Nalby’s Facebook page was updated, after DelPo’s announcement that he won’t be playing the R1 tie for Argentina against Germany,
The original words on Nalby’s Facebook page were as follows:
“The grand objective for 2012 is the same as always: Bring the Davis Cup to Argentina. As a visitor or at home, with or without injuries, prioritize the [Davis Cup] above the tour. Give everything in life for the blue and white [of Argentina’s flag], as always.”
Given how DelPo’s team specifically pointed out the difficulty of playing the tie as vistors in Germany, due to DelPo’s risk of injury and his goal of improving his own ranking, the message from Nalby’s side was a pointed admonishment. Without naming DelPo, it managed to send a very strong message.
Later, Nalby’s PR replied that Nalby had no input into the actual content of the Facebook message. The administrators for Nalby’s Facebook page had written the message. The update was eventually revised, so as not to sound accusatory.
I’m not so sure I buy that explanation, but I know I want to believe it.
Nalby’s PR said Nalby was respectful of DelPo’s decision and he was sorry that his Facebook administrators made an ill-timed error. Which I believe translates as “Nalby’s PR convinced Nalby that he should not engage in self-sabotage and that for the sake of his own happiness, also his team’s happiness, he should not attempt passive-aggressive strategies with the press.”
When it comes to Davis Cup, Nalby’s a tough player to live up to. I’m sure any future player for Argentina will be made well-aware of his legacy. It’s agonizing to think of lesser lights who’ve touched the Davis Cup trophy, players who contributed far less yet managed to be part of a winning team. Argentina’s tie against Germany this Feb. will be very tough — it’s certainly unideal — but it’s still winnable even without DelPo.
It should be noted that among the current top 3 in the world, no player has played the R1 tie at Davis Cup during his arguably “best” year(s). Djokovic played R1 in 2008-2010, but he was absent in 2011. Rafa played R1 in 2004-5, 2009 and 2011, but not in 2006-8 and 2010 (Rafa did not play the SF tie in 2011). Fed played R1 in 1999-2004 (in 2012, he is scheduled to play his first R1 tie since 2004). Murray has been on and off with his participation in R1 ties for Great Britain.
Regardless of whether or not people think it’s feasible for DelPo to obtain a top 4-5 ranking in 2012, a player aiming for those heights should not play a R1 Davis Cup tie.