Confirmation of what was at stake in this tie: In a radio interview today, vice-captain Mariano Zabaleta revealed that had Argentina lost to France "it would've been the end, David would have retired". But now his goal is to "train and see if he might play a singles and the doubles" in the semifinal. At the same time, I guess we know now what's going to happen if they lose.
Zabaleta didn't say anything about playing tournaments as part of David's plans. We'll have to wait and see.
Yesterday, on the day after a crazy, emotional, nerve-wracking and simply amazing weekend the team, or at least some of its members, went their different ways again. Pico got on a plane to Houston, where he'll try to defend his title this week. Charly, Horacio and Martin Jaite appeared on the TV show Pura Quimica, together with Mariano Zabaleta, who's one of the hosts. Whereas David did what he does when he really needs a break, he went fishing. And he'll be gone at least for a week (source).
In the meantime, his agent Carlos Costa is in the middle of negotiating wildcards for David for the European clay-court swing. So far, there's no news about where he'll get one, and what this next part of the season will look like for David is still a mystery right now. But I'll do my best to keep you posted.
Back to last weekend. And back to Argentina's first ever victory over France - that did come as a surprise, as Martin Jaite admitted afterwards. On paper, France was the heavy favourite, going into the tie. But as David kept saying ahead of the weekend, "anything can happen". - Especially at the Parque Roca.
Once again, part of the victory belonged to the Argentine fans. Vocal, creative and indefatigable as always, they supported and spurred on their players. Some may criticise the "footballisation" of the Davis Cup. But for my part, I really like the chants and the raucous atmosphere. And it helped the team.
In any case, it's still a special welcome and treatment that "El Rey" David gets at the Parque Roca. Where, with him on the team, Argentina has never lost a tie. "Talismanic" the Davis Cup website called him in one of its articles. "He's treated like a very big star," as the French press noticed.
This match, number 50, could've been the last one. And it would've been a worthy ending for David's Davis Cup career. But now it won't be the end.
Finally, in case you missed it because the French coverage cut away too quickly, here are the last three points of the fifth rubber and the celebrations that followed, as shown on Argentine TV: