Translation of Jorge Viale’s Explanation for DelPo’s Withdrawal

The 2013 Roland Garros has taken place and I will update later with a short summary of interesting match-ups.  DelPo is not playing this year, due to complications from virus.

Meanwhile, DelPo’s media manager Jorge Viale (who founded the Fue Buena tennis site), posted a long comment on the Fue Buena site, in response to other commenters who were discussing DelPo’s rocky season.  The original text of Viale’s comments in Spanish can be found at the Fue Buena site (Viale’s comment is #18 in the comments section).

English translation of Viale’s statement below:

“Hey, I make a return to these parts again.

I appreciate the jokes made on Twitter and the general commentary, which combines humor and serious analysis, which is a nice feature of [the comments section of Fue Buena].  To those who’ve messaged me and to those who worry about DelPo, I want to reply that logically, DelPo is not having the year he hoped for in terms of wins and results.  It’s necessary to have patience.

Generally, we’re prone to exaggeration when speaking of victories and defeats, even when we joke.  When DelPo reached the final at Indian Wells, a colleague told me, “DelPo is going to be no. 1.”  This colleague has spent many years covering tennis, but he was perhaps jumping the gun a bit, no?

Right now, DelPo has to deal with the virus and the complications from it, including bronchospasms.  He was coughing heavily when he was sick.  He lost weight and was physically weakened.  While he was not confined to strict bed rest for 15 days, he had to take a break from training (which is different from “total rest”).  This means he wasn’t able to train and his activity was confined to hanging out and playing a few rounds of golf at a golf course, attending a Boca match and meeting with the magician Rene Lavand (http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.503450246375138.1073741827.245291448857687&type=1).

Even so, I had to read tweets from people I know, who said: “Hm, he doesn’t play tournaments and claims to be resting, yet he attends a soccer match for Boca?”  Fair enough, master, the next time we will surround DelPo’s house with a guarded fence, not allow him to leave the grounds or entertain any visitors, and we will install a camera in the building in order to ensure he’s under “house arrest.”

This happens all the time: We not only judge the athletes for their accomplishments on the court, but also for what they do or fail to do outside the court, even when the latter has no influence on their athletic performance.  In the past few months, however, I’ve learned that it is impossible to prepare for a tournament in two days, because athletes need a training block of weeks in order to be ready — otherwise, their performance suffers.

It’s not that DelPo was so sick that he was unable to get out of bed, nor did he decide beforehand not to play Roland Garros.  Rather, he has a team of professionals who are guiding him and they decided that his current physical condition was not strong enough for a Grand Slam featuring best-of-5 sets and long points.  In Miami, DelPo had a family problem and we saw how that affected his performance.  Andy Murray made the same decision when he withdrew from Roland Garros: Murray could have played, but he was not at 100% and, in his case, he wants to be in the best possible shape to play his home Slam at Wimbledon.

It’s logical that DelPo is not in a great mood right now because he cannot do what he wants, he is not yet any closer to reaching his projected goals (fighting for the top ranking spots) and he cannot play Paris.  However, this point should be emphasized: DelPo has faced several setbacks in his career and he has overcome them each time.  The virus is his latest setback.  In 2013 alone, DelPo has faced problems with his left wrist, a family problem while he played Miami, and now this virus during the clay season.

Yes, this is a long list of problems, which are also aggravated by the long travel hours: DelPo has to take minimum 10-hour flights in order to play any tournament, which is an inconvenience that no other player in the top 10 faces.  Consider this: Of the top 30 players, DelPo and Juan Monaco are the only players that live outside Europe or the United States.  Their long-distance travel requirements mean they have to adjust to drastic climate changes, except during the spring and fall (the southern hemisphere has opposite seasons).  Should DelPo set up a base in Europe?  This is not an easy decision, as it would mean having to spend a lot of time outside Buenos Aires and his hometown Tandil.  This is a problem that troubles most South American tennis players, who have to travel so far away from home.

Well, I’ve just written more on this site than I’ve written in the past few months.  I will not follow up with any replies, as  you know (so please do not ask me questions on this site, but please comment as you please, debate and make jokes).  Thank you for your comments, which are an integral part of the Fue Buena community.”

This seems like a fair explanation of DelPo’s decision to withdraw from Roland Garros.  We’ve seen players like Djokovic and Rafa engage in other activities, even when they were injured (Djokovic with his charity soccer matches and Rafa with his golf, etc).  While the notion of injury implies “bed rest” for many fans, that’s probably too black/white of an assumption.

One interesting point that Viale raised in his comments is his rhetorical question (at least, I take it to be a rhetorical question) of whether DelPo should relocate to Europe.  Has the idea crossed DelPo’s mind?

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About mariposaxprs

I play favorites with Juan Martin Del Potro, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez, Gilles Simon and the long line of mercurial talent that drives me to despair in front of the screen at odd hours during the week.
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20 Responses to Translation of Jorge Viale’s Explanation for DelPo’s Withdrawal

  1. Rita Richardson says:

    http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/news/newsid=2084910.html?intcmp=fifacom_hp_module_interview
    Let the comments begin on this insightful interview re Delpo’s one true love. So tennis is just a job. Hmmm. Can’t wait for the second part.

