Sunday, September 18, 2011

Davis Cup Semifinal - Day 3: Argentina in the Final

(Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

We all wanted it to happen - but not like this. At 7-6(5), 3-0 for Del Potro, Novak Djokovic collapsed on court with a scream of pain after hitting a forehand. After lying on the court for a couple of minutes, he decided to retire, granting Argentina the third point and a place in this year's final (December 2-4), where they will meet Spain. It's going to be another away tie for Argentina.
Whether David will play the fifth, dead rubber - I don't think so.
Edit: Juan Monaco will play the fifth rubber for Argentina against - Tipsarevic, after all.

More soon.

It's day three at the Belgrade Arena, time for the big showdown. Going into today's reverse singles, Argentina still has a 2-1 lead and needs only one more point for a place in this year's Davis Cup final. But with the world no.1 taking to the court today, the tie could go down to a decisive fifth rubber. And it could once again fall to David to try and clinch the tie for Argentina.
But first of all:

Fourth rubber
Novak Djokovic vs Juan Martin Del Potro
It's a one-sided record that Del Potro has against Djokovic. Four matches, four defeats. But with this particular match, Del Potro's chances are going to depend on how well Djokovic will be able to play, given the circumstances. He arrived at Belgrade practically at the last minute and has only done some very light training since the US Open final. And apparently, from what I've read, he does have some problems with his back. But all of that could be forgotten, playing Davis Cup in front of his home crowd. In short, if Djokovic can manage to play at (or near) the kind of level he has shown throughout this season then Del Potro will be in serious trouble.
And if he loses this match then it'll be up to David...

(Marko Drobnjakovic/AP Photo)
Fifth rubber
Janko Tipsarevic vs David
They 've met only once and that was a while ago, at the Australian Open 2007. But if that match is anything to go by then we could be in for a ride. Back then, David had to save match points in the third set before eventually, Tipsarevic retired early on in the fifth (due to problems with the heat). Now, almost five years later, they meet again to play a best-of-five match. And it's going to be a battle of the Davis Cup veterans. With Tipsarevic having contested even more matches than David (49 to 43), though David has the better record in singles (22-5 to Tipsarevic's 28-12). Both have plenty of experience and they both know what it's like to play the decider and clinch the tie for their team.
Compared to Troicki, Tipsarevic will give David more rhythm during the rallies but his better defense, his backhand and also his serve (difficult to read because of his very low ball toss) could make this match a lot more difficult for David than his first one. What might also be a factor in this match is that Tipsarevic had problems with his ankle against Del Potro on Friday. Whether pulling out of the doubles yesterday was merely a precaution or a bit more than that remains to be seen. - As well as whether David will, hopefully, be able to play again like he did on Friday.


  1. Djokovic might be hurting a little bit,none the less,good job Delpo!

  2. Yeah, taking the first set - really important.

  3. Argentina in the final.

  4. It was probably alot of pressure on Djokovic in Serbia to play, so he felt he had to. Not the match that I wanted to see, wanted a David-Janko final

  5. Too bad for Novak. Really bad :(
    But still, Del Potro played great. Subdued celebration right after Djokovic's withdrawal, that was cool :)

  6. I guess Nole really did have problems after the US Open.I thought it was just jet lag.Anyways,this will do wonders for the rest of Davids season.I expect good results.Also nice to see it meant a lot to Delpo.

  7. Its Tipsarevic out there.

  8. Of course it does. This whole thing of "Delpo doesn't care about DC" is a relic from the Mar del Plata fiasco.

  9. Yeah, I've updated the post again. Looks like he wants to play after all, though I don't really know, why.

  10. Time to set that Mar Del Plata fiasco straight.

  11. Couldn't get a more difficult scenario for that task than playing Spain in Spain on clay...

  12. Couldnt have been easier than at home on indoor hard with no Nadal...and they missed out on that.I believe in them.

  13. David an DC ties on clay... Well, I'm going to hope for the best. :)

  14. Did you know it before Julia that the final will take place in Spain and of course on clay? I saw it yesterday and was shocked. Nadal will win his 2 singles and it will be very tough to beat the other singles probably against Ferrer, and they will have to win the doubles. And I don't speak about the effects that can have on David playing on clay.

  15. Last meeting was Mar del Plata - so this time they'll play in Spain. And the Spanish team always plays its home ties on clay.

  16. David got always injured playing on clay in last years but he didn't play on it after his last surgery. I hope he doesn't need another surgery after the Davis Cup final.

  17. can one translate this video to english please or write what delpo said

  18. As I spent a couple of days watching the GB-Hungary DC tie here in Glasgow, I managed to miss all the World Group semi final matches. It's clear Djokovic should not have played today, but like you are saying, there would have been a lot of pressure. But what a difference between him and Nadal - how super human is he after losing that US Open final to come back and win both his matches so comfortably?

    Anyway, great result for Argentina, the one we all wanted. Whether they can pull off a victory against Spain, in Spain, on clay, with Rafa in the team, well that's a huge ask. I'd have loved to have tried to go to the final in Spain but I just booked a trip to Boston that weekend - argh, poor planning!

    It's great to see Del Potro well and truly back on board, and he's good on the clay. If he can get his form back to 2009 levels, I think he stands a chance of beating Rafa in that rubber.

    I'm a big Rafa fan and like the Spanish DC guys, but know how amazing it would be for David to finally win the Davis Cup. Though it could be a double edged sword: I wouldn't be at all surprised if he announced his retirement pretty much straight afterwards! Better stop thinking to far ahead...

  19. Marwa, here's what Delpo says in that clip:
    He's very happy to have played a great match but also sad that it had to end like this, Nole is his friend and he feels for him, it was great of him to try and play. David gave them a good start, they believed they could do it and now they have. Nobody thought they'd win this, but they trained very well, the singles went well, David played very well on the first day and he could've won the fifth rubber, Chela and Pico gave everything they could, couldn't take it but they all gave their best. Greetings to his family and friends and all of Argentina, thanks to all the team, his teammates. They all gave everything and they're very happy to be in the final and now they're going to celebrate.

    Joyce63, I guess right now, for me it's more about hoping that David will survive that final without another injury. DC on clay - that's the recipe for disaster... Not thinking any further now.