Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Davis Cup vs Germany - An Interview as an Epilogue


Before we'll focus on the Golden Swing, starting with São Paulo, David's first ATP tournament of the season, here's one more post about the Davis Cup, in the wake of Argentina's unexpectedly clear and easy first-round victory over Germany.

As mentioned in the previous post, the celebrations and reactions afterwards included some digs at Delpo. In the meantime, however, Martin Jaite has said that he's planning to call Delpo, to ask him to play the quarterfinal tie (source). And some adjustments have been made. While Pico denied that any disrespectful songs were sung in the locker room, Horacio apologised via his Twitter, stating that he didn't want to offend anybody with what he said in the press conference and that Delpo is a great player, who always wants Argentina to win. In short, there's been a major round of back-pedalling.

The one who hasn't taken back anything he said or insinuated, also ahead of the tie ("playing Davis Cup is not a choice you make but an obligation that you feel") is David. Here's what he told Mariano Ryan and Miguel Angel Bertolotto for Clarin. About the Davis Cup in general and also about Delpo.
Q: David, how much longer are you going to try and play Davis Cup?

David: Until I lose the desire, the motivation to play tennis. That's what it'll depend on.

Q: When you retire from the Tour you'll also retire from Davis Cup.

David: It's very difficult to only play Davis Cup without being on the Tour. Without rhythm, without match practice, without anything. It's complicated. Time will tell.

Q: It's clear that the only strong motivation you have left is the Davis Cup.

David: Strong, yeah, obviously. Definitely.

Q: If you were ten years younger and could start your Davis Cup career all over again, what would you do differently and which things that you did would you do again?

David: I'd do everything the same again.

Q: You don't regret any decision that you made?

David: No, not in Davis Cup, I think. I always gave everything I could in every tie, sometimes it went well, sometimes it didn't, sometimes it did more or less. Whenever I didn't play it was because I really couldn't play tennis. Fortunately, I did a half-decent job of rising to the occasion.

Q: In the three finals you played, were there mistakes that were made or were the opponents too strong?

David: Against Spain, in Mar del Plata, we lost the final, ourselves. It clearly was a tie that we should've won. In Russia and in Sevilla we lost because the opponents were better than we were.

Q: How much do you need Del Potro to win the Davis Cup?

David: Juan Martin is an extremely important player for the team, no doubt about that. Not being able to count on him now is a shame.

Q: Is it impossible for you to achieve your last great dream without Del Potro? Or do you still see a chance for it to happen?

David: Everything is possible but Argentina has a better chance to win if he plays. Everybody knows that. Though there were also doubts about how we were going to beat Germany and in the end we won 5-0. Then again the opponents get tougher as you make your way through the rounds.

Q: What's your relationship with Del Potro like? Zero?

David: It's a relationship between teammates.

Q: But Del Potro isn't part of the team now.

David: But on the Tour, yes. There, I have more of a relationship with him than I do with other players but he's just another teammate.

Q: Do you understand why he's determined not to play Davis Cup this year?

David: I respect his decision because everybody shapes their own career as they want.

Q: But you don't share his decision.

David: I made a different choice. But we're not all the same and as I said, this is the kind of career where each and everyone chooses the path they want and they like best. And that's perfect.

Q: If another one of your teammates did the same thing like Del Potro, for example Monaco, would you talk to him?

David: But that's the same. Those are individual decisions. What you'r talking about is too hypothetical. It didn't happen. If it happened, I'd respect each player's decision.

Q: Does it bother you that always, with every tie, there's the question about the unity of the team? About how united the team is or isn't...

David: Those are comments made by the media. We try to do things the best way we can. And then the media have to fill pages...

Q: Still, the reality is that ever since the days of Vilas and Clerc there have been obvious differences [between players on the Argentine team].

David: I can't say anything about those days because I wasn't there. Yeah, I can talk about what I've experienced these last few years. Among the players and within the teams there are always differences. Small ones or big ones, from something important to the training schedule, because someone would like to train earlier or later. It's stupid. I've had five different captains and I must've had fifteen different teammates. And you always have one, who likes one thing and another, who likes something else. Everybody has their moods, their personality, their stuff. There are always differences, that's the way it is. I always say that if you want to win it the Davis Cup has to be above all differences, whether big or small. If not then it's impossible to win it. You'll never have a team of four, five, six players where everybody agrees to train at the same hour, to eat the same food at the same time. Because we're not used to that, to being on a team. Well, I'll say it again, the Davis Cup has to be above those issues.

Q: Apart from playing well, the secret to winning the Davis Cup is to smooth out these differences.

David: The secret is to win. They can all be fighting but if you still win, you win. They can all be close friends and if you lose, you go to the Zonal Group. That's why the secret is to win. You can do it better or worse, you can have a better or worse environment, be closer to one or the other but in the end what matters is winning. We get together on Sunday evening [for the traditional team meeting]. If we couldn't get together some day but still played on the weekend and won... If that happened, who'd say that not getting together is bad?

Q: How would you rank the joy of having defeated Germany compared to other victories?

