Saturday, March 2, 2013

Davis Cup Intermezzo: Ahead of the Quarterfinal


Before we move on to Indian Wells and Miami I'll take this opportunity to write a post about the Davis Cup - and all that goes with it. A month has gone by since Argentina beat Germany 5-0 in the first round, a month from now David and the others will face France in the quarterfinal. Halfway between those two ties, here's a general update from the Davis Cup front.

A few days after the victory over Germany and after Martin Jaite had once more invited Delpo to join the team, an article appeared in the Argentine press, claiming that while waiting for Jaite's reign to end behind the scenes Delpo is already working on installing a successor for Jaite, one who would be more to his own taste - Gaston Gaudio. This prompted a reply from Delpo via his new press chief Jorge Viale (formerly Fue Buena), stating that "neither Juan Martin, nor any member of his team or family has ever called for a change of captains" as "this is not his way of conducting himself in Davis Cup".
At the same time, the statement also clarified that this season, Delpo's way of conducting himself in Davis Cup will definitely and irrevocably consist of not playing.

So even if the doors are still open, as Jaite likes to put it, and Delpo is "essential for our team, we need him" (to quote Pico), Argentina will have to make do without its top player.
Against France in the quarterfinal the line-up will be the same it was against Germany. Never change a winning team, as they say. But as there's hardly anybody else Jaite could nominate, even if he wanted to, everything depends on those four. Including Pico, who hasn't won a match since the last tie and pulled out of Acapulco to rest his hand that is apparently still causing him trouble. At least he'll be back for Indian Wells and Miami.

But does the same line-up have to mean the same strategy? In other words, will it be Pico and Charly Berlocq for the singles rubbers again, and David together with Horacio Zeballos playing the doubles?
Until the Copa Claro, Jaite avoided making any clear statements about David and the possibility of also playing singles. A couple of days into the tournament however, after David's defeat against Ferrer to be precise, Jaite told Clarin the following:
Q: After the good level David Nalbandian displayed in the match he lost to David Ferrer do you consider him for a spot as one of the singles player against France in April?

Jaite: For the time being, I think of David only in terms of the doubles. I was very happy with what he did together with Zeballos against Germany, as part of our 5-0 victory.
And although I'll have to see how he is, physically as well as mentally, and despite what he did against Ferrer I don't see him as one of the singles players.
Although he doesn't really give any reasons for his opinion I think there can be only one explanation why Jaite would have doubts about letting David play a best-of-five set match on clay, and that's his fitness.
So it looks like for the time being, David is stuck with the kind of part on the team that he'll play of course but that he never really wanted - one half of the doubles.

Against Germany, the team (without Delpo but also without drama) was as united as I've ever seen it. And they proved that also without Delpo they can pull off impressive victories. Then again, it's always easy to get along when things are going great. And had it not been for Philipp Kohlschreiber's injury the outcome could've been a different one.
Against France, it's a formidable challenge that awaits David and the rest of the team. In the doubles as well as in the singles. And much will be at stake, for David, for Martin Jaite and for Argentina. At the Parque Roca, April 5-7.


  1. Jaite is realistic just like us. David might not be fit enough to play a best-of-five singles match. And he's done pretty well with Horacio in doubles (though a bit rusty), it's better this way. One month left before this awaited QF, we'll see how the French team will be as well, they've got some good choices there. Vamos!

    and just found this on Twitter : David and Victoria shopping
    her baby bump is not that big yet :)

  2. No, she's only six months, so....the last three months is more than enough time to fill out.

  3. Thanks for the link, Mira. Lovely picture. :)

    What was this bit about, does anyone know? (Computer translation): "After overcoming crisis rumors in recent days, the couple was photographed as united as the first day." I hope that's not anything to worry about.

    I suppose one positive thing for the Davis Cup team is that Horacio has been in such good form recently. But I still don't think they have much chance against France.

  4. The tabloid fodder that supposedly had him at the DC team hotel partying with two women. Of course, it wasn't true.

  5. Haha, it doesn't take much, does it? Thanks, Tiffany.

  6. Not these days...haha. And what was even more hilarious were the photos that they used to tell the story. The women in the first photo (taken at David's house, btw) did not match the second photo of two women who looked like reality show rejects.

  7. Well, he didn't deny meeting those girls or spending time with them at his place in Buenos Aires.
    But as I've said before, I keep the yellow press out of VD, I'd appreciate it if you could do the same.