Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The (not so) Quiet before the Storm

Today was the last "normal" day of training at La Cartuja. And David, taped again, spent it not on the main court (where tarps were installed today against the sunlight from the sides) but on the small training court. During the first session he trained with Juan Monaco, as can be seen in the clip above, which contains footage of Del Potro, Monaco, David and also Nadal. Later, in the afternoon, it was time for another round of doubles practice together with Eduardo Schwank, who told the press today that playing together, he and David have "muy buen feeling" (his exact words). It may still not be official but it's very obvious - Juan Monaco will face Rafael Nadal on Friday, David and Eduardo Schwank will play the doubles against Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco on Saturday. That's what basically everybody expects to be confirmed at the draw ceremony, which will take place tomorrow at noon, local time at the glorious Teatro Lope de Vega.

While David had a busy day, practicing it was also a very busy day for the media. With Spanish sports newspaper Marca causing a media commotion with an article about the allegedly still very tense relationship between the "irreconcilable enemies" David and Delpo ("they don't talk to each other"). Meanwhile the Argentine press took a look back at David's long and illustrious Davis Cup career. And David's self-confessed obsession even made it into the New York Times today, in form of this article.

Speaking of which, the media that is, here's the latest interview with David, this time by Sebastian Torok for La Nacion.
Q: You've been troubled a bit by the characteristics of the court during these days of training, and you've been cursing about the light and shadow and court. Are those things bad for Argentina?

David: No, no. But the clay that's being used for this court is fine, very similar to the one at the tournament in Barcelona. It's a little slippery. The court is fast but there's not much pressure on the balls and that makes them a little slow. And the effect is a bit weird because they don't bounce very high. Apart from that there's still a lot of light and shadows, it's difficult to see the ball well and the seats reflect the sun. It's very difficult. Shortly after three in the afternoon there's sunlight as well, and it's during those hours that the matches will take place. It doesn't just happen in the mornings.

Q: You say that Spain is the favourite. But what is their weakness?

David: I think that the doubles is the weakest rubber, the one to win. Compared, obviously, to the quality of Rafa and Ferrer. It's obvious that the doubles team with Verdasco and Feliciano [Lopez] would make for an extremely strong part of every other team, it would be fundamental. But winning [the doubles] would mean winning one point, you would still need two more. And at Mar del Plata we lost to the same doubles. But still, the matches have to played.

Q: In previous years you played on all three days at some of the ties. Based on what could be seen in practive and taking into account the injuries that you've had, are you focusing on playing your first match in the doubles rubber, together with Schwank?

David: I don't know. Edu and I have been training together, trying to get in our best shape. It's true that against either of the Spanish singles players the matches won't be short ones and it would be extremely exhausting to play on Friday and Saturday. And we also know that the doubles is a very important rubber in this tie and that we have to try and win it.

Q: Playing [the doubles] together with Del Potro, is that feasible?

David: That's for the captain to decide, you'll have to ask him. I still haven't practiced with Juan Martin. But the tie will be tough and we have to be ready for anything.

Q: Nadal has had some poor results on the Tour but these days he has been seen hitting the ball with a lot of intensity, even with anger. Is the wounded animal [figuratively speaking] still the most dangerous?

David: He's always Rafa. He got here without having played much and with little confidence after the London Masters [World Tour Final]. But on clay we know what he's like, the potential that he has. He'll finetune his game in time and he always gives the maximum. He'll play better than he did at the Masters, I don't have any doubts about that. He's going to be very hard to beat.

Q: Recalling the finals of 2006 and 2008, how do you think you are today?

David: I'm getting older, that's the only difference (laughs). I have more experience. Here in Sevilla it's tougher than the final against Russia and the one at Mar del Plata. But we have a good team, we have to be ready to suffer, to fight and to run down each and every ball. Spain is the favourite, the statistics show it, the ranking, the surface, everything. We have to stay calm. We want to pull off the surprise.

Q: The injuries happen more frequently and you'll turn 30 soon. Do you feel that this will be your last chance to win the Davis Cup?

David: No, I don't see it that was because the draw for next year is good. Except for the first round, playing against Germany and as the away team, we'll be able to face the top nations at home and we have a good chance of going deep. But before that comes this final. And I'm concentrating on here and now because what's ahead for me is the dream of my life. I'm happy, I don't think about being the hero or any other thing or nonsense. We are all excited, in top shape, we've been preparing for days now. It's all about winning those three points, no matter what it takes. It's difficult but in the semifinal against Serbia people had already written us off as well. So what? Who says so?


  1. thanks Julia!
    why do they always have to ask if David thinks it's his "ultimate" chance to win Davis Cup... :-(

    DavisCup's twitter account has tweeted the draw :
    1. Nadal v Monaco,
    2. Juan DP v Ferrer
    3. Lopez/Verdasco v Nalbandian/Schwank
    4. Nadal v Juan DP
    5. Ferrer v Monaco

    should there be a 5th rubber, I hope it'll be David!
    The first 2 matches look tough, I hope DelPotro has a shot vs. Ferrer.

    I'm so nervous :(

  2. I followed the draw live and then put it up on the front page. :)

    Maybe it's no surprise that David gets asked that question, having made another final at this stage of his career. Still, I liked what he said about definitely wanting to play another season.