David: It's very difficult to compare. In each tie, different things happen, for better or for worse. But those days have been very good for everybody. Each one of us practiced what he had to practice, each one of us knew what he had to do. Even if we had lost we would've been satisfied with this way of working. And then you can win or lose, those are the rules in sports. Fortunately, we won... That's right, the 5-0 was a surprise for us. We were expecting a more complicated tie.

Q: Next up will be France...

David: A very tough opponent, tougher than Germany. Because of the number of players they have and the different possibilities. If the number 8 [in the world] can't be there, it'll be number 11... If number 11 isn't there, here comes number 14...

Q: What the weekend has shown once again is that the love story between you and the people is unshakeable.

David: The things that happen in Davis Cup are unique, for better or for worse. It's very nice to experience so much emotion. And I feel that the support by the people is unconditional, whether I play singles or doubles. The people appreciate whatever match I play, what I can give or not give to Argentina. This kind of recognition is incomparable.


  1. Everyone seems to think that David is in the wrong; he's not. He's not accusing anyone of anything, and he refuses to be drawn into a battle over semantics. Good on him!

    1. You watched the clips, right?

    2. The Q & A you translated seems pretty tame to me. My feeling is that you'd have to have a guilty conscience to get all hissy about what David said or didn't say. We know how David feels about Delpo and I'm sure Delpo knows it too. I think Delpo wants to be treated with kid gloves, like he's some kind of icon or something. He's not. He's just a very good player.

    3. I meant the clips of the presser and the post-match interview. And I'm not getting all hissy. I say that David and the others had a great weekend and they had fun, having a dig at Delpo. It's the back-pedalling that I find lame and much worse than sticking to what you've said. I just think that in the long run it won't help the team.

    4. No, I didn't see the presser or the post-match interview. Just the Clarin interview. And no, Julia, I'm not inferring you're getting hissy, I'm speculating Delpo would. Perhaps the team should hold an asado, just the players and Jaite, not their handlers or agents or anybody else - Delpo attending, of course - have many cervezas and iron things out. Maybe there would be fisticuffs, who knows, but they've got to do something and put Argentina first. This whole situation is so stupid, because with Spain out, Argentina could take the DC this year. David isn't going to win it without Delpo, and Delpo isn't going to win it without David.

    5. I'm probably more prone to hissiness than Delpo in general but anyway, yeah, they should stop communicating via the media. It's the same old mistake that has been made so many times before. If at all, this can only be resolved, talking face to face. Between those who are/were part of the team and nobody else. Spain out of the draw is like a good omen. Or rather, it should be treated like one...

    6. I wish they would stop communicating via the media, too. With the availability of social media, they can control what they communicate and how...but they are not taking advantage of the opportunity. But this is another post for another day, I suppose.

  2. I don't need to. I see it for what it is.

  3. Then you don't know how he said the things he said.
    In this particular case, it was the whole team, not just him. For me, the whole point is that they need Delpo. And that this doesn't help with getting him back on the team.

  4. But you are making this seem like David is the villain here; it doesn't make your commentary any better than that of the press, who is always out to villify him anyway. No matter WHAT David says or doesn't say, the press will always find a negative context to refer to...and you're doing the same thing.

  5. As I've said, I find the back-pedalling far worse than sticking to what he said. And he said these things. Apart from that, if there are any villains here then it's the whole team and not just David. But I'm not making this about good and evil. For me, it's about DC and the chances of the team.

    1. Reminder: David was NOT the one that back-pedaled. He stuck to what he said, no matter the consequences. I can respect him for that. He owned every word he said; it's the press that's trying to incite war where there is none.

    2. As I've said: It's the back-pedalling that I find lame and much worse than sticking to what you've said. I just think that in the long run it won't help the team.
      And the war is over. What we have now is an embargo as the consequence of it.

  6. I still hope that Jaite will find a way to convince DelPo to play the QF against France... but yeah, DelPo has no interest of playing that tie, especially after that weekend and the team's innuendo about him.
    Also, DelPo's still young so maybe he's thinking he can wait a few years after "certain" people don't play anymore so he can come back...

    But in this interview, I don't see anything wrong said by David, but I guess it depends on the tone you say the things, on how you use some words, etc... I agree, Julia.

    I saw the Horacio tweets, if he apologised then he must've said something that was worth apologies. He said that his comment was a mistake made by someone who's inexperienced in front of cameras... Come on...

    I would've loved to see David's face while answering the last question, I bet he's so proud to be a hero there, El Rey! lol (which is awesome, of course ;)

  7. The videos I was referring to are the ones in the previous post. The post-match interview and that scene from the press conference with Jaite, David and the "inexperienced" Horacio. Come on... Yeah, exactly.

    True, Delpo can simply wait. Ahead of the tie, there was a lot of talk about Jaite and the position of captain, with Vilas offering himself for the job and even Luis Lobo saying he'd like to be captain. Jaite's contract ends at the end of the year and who knows what the AAT will do. Or what David will do.

    The whole problem is that it's a one-way street. David and the team need Delpo to have a chance but Delpo doesn't need them. As he can just sit back and wait. I think this can only be resolved face to face. But when you think about how "successful" previous attempts at communication between Jaite and Delpo have been...

  8. Comment deleted as it was posted by the only user who's banned from VD.

  9. - That's going to be the reaction to all future attempts, Chris.