Saturday, May 7, 2011

Davis Cup Intermezzo - The Chinese Interview

(Sergio Cejas; from the MundoD shoot in late March)

While the wait continues for news about whether or not he will play Nice (and if so, Roland Garros), David has been making news of a different kind. Here's what happened over the last couple of days. As mentioned previously in the comments, David gave an interview to the Chinese Xinhua News Agency, an interview that the agency had been trying to get for months. During the twenty minutes they finally got with David at the Vilas Club, one of the topics was the Davis Cup. I'll quote from their English version of the article:
He [David] said that unity is a key if the Argentine team is to succeed in reaching the semifinals and appealed to team captain Modesto "Tito" Vasquez for getting more involved in order to ensure that unity prevails between the players.
"It is the job of the captain. With Tito I don't really talk about the topic, because we never really see him. Tito only shows up in the week of the Davis Cup," he said, but expressed hope that Argentina will present the country's best players to the matches against Kazakhstan.
(The complete article you can read here.)
That quote about Vázquez caused a commotion in the Argentine press and apparently also made it onto Argentine TV. Which prompted a reply from David in form of the following press release:
"In order [for my words] to be interpreted correctly and in an adequate context, I would like to clarify that I do not have a problem with the captain, Modesto 'Tito' Vázquez, with whom I have a respectful relationship."
Apart from that, David said that he's fully available to the captain to contribute to the benefit of the team in any way, as he has always done in the course of his career.
"My intention is to continue with my recovery in order to make my comeback on the Tour in the best possible way and to get ready well ahead of the next Davis Cup tie to be played in our country. I only have a few years left of my career and I'm going to give everything to try and make Argentina win the Davis Cup."
You'll notice that David doesn't explicitly deny having said these things but claims that they were taken out of context. Though whether his words leave much room for interpretation is another question. And it's not the first time that David has caused a stir with statements about Vázquez. Apart from Lyon last year, there was also this incident back in 2009 (with obvious similarities). Back then, the AAT wanted David punished but Vázquez decided against it.

Much ado about nothing? - Perhaps, but also indicative of a variety of things. Of how seriously the Davis Cup gets taken in Argentina and of the tension that's already starting to build (even with the next tie still two months away). And then there's also the background story, the incidents I have mentioned, as well as David's traditionally dominant approach to being on the Davis Cup team. Another tradition is his, let's say - volatile relationship with the Argentine media. In this case, there's been an attempt at taking control of the news situation. Something I'd like to see more of, whether by means of the official site or its extensions. The instruments are there - but they don't get used. Instead, it falls to the media to report what news there is.

Last but not least, further (and innocuous) quotes from the "Chinese interview":
"I'm not going to play Rome next week and the idea is to see if I can play a tournament [i.e. Nice] before Roland Garros. It's very difficult to start at a best-of-five tournament so we're going to wait but we're going to see how things evolve during these weeks."

"I know I can play one, two or three more years and then it's going to be my body that will decide for how long I can remain to be competitive. For now, I'm going to play the next tournaments and I'm going to see over the course of these years how long I can last, physically." (via Cancha Llena)


  1. You'd think David would have learned by now that saying those kinds of things would be picked up by the media. But I guess he doesn't care.

  2. Yep. But apparently, he doesn't realise that it would be better to keep things like that behind the scenes. Or maybe he thought he'd get away with it in this case.
    Then again, handling the media has never really been David's greatest strength... And I guess he's the only player with a Twitter account he doesn't post on, himself.

  3. Twitter accounts are stupid anyway. He should just get his spokesman to actually pass on useful information. I saw in the last post that I was right, about Ballero only being there to mention double shifts. :)

  4. So when can we accept news will David play Nice?

  5. I assume that this interview was done in English. If so, then you know the end of the matter.

  6. No, it wasn't.

    Adrian, at the latest on Thursday, I guess. Because that's when he'd have to get on the way to France.

    Krystle, no, not at all necessarily stupid or useless. Just the way they're using it.

  7. What I found interesting is that he said he'll play one, two or three more years and that it depends on how long he can stay healthy and competitive - that's exactly what he said before coming back after hip surgery.