Monday, November 28, 2011

Lights and Shadows and a New Interview

(filmed yesterday)

After David skipped (and was allowed to skip) the first training session today, during the second one he practiced doubles with Eduardo Schwank yet again, practically confirming the speculations about him, not playing against Rafael Nadal on Friday but contesting the doubles alongside Eduardo Schwank instead (clips of the two, training together here and here; photos from today now on the Photo Page).

The good news of the day: After the first session of the day Juan Martin Del Potro told the press that his knee isn't really troubling him after all and that he's looking forward to playing the final (source).
The not so good news of the day: Both Delpo and and David have expressed their discontent with the speed of the surface at La Cartuja. While Delpo called it a little too slow for his taste, the expression that David chose to describe it was deemed unprintable by the press...
All about the team press conferences tomorrow.

The training sessions at La Cartuja stadium continued yesterday, with David mostly practicing with Juan Monaco, as can be seen in the brief clip above. But while all journalists present in Sevilla agree that David is showing himself to be in good form (also physically), there are some concerns regarding Juan Martin Del Potro. During an evening doubles practice (David and Schwank against Del Potro and Chela) called by Tito Vázquez on Saturday, Delpo got stuck in the clay and twisted his right knee. Since then, he has been training with a knee bandage and although he was able to do full training yesterday it's not quite clear whether this is just a precaution.

(Marcelo Carroll/Clarin)
Apart from that, the Argentine team has encountered some problems with the conditions at La Cartuja. Or more specifically, the light on the main court. Parts of the roof that has been erected over the court are transparent, letting in natural light. But as the weather has been clear and sunny at Sevilla these last couple of days, the sunlight falling in through those transparent areas has affected the visibility on court, as can be seen in this photo. A problem that occurs only in the afternoon - and it'll be in the afternoon that the matches of the final will be played. At the same time, the artificial lighting that has also been installed doesn't work properly, with several panels not functioning (source). Hopefully, the Spanish hosts will use the remaining days until the final to resolve these issues.

With both teams now present in full force (David Ferrer arrived from London yesterday), the training sessions continue today, with an update to follow in the evening (photos from yesterday on the Photo Page). Tomorrow, it'll then be time for the traditional round of team press conferences. Ahead of those, here's an interview that David gave to Marcelo Maller for Clarin:
Q: A genie comes to you and says, "Argentina will win the Davis Cup but you have to sign this contract which says that you're going to retire after playing in Sevilla". Would you do it?

David: Nooo! I would say that I'd love to win the Davis Cup against Spain in Sevilla but that I also want to keep playing tennis for all of next year.

Q: What mistakes from the final 2008 should you not commit now, on and off the court?

David: I think that the circumstances are totally different. Now I am very much focused on this final, trying to be in my best shape for it, physically as well as in terms of my tennis.

Q: With this final, are you the good guy or the bad guy?

David: I think I'm part of the team, nothing more than just that.

Q: You've said more than once that you'd like to play three rubbers but that this final has to be played smartly. Does being smart mean that you won't play on the first day and that if not that you're going to play the doubles?

David: I love playing Davis Cup, representing my country but the decisions about who plays each rubber are made by the captain.

Q: Do you see yourself winning the last point and celebrating the title or would that be a miracle?

David: I hope that we win the final, who will play the last rubber will play the last rubber, and that I can win for the team those points that I get to play. To win the tie you need three points and Argentina has a good team to achieve that.

Q: Nadal has never lost, playing at home on clay in the Davis Cup. Can you or Del Potro beat him? And will the crowd have an influence on the tie?

David: I think beating Rafa on clay is very difficult. He's the best player on this surface in history. Still, I think that the matches have to be played... The location is always important and plays a decisive role. The Spanish fans will be in the majority at the stadium and they're going to make you feel it.

Q: Will it be decisive, as Tito said, for the score to be 1-1 after Friday? Are Ferrer's two singles matches going to make the difference? Because he's the one to beat.

David: I think that Spain has a very solid team, especially with its two singles players. It's very difficult to beat Rafa and Ferrer on this surface, they are both great clay specialists.

