Monday, July 23, 2012

The London Olympics - A Preview


The Centre Court at Wimbledon is ready for the Olympic tennis competition, as can be seen in this photo (and the same goes for Court 1, pictured below). And tomorrow, David, ranked #39 as of this week, will be on his way to Britain. Time to get ready for the London Olympics, also here on VD. So here's a look at what awaits David - and us.

The Draws
The draw ceremony for the singles and the doubles will take place at the AELTC on Thursday, at 11am London time. Whether there's going to be any coverage I can't say yet.

The singles competition will have a 64-player draw with 16 seeds (seeded according to today's rankings). In doubles, it's going to be 32 teams with 8 seeds. A complete list of the players you'll find here. Rafa Nadal and Gael Monfils (who defeated David at the Beijing Olympics) have withdrawn. Rafa will be replaced by Feliciano Lopez in singles and Marc Lopez in doubles, while Monfils will be replaced by Julien Benneteau.

As he won't be seeded, David can meet anyone from the first round on - except for Delpo, Pico and Charly Berlocq. Unlike at "normal" tournaments, the Olympic rules forbid players from the same country to be drawn into the same quarter. So David, Delpo, Pico and Charly Berlocq will find themselves getting evenly distributed across the four quarters of the draw.

The Competition
Both singles and doubles start on Saturday, July 28.

Play starts at 11.30am local until the semifinal stage. From then on, it's 12pm, local time.

All matches will be best-of-three without a tiebreak in the third set. The only exception is the singles final, which will be best-of-five, also without a tiebreak in the final set.

The matches will be played on 12 of the altogether 19 courts at the AELTC.
Edit: Apparently, there will be five show courts (Centre Court and Courts 1, 2, 14 and 18).
The TV coverage will differ from country to country, of course. Here on VD, I'll link streams for David's matches - if possible. Any help with finding streams (if there's coverage) will be very much appreciated.

Something that probably won't be appreciated, at least not by David, is that there's going to be a so-called "mixed zone", where journalists get the chance to talk to athletes directly after their matches. Which is normal in other sports but not in tennis, where players usually get a moment to take a shower (and calm down, if necessary) before facing the assembled press.

(Getty Images)
While other players, like Roger Federer and Delpo for example, prefer to stay away from the bustle (and the somewhat spartan accommodation; a gallery here) for David, the Olympic Village will be one of the highlights. And I think that's pretty cool. That the experience is more important to him than residing "in style". Whether he'll get a chance to show off again - we'll see. But no watching TV with Lionel Messi, this time.

Last but not least, this is the photo from David's official athlete's profile at the London 2012 website. It's one of the best, actually, in the tennis department (the complete tennis gallery of "mugshots" you can view here).
The profile itself is good fun, too. According to it, Luis Lobo is still David's coach. And the only language David speaks is English. Just like with most Argentineans...

Anyway, so that's what's ahead - London 2012. Chances are it's all going to be a bit chaotic. And I have no idea what the stream situation will be like. With the other, "normal" events, I know by now what I'm dealing with. But this is no normal event... Well, I'll try my best to keep you posted.

Update (24/07)
Yesterday, David attended the presentation of this painting (which was obviously painted after this photo here; it will be auctioned for the benefit of UNICEF, along with a handful of other paintings of Argentine athletes) in Buenos Aires.
Today, he'll be on his way to London Heathrow, where he's due to arrive early tomorrow morning.
Meanwhile, Edu Schwank (seen here with Gisela Dulko) has already taken up training at Wimbledon, with Martin Jaite and Mariano Zabaleta also present. About the doubles with David, Edu told Clarin that they're a "competitive team", they "know each other very well" and have had "good results" and therefore he thinks that they'll "have a chance".


