Thursday, January 31, 2013

Argentina vs Germany - The Draw

In case you always wanted to know what a Davis Cup draw ceremony is like (and why David tends to be half-asleep during them) I recommend the clip above. But it doesn't just show names being drawn - or rather, how one name is being drawn because that's all it takes - it also contains a brief snippet of an interview with David, who says that playing for your country isn't something you choose (or choose not) to do but an obligation that you feel. It's what they as players can give back to the crowd, in return for the undying support. And of course he hopes that they'll do this as best as they can - by winning the tie.

As for who will play which match, the speculations ahead of today turned out to be right, both on the Argentine and on the German side. But what's not going to make things any easier for the Argentine team is the order of play. Playing what's only his second tie, Charly Berlocq will try to get the team off to a good start. But that won't be easy against Germany's #1:

Friday (11am local/2pm GMT/9am EST)
Carlos Berlocq vs Philipp Kohlschreiber
They've met four times so far, with the match record standing at 3-1 in the German's favour. Charly won their only meeting on clay but that was almost seven years ago. In Davis Cup, Kohlschreiber's record is not all that impressive (9-7 in singles, 2-2 in doubles) but he's able to do well on clay, and he'll be out to prove his dedication to the German team and its new captain. In other words, this will be another really tough one for Charly in his still young Davis Cup career.

Juan Monaco vs Florian Mayer
It's a pretty terrible record that Pico has against Florian Mayer - out of their six encounters so far, Mayer won five, with four of those victories having come on clay. While Pico's only victory dates back to 2005. With his unorthodox game, Mayer is a difficult match-up for Pico, as he doesn't give him the kind of rhythm that he likes. Mayer hasn't always done well in Davis Cup but Pico was injured lately... Difficult to predict, this one.

Saturday (1pm local/4pm GMT/11am EST)
David Nalbandian & Horacio Zeballos vs Christopher Kas & Philipp Kohlschreiber
It's only the second time that David and Horacio are going to play a doubles match together. But the first was a match to remember and back then, they didn't really have any time to prepare. That first doubles match also took place in the first round, against Sweden in Stockholm 2010. Back then, they beat an experienced team - and on Saturday, they'll be faced with another one of those. Doubles specialist Christopher Kas and Philipp Kohlschreiber play together fairly regularly and they have three doubles titles to their name, the latest of which they won earlier this year at Doha. In Stockholm, David and Horacio managed to stun the Swedes with their sheer energy and determination. Hopefully, they can put in another performance like that.

Sunday (11am local/2pm GMT/9am EST)
Juan Monaco vs Philipp Kohlschreiber
It's an even match record that the two number ones have, having split their four previous meetings, with Kohlschreiber winning the last two, while Pico won the two times they faced off on clay. The question, going into this match will be how much Kohlschreiber will have left in the tank, on the third day of play for him.

Carlos Berlocq vs Florian Mayer
If this fifth rubber is a live one, which is to say - if the tie is decided in this fifth and final rubber then it remains to be seen who's going to play it for Argentina. It could be David, depending on his fitness and form. In the words of Martin Jaite:
Who is going to play on Sunday? I don't have to say it now. Saturday night we'll see how the tie is going and how we're going to end it. (Source.)
But first of all we'll see how Charly and Pico will be doing against Kohlschreiber and Mayer tomorrow. Once more, it'll be a place in the stands for David - but only for one day, this time.

(Sergio Llamera/


  1. I don't know why, but the Sergio Llamera photo reminded me of the opening of Chariots of Fire - in slow motion. Maybe the Vangelis theme song could be the inspiration for a victory over Germany. Vamos Argentina.

    1. Yeah, the team walking up to the Parque Roca was apparently a popular motif, yesterday. Slow motion, it does have that sort of feel, doesn't it? A bit movie-like. Let's hope it'll turn out to be a "heroes' walk". :)

  2. And Chris, I'm speechless at somebody else's stupidity, to be honest...