Sunday, December 4, 2011

They Lost - But as a Team: After Argentina's Defeat

Before this Davis Cup final, the third in his career, David said that trying to beat Spain at home, on clay would be a tougher challenge than Moscow or Mar del Plata. And even though a lot of nice and respectful things were said on the Spanish side prior to this weekend ("if anyone can beat us on clay it's Argentina"), any team that has to face the "Spanish Armada" on clay goes into such a tie as the firm underdog. Therefore, it wasn't surprising that in his interviews before the final, David kept insisting that Sevilla wouldn't be his last chance to win the Davis Cup. He knew, they all knew, that even if they all gave everything they possibly could - it might be not enough.

At the same time, having to play against Spain in the final also brought back some unsavoury memories. Of the infamous Mar del Plata debacle and all that went with it, including David and Delpo falling out with each other. And it wasn't until the semifinal at Belgrade this year that their relationship actually seemed to improve again. But Belgrade turned out to be a big party, and it's so much easier to get along when things are going well.

Today, things didn't turn out well. Although Delpo played an absolutely incredible match. But even that wasn't enough against Rafa Nadal. And when Nadal finally sealed Delpo's and the Argentine team's fate in the fourth-set tiebreak, the question was what David's reaction would be like. I don't always agree with the way David behaves in Davis Cup. But today, he gave the best answer to that question. He went over to comfort Delpo. And though his first words were picked up by one of the TV cameras (see the previous update), he refused to tell the media what else he had said. Because it was only meant for Delpo's ears.
Later, during the press conference, Delpo returned the compliment:
Apart from the defeat I'm happy about the support I got from the team. The guys gave them a lecture in the doubles. (Source.)
Three years after Mar del Plata, Argentina played as a team - and lost as a team. But as far as David is concerned, they have every reason to be content with what they've achieved during this season and the final.

David: We should be happy and satisfied with everything that we've done, everyone of us. The players, the coaching staff, everybody. I think we had a great season. We got here in top shape, we were prepared for a very tough tie. During this weekend the Spanish team showed just how hard it is to beat Spain at home. But we're okay because each of the players gave everything in every moment. Sometimes, things don't work out. But we're okay and satisfied with all that we've tried in order to win. Sometimes the opponent is too good and there's not much else you can do.

Apart from that, he reminded everyone that once they get past the first-round away tie against Germany (Germany's captain Patrick Kühnen was at La Cartuja, by the way), Argentina will have home ties against pretty much every other team, including all of the big ones. Another Davis Cup season and another, maybe better chance. Also knowing that Rafa Nadal won't be playing Davis Cup next season (source).
But David will - of course. In 2012, the Davis Cup will once again be his priority. And also the Olympic Games in London, with the tennis competition taking place at Wimbledon.

So yesterday's doubles was David's last official match of the 2011 season. But it won't be the last we've seen of him this year. Next week, he'll play the Copa Almirante Brown exhibition and then there's also his traditional appearance at the Copa Argentina.
I'll take a couple of days off now but I'll see you in time for the "exhibition season".


  1. Interesting Nadal isnt gonna play.That really opens it up for David and the team.

  2. he doent play....coz of busy schedule...but if spain enters the final...he will surely play....coz the season will end at that time...

  3. Delpo gonna play in copa argentina...and exhibition matchs where david is playing ??

  4. Under the circumstances, it's unfortunate that the photograph at the top of this article shows Monaco, Nalbandian, and Schwank... but not the fourth active member of the team. (The guy who spent close to ten hours on court, and had nothing to show for it in the end).

  5. @ Tom Welsh: this is David Nalbandian fan blog.....that's y they`re focuusing David's face...
    it doesn't mean they`re not respecting Delpo...
    u can see Delpo in this pic...
    /82338/82338.jpg's our David posing with a fan....

  6. ... exactly the tournament he shouldn't go (250 on clay)