Davis Cup Update: Argentina Speak Up

The Argentines have been in Sevilla for a few days and have settled into a routine of practicing almost 4 hours a day on the court, combined with sessions at the gym.

Alarming and somewhat concerning are the issues the Argie-men are having with the clay court at La Cartuja stadium:  1) The architecture of the stadium creates light and shadows that make it difficult for players (including Rafa) to track the ball.  2) The Argentines say the balls are too “fofa” (the balls don’t have enough pressure).  3) Lastly, and least surprisingly, they remarked the clay court plays very slowly.

Most concerning of all, DelPo had a minor injury scare two days ago.  During training, he lightly sprained his right knee.  He insists his knee is fine now, although he’s taken to taping it during training sessions.  To some relief, he’s back on a normal training schedule.

Photo: Marcelo Carroll

Four days before the start of the final, things don’t look easy-going in the Argentina camp.  Still, aside from their complaint with the light and shadows, I really don’t see the point in raising a fuss about the official balls or the pace of the court.  It can’t be easy right now for the underdogs, but may they stay focused and injury-free during the final and all.

**

MORE PHOTOS:

On a less serious note, more pic spam–

Photo: Miguel Angel Morenatti

Here lies proof that the Spaniards have good taste.  They’re flocking to DelPo.  DelPo is clearly the hottest commodity at the dance (clearly: he had Feli grinning like a schoolgirl, Fer viciously trying to make eye contact, now Rafa).  It seems Rafa’s initiated the dance, but why hasn’t DelPo committed his right hand to Rafa’s shoulder?  This is a deliciously awkward scene.  Now we just need a DelPo-Ferru dance to complete the circle.

Something happened mid-dance and DelPo is not amused: “Rafa, we’ve been through this.  Boundaries!  I will not be groped at random.” / “But DelPo, Pico had no problem with it.” / “Gurrll, my hand is on my hip.  From one popped collar to another, listen to me.”

Not to be outdone, Nalby was training with doubles specialist Eduardo Schwank while Spain’s DC captain Albert Costa observed them.  It’s reported Nalby approached Costa and made a joke about Costa being a spy.  No reports on whether anyone laughed.  Leave it to Nalby to dispense with formalities and talk to the elephant in the room.  Respect.

The Spaniards then held a radio conference and all four members of the DC team attended:

Feli is still dreaming of DelPo.  He’s clearly enamoured and has a devious look on his face.

Feli masks his adoration by using Ferru as a cover.  Fer is trying ever so hard to be aloof–Rafa is laughing gleefully at Fer’s sheepish attempt to play it cool.

When asked about the possibility of Argentina winning the final, Ferru and Feli put on their best introspective thinker faces.

Alas, they reach the same conclusion: “Is a funny question, no?  Jajajajaja.”

Applause at the end.  Fer appears so relaxed in these photos.  I dare say he almost looks happy.  I’m still unsure whether that’s a good or bad omen.  The hour-long radio interview is available here (in Spanish)–there’s apparently a cute segment where children ask questions to the players as well.

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About mariposaxprs

I play favorites with Juan Martin Del Potro, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez, Gilles Simon and the long line of mercurial talent that drives me to despair in front of the screen at odd hours during the week.
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15 Responses to Davis Cup Update: Argentina Speak Up

  1. ariennalee says:

    I just like to say Fofa balls! What a great onomatopoetic descriptor.
    I’ve played with depressurized balls, and it’s totally wacky…these must just be lighter-pressure, right?
    With that “lecture finger” delpo might make a fine philosophy T.A. too. 😉 Love the slow-dance pic.

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Fofa fofa fofa. Hah, Google translate told me it meant “flabby,” but a kind soul told me what that meant in the context of tennis balls. These depressurized balls are concerning. I so hope it doesn’t throw the players (on either team) off their game.

      Lol thank you for the visual of DelPo as a philosophy TA. His introverted nature makes me think he’d be a somewhat tortured TA, but the lecture finger is a frightening prospect. A DelPo-Fed lecture off needs to happen!

