Saturday, November 5, 2011

"On the Road to Sevilla" - Davis Cup Final Season starts on VD

With the Davis Cup final now 27 days away, and in the absence of any further tournaments to cover, today marks the official beginning of the Davis Cup final season here on Vamos David. From now on, everything will be all about the final, we'll be "on the road to Sevilla" and to what will be the biggest event for David since he made his comeback on the Tour.
But as much as I'd like to be able to tell you more about his training and the progress he's hopefully making - nothing has been heard all week from Mr. Nalbandian.

While David is is once more "in hiding" today's semifinals at Valencia saw two Spanish/Argentine clashes. A "mini-Davis" as it was called in the Spanish press that ended with a draw. While Juan Monaco managed to pull off a surprise victory over David Ferrer, Juan Martin Del Potro lost to Marcel Granollers. With Del Potro's defeat all but ending his chances of qualifying directly for the World Tour Final. And as he already said earlier this week that he won't be going to London as an alternate (source), this means that he should have enough time to rest and then train on clay ahead of Sevilla.

A few more words about VD's Davis Cup final season. During the coming weeks, I will of course keep track of David's preparations and any news concerning the team. But apart from that I'm also going to take a look at the bigger picture, at those things surrounding what's regarded as a hugely important event, both in Spain and in Argentina (and not just by David). Which will include an occasional look at Davis Cup history, the "Davis Cup Flashbacks", indicated by the little graphic below to the right. Today, I'll begin with the last time Spain lost a tie at home...

When David sealed Argentina's victory over Russia in the quarterfinal last year, he also sealed Russia's first defeat at home in fifteen years. In Spain's case "only" twelve years have gone by since the last time they lost a tie on home soil and with a bit of goodwill that may pass for good news.
The bad news, however, is that back in the first round in 1999, it took one of the best clay-courters in recent history to bring about that last defeat - Brazil's Gustavo "Guga" Kuerten. Two years after winning his first title at Roland Garros (thanks, Anonymous), Kuerten (ranked #18 at the time) played on all three days, beating Alex Corretja (#6) and Carlos Moya (#2) in singles as well as winning a marathon five-set doubles with Jaime Oncins against Alex Corretja and Albert Costa (now Spain's captain). A Herculean effort from Guga - and that's what it took to beat Spain at home.

Last but not least - David's Davis Cup teammate Eduardo Schwank completes the field for this year's Copa Argentina exhibition (December 15-18).


  1. Hi, Kuerten won his maiden Roland Garros in 1997 not 2000.

  2. Whoops - you're right. Thanks. :)

  3. the way i'm reading things is there a chance that tito might pick monaco instead of nalby, with his statement in your last report that "he's getting injured too much. so i'm not going to make any projections" and with monaco playing well lately. Is that a real possibility?

  4. That statement was simply about saying that the times of David playing on all three days are over. And that Tito wasn't going to disclose his tactical considerations at this point in time.
    If Pico gets to play then it'll be against Rafa on the first day, in case David plays the doubles.

  5. I don't think having David playing the doubles is a great idea, his serve isn't really a doubles type of serve, and while he does have touch when moving in to volley, i dont think hes a natural serve and volley type player...In my opinion he should have to play ferrer in singles. Its a tall order but with his motivation to win i think David in the second singles position can keep it very competitive as this is probably going to be his one last "all in" weekends


  7. I hope its nothing serious and he will be fit for the final.

  8. Hardesky, the question isn't whether David should play Ferrer (he sure will if it comes down to a live fifth rubber) but whether he should play against Rafa on the first day. I don't think of David as a great doubles player, either. But playing against Rafa would involve a certain risk for David - and not much of a chance of winning.
    In any case, for as long as David plays DC he'll always be all in. ;)