  1. Praying for a good draw!
    Mixed zone?! They shoud've called it the "hot zone" I hope no catastrophes are going to result from it :p
    There are things that you should go for the whole expirence in, like the olympic village. I mean it's not for a long time after all. I'm all for opportunities to have fun :)
    lol at the "mugshots" Julia you crack me up :) Some of them are pretty good esp. if I'm going to compare them to my Visa "mugshot" :p

  2. I mean, David actually looks pretty good. While most of the other guys look weird. Or worse than just weird... lol
    And yeah, mixed zone is a euphemism, of course. ;)

    1. Yah I took a look at the photos. Some were ok but some were!!!!!!!!

  3. yeah David looks pretty good on his profile picture :) it's funny how they managed to "forget" to put Spanish as his other spoken language lol
    Hahaha indeed we can talk about "mugshots" for some players, it's terrible!!!
    I kind of like the Olympic Village accomodation, and I find it cool that David enjoys the vibe with being with other athletes etc. Federer will probably travel with his wife and kids so I somewhat understand his wants to stay at the hotel...
    I had a look at the "inside the Village", is that a "karaoke zone" ? Maybe David can hit some notes there! lol
    And a... McDonald's, really? (I can't remember if there was one in the Beijing Village...)

    Mixed zone... let's hope David will be lucky enough to win a couple matches because it could be hot there haha!

    1. Yeah, in Federer's case it's understandable, that's true. And also when it comes to Andy Murray - he can simply stay at the London home he apparently has. :)
      I mean, the rooms are nice enough but a bit like a youth hostel. Not really what a lot of the tennis players are used to... ;)
      If that's a karaoke bar (yeah, difficult to say) then maybe David should sing, especially in front of his opponents... To frighten them. lol
      While McDonald's is probably one of the sponsors. Anyway, they had to find a place for the mixed zone at Wimbledon, as no such thing usually exists there. We'll see if we're going to get some footage from there. :)

  4. He looks great on the photo - one of the best I have seen in years!

    I just hope he won't play Wawrinka or Tipsarevic in R1...

  5. Or Fed, or Nole...

    And yeah, it's pretty good for a profile pic. But we have loads of great photos of David here, also thanks to Denise and Istabraq. :)

  6. Very nice profile pic, indeed!
    I'm getting already a bit nervous :-), I hope so much that he gets a decent draw with a bunch of luck this time.
    Sadly I won't be able to follow his matches via live stream, because I'm travelling through Spain from saturday on for three weeks, so I rely on you guys to read what is going on with David (and hopefully I get internet access everytime...). It would be so great if he can have a fantastic run in singles or in doubles.

  7. I hope you'll have a good time in Spain. :)
    Yeah, we'll try to keep up with David at the Olympics, here. Not really sure how easy or difficult that's going to be, this time around (all I seem to remember from Beijing is - chaos). But if you get the chance to have a look at VD now and then, and I hope you will, then we'll keep you posted. :)

  8. Thank you Julia!
    I hope it will not be a huge chaos, but somehow Olympics are always a bit chaotic. I will check VD as often I can, all hotels have w-lan so I think I will stay hopefully up-to-date :-). All mobile devices are prepared for fast connection to VD :-). The best would be that David matches will be broadcasted on a TV station in Spain during a good time, probably wishful thinking, but I can try :-).

  9. enjoy your holidays in Spain, Mina! :) hopefully we'll get to watch David on TV (we never know lol).

    I hope the painting of David will be auctioned at a very high price! it's beautifully painted :)

  10. Hello everyone :) I have to say I love the Olympics even way before I started watching tennis or supporting David. And it started to get even more exciting since Athens 2004 since I started supporting David. Let's hope for the best draw and hope he'll get as fired up as he can and play his best knowing it'll be his last chance at the Olympics! Let's pray he won't get a seeded player in the 1st round! :)

    And Mina, enjoy Spain :) I went there on a 10-day vacation last month and it was amazing!! you'll have a great time, it's a beautiful country :)) You should expect it to be very hot though as it was already very hot in June!

  11. Thank you Mira and Noah! Yes, it should be very hot, my friends, who live there, already told me that it is far away from cool :-). Your vacation sounds great, Noah, wonderful that you had a great time!

    So David should have arrived in London, I think, after a long flight. And the draw is coming nearer and nearer... keeping everything crossed that is possible :-).

    1. Sorry for mistyping your name, Noha, my fingers were faster than my brain ;-)!

    2. :D No problem Mina ;)