It could have been a difficult tie on paper, but in the end, Argentina have wrapped it up at the end of the second day, with David/Schwank staging an impressive comeback against Haas/Petzschner from two sets to love to win in five sets.
|Source: DavisCup.com (Paul Zimmer)|
This is only the second time David and Schwank have partnered up together. This match didn’t appear to have the same energy and inspiration as the Davis Cup final – they really had to battle the whole match. As usual, David started slowly, making poor errors to start with and showing some very slow reflexes at the net. I don’t know how it is that he shows good court sense in singles, but hardly the same in doubles. I guess doubles is a different sport, and one in he is not as familiar with.
Haas and Petzschner had better touch at the net and overall consistency. After being down the initial break in the first set, they were quite dominant in the first set, breaking serve twice. It was a slow and gradual improvement from the Argentine team. Fewer stupid errors from David, and at times Haas/Petzschner showed weakness in not being that much of a team, or awareness of where each other were in the court.
I didn’t get the impression that David and Schwank were that dominant in the last few sets. They had long and challenging rallies, but now David and Schwank were able to hit good groundstrokes at the volleyer’s feet, and returning serve much better. Schwank is an excellent addition to the Davis Cup team in doubles. In the past few years, David struggled with more inconsistent players like Acasuso and Calleri (they also had slower reflexes). In the fifth set, there was a controversy with one of Schwank's serve which was called as an ace, and the umpire checked the mark, but Haas and Petzschner weren't happy with the call or the interpretation of the mark. The crowd ended up booing for quite an extended period of time, but the Argentine team were able to remain composed and win on match point.
So Martin Jaite’s gamble ended up paying off, though it easily could have backfired. The way the first two sets went and watching David’s poor performance early on, it seemed like a complete waste. But now they find themselves in a far more comfortable situation than what could have been – the tie done and dusted in two days, rather than potentially battling it out in a fifth rubber. Though I would have favoured David over Haas in a fifth rubber, more so than in this doubles. Hopefully Jaite doesn’t see this as a successful strategy worth copying on other ties. Only time will tell.
To listen to David's interview on the Davis Cup website, go here.