Eduardo Schwank recently told local press that DelPo will be playing mixed doubles with Gisela Dulko at the 2012 London Olympics. Dulko, whose singles career has recently faltered, still continues to have a sterling doubles career. She reached the Year-end Championships with her Italian dubs partner, Flavia Pannetta, in 2011. She was a finalist at the 2011 USO mixed dubs championship with fellow Argie, Eduardo Schwank.
Although conventional wisdom would have Dulko pairing with Schwank, given Schwank’s own impressive record in playing dubs, Schwank is currently ranked no. 32 in dubs. Therefore, it’s still unclear whether or not Schwank can qualify to play for the Olympics. Hence, Schwank gave up his spot in the mixed dubs so that Dulko could pair with DelPo (DelPo, who barring a disaster of epic proportions, will be present and ready to play at the Olympics).
Earlier this year, when asked if he would play doubles at the Olympics with Nalbandian, DelPo replied “no.” I don’t know if that means he’s closed the doors on playing doubles altogether — but as of now, he will be playing singles and mixed-dubs for Argentina. That’s something to look forward to! Maybe an Olympic medal for DelPo? Vamos!
My first reaction to this DelPo-Dulko pairing was:
I mean, how would this even work? Dulko will have to take charge and shout directions to DelPo, and she may also have to cover for him on those occasions he ventures to the net. Meanwhile, DelPo being the sweetheart that he is, will feel uncomfortable giving directions to his mixed dubs partner. It’s a recipe for disaster, almost!
Then, I started to take this mixed-dubs matter much more seriously —
I will now be scouting highly-skilled mixed dubs teams from other nations. DelPo has always focused on his singles career, but he still has a dubs title to his name (’07 Indianopolis, with partner Travis Parrott). That dubs title was actually the first ATP title he’d won, after which he said “For the rest of my life, I will remember this tournament.” Oh DelPo — he’s such an incredibly endearing doofus-face.
While DelPo has played dubs with everyone from Travis Parrott, Nalbandian, Stepanek, Baghdatis to Fabio Fognini, I’ve yet to see him play a mixed dubs match. I am now looking forward to watching these two Argentines pair it up at the Olympics! It is now my mission to make them fan favorites by July.
Everyone knows that even if they lost early in the mixed-dubs competition, they’d still be the most attractive mixed-dubs pairing. They’ve already won the cutie awards. So there’s that! 🙂
Also, according to the ultimate Nalbandian fan-site VamosDavid, Nalby will be playing doubles in Belgrade with Eduardo Schwank. Given the question of whether or not Nalby can qualify for the Olympics (Nalby’s ranking falls within the top 56, which is the basic qualification for the Olympics. However, each country is only permitted a maximum of 4 players for singles — Argentina currently has 4 players ranked higher than Nalby, which means Nalby would need to overtake Berlocq at no. 37 or Chela at no. 33, in order to have a chance. Could Nalby be leaving open the option of playing doubles for Argentina at the Olympics?)
That’s my short update of Argie-related tennis news! I’ve been keeping up with the Monte Carlo tournament and will post a short summary of that tourny, following the conclusion of today’s final between … you guessed it, Rafa and Novak!