Physically, I feel very good and relaxed in that sense. I'm going to give my best because I want people to see the best Nalbandian in Buenos Aires."
And Santiago?
"As for Santiago, I played very badly, the court was in a poor state and Zeballos played well."
Three weeks from now, it'll be time for the first Davis Cup tie of the season, Argentina's first-round encounter with Romania (March 4-6). And you might think that the planning stage for this tie would've started by now - but apparently not really.
"So far, there have been no talks about it with Tito Vázquez. I think that on clay, Romania is an opponent we can beat."
While David insists (once more) that there's no ongoing grudge between him and Delpo.
"Everything is fine with Juan Martin, there's no meeting planned because there's nothing to clarify."
We'll see if everything is still fine when they play Davis Cup together again. Though the earliest possible occasion for that will be the quarterfinal, as Delpo won't play against Romania.

David has never been one for playing packed schedules with lots of 250 tournaments in-between the big ones. But out of all the smaller events, this is the one that's most important to him, the Copa Claro (formerly Copa Telmex), his 'home tournament' at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club. The only tournament venue, by the way, David and his fans get to see twice every year - during this event and the Copa Argentina exhibition.

Last year, David making his comeback after surgery and more than nine months away from the Tour was the main attraction of the tournament, with a guaranteed prime-time slot in the night session for his matches. This year, it's clear that David will be facing a tougher competition for a place in the night session - but also on court. Tournament director Martin Jaite and his team have done their best to assemble a strong field. Although the player who was marketed as the big attraction this year, as a recent Slam semifinalist, now won't come to Buenos Aires, after all: David Ferrer has pulled out of the Copa Claro, citing "personal reasons" (source).

For "our" David, who's defending 45 points at this event, this means that he'll be the third seed behind Nicolas Almagro and Stanislas Wawrinka (no byes in the first round). Unless a higher-ranked player receives the last remaining wildcard. So far, two wildcards have been announced. One will be awarded to José "Chucho" Acasuso, David's opponent in the final 2008. Whereas the organisers' choice for the second wildcard could lead to a new edition of David's last match, as it will go to Horacio Zeballos.

Update (11/02)
The third wildcard goes to Argentinean youngster Federico Delbonis.

The draw will take place on Saturday. In the past, David was sometimes present at the ceremony and the press conference that goes with it. This time, however, David has other plans, he'll be playing a charity match in Gualeguaychú (a name you may remember for one of David's more colourful off-court performances). In any case, this time David probably won't sing, instead he'll play football for a good cause (source).
As always, I'll try to post the draw as soon as possible.


  1. I like the picture (nice colors, etc), but it looks odd to me since I've never seen a stadium so empty for an official tour match. I had to check to see the umpire, linesman, and ballboys. Maybe it's a qualifying match?

  2. Yeah, that one is from a qualifying match. I like using pics of the stadium still empty - awaiting David and the other players - before the start of an event. :)

  3. thats kind of good news about ferrer's pull out, 3rd seed sounds nice. hope with the support of the crowd, he will be the favorite among the other seeds

  4. Hey, Julia, did you have a good respite from VD? I like the picture, too. Looks like Ferrer finally ran out of gas in Rotterdam. That's good for our David. Hope he's up for a good result in Buenos Aires.

  5. Well, taking a break was not my decision, there were other factors at work. But I hope that I'll be able to do a normal coverage next week. :)
    No idea what's behind Ferru's withdrawal. But yeah, good for David.
    And yeah, Noubar, the crowd will be behind him. Let's hope it helps. ;) Hopefully, he'll do well.

  6. For the record (and here, because I'm not going to add yet another update...) - Ferrero has pulled out, which means Zeballos doesn't need his WC as he'll get into the main draw directly, so his WC will go to maximo Gonzalez.

  7. "i want people to see the best Nalbandian" that means he will give his best, i like that

  8. I wish he wants that outside Argentina too :)