Monday, February 14, 2011

David: I'll do a good Job at Buenos Aires

(Marcelo Cáceres/Agencia Córdoba)

Before the Copa Claro starts for David (tomorrow night), here's the latest interview. With an apparently relaxed and optimistic David, who's really looking forward to playing his home event. And who's determined to give his best, playing in front of his home crowd at the BALTC.
Talking to Marcelo Maller from Clarin, David (ranked #20 as of this week) also gives his take on what happened in and after Australia, who he thinks will be the players to beat at the Copa Claro and how the experience of playing this particular event has changed for him, over the years.
Q: How are you, going into this tournament?

David: Good, good. The truth is I'm very happy with the way I've been training. Last week, Lobito [Luis Lobo] was in Córdoba. I've been training hard.

Q: Do you think that maybe people are worried because of your last performances? Because in Australia you could barely move in the second match and at Santiago you lost in the second round.

David: Noo. Do you think people are worried?

Q: It's not unusual to be dead on your feet after a match as long as the one against Hewitt, without being able to respond, physically.

David: Buehh [that's really what it says], but the match at the Australian Open was tremendous. With the nerves, the pressure, with the opponent, it was a lot more than what it seemed at first glance. And apart from that we finished playing at 1.30am. And I ended up going to bed at around 5 in the morning or something, after the massages, the press, food. And then you go around in circles because you can't sleep. You can't recover that well and then the other day, I played during the day. Things like that happen. And afterwards, in Chile, it was like playing in a field. All the matches I saw were very bad. It was impossible to play. Tell the people to stay calm, I'll do a good job at Buenos Aires.

Q: I was asking you because after surgery, the million-dollar question was whether you can still last five sets...

David: (interrupts) That answered the question the people or you had - I did it. But are you asking me about the five-set match against Hewitt or the one after that? Hahaha.

Q: The question was about whether you'd be able to last in a match, but the other one wasn't.

David: I think that as I'll go on playing and go on adjusting I'm going to feel a little better. You have to remember that I'm still limited in some ways in training and in a way, that hurts my performance and also my recovery. But little by little, getting the medical okay, I try to do my best.

Q: At Buenos Aires, who will be the one to beat?

David: I think it's going to be Almagro, who's a very tough opponent on clay. Robredo, who comes here, having won Santiago. And then the Argentines are always tough, like Monaco, who's playing well and difficult to beat if he's playing with confidence. Wawrinka as well is very tough, and Bellucci is a very promising player.

Q: Do you see yourself as one of the contenders for the title?

David: Yes, and if I didn't then I wouldn't be playing here. If I didn't I would be playing on hardcourt in the US, which would be better for my hip.

Q: Having won the title in 2008, where do you get the motivation for this tournament from?

David: From wanting to win it again and playing at home every day. We don't get to play here much and in front of our home crowd. And now we get the chance. That's spectacular and to play at a full stadium is something beautiful.

Q: Do you feel a little pressure?

David: You always have a little more than the usual pressure when you're playing at home. But it's nice because an athlete walks on court and enjoys it. Otherwise you probably wouldn't be there.

Q: While you're not a veteran, you're 29 years old. Do you think that this might be your last tournament in Buenos Aires?

David: No, I don't see it that way. I think that I still have some years left. I don't think that this will be the last time.

Q: From the David Nalbandian who first played this event in 2001 to this one now - what has changed?

David: Back then, the crowd went to see a promising young player and today a contender. Now I enjoy it in a different way because I know how it is. Back then it was with uncertatinty, anxiety and nerves.


  1. I wish people would stop bringing up the question of "how long are you going to play" as though Nalbandian (or Federer) are 87 year-olds playing at a nursing home ping pong tournament. How in the world could someone watch his match against Hewitt or his excellent performance throughout the week at Auckland and think that Nalbandian looks old or plays old? It is just completely stupid if you ask me. "Will this be your last time at Buenos Aires?" Nalbandian should've said back: "will this be the last time you pretend to be a sports reporter?"

    Otherwise, I liked Nalbandian's answers. I think he's going to have an excellent string of results in the next couple months, starting at the Copa Claro. He looked excellent in Auckland and I think the Hewitt victory was great for his confidence.

