Thursday, December 1, 2011

Davis Cup Final - The Draw

We all know about David's special obsession. But as much as he likes to play Davis Cup, what he could surely do without are the press conferences that go with it. And the draw ceremonies. Which usually involve having to sit through lengthy speeches by various officials, something that can send even the most ardent 'Copero' almost to sleep (pic from Mar del Plata 2008). Today, however, David had every reason to be a little tired (and look it, in the clip above). At 6.45am this morning, there was a knock on the door of his hotel room and David had to undergo an unannounced doping test, just like Juan Monaco and Juan Martin Del Potro (source).

In any case, this is what came out of today's draw ceremony (Edit: impressions from it here):
(Javier Soriano/AFP/Getty Images)
Friday (2pm local) 

Rafael Nadal vs Juan Monaco

David Ferrer vs Juan Martin Del Potro

Saturday (4pm local) 

Feliciano Lopez & Fernando Verdasco vs David Nalbandian & Eduardo Schwank

Sunday (1pm local)

Rafael Nadal vs Juan Martin Del Potro

David Ferrer vs Juan Monaco

As expected, Argentina's captain Tito Vázquez nominated David together with Eduardo Schwank (who replaces Chela on the team) for the doubles while Juan Monaco will contest tomorrow's opening singles rubber against Rafael Nadal. A strategy that already became apparent during the training sessions. Still, after the ceremony was over, there were at least two people at Sevilla's Teatro Lope de Vega, who didn't really trust the choices made by Vázquez. Those two were Spain's captain Albert Costa and Rafael Nadal, who had the following to say about tomorrow:
We'll see if I'm going to play against Monaco. I don't know yet. In principle, I play against Monaco, who finished the season, playing very well. But they could replace him with Nalbandian. I won't know until tomorrow. (Source.)
For Nadal it's apparently difficult to believe that David won't be playing tomorrow. While David himself admits that it does feel a bit strange not to be part of the line-up on the first day.
Each final is different. You always do your best. I'm ready and prepared for that match. It's not going to be easy. It is weird not to be playing on Friday in a tie but I'm prepared.
And they, David and Edu Schwank, have been preparing for the doubles ever since the Argentine team first got together in Buenos Aires.
(In the brief clip above, David also talks about the doubles, basically just saying that they'll have to see what the match is going to be like, how well Lopez and Verdasco will play and that his preparations with Schwank have been going really well.) At the same time, the doubles rubber as his first match is not completely new for David. Since last year's first-round tie against Sweden, I've been calling it the "Stockholm Maneuvre" - David playing the doubles and then also a possible live fifth rubber. And to me, it seems like this is also the plan, this time (regardless of what the draw says).
You have to accept the line-up as decided by the captain. We shouldn't rush things but take it match by match and then see what happens. (Source.)
Audio clips from David and everybody else (in English) here.

P.S. More photos from the draw ceremony on the Photo Page. And everything about the match-ups in time for the matches.


  1. yay thank you for the update Julia, sorry I didn't see you've already posted it both here and on the sidebar :)

    (I'm repeating myself lol) I really hope Del Potro will beat Ferrer, a tough one.
    David will make sure he and Schwank get along well during the match, they have a shot to take the point!

    Vamos Daviders, hope you guys are ready :)

  2. Hopefully Pico can at least challenge Nadal.

  3. Yes Mira! Fasten seatbelts ;-)
    Nothing is impossible and Davis Cup has often enough surprised with not so expected winner.
    I cross my fingers that Pico has a great day tomorrow!

    Thank you Julia for all the great reports, was reading everything, just had not much time to post something.

  4. I think it is a bad tactic because monaco is not that good to even challange nadal and ferrer if it really matters. david is not really a doubles player

  5. I think it's a good tactic because I don't think David can challenge Rafa on clay, either.
    And no, David isn't really a doubles player but he has a good doubles record in DC. Apart from that, having David play the doubles also has to do with wanting him to be ready, in case there's going to be a fifth rubber.

    And you're welcome, Mina. :)

  6. I agree that it is a good tactic. David didn't play now for a while and, as much as I love him, I don't think he has a huge chance in beating Rafito after a longer break. So he get a good match practice playing the double, where they have a chance.
    There would be also a higher risk of another injury when playing such a high level match after a break at first, imho.

  7. Im not so confident in Schwank either,I think he may be a choker,I hope not tho.

  8. Schwank is the best doubles player Argentina has to offer. His season has been overshadowed by the wrist injury he picked up during the QF tie. But he didn't reach the doubles final at RG this year for nothing.

  9. He didnt lose 2 GS finals either for nothing.Im not saying hes a bad player or anything,Im just scared the moment might be too big for him.

  10. A final and a SF - but he got there and that's more than can be said about any other Argentine doubles player.
    I think he has seemed quite confident so far. And more optimistic than the others. And he will have David by his side. It's definitely a good thing that they know each other well. I also think that Edu won't mind David taking charge. Even though he's more of a doubles specialist than David is.

  11. "Vamos Daviders, hope you guys are ready :)"

    We're ready. :)

  12. Lets do this Argentina !!!