Saturday, December 3, 2011

Davis Cup Final Day 2 - Argentina Stays Alive

Update (04/12)
Recording of the match now available via David on Screen. And photos by Denise, VamosDavider at La Cartuja now on the Photo Page.
Edit: And a post-match video interview with David & Edu (in English) here.

Prior the final, it was the doubles that David identified as the rubber Argentina would have the best chance to win. And today, together with Eduardo Schwank, he let his words be followed by deeds. After just under two hours, during which Argentina's "makeshift doubles" was always in control of proceedings and didn't lose serve once, David and Edu Schwank converted their first match point to beat Spain's Lopez and Verdasco 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. Or in David's words:
We're happy because we won and now still have a chance. We played a great doubles match. We basically played a perfect match and the result shows it.
Their victory keeps Argentina alive in this final, with the score now 2-1 after the second day.

David and Edu Schwank took control of this match already early on, getting their first break (against Lopez) to go up 3-2. In this first set, neither David nor Edu Schwank faced a single break point. The only close service game was the last one, when Edu Schwank served for it. But after a couple of errors and wasting a first set point they managed to take the second. 6-4
At the start of the second set, David and Edu Schwank immediately raced to a 4-0 lead, though David faced a break point at 1-0. But "Davis Cup David" saved it with an ace. And when at 5-2, it once more fell to Edu Schwank to serve out the set, they closed it out easily. 6-2
(Javier Soriano/AFP/Getty Images)
The third set they began with another break in the first game, with Lopez double-faulting on break point. At 3-2, David got in trouble on serve again and this time faced two break points. But he saved both of them with strong serves (one of them another ace). Finally, at 5-3 Lopez served to stay in the match. At 30-30 it was one of Schwank's many great returns today that set up their first match point before one of David's returns drew the decisive error from Verdasco. 6-3.

Halfway through the first set, one of the commentators summed up his impressions by saying that Lopez and Verdasco didn't look like a doubles team out there. While David and Edu Schwank did.
A perhaps slightly harsh but still accurate description. There were plenty of rallies during this match, where despite all of their experience Lopez and Verdasco didn't really seem to have any kind of strategy - or plan what the other was doing. And while Verdasco made lots of unforced errors, Lopez lost his serve altogether four times. David and Edu Schwank on the other hand simply played a fantastic doubles match. Tito Vázquez agrees:
Fortunately, the doubles worked out. David was excellent. The doubles played very well and was the superior team from start to finish.
David was indeed excellent, even though during the early stages of the match, Edu Schwank was the best player on court. But still, without David that wouldn't have been possible. Or in Edu Schwank's words:
He knows exactly what needs to be done, and even more so in this Davis Cup match. He took a lot of the pressure off of me and made it possible for me to play very relaxed. I felt very comfortable.
But David's importance became even more clear as the match went on. While Edu Schwank's level began to drop a little, David kept motivating him and pushing him on. And the longer the match lasted, the better David played - though that's perhaps not a surprise after the latest pause.
So the final at La Cartuja will be decided on the third day, in the reverse singles. And basically as soon as the match was over, David was asked about playing a possible fifth rubber:
The fifth rubber is still far away. Everybody knows what they have to do. Del Potro played a great match against Ferrer but didn't get rewarded for it. Playing against Nadal won't be easy for him, it's very tough - and then some.
Adding the little joke he has made before...
I'd like to play all five rubbers but the rules won't allow it.  (Source.)
There are also speculations (including in the comments here) about David perhaps replacing Del Potro tomorrow in the first of the reverse singles against Rafael Nadal. But the general opinion among the Argentine "insiders" is that this won't happen. Also because prior to the final, Vázquez has said that David isn't fit to play a best-of-five match on clay against Nadal. And though he played great today - I agree.


P.S. After the match, the celebrations and the glory, it was time for the fun part of Davis Cup...


  1. I have the feeling that delpo will make it up for you guys tommorrow by beating rafa ..

    then , nalby and us will be thankful

    ohhh , GOD please make it the happiest day in david's life .
    he deserves winning DC

    from ASIA .. TALAL

  2. this was the same situation in Belgrade......with Nole 100 % favourite against Delpo in 4th rubber after an outstanding season with jst one loss ( against murray not ).....but Delpo almost defeated him befor nole got Delpo can do it again...actually that was the tough match more than this..since considering nole's form...