Saturday, October 26, 2013

The TV Interview(s)

Giving interviews has never been one of David's favourite ways to spend his time. But now that he is officially retired, it's all a bit more relaxed. - Or at least that's the impression you get when you watch the clips from the TV interview that David gave Gonzalo Bonadeo for TyC Sports and that aired on Thursday. As well as the other interview David gave on that occasion (see below).
So here's a summary of the parts I got to see, plus some photos from my archives. In David's words:

(Cancha Llena)
In order to become a tennis player you have to make a lot of sacrifices. When he was still going to school he'd train all afternoon and on the weekends he'd play tournaments. Your whole life revolves around the sport. He was twelve years old when he first started travelling because of tennis. At that age he was playing tournaments in Argentina, had been since age ten. But then they (the Argentine team) became world champions when he was fourteen it all got much more serious and they focused on turning pro. And if that's what you want you already have to lead the same kind of life. As boys he played together with Guillermo Coria, in the same category and they saw themselves as different from the rest When they were fourteen, fifteen they were already looking ahead, to players like Zabaleta, Puerta and Cañas and there were many others who also played well and they couldn't be sure whether they'd be able to turn pro.
Asked with whom he'd rather be on court, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal, David says the two of them are very different. He has known Federer for a long time, since junior days. Rafa appeared on the scene a few years later, and their styles of playing are very different. He likes Rafa's game better because his shots are higher, with a bigger net clearance. Whereas Roger, when he's playing well, he hardly gives you the chance to see the ball. Federer has been more difficult to overcome because if Rafa loses confidence his shots get too short and his level drops, which makes him more accessible. Whereas Federer's level doesn't vary that much and he has more weapons he can use.

(Getty Images)
Back in 2005 he went to Shanghai with a "team" that consisted of Diego Rodriguez, David's mother and his girlfriend. It was an incredible tournament, though there was of course some luck involved as he didn't qualify initially. He was merely an alternate and he got there, not having trained for several days. Going into the event he basically didn't have any expectations, he felt very relaxed and calm. During the first days he thought he was playing pretty well. When he played against Federer (round robin stage) and lost in three sets he still thought he was doing quite well and could've won that match.
The final was all about the mental aspect. He lost the first two sets in a tiebreak but knew that it was close and that he could've just as well led by two sets. At that moment he still believed that he could win the match. And then things turned around completely and he won sets 3 and 4 very easily, 6-1 and 6-3 he thinks (6-2 and 6-1 it was). He was ahead in the fifth, then got close but there were some magic moments now and then, like in the second set and he just ran and fought on. In the end, it was some important mental decisions at certain moments in the match that made the difference.

(Getty Images)
David's Davis Cup career began in 2002 with the legendary doubles victory that he and Lucas Arnold Ker pulled off against Marat Safin and Yevgeni Kafelnikov. The captain at the time chose to let David make his debut in doubles because he was still young and didn't have any experience. So he spent most of the week ahead of the tie training doubles with Lucas. And then it was an incredible and tough match, because of the fast surface, because of the opponents and because Argentina was trailing 0-2. A historical match that took six and a half hours.
He always loved team competitions, ever since junior days and whether in South America or on the global level. It was something he really liked to do. And whenever he was playing Davis Cup it always helped him to think that he was playing for his country.

(Getty Images)
At Mar del Plata, there were all sorts of problems, with training, with the court, with the conditions and the balls. Still, if you get the chance to play a final at home the you have to win it. And that's basically what they didn't manage to do, to go out there and win, despite any problems there might be. David thinks the drama that happened at Mar del Plata went beyond tennis and that many things have been dramatised by other people, also because of the media. Which is understandable, given the enormity of the occasion. With the team they had they should've won easily. And Rafa's absence boosted their chances even more. Of course people got very excited about the final.
But nothing 'strange' happened. When they lost the doubles and he didn't show up at the press conference afterwards, he wanted to take a shower and there was no hot water. So he said, that's it, I'm out of here. And he left. Later he heard about the fight in the locker room that he was supposed to have been involved in. What bothers him the most about things like that, things that never happened is - who said this? Something that's not true? And then people who were not there confirm that it happened. But it didn't happen.

Right now, he's preparing for the exhibitions with Rafa so he's focusing on that. As for what he'll do next year - he wants to enjoy himself. It's a different rhythm that his life has now, away from the maelstrom of the Tour. He simply wants to enjoy being with his daughter and with Victoria, and he wants to do things he enjoys, like playing football with his friends. Apart from that he wants to travel and actually enjoy it for a change, there are many places in Argentina he still wants to visit, also with his family and friends.

Apart from that, while he was at it, David also talked to Marcelo Gantman for Vorterix.
Unfortunately, I don't have time now to transcribe/summarise this interview as well.
But I'll get back to it next week.

1 comment:

  1. many happy returns of your life DAVID!!!