With David in London now, not just hanging out with friends but also preparing to play the Queen's Club and then Wimbledon, I wasn't necessarily expecting that we'd get to hear anything from him, while he's getting ready for the tournaments on grass.
Yesterday, however, the following interview with David was published on the website of TyC Sports (broadcasters of the Davis Cup in Argentina). It's a brief one and only consists of a handful of questions. But among those are some rather poignant ones.
It starts with the question I raised in my post on David's first-round defeat at Roland Garros, about his take on this season and his results up until now.
Q: What's your assessment of the year you've had so far? Are you doing better or worse than you thought you would, ahead of the season?On the one hand, there's the two semifinals and the two quarterfinals he reached this year. With the semifinal at the Copa Claro and the quarterfinal at Indian Wells (including victories over two Top10 players) as the highlights. But on the other hand, at the Slams and the other Masters events, David hasn't made it past the second round anywhere. And although he had some bad luck with the draws that's surely not the kind of results he was hoping for. That also goes for losing in the semifinal at Belgrade, the tournament that was his big chance to win his first title since Washington 2010.
David: So far, it's been a year with some very good results on the one hand, and others that were not what I was hoping for. I'm fine, physically and in terms of my sport. Still, it's clear that being 30 years old and the surgeries I had during my career weigh down on me during the season.
Which takes us to the "big one", as far as questions for David are concerned:
Q: What are the chances of you, retiring at the end of the season, as has been rumoured?As David has also said before, he's going to decide at the end of the year whether he'll retire or whether he'll play one more season. A decision that will most of all depend on the physical state he's in. But looking at his replies here, this might not just refer to being healthy, as in not suffering further injuries. The question also seems to be whether David thinks he can still physically keep up with the level of play on the Tour, on a regular basis. And the second half of the season, with the US hardcourt events and the indoor swing, traditionally David's best part of the year, might prove to be crucial for answering that question.
David: It's no secret that these are the final years of my career, though I haven't set a definitive date for retiring yet.
Q: Do you still have the strength and the motivation to continue, or is it all going to depend on the results?
David: As I've said before, age is weighing down on me and I'm also faced with opponents who hit the ball much harder. But nothing is definitive yet.
Something that's always crucial for David is the Davis Cup, in this case the upcoming semifinal tie against the Czechs at the Parque Roca (September 14-16):
Q: What are your expectations for the tie against the Czech Republic? How will you have to play against Berdych and Stepanek?Finally, a question about the Olympics. Back in 2004, injury kept David from playing the Olympics in Athens. Four years later in Beijing, he lost in the third round (to Monfils) but had a great time at the Olympic Village, an experience he'd love to repeat.
David: It's going to be a very tough tie, no doubt about that. Berdych has been inside the Top10 for a long time and Stepanek is a very talented and experienced player. We have to make sure that the advantage of playing at home really matters and also of knowing that they're not clay specialists. But I'll say it again, the tie will be very tough.
Q: What does the possibility of playing the London Olympics mean to you?Whether David gets to play will officially be decided on Monday, June 11, when the rankings after Roland Garros come out that will determine the entry list for the Olympics. In the past weeks, I've tried to keep you up-to-date about his chances of qualifying. Focusing mostly on his chances of replacing Juan Ignacio Chela as the fourth Argentine player (behind Delpo, Pico and Berlocq). And by now, David has indeed made it past Chela in the rankings.
David: I'd love to be able to play the Olympics, something that will be decided after Roland Garros. I hope that I'll get to be there because I want to relive the wonderful experience of staying at the Olympic Village, together with the other athletes. And obviously, if I get to play, there can be no doubt that I'm going to give my best in order to try and win a medal for Argentina.
But as I've mentioned in the comments, there's someone I admittedly didn't keep an eye on and that's Leonardo Mayer. He moved up in the rankings over the past few weeks and he still has a theoretical chance of overtaking David...
Edit: ...A chance that is over now. Mayer lost to Almagro in the third round today and that means David gets to play the London Olympics.