Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Olympic Intermezzo - David's Chances of Qualifying

(Getty Images)
This summer, Wimbledon will not only see the 126th edition of The Championships. Three weeks later, it'll also be the site of the tennis competition that's part of the London Olympics. A singular occasion, or so might seem. But it's actually the second time that Wimbledon will host an Olympic tennis event. It's just been a while since the first one - back in 1908.
Now, 104 years later, Olympic tennis returns to SW19 but the question is, what are David's chances of taking part in the singles competition?

For David, the problem is that while his ranking (#49) is high enough to make the cut (which is #56), there are four Argentine players ahead of him in the rankings and only four players per country are allowed in the draw. This rule also applies for ITF entries and wildcards.
Therefore David's only chance of qualifying is to overtake at least one Argentine player in the rankings until June 11. As it's the ranking the week after Roland Garros that counts.
Until then, if all goes well, David will play Belgrade, the Masters events at Madrid and Rome and Roland Garros - without any points to defend, so everything he gains will be added to his count. But his chances of qualifying will also depend on the results of the other Argentines. Delpo (#11) and Pico (#14) are too far ahead, which leaves Chela and Berlocq.

Ranked #33 this week with 1165 points, Juan Ignacio Chela is 260 points ahead of David. And it's a packed schedule that Chela has planned for the clay-court swing. After his first-round exit at Monte Carlo yesterday, he'll now play every week until Roland Garros (Barcelona, Estoril, Madrid, Rome plus the World Team Cup). So there'll be plenty of chances for him to gain points. But Chela also has plenty of points to defend in the coming weeks - 585 in total. The biggest chunks of which are from the World Team Cup (125) and above all Roland Garros, where he'll defend 360 points from making the quarterfinal last year. In other words, an early exit at Roland Garros could make Chela fall behind David in the rankings.

Ranked #37 this week with 1076 points, Carlos Berlocq is 171 points ahead of David. And not as far away as Chela. But unlike Chela, Berlocq has hardly anything to defend in the coming weeks, having gained the majority of his ranking points during the second half of the last season (when he won altogether five clay-court Challengers). Berlocq is apparently having some injury troubles at the moment and retired in the first round at Monte Carlo today. After pausing next week he's scheduled to play Estoril, Madrid, Rome and the World Team Cup ahead of Roland Garros, with merely 71 points to defend until June 11. So David can't really speculate on early exits making that much of a difference for Berlocq's ranking.

In the end, it'll be up to David of course to try and play a good clay-court swing. With results that will hopefully earn him a place as one of Argentina's four players at the Olympics. He won't play as many events as Chela and Berlocq in the coming weeks, so each tournament will be crucial for David's quest for ranking points, especially the three big ones.
I'd love to be able to tell you how David is doing at the moment, ahead of the clay-court swing. But so far, there's still no news from him...


  1. Yep thanks for that. Clear as a cucumber :D
    Vamos David, i reckon he can do it ;D

  2. Looks like Pico has recently been injured (ankle) in the Monte Carlo Masters.
    I'm not sure how serious the ankle injury is. The video of the ankle roll looked pretty nasty.
    It's possible he may be out for a while? never know....

  3. Happened during his first-round match. I only saw a pic and that was horrible enough. Poor Pico...
    Right now, it looks like he could be out for a couple of weeks, more will be known later today. (Wouldn't make a difference for David, though.)

  4. thanks for the rankings update Julia :)
    looks like David will have to earn his points and not count on early exits of his fellow countrymen Chela and Berlocq, since they're aware of their chances to make the cut as well, it will be exciting to see how they will handle it until June 11th. I'm already nervous...

    Pico's ankle injury yesterday was brutal, really painful to watch him in tears, I hope it's not too serious, he has done well so far this year :(

    1. He's on the way back home to Argentina. Might have partially torn two ligaments, not clear yet. (I've had the same injury, myself. Same side as well...) But apparently he'll try to be back in time for RG.

  5. Here's an update of a different kind. David and Edu Schwank will play doubles together at Belgrade.
    Outside of DC, it's going to be David's first doubles appearance since teaming up with Andy Roddick at the Queen's Club, last year.

    1. Maybe if David doesnt make the Olympic singles cut (even tho I actually think hes gonna pass up Chela, more because I feel he wont defend his points) he should go with Schwank to the doubles.

    2. He said he's not planning to. And I don't think they'd make the cut for doubles.

    3. I dont even know how you even get in but I think Argentina has to send two doubles.

    4. Two doubles teams are allowed per country. The rules are somewhat mysterious but it seems to be top doubles players (by ranking) plus a partner from their respective country. Edu is currently ranked #32 in doubles, which I think is not high enough. And he'll be defending a ton of points at RG, having been a finalist last year.

  6. With no points to defend and four tournaments scheduled, I'd say David has a pretty good chance of surpassing Berlocq or Chela. Maybe both. He needs to stay healthy, though. Too bad about Pico. He played extremely well in Houston on Sunday and is having a good year. Hope he's back for RG.

  7. The drama for Pico is that somethng like that always seems to happen when he's doing really well...
    David on the other hand needs to stay healthy but he'll also need a bit of luck with the draw, especially at the three big events.
    His name is on the qualifying entry list for Madrid, by the way. He might still get a WC but if not, we'll get to see David, playing qualies (unless he goes deep at Belgrade and gets a special exempt).