After a vacation, DelPo began his training for the 2012 season. He also attended a press conference for the upcoming 2012 Nokia Cup exhibition tournament, which he will be playing with Guga Kuerten, Gaston Gaudio and Pablo Cuevas.
Franco Davin’s protégés—El Gato and Elf—stand side by side in the photo below (I spy Guga behind DelPo. I hope they included Pablo Cuevas on the official poster and that they didn’t blur his image to oblivion. Poor Pablo—someone needs to look out for him):
At the presser, DelPo said his first objectives next year were Sydney and the Australian Open. He said he would then decide whether or not to play the first 2012 Davis Cup tie—to which Zabala commented that the team would be proud if DelPo played for Argentina against Germany. I don’t know if any hint-hint winks and under-the-table kicking of the shins were involved. It seems a bit strange that DelPo won’t commit to the February tie just yet, but I’m going to chalk it up to the elfin thinking process.
Later this week, Martin Jaite and Mariano Zabaleta will be formally presented as Argentina’s new Davis Cup captain and vice-captain. Jaite was a popular choice among the players, while Zabala (a former #21-ranked player) has long been a close friend to the Argentine squad. Zabala has also been Pico’s coach and he was seen at Pico’s side at tournaments this year.
Fun fact: Zabala is also a native of Tandil. Given his new role as vice-captain for Argentina’s DC team, this could mean that next year’s DC team will have three Tandil natives representing Argentina—Zabala, DelPo and Pico. Not bad for a small city of 100,000 people.
Proof that one can overcome a dorky hair phase and grow into one’s looks :):
DelPo spoke positively of Martin Jaite and Zabala’s appointment as the new heads of the DC team. Of Zabala, he spoke especially nice words—“[Zabala] was the mirror of all the youngsters who were playing tennis in Tandil,” he said.