Saturday, October 29, 2011

Back to the Present (and the very near Future)


Update (31/10)
It's Monday, time to have a look at the rankings. David remains at #57 for the moment before next week, his quarterfinal points from Basel last year will come off.

Meanwhile, Tito Vázquez and Caio Rivera visited the stadium in Sevilla. As you can see, it's still in its original state, without the roof and without the court - but not for much longer.

After delivering the bad news about next year, I'm now going to focus on the present again. And on what's still ahead this year, 34 days from now to be precise - the Davis Cup final in Sevilla.
At the moment, David is back home in Unquillo, taking a break and recovering from his hamstring strain. If all goes well he'll begin with his training on clay as early as next week (source).
In the meantime, here's a first look at what's ahead, a little over a month from now...

In a recent interview with the Spanish news agency EFE, David was asked whether he felt daunted by the prospect of facing the Spanish team, supported by a crowd of 25.000.
By now, the official numbers are out and according to those, David and the others will be playing in front of 22.121 people at Sevilla's Estadio Olimpico, also known as La Cartuja, the "Carthusian monastery". Whether that's a fitting name, well, that decision I'm going to leave to you.

Who exactly is going to be nominated for the final - theoretically, both team captains still have a few days left until they have to officially announce their team nominations. And often enough, those are kept secret until the very last minute. In this case, however, both captains have already let it be known that they're planning to nominate everyone who has made an appearance for their team in Davis Cup this season, all those players who have made this final possible. Which means that both Tito Vázquez and Spain's captain Albert Costa are going to nominate the maximum number of five players for their respective teams:

David, Juan Martin Del Potro, Juan Monaco, Juan Ignacio Chela and Eduardo Schwank

Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez, Fernando Verdasco and Marcel Granollers

Speaking of Tito Vázquez, in a recent interview he stressed the importance of winning the first rubber in the final, said that Juan Martin Del Potro isn't ready to play on all three days and acknowledged David's role as a "pillar of strength" for the team, having played on all three days on numerous occasions in the past - but things are "a lot more complicated now". Talking about his preparations for the final in that interview, Vázquez not only gave his take on David's decision to skip Valencia, his reply also offers a clue as to why it was part of David's schedule (instead of Basel) in the first place.
Q: It's a little over a month until the final. That can be a lot of time or little of it, depending on how you look at it. Do you already have an idea how you're going to form the team?

Tito Vázquez: Since I took over as captain there have always been injury problems with the players. And I've heard that Nalbandian won't play in Valencia next week, that he's saving himself for playing Davis Cup. On the one hand that's exceptional for us. But on the other hand it's worrying that he's injured so much. So I'm not going to make any projections. My assistant Caio Rivera and me, we're travelling to Sevilla on Friday [i.e. yesterday] to see the logistics of the place, the construction of the court, the hotel, the distance to the venue and to plan the tie. After that we're going to Valencia to meet up with the players and make plans for the [Davis] Cup.
Juan Martin Del Potro, Juan Monaco and Juan Ignacio Chela are all going to be at Valencia - and David would've been there as well, if it wasn't for his injury. In other words, it was planned as a team meeting. When David is going to join the others now remains to be seen.

Finally, and on a non-Davis Cup related note, here's the updated list of players for this year's Copa Argentina (December 15-18). David will be joined by Juan Monaco, Marcos Baghdatis, Gael Monfils and James Blake.


  1. interesting stuff abt to team meeting in Valencia. Well maybe thats still possible if David shows up there. Too bad for nalby, we couldnt enjoy his indoor tennis this year, what happened has happened, DC is the ultimate goal, hope for the 1st time, things go well for the Argies and win this thing. We all know David and Delpo absolutely must win there non-nadal rubbers and take the doubles as well.
    Julia, i don't wanna even imagine David playing a 5-setter with Rafa on clay, that would probably completely harm his body since we know daviid is not gonna quit that very match if he feels any kind of pain, this is no Stockholm.
    But my opinion is to reserve David for the doubles and put Monaco against Nadal. the final question remains. Can Delpo maybe beat Rafa on clay? i think and am not sure that they never met on clay.

  2. The plan was to meet in Valencia but now David is (hopefully) going to start training at home next week.
    I'm not sure if he'll want to play doubles but that's certainly a possible scenario.
    Delpo and Rafa have met on clay, at RG 2007. Rafa won in straights. A long time ago but still, I think the objective will be to try and win those three points Rafa doesn't play.

  3. I think its tough to make a prediction about anything since we have no idea who is actually gonna be on court.Like we saw in Stockholm,injuries can pop out of nowhere.Anyways,except for the rallies maybe being longer wouldnt the clay suit his hip and legs more since its the softest surface,I mean it must be better for the joints and everything.

  4. Good for Tito calling David a "pillar of strength." That's a good sign. I couldn't really decide who I wanted to win the Tsonga-Delpo match today. Part of me wanted Delpo to win for his confidence, the other part wanted him to lose so he won't qualify for the World Tour Finals. I think it's better that he lost. Let Rafa and Ferrer wear themselves out in London.

  5. When I think about David's last match I imagine how super indoor season he could have if he didn't get injured and played.

  6. and he has probably only one indoors season to play in his career :(

  7. John I wanted Del Potro to win yesterday :( but clearly if we see it from the angle of Davis Cup, making WTF in London would've been too exhausting for him...

    you're all right guys about the importance of winning the 3 matches Rafa won't play. Ferrer is a tough opponent as well though.

    but it's great to see the Argies are taking this final very seriously, the preparations and all.

  8. Adrian, yeah, clay is the easiest on the joints and after each injury, David does his first light training on clay.
    But playing matches on it is a different matter. Not only because of the longer rallies. I mean, his movement was always better on hardcourt. But these days, he's moving very cautiously on clay. Mostly because his doctors have told him to avoid sliding but probably also because it's been on clay where he has suffered most of his recent injuries (and it was on clay that he ruined his hip, DC QF 2008).

  9. By the way, if you see somehwere that David is ranked #69 then that's his position in the YTD/Race ranking. Which is what the Rankings page on the ATP website shows now when you open it, instead of the normal singles rankings. And a lot of people (including news agencies and news sites) obviously haven't noticed the difference...