Del Potro confirmed he will not play the R1 Davis Cup tie against Germany. In an interview with La Nacion, his coach Franco Davin explained the decision.
The ARG-GER tie will be played in Germany on indoor clay courts. Davin said the surface change from HC to clay is the primary reason for DelPo’s decision not to play the tie. DelPo’s team had done a detailed study in order to plan his 2012 tennis season.
It was a very detailed study: According to DelPo’s team, Rafa (based in Mallorca) spent approximately 195 hours on a plane in 2011. DelPo, based in Argentina, spent 350 hours in flight. The distance contributed to his decision not to play against Germany, as they’re trying to reduce the transit hours. When you consider the fact that Roger or Rafa play at most 4 tournaments each year on the American continent, the tour’s travel requirements favor top-ranked players based in Europe. Either that or DelPo needs to find an airline that offers more direct flights.
The one positive takeaway from this is that DelPo and his team are really gunning to enter the top 5 and are planning ahead accordingly.
If there’s one confusing part about DelPo’s 2012 schedule, it’s the fact that he’s currently entered into 7 straight weeks of HC tournaments from Rotterdam to Miami. It’s impossible for him play each one, but it’s curious that he would commit to playing all 7 in the first place. Is he reacting to his losses at the DC final, after sacrificing chunks of his fall for DC in 2011? His schedule management is confusing, but I guess it’s better to wait and see which tournament he eventually ends up deleting from the list.
DelPo’s decision to not play this DC tie will hurt Argentina’s chances considerably. Should Argentina lose the tie, they will have to compete in the play-offs to maintain their standing in the World Group.
Still, at the end of the day, a player’s individual schedule is the captain of the ship. The burden of the R1 tie now falls on Nalby’s shoulders. May he bear the brunt of this surprising news with his renowned spirit.