Apologies for the lack of updates recently. I’d been preparing a “comprehensive fall review” of DelPo’s past year, but haven’t been able to finish things up yet. I will wait until the Davis Cup weekend is over before finishing up and sharing that post.
In the meantime, the Davis Cup SFs are right around the corner. It has been quite a week for tennis. Muzz won the USO, and he has gotten that monster off his back.
DelPo wrestled with the decision of whether or not to play the Davis Cup tie against the Czech Republic. The left wrist that bothered him after the Olympics is still an issue. Dr. Berger at the Mayo Clinic reportedly advised DelPo to rest for 15 days, which meant he counseled DelPo against playing the tie. Franco Davin also said it’d be smarter not to play.
DelPo, being as invested in Davis Cup as he is, has elected to play (he’s currently in the draw to play the opening rubber against Stepanek). Pico will then play Berdy (Pico trails the H2H 0-5 — Pico and Berdy have played twice on clay, with Berdy winning both times at Rome and Madrid last year). Depending on how Friday-Saturday go (Berlocq-Schwank will play dubs against Rosol-Minar), DelPo may elect not to play on Sunday. The doubles rubber will be critical to determining the winner in this tie.
Should DelPo Have Elected to Play?
It’s tough to say whether or not DelPo’s decision to play is smart. Nalby’s insistence on playing DC while injured probably set him back in his individual career. I don’t want DelPo to undergo these same setbacks. But what can he do? It’s a DC semifinal. Although Nalby played very well at IW this year and continued his solid form until Queens, he’s lately been showing signs of being on his last legs. The recent retirement announcements that Roddick and Ferrero made also don’t bode well for Nalby — 2012 may be the last and best chance they have to win DC.
In that sense, I think it’s good that DelPo chose to play. Although he could very well end up aggravating the left wrist injury, and then we’d have another end-of-2009 situation on our hands, which would make me totally regret supporting DelPo’s decision to play Davis Cup — still, he could also end up fine. It’s a tough choice, but at least Argentina’s chances of reaching the final are still plausible right now. Either way, the decision is made and he will play. “I’m going to be there for the people,” he said.
Argentina-Czech Rep. Photos & Talking About the Berdych Concern:
Meanwhile, the rest of Team Argentina seem to be oblivious to the very real threat of the Czechs pulling off an upset. Either that or they’re boldly tempting fate (as seen in above photo). I don’t know if it’s Berlocq or Pico who’s hanging from the top of the building, but they need to get themselves down already on both feet!
What’s troublesome is that the Czech Republic are fielding a stronger-than-expected team at the SF. Berdy and Steps are experienced DC veterans, and Berdy is coming off a great performance at the USO, where he upset Fed in the QF. Berdy seems to be enjoying Argentina. This is the evidence list for why Berdy will be a threat in Argentina:
- He referred to himself as Marco Polo after landing in Buenos Aires.
- He’s openly referred to DelPo’s wrist situation and said the Czechs will just have to go about their business.
- He looks like a gangster in these team photos (he’s even carrying a phone in his hands, like he’s masterminding something).
- Stepanek and Berdych were enjoying the DC dinner, as they toasted each other with Malbec wine. They seem very relaxed, confident and light-hearted.
- Also, Berdy may be a sensitive soul, but he is precisely the type of over-sensitive flower who gets more motivated by a hostile crowd. The Argies will be cheering valiantly for their team, and I can totally imagine a disastrous scenario where Berdy feeds off the crowd’s energy to upset the locals.
- Last of all, there is this photo:
When did Berdy become so relaxed and carefree? Is he taking advice from his supermodel girlfriend? This is positively eery.
In any case, play starts today. Game on, Czech Republic. Argentina will be at full force on Friday:
On a different note,DelPo’s refusal to take a proper photo with Stepanek is highly amusing:
DelPo-Steps meet again, after Steps won their last encounter at Toronto this year. DelPo trails the H2H 1-3, but their rubber at Parque Roca is their first match-up on clay.
This Retirement Announcement Hurts the Most of All in 2012:
In sad news, Juan Carlos Ferrero announced he will retire at the Valencia Open. Ferrero was a player of the original Armada, and his retirement will be a very sad goodbye for tennis fans. He will be in Gijon supporting the current generation’s Armada against the USA — the Spanish DC organizers will present a well-deserved tribute to Ferrero on Saturday, before the doubles rubber.
Former world no. 1, 2003 Roland Garros champion and holder of two Davis Cup trophies. Ferrero is also the rare breed of player who is beloved by every sub-group of tennis fan. I think that speaks to his classy nature.