    Vamos Daveeed!!!

  2. he really seems up to the task this time, lets go David lets go

  3. and ya, I didn't like the "Will this be your last time at Buenos Aires?" part as well

  4. What bothered me Noubar was this reporter's tone. After playing at Auckland and then having the marathon match against Hewitt, he had nothing to be embarassed about losing to Berankis. Back when Rafael Nadal was 21 years old he once played a long semifinal match against Carlos Moya in Chennai and then got beat in 35 minutes 6-1 6-0 by Youzhny. Was that reason to "worry" about his fitness? Obviously not.

    And when Nalbandian says the conditions at Santiago were bad, why don't these reporters take it seriously? It's a small event at a facility that is probably far from first-rate. It is completely plausible that things could be rough there. If anything, he was able to use the Berlocq and Zeballos matches to shake off some clay rust without getting injured. Fine by me

  5. In Auckland, Nalbandian completely schooled three guys in their early/mid-20s: Petzschner, Isner, and Almagro. Somehow this ingenious reporter forgot about that.

  6. As far as I know, no other player complained about the conditions at Santiago. And it's not like people haven't been wondering what happened at Santiago, also here on VD.

    As you can see from David's relaxed manner and replies he was fine with Maller's questions. I don't see a reason to have a problem with them "in his place".

  7. As a professional tennis player, Nalbandian is very adept at this point in his career at answering reporters without taking them too seriously. But I do think this interview was a bit testy, and Nalbandian shot back with some sharp replies. One time he even asked a question back at the reporter.

  8. As someone who has translated and therefore very closely read lots of David's interviews I can assure you that David, giving sharp replies looks very, very different from this.
    Apart from that, Maller is doing his job, here. He's not supposed to admire David or be his fan.
    As for professionally dealing with the press, David has his own, special reputation when it comes to that...

  9. i don't think the loss in Santiago was mainly because of the bad courts, but i am rather sure that the court was no good, i was watching this event with my Dad on TV, he was like, "this must be the worst tournament on the ATP calender" and i think it is, BA is also a 250 clay, way much better courts and organizers. for God sakes Robredo was taking the balls from the floor many times during the semifinal lol

  10. We'll see how he does at the BALTC. That's what matters now.

    And I really hope that they're going to schedule his match as the first one in the night session tomorrow because it looks like that's the only slot for which there's a proper stream. (Though there's still in case he plays some other time.)

  11. Right Noubar, and I think to Julia's earlier point about no one else complaining about the courts at Santiago, I think Nalbandian is more of the type to just say it how he believes it is even if that means sounding like a whiner. Plus, he has the pedigree to do it, whereas most of the participants in Santiago were just happy to be in the main draw getting a paycheck.

    For Nalbandian to say that playing in Santiago was like "playing in a field" is actually very funny.

  12. I think he should do good,its his home event,almost like Davis Cup,the draw is ok,Starace and Volandri are beatable,dont think that Robredo will make the QF,if he would he would be on a 7 match win streak,just dont see it happening,but I dont know if he can take out Almagro though,50-50 chances,if it was at another tournament I would give the edge to Almagro but because of the home crowd its anybodys match,and I think that only a QF would be enough to jump to the 18th spot in the rankigs.

  13. Robredo played last week and lost in the second round at Costa do Sauipe. But I expect him to make QF.
    And I wasn't suprised that Almagro was the first name that came to David's mind, asked about the top contenders. I watched Almagro at CdS and he's really playing well at the moment.

  14. Night session, prime time it is for David.

  15. Ups forgot that he played Brasil,Santiago was still in my mind.Im sure hes happy with the night session.

  16. Yep, he definitely will be. And so am I. :)

  17. Almagro really troubled Nalbandian at Acapulco and Rome, but right before the Barcelona 2009 withdrawal Nalbandian evened the series, in a clay match. I would expect a great match in a hypothetical semifinal between them.

  18. a new article and already 17 comments?:O

  19. Julia, fast as always, glad they gave him the first match of the night session, hope andvari will be up to record the encounter.

  20. Come on Daviiiiid! I can't wait for tomorrow.