Until tomorrow, when they won’t be. Still, the final will go into a live Sunday, with the reverse singles matches. The ad-hoc team of Nalby and Schwank thoroughly defeated Fer and Feli in straight sets, 6-4 6-2 6-3.
Fun fact: In the Nalby-Schwank pairing, it’s Edu Schwank who’s known as “El Gordo.”
There was a hilarious mid-match moment when Nalby was shown repeatedly poking Edu Schwank in the chest–after they had gone two breaks up. This is the intensity that is so known and feared. Bless them both for winning this rubber.
The photo above illustrates the dynamics of the Nalby-Schwank pairing. Nalby lectures while Schwank bears the scrutiny with dignity. With amazing tennis to boot.
DelPo was present on the Argy bench and he looked relaxed and peaceful enough to crack a smile after his brutal loss yesterday. With DelPo and Pico cheering for their countrymen, as Rafa and Ferru cheered for theirs (Rafa is a cute nail-biting cheerleader), it made for an altogether exciting match:
Chela pulls out all the stops for his celebration on the Argy bench. Also, from a rear view, it would appear “El Gordo” might actually be…Nalby. But I don’t want to spoil the moment. Argentina are ALIVE, still. ALIVE, for now. But ALIVE.
This is the roaring face I want to see from Nalby at Davis Cup. Not the vision of him crying at yesterday’s opening ceremony.
Captain Tito choked up after the match. He said, “The difference between triumph and disaster is one match. And that’s very tough.” The frazzled man deserves a vacation after this weekend. I think he’s done a great job uniting a team that was capable of dissolving on its own, while making the best of its comparatively limited options here.
DelPo the man is recovering from his match yesterday and will be playing the 4th, and likely last rubber against Rafa on Sunday. May he remember that his amigo/enemigo Bobby Sod once beat Rafa on clay too.
That said, I’m almost for replacing him with Nalby, only because I know the 4th rubber is going to clinch it for Spain. Let the crazy, oft-ill tempered and territorial, but ingenious and passionate man known as Nalby enjoy his day in the sun. Even if it is sadly, a fruitless one.
Tweets from the sidelines:
Miguel Seabra speaks for a long-suffering crowd of tennis fans, in his admiration of Nalby.
Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that even the winning team have feelings–Feli was upset about his doubles performance, which goes to show that even a well-oiled machine like Spain takes nothing for granted.