  2. Candy says:

    First of all, thanks for the translation. You have done it so quickly. 🙂
    So same questions again. Base in Europe? Chico del barrio or international star?

    I, of course, understand Delpo and his difficulties, but I don’t want to wallow in “self-pity”. Jorge said only Delpo and Pico in Top 30 live outside Europe/ the US. It’s tough for Argentina’s players. Yes, I know what it means. I always think it’s a “disadvantage” for Delpo and other South American players.

    BUT I think everyone has their own problems/ difficulties. It’s just about if you know WHAT you want and HOW MUCH you want them, then you would do things to overcome the problems that block your way. For example, Kei, from Asia, has left home and trained in the US since he was very young. When he first went there, he couldn’t even speak English. Even Milos, from North America, also needs to go to train in Europe. I mean, I’m not talking about the flight hours or anything. (I’m proud of Delpo being in Top 10 even he’s facing those problems.) I’m talking about them knowing what they want and do the things that would help them achieve their goals. Also, real champions wouldn’t use the adverse conditions to defend themselves. Instead, they would tell you how they OVERCOME the conditions. Again, it’s about what Delpo wants to be and what he wants.

    By the way, I think the problem/ difficulty is a bit exaggerated at this point. I think Delpo needs to stay in the Europe base in February, April to June (IW & Miami in Mar, so he has to go back to America anyway), then October to November. And he DID stay in Europe in those periods in past two years actually. So what are we talking about?! He will have to stay outside Argentina so it’s a tough decision for him?! But he DID stay outside Argentina in those months in past years, no?! So I don’t see the problem/ difficulty is as big as it was portrayed to be. It’s just it would be good if he has a comfortable base/ house to settle in between tournaments so he doesn’t need to stay in the hotel or train in different venues in Europe. This year, he chose to play at MC (& went home after MC. I believe there is a valid reason for this. Otherwise, I think he would have stayed in Europe) + unfortunately got this “virus”, so the problem is emphasized or even exaggerated.

    • mariposaxprs says:

      DelPo spends most of the indoor HC season, IW/Miami and clay season outside of Argentina, but he tends to fly back home in between those stretches. In that sense, he ends up making a lot of trips back home that might stress out his body more. I think that’s why the question of setting up a European base was made. If he had a home to stay at in Europe, he wouldn’t have to live in hotels all the time. He could save himself the travel and he could practice at a club. I’m not sure why he went home after MC, but perhaps it may have been due to the virus. But if he lived in MC, he could’ve just stayed in Europe and practiced at the MCCC. That would’ve been easier for him b/c he wouldn’t have had to travel, etc.

      Those are good points you make about Kei and Milos ,although Milos has it relatively easier since he’s originally from Canada. Canada isn’t that far away from other places and they have a Masters tournament there as well. As for Kei, he’s made a lot of sacrifices early on. From what I’ve heard, Kei makes more money than the top 10 players, b/c he has so many Japanese sponsors. In that sense, he’s the “Andy Murray of Japan.” With that kind of sponsorship, it’s easier to set up a second home abroad and find skilled trainers/coaches who will work with you. I wonder if this is one constraint that’s holding DelPo back?

      It’ll be interesting to see if DelPo makes any changes to his schedule or to his “routine” after this virus blows over. I feel like the reasons for his current discomfort have been covered in great detail and now it seems like time for him to make some changes. Either that or he needs to get lucky and avoid injuries/illnesses.

      • Candy says:

        Yes, you’re right. Kei has many sponsorships and Canada isn’t far away from other places. So, as I said, I’m not talking about the flight distance or anything. I’m not making comparisons. Everyone has different difficulties. And Delpo has actually achieved much more than Milos and Kei (by now). I’m purely talking about them knowing what they want and do the things that help them achieve their goals. Delpo should ask himself what he really wants and how much he wants them. If he thinks spending more time with family and friends in Argentina is more important. It’s totally fine. It’s his choice. I mean, it’s not like that he has no choice. I understand Delpo’s difficulties. Like you said, Delpo’s strong tie to home holds him back. So it’s about if he has the determination to achieve what he wants in his tennis career. It’s about if he has the courage to make sacrifices/ changes. This is so true, you know –> https://twitter.com/niketennis/status/338580282418528256

        Of course, Delpo is not the type of guys who like to make excuses. His fighting spirit is always one of the things I like. He has been dealing with a lot of problems in his careers and sacrificing lots of things. It’s very tough for him, no doubt. Anyway, he turns 25 this year. It’s time for him to think deeply about his career and have a full evaluation and regroup. If there’s something has to be changed (e.g. routine, entourage, etc.), it’s the time. Also, all the setbacks may have cool down his fire a bit. I hope he’s able to find ways to refresh himself and get some inspirations. 🙂

        • mariposaxprs says:

          That’s true, the problems he faces (mainly, