Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Press Conference Day in Belgrade

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Usually, the traditional Tuesday press conference in Davis Cup is there for questions and answers about the upcoming tie and the preparations. In this case, it was also about how the team spent the night before - in front of the TV, watching the US Open final and, as they confessed, marvelling at the level of play, displayed by Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The new US Open champion who will, there can be no doubt, be given a hero's welcome at the Belgrade Arena.
After the final, Djokovic promised that he will be part of the team. But when he's going to play - that's still the big question. And one that the Argentine team's strategy is expected to depend on. In short, should Djokovic play on Friday then Vázquez would probably put Juan Monaco against him, with David playing the doubles and what could be the deciding singles on Sunday. Whereas if Djokovic doesn't play on Friday and gets replaced by Viktor Troicki, then David would probably play on Friday and face Troicki. Right now, the second option seems more likely, also because of the back problems Djokovic had during the US Open final. But what would that mean for David, playing two singles or even playing on all three days?
(Marko Drobnjakovic/AP Photo)
I'm not ready to play on all three days. I think the idea of the coaches was to have a fixed doubles so that the singles players can get some rest. 
Which doesn't really sound like David is particularly keen on playing the doubles but would rather play two singles. And right now, the doubles line-up still is a complete mystery. But at least both David and Del Potro used the press conference as an opportunity to try and dispel the latest reports about differences between them.
I'm glad that we're all here together. With the two of us at a good level we're competitive and tough for every opponent.
Serbia is the favourite but we have the team to give them a good scare. 
Or in Del Potro's words, who described being together on the team with David as "good" and "nice":
My idea is to play the two singles. Fortunately, we're all here together. (Source.)
Apart from that,and already before the press conference, Juan Ignacio Chela delivered the team's verdict on the surface chosen by the Serbs - slower than expected and with a low bounce but in general the Argentine team is "content" with it (source).

Last but not at all least - apart from doubles practice (David with Chela against Del Potro and Monaco), today's session also finally saw David and Juan Martin Del Potro training together:

More clips here, here, here and here. More photos on the Photo Page.


  1. The atmosphere looks good to me.Del Potro is looking really good to me and David.If Novak is out for Friday.They really need those 2 singles victories.

  2. Yeah, looks like they've pulled themselves together. I think today's training was supposed to send a signal - we're in this together.

  3. Ive been reading some Serbian news sites and the impression I got is they expect Djokovic to be playing on Friday.Nowhere did it specifically state he would but then again not even a word of maybe skipping Friday.They did say some stuff like,counting on the 2 points for Djokovic.

  4. I've seen a number of articles suggesting that he won't play Friday, with some of them citing Serbian sources. But the truth is - nobody really knows, right now.

    But the fun part will be to find out what's really going to happen. The draw is on Thursday but who's scheduled to play Friday might not actually play on Friday...

  5. Cant wait to see what will happen.

  6. very interesting and exciting semifinal

  7. oh yeahhhh thank you for all the clips, Julia :)
    Noubar wrote on Facebook that Djokovic would play friday, I don't know where he took it from though :)

    looks like they want him to play in Friday... anyway, vamos David!!! the backbone of the team no matter what :)