Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Semifinal Ahead

Update (12/09)
(Danny Miche)

The team on the way to the draw ceremony. More about the match-ups and the schedule later today.

Usually, during the week before an away tie you get to hear all sorts of conflicting things about the surface. This time, however, the verdict is the same from the team as well as Jaite and Zabaleta. It's indeed a fast hardcourt that the Czechs have chosen for the O2 Arena. Just like they did against Spain in last year's final - with resounding success.
In the words of Martin Jaite (at today's press conference):
They have a very strong team and the surface is complicated because it's faster than what the guys usually encounter on the Tour. But the team is training very hard and the players are preparing themselves to give their best.
Pico will play two singles rubbers, that much is certain. We'll see what happens with the second [singles player slot], we're going to take a little longer until we decide but it's definitely between Mayer and Berlocq.
Charly is the one Argentina owes this semifinal to, without his victory over Gilles Simon it would've been over in the quarterfinal. And he is a team player:
I'm ready to play whatever match the captain asks me to play, whether it's singles or doubles. And if he decides to play another one of my teammates then I'm prepared to support the team from the stands. What's important is that the team is doing well and that we're working as best as we can for playing a good tie.
Judging by the training schedule (and the impressions of Argentine journalists on site) it seems increasingly likely that the match Jaite will want Charly to play is the doubles, together with Horacio Zeballos. And that Leo Mayer will be the #2 singles player.

Pico on the other hand knows that he will be Argentina's #1 - but he's not quite sure who he'll get to face on Friday (it could be either Radek Stepanek or Lukas Rosol):
I see this tie as a great challenge. We have nothing to lose and we've come here with confidence. Hopefully we can get those three points. As for who's going to be my opponent [on Friday] that still isn't known and they're surely not going to reveal their plans so it's important that I focus on my game. (Source.)
Edit: Radek Stepanek apparently told the media today that he's ready to play on all three days.

The draw with the line-ups, the starting times etc - all of that coming on Thursday