Saturday, October 13, 2012

Where Do We Go From Here?

(AP Photo)

Merely a few days ago, it seemed like this season might still end on a positive note for David. It seemed like he'd soon be on his way to Europe for the indoor events, a chance to play in the conditions he likes best (and has done so well in, in the past). It would've also been a chance to draw a line under the the last few months, to forget about the Queen's Club final and everything that has happened since. It would've been a chance to enjoy himself on court.
But what began as a "minimal discomfort" during a practice session ahead of the US Open has now put an end to all those hopes and to David's season. It's the only injury he has suffered this year but it could've hardly come at a more inopportune moment. Now that David is going to decide whether or not to play another year.

Basically, that's been the deal from the start - play until 30 and then see if he wants to go on. There were some variations (for example after he won Washington) but that was the main version, the one he kept returning to during the last couple of years. Ahead of this season, David talked about having two years left of playing at a good level, saying that as long as he managed to stay healthy he'd go on playing. The change came in May. It was around the time of the Madrid Masters that David first said he'd make his decision about retirement at the end of the year. Though back then, he still named his health and fitness as the decisive factors. Since the Queen's Club final the decisive factor has been whether he wants to go on playing.

The last time David answered the question about his possible retirement was at the press conference he gave during the Davis Cup semifinal, a month ago. His reply was:
At the end of the year, I'm going to evaluate how I feel and I'll see what I want to do. Right now, I still want to compete. (Source.)
Back then, he didn't know yet that for him the season was already over. Now he finds himself caught up in another lengthy recovery process, as his injury is obviously more complicated than expected. Sidelined again, like he was far too often during the last two years. At the end of a season that I think has been a severe disappointment for him, and not just the second half of it, because he had very different hopes and expections. So where do we go from here?

There's one thing that could keep him going, despite the disappointment and the latest injury trouble - the Davis Cup, of course. The great dream he's always had and that's still within his reach. Perhaps, watching the Argentine team from the stands during the semifinal has made him realise that he's not ready to give up his dream just yet. He could focus on Davis Cup next year and play a reduced schedule outside of it. Though that would mean abandoning the other goals he had for this year. If he decides to retire then I don't think he'll leave without saying goodbye to his home crowd at the Copa Argentina or at the Copa Claro.

The one thing that's certain right now is that nothing is certain. Also not when David is going to inform us about his decision. So it's some nerve-wracking weeks ahead for us...



  1. we'll have to keep crossing our fingers during the next weeks, as you said Julia, nothing is certain :/
    the 1st photo above your post is very appropriate alas :( I think that even David himself is still trying to decide whether another year on the Tour is still worth a try... (watching the Shanghai final today just reminded how tough it has become on the Tour to compete and reach the final AND fight during hours to claim a title...)

  2. Yeah, I don't know whether he knows yet what he's going to do. Or when he's going to tell everyone...
    At the start of the season, he said that he wanted to enjoy himself more. It didn't really look like he did, especially during the last few months. So I hope he'll give it another try.
    As for Shanghai, David's statue at least is still there (behind Federer's).

  3. Julia, Hope you don't mind my suggestion;

    can you change the way we add comments? so we don't have to go through the lengthy and tedious process of typing the letters (which I never get right first or second time even!) and doing several clicks? This site is really good, and I am sure many like me would like to share more comments into, but we are put off by this painful way. Other successful blogs, like fuebuena have a straight forward way, which works well.

  4. I don't mind and the question has been asked before. But even as it is now it takes some work to keep the comments free from spam, including links to malware sites etc. If I got rid of the confirmation thingy there'd be spam from bots all over the place. If Fue Buena can do without it that's great. And maybe it's easier if the site isn't in English. But here, it won't work, sorry.

  5. I think if you register an account with Blogger, then that will get rid of the anti-spam verification thing you have to type in.

  6. Yeah, that way you can avoid it.

  7. I don't know if Akismet, which is included on all blogs, is available for other blogging platforms. It automatically screens out spam so comments don't have to be verified. Worth checking.

  8. Blogger has a spam filter, which sometimes also insists on filtering out proper comments that I have to restore afterwards. It keeps out most of the spam but not all of it.
    In the early days of VD, commenting was restricted to registered users. But then I got more and more requests for making commenting open to everyone. So I did - but the verification thingy (for un-registered users) is the price for that.

  9. Yeah, I see. I'm getting better at verifying. Sometimes I even get it on the first try.

  10. Blogger changed the verifying thing a while ago, didn't they? I think it used to be easier in the past.

  11. Yep, they did. I don't remember having to do it when I first discovered VD. Maybe I did, but it certainly wasn't difficult.