Q: About which specific topics do you talk to Del Potro when you talk to him?

David: With Juan Martin, we basically talk about tennis in general.

Q: Did you get to Sevilla knowing that there's less pressure for Argentina because you're not the favourites to win? In your head, are you going over the draw for 2012, with the home ties it'll mean in Buenos Aires?

David: The only thing that's in my head is the final in Sevilla against Spain. It's the third final of my career and I'd love to win it for once, for Argentina.

Q: When you lay your head down on your pillow at night, do you pray that you a) don't get injured, b) play your best tennis or c) win the Davis Cup and if so that you get to be the hero?

David: In that order. I always think about those three things, except being the hero.

Q: If you win you'll enter the national sports Olymp. If you lose, what do you think people will think of the team and you, especially?

David: Winning the Davis Cup for the first time would be spectacular for all Argentineans. If we don't win I suppose people would understand that we left everything out there on the court, trying to win each of the rubbers. As for myself, I think people know that the Davis Cup is kind of an obsession that I have and that if I can't win it this time I'm going to try again in 2012.
(Marcelo Carroll/Clarin)


  1. Thanks Julia, it only 4 days now till the DC.
    Federer favoured Spain to lift the trophy in his last interview."The Argentineans have their players and their team and anything is possible, but obviously it’s normal to favour the Spaniards with Rafa on the team, back on clay.”
    Tomas Berdych favoured Spain as well but said Ferrer might be tired, and its going to be a very tough match ups.
    Marin Cilic however said its going to be the doubles that decides everything as he thinks the Argies can win 2 single rubbers because they have very solid singles players.
    And for my part, I agree with Cilic as well, the doubles wil be the key.

  2. Well, it could very well be that Argentina will have to win the doubles to stay alive in the tie. As Vázquez has said, their goal is for the score to be 1-1 after Friday. But winning any of the singles rubbers won't be easy. I mean, Rafa and Ferru have never lost a DC singles match on clay...

    In any case, it seems more and more likely that David will play the doubles with Edu Schwank and that Pico will play against Rafa on Friday.

  3. Yes I so much agree, lets be realistic David does have the game to beat rafa even on clay, but to hang with him for 4 hours or so, No.
    It would be a pure magic if Monaco beats Rafa, he doesnt have a chance we all know that, but maybe that could be his motivation?
    in DC no1 knows nothing, some1 might get injured or get knocked out when he shouldnt, thats what i like about this event.

  4. To be honest, I'll be relieved if David doesn't get to play Rafa. I just think that this would be exactly the kind of match where he might get injured again...
    Pico, well, I'd add that his record in DC isn't great. But who knows, maybe it'll be easier for him (relatively speaking) to play this match, knowing that nobody really expects him to win.
    I mean, it would take a bit of a miracle for Argentina to win. Then again, stranger things have happened in DC. :)

  5. Stranger things have happened in DC. Well said.

  6. If anyone(if there will even be a day 3),Del Potro has a chance to beat Nadal,Nadal is probably the best ever to play on clay but I feel if someone like Del Potro plays his best tennis Nadal cant stop it.I feel it will be huge which tie is played first,Delpo-Ferer or Nadal-Monaco because if Del Potro wins the first rubber Monaco can really play as freely as he possibly can,go for every shot in his book and hope he plays the match of his life.

  7. I think you're right about the importance of the order of play on Friday. If Delpo loses to Ferru, things are going to get really tough for Pico. Maybe it wouldn't be too bad if his match against Rafa would be up first.

  8. But then theres more pressure on Delpo haha,anyways Davids looking good in the doubles with Schwank,maybe with Delpo being US Open winning Delpo Argentina can take this.

  9. I guess there's going to be a lot more pressure for Delpo, anyway. Different expectations. And is it even possible to hope that Ferru will be tired? Does he ever get tired? I don't know...
    Anyway, I'd like to thank Tito Vázquez. Looks like I was right with my prediction about David and Edu. ;)

  10. Thanks Julia.

    What a nice interview from David. :)