Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Press Conference Day at La Cartuja

(Miguel Angel Morenatti/AP Photo)
Today, between training sessions, it was time for the traditional Tuesday round of press conferences. And while the Spanish team arrived with its captain Albert Costa and four players (those four that everyone was expecting), on the Argentine side captain Tito Vázquez was accompanied by five players. Though one of them didn't get a single question during the official part of the press conference - Juan Ignacio Chela.
The Spanish team was up first, with Costa saying that he has made his decision about Spain's line-up for the final and that there "won't be many changes, regardless of what the Argentines are going to do" (source). Or rather, there probably won't be any changes at all, with Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer playing the singles and Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco for the doubles. The main centre of attention, however, was of course Rafael Nadal, who stated that "the objective is to win" and that "the pressure will be the same for Spain and Argentina".
A perception that David disagreed with, when he was asked about it later, during the Argentine team's press conference: "They're the favourites, more so than we are, and it's their responsibility to win" (source). Apart from that, everyone (on both teams) agreed that each of the matches will be very difficult and very tough and that it's important to be prepared and in the best possible shape for the final. Tito Vázquez refused to answer any questions about the exact line-up of his team, while David and the other players left it at statements like "the captain will decide" and "if I get to play I'm going to give my best". And eventually, after the press conference was basically already over, Chela did get to answer at least one question, thanks to a Spanish journalist. Still, the general opinion at this stage (backed by the practice sessions) is that Eduardo Schwank will replace Chela on the team - and that David will play the doubles together with him.

(Cristina Quicler/AFP)
As for today's training, David took part in both sessions again (while this time, it was Juan Monaco, who was allowed to skip the first one). After hitting and then also playing points with Juan Ignacio Chela, the second session of the day saw David practicing doubles with Eduardo Schwank again, something like a daily ritual at La Cartuja by now.
Something else that hasn't changed since the Argentine team first started practicing at the stadium is the problems with the light. Although David, the other players and Tito Vázquez have complained about visibility problems on court (during the afternoon), nothing has been done about it so far. Much to David's chagrin, who reportedly erupted in a resounding "What a shit court!" during today's doubles practice (source).
Not surprisingly perhaps, this little episode is not to be found in the AAT's clip of David and Schwank, practicing with Del Potro and Monaco, which you'll find below. But what can be seen in this clip is that David had his left leg taped below the knee. I've haven't been able to find out more, so for the moment, I'll hope it's just a precaution. (More photos on the Photo Page.)


  1. Verdacso: "It’s clear how much David Nalbandian wants to win the Davis Cup and they’re going to give it everything".

  2. Yeah, it's clear how badly David wants to win it. And Verdasco should know, having been there, at Mar del Plata...

  3. I'll add that it's now mostly the sunlight falling in from the sides (as the roof only covers the court and the stands) that seems to be the problem. Not sure though what they're going to do about that.

  4. That tape doesn't look like its doing much anyway haha I think he should be alright.

  5. nalbandian is out of all the entry lists of the 5 tournaments before australian open. What does it mean?????

  6. The other day Nadal was quoted as saying the court was one of the best he had seen! But then he probably isn't free to express his real opinion...

  7. It also depends on when you're practising as it only happens at certain times in the afternoon. But yesterday's photos (on the Photo Page) show how drastic the contrast between light and shadow can be on the court.

    That David's name is not on the entry list for Auckland or any other of the pre-AO tournaments means that he could still play anywhere (including Auckland) with a WC or that he might go back to playing Kooyong - which would be great. We'll see.

  8. but he can with his ranking so why should he remain out and then ask a wild card....

  9. Maybe he hasn't made up his mind yet.