      • ariennalee says:

        Awww. I liked it better when fofa meant “fluffy.” Or rather, when I THOUGHT fofa meant fluffy. 🙂

        I have a feeling I know who’d win a Delpo-Fed lecture off! No one, but no one, can out-lecture our Rog:
        “LOOK, I mean, I know that the other guys maybe they think they can out talk me, but look, even if they try, it’s just not so easy for them because maybe they’re a little bit shy, look, I’m not talking about anyone in particular, but I mean, so maybe Juan Martin is not such a talkative guy, but look, his forehand is good and, I mean his serve is getting better, but how many languages does he know? I think maybe one and a half, maybe two? Maybe it’s because of my experience or whatever, but I think I know, how many languages is it now, five, six? Yeah, six, I think that’s maybe a record or something…. “

        • mariposaxprs says:

          Nah, fofa will always mean “fluffy” to me too. I like it better that way!

          Nooo Roger, with all his languages and LOOKS ;( I’ve just received word that DelPo has dropped all the German, French, Swiss, English, Scottish and Slovak philosophers from his reading list. He’s focusing solely on Spanish and South American philosophers now. JMDP and Rog can have a niche lecture-off in Spanish where they discuss the finer points of the sensations they felt when they read “Don Quijote” or some other tome 😉 Rog will have to work on saying “look” in Spanish now!!

  2. Saoirse Fierce says:

    That whole dance floor dialogue between DelRafa had me in stitches!
    Awesomely hilarious writing, gal!
    Yeah DelPo clearly makes the Spaniards as happy and confused as a baby in a topless bar. Can’t blame them. Lord knows I’d totally be groping the beast if I was given half a chance.

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Lol thanks, Saoirse! DelPo has been making up for his absence this fall through these Davis Cup photos–clearly, his fans missed the elf/giant. It’s hard to cheer against one side when Spain-Argentina are on such good terms with each other. I’m hoping for more fun to come at the draw ceremony and then the matches themselves. Also crossing my fingers he keeps himself injury-free!

  3. Iram says:

    hi, i like ur blog. recently came across it. I’ve posted it on my own blog and some people have been directed to yours…it’s fun to read. I love ur last post with that captions of the pics (when they are at the radio station)
    -Also do u have a tumblr account under the same name? I’ve been on that a few times too…but to be honest I like this blog more.:)
    Keep up ur good work. take care

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Hi Iram,
      Thank you! I visited your site too and love your full coverage of the Armada. I added the link to your site on my blog as well–you can check it out on the right side of the home page 🙂

      I have a tumblr account under the same name–I usually use it to post/reblog photos that don’t make it onto the site here. I may reference your site more often with all the great Armada photos you find 🙂 I hope both Spain and Argentina fans make it through this Davis Cup weekend in one piece. Thanks again!

      • Iram says:

        hi …sorry i wont bother u again, but i just wanted to let u know I had added ur website under my “Liebster Blog Award” post where I nominated your blog. I am quite unaware of how to use this wordpress correctly, i don’t know how to add sites on my sidebar. For ex, I have officially become a ‘follower’ of mariposaxprs…but i don’t get any notices in my email that let me know if you’ve updated this site. sorry for my ranting…anyway,

        All the best and I look forward to reading ur updates from now on.

        • mariposaxprs says:

          Not a problem, you’re certainly not bothering me at all! 🙂 Thank you for the mention, I visited again to read through and it was great! The wordpress can be tricky to work out sometimes–I still don’t know half the issues behind how to operate it–for the links, you can go to the “Links” tab on your dashboard and add them as you wish. At least that’s what I remember!

  4. I love the fact that Rafa and Del Po look like they’re middle school students slow dancing. LOL!

    • mariposaxprs says:

      With the awkward hand placement and the shyness visible on their faces? Lol, why can’t every Davis Cup tie be a Spain-Argentina match-up? The photos alone would give so much more publicity for the tournament as well!

  5. queridorafa says:

    Oh, god, not the fofa balls! These aren’t the ones that make that weird empty noise, are they? I remember watching the US play Colombia last year w/ de-pressurized balls and it was bizarre-o (and seemed to affect both sides!) Great pics, hilarious captions/commentary! Agreed, Fer’s happiness is an omen. Good or bad remains to be seen. Also–is that Mirka in the background in the DelPo givin’ Rafa a talkin’ to video! It’s totally Mirka! Doing re-con! Roger’s taken it too far this time, I think… 😉

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Are the fofa balls common? I had no idea–I hope it’s not going to affect the level of play to any great extent. Will have to keep an eye out for the fofa!

      Not that I would begrudge Fer’s happiness, but why does he choose this week of all weeks to look so relaxed and happy? That’s what I’d like to know.

      You are spot-on with the Mirka sighting! She may be the real reason why the tennis season is as long as it is–she likes to pile on the pressure 😉

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