Thursday, March 28, 2013

In the Words of Martin Jaite

(Mauro Alfieri/La Nacion)

Two days from now it'll begin. On Saturday, captain and vice-captain, players and training partners and everybody else belonging to the Argentine team will meet at the Parque Roca. And the Davis Cup week, leading up to the quarterfinal tie against France will be under way.
Whether David is in Buenos Aires at the moment, or whether he's taking a short break back home in Unquillo, I can't say. In the meantime, here's Argentina's captain Martin Jaite, giving his thoughts and expectations concerning the upcoming tie. And just like his players (in the previous post) he expects the home advantage to be an important factor - for what's nevertheless going to be an extremely difficult tie.
It's important that we play at home. Because if we had to go to France we probably wouldn't play on clay and our chances would be even smaller. They have a better team than we do but we can fight. We'll have a a chance in all five matches. In Davis Cup, there's always plenty of surprises. The players will have to be at their best level or even better than that. If we don't play our best we won't have a chance.
And Jaite is of course very much aware of the fact that on paper, i.e. going by the rankings, France has the much stronger team...
What worries me is the quantity and the quality of players they have. Apart from that it's a team with a long history in Davis Cup. They like to play it and they're united as a team.
They have players with better rankings. But regardless of the level of each player I hope that it's going to be a close tie. They are the favourites but we can win it.
It would be the first time that an Argentine team beats a French one in Davis Cup - the record so far: 0-5. Which was also the scoreline when they last met (semifinal 2010). But now it's time to look ahead at the quarterfinal and at the strategy for the tie. And some things have already been decided.
Two things are practically certain. Nalbandian and Zeballos will play the doubles and Pico as well is definitely going to play, his place [as one of the singles players] is guaranteed. We'll see what happens in training. Anyone can play [the remaining] singles rubbers, but the doubles is fixed, David and Zeballos is the strongest team that we have.
In other words, it could be either Charly Berlocq or Horacio Zeballos, playing against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Friday, while Pico will be up against Richard Gasquet (unless something unforeseen happens).
The same Pico, who apparently still has problems with his wrist and who still hasn't won a match on the Tour this season. But, as Jaite points out, the Davis Cup has its own rules.
We play Davis Cup, that's different from the circuit, and Pico always played well for us. Against Germany, maybe Charly stole his thunder with his heroic victory over Kohlschreiber but Pico's match [against Mayer] was very important and he played very well. And now he's playing better than he did back then, even if he won't come here with a lot of confidence. We saw him play at Miami, we talked to him in the locker room and although he lost [in the second round to Ramos] he played well. He'll be very motivated.
Charly Berlocq on the other hand retired after a couple of games at Miami. But according to Jaite there's no reason to worry about him.
Berlocq is fine, he retired in Miami as a precaution, with the Davis Cup in mind. He [his knee, that is] is getting treatment now but he'll be fit for the tie.
So, will they all be fit and ready for the huge challenge that's going to await them against France?
Being part of the Davis Cup team gives you strength. And it gives you motivation. The victory over Germany gave us strength as a team. In Miami we had dinner together, everyone was there and we spent a lot of time together. Things like that show you that we're on the right track.
Finally, a few words about David from his former coach...
David is going through those moments [of his career] now, leading up to retirement. His game is fine and physically it works until he runs out of gas. We'll have to see what happens but he's in a better state now than he was against Germany.
(Sources 1, 2 & 3)
I've said it in the comments section - let's enjoy the sight of David, playing tennis while we still can.
This might be his last Davis Cup tie. I really hope that it won't be but well...


  1. thanks Julia!
    Jaite says exactly what we already knew : David's game is fine and it works... until he runs out of gas. Reason why he'll be better in doubles with Horacio. Hope they can win that point!
    Gasquet's in SF in Miami, not that it will affect him next week but well... he might be a bit tired and a very short time for his transition from hardcourt to clay...
    It'll be a very tough tie but who knows... Argentina may surprise us, hopefully!

    1. Won't be easy against Llodra & Benneteau. By the way, the two of them (plus Gilles Simon) already took up training today at the Parque Roca. Tomorrow there should be the first news and pics from David and the others.
      Gasquet, well, in any case he'll be full of confidence when he gets to Buenos Aires. Tough match for Pico. Strangely enough, the two of them have never met before.

  2. Thanks for the news Julia. However, my opinion is that Jaite is quite irresponsible in saying that David is going through the last stages of his career leading to his retirement. How can that motivate David? Did he see what Haas is doing at 35 in Miami? Or what Agassi did at 36? I know that David is not like Haas or Agassi... yes he is more talented, we can make up the differences in mentality and fitness with his great shot making. Anyway, fingers crossed for a 4th and 5th game so we can maybe see David show what he is capable of. Tsonga is beatable, Gasquet I don't know. He is on top of his game in Miami. Maybe he'll have less time to adjust to the clay and more tiredness. Cheers :)

    1. Sure, he might see what Agassi and Haas have done. Maybe he's not motivated or inspired by what they are doing.

  3. Jaite is telling it like it is. This is the final stage.
    David's plan never was to play for as long as Agassi or Haas. And he'd never spend years playing mostly Challengers like Blake. It's not just a matter of what David could theoretically do, it's about what he wants to do.
    Anyway, there's absolutely no need to worry about David's motivation when it's about DC. ;)

  4. Yeah I am agree with julia. He is so motivated in davis cup we cant compare to those poor tour matches thatswhy he should play in singles on friday.he has a good record against gasquet, tsonga is not in a big form recently and he is not that good on clay as well.Both french players apriciates david so much. Anyway i think gasquet will lose today against murray so probably he will have plenty of time to recover from miami. i dont really feel any chance for winning that doubles, but of course it will depend on the first two rubbers.

  5. If he played on Friday it would have to be against Tsonga, those are the rules in DC. Who's #1 and #2 in singles is determined simply by the ranking on the day of nominations. So Tsonga is #1, Gasquet is #2. David would in any case be #2 and therefore face the other team's #1, i.e. Tsonga on the first day.
    I've explained before why I don't think that would be a good idea. And it's not going to happen. If at all, fifth rubber against Gasquet but I doubt it'll come to that.

  6. @all :)
    Yes, I didn't take into consideration what he also wants to do. He could do a lot of things in tennis, but he always considered that life exists outside the tennis courts. I have to respect that and accept it. Let's see what happens with France.