Team Argentina have been practising in Palermo this week, before they depart to Sevilla on Friday. Here are photos of Argentina’s Davis Cup team. DelPo, Nalby, Pico, Chela, and Eduardo Schwank were all present, as was Facundo Bagnis (the young lefty will travel with the team as the sparring partner or “impersonator of Rafa” for ARG).
Scruffy DelPo talking to Captain Tito and coach Franco Davin:
“El Rey” Nalbandian (sorry, that’s what I’m going to call him the next two weeks :)) back at work after his hamstring injury:
Nalby and DelPo have both recently stated they’d be willing to play all the matches, including the doubles. Hopefully, Captain Tito will stop them both from battering their already battered bodies. Gone are the days when Nalby would play through a hernia, or was it all his effort that first induced the hernia? Same difference. Nalby could be better used for doubles and then the reverse singles, while DelPo could have a day of rest.
There is speculation Pico will play the first rubber against Rafa as a “sacrificial lamb,” leaving DelPo the responsibility to beat Ferru. Nalby would then be well-rested for the doubles match. Now, I am a staunch Delpo-ite, but I am firmly in support of Nalby for doubles (No offense, DelPo! Just…doubles was always for improving your net skills, right?)
To continue speculating, the question then is who’ll be selected as Nalby’s doubles partner. Pico? DelPo? Chela? Schwank? (Schwank has had terrific success as a doubles player, but he’s recently been playing Challenger events after being sidelined by injury).
Here are Nalby and Pico sitting on a bench:
This is only my opinion, but the following seems like a strong selection: Pico v Rafa, DelPo v Ferru, Nalby/Pico (or Schwank) vs. Fer/Feli, DelPo v Rafa, and Nalby v Ferru.