- That is the question. Whether it is nobler to suffer on the clay of Italy and France or take your chance on England's grass and, by playing, end this pause... To say it with a bit of (slightly altered) Shakespeare. And drama is definitely one of David's great talents on court.
Though these days, the drama takes place elsewhere.
In the course of the last four days, the news situation has gone from "David's comeback is scheduled for Rome" to "maybe Rome and if not, then Nice" and "if I can't play Rome or Nice then Roland Garros will be difficult" (see clip below) to "David will wait with his return until the tournament at the Queen's Club". As mentioned in the previous update, this piece of info was published last night on the Argentine site DiarioShow.com. I'll quote from the article:
Nalbandian first considered returning in Italy. But then he gave it some more thought and now he'll skip the entire clay season.So far, this is still only on DiarioShow.com. And I can't tell you anything more definitive...
This change of plans has to do with his main objective, which is to be in top shape for the Davis Cup quarterfinal tie against Kazakhstan (July 7-9), and which he doesn't want to have to worry about. Therefore, he'll gradually intensify his training until he feels he's back at 100%.
According to Quique Cano, it hasn't been ruled out yet that David will play Rome and the decision will be made next Thursday.
But what's clear is that this sounds just like something David would come up with. And the truly unsettling part is the one about being in shape for the Davis Cup - because it sounds terribly familiar. Last year, David had to pull out of Madrid at the last moment and then skipped Roland Garros. But although he apparently prepared for Wimbledon, in the end he didn't play it
- because he wanted to be in shape for the Davis Cup...
Not too long ago, David said that his goal is to make it back inside the Top10. But that's of course not going to happen if he doesn't play on the Tour. And now would be the time to gain those points that he'll desperately need when August comes around, with its combined total of 770 ranking points for him to defend.
But when it comes down to it, David only has one goal and that's the Davis Cup. It has always been his dream to win it but now that he is in the "final stages" of his career (as he called it in a recent radio interview) it has become the focal point that absolutely everything revolves around. And perhaps, with this year's favourable draw he thinks it's the last big chance he'll get.
On a related and yet different note, here's the latest video interview with David (for ESPN):
A brief summary:
First of all, David explains that his adductor problems were a 'souvenir' from the last Davis Cup tie. But he's training now, it's going well but he'll still need a few more weeks. The plan is to come back as soon as possible [he said then]. Rome or Nice though if he's not able to return at either, playing Roland Garros will be very difficult. He'll have to see what he'll do in that moment.
About his old goals, winning a Slam and Davis Cup, he says it gets more difficult with each Slam you play, to recover between matches, and having had hip surgery doesn't help. There's a much better chance to win the Davis Cup with Argentina, and to give everything during one weekend instead of playing your best for two weeks at a Slam.
Their next opponent Kazakhstan is underrated because people don't know them. But they're young players, originally Russian, they're good and they deserve respect.
About Delpo, it's a good though not close relationship, each has his circle of friends. In any case, Delpo being on the team won't stop him from playing and also not the other way around [dispelling rumours to that extent]. As for Delpo's comeback, David says that he managed to get back to a high level a little faster than he expected. And that he has the potential to be at the top.
Looking back at the heyday of his generation of players, David gets a bit nostalgic and basically says that everything was better back then, back in the days when there were four Argentine players in the Top10. Back then, everything was great and people started to think that it would always be like this but it was a unique era for Argentina.
Finally, asked about the changing of the guard, David thinks that Djokovic and Murray are more of factor now than a couple of years ago and that Federer probably finds it a little difficult to be motivated. Meanwhile, young players like Raonic and Dolgopolov are making waves. On clay, however, David thinks that no one will be able to hurt Rafa. And it will be very difficult for Djokovic to become #1 because for that, he'll have to play great all year round and Rafa is way ahead in the rankings. And all matches are difficult today, especially if you play someone you don't know, who only knows you but you've never seen him before.
Bonus question from me: Against which player on the Kazakh team has David played before and where? Whether he remembers that match - who knows. But here's hoping that we will get to see him again on court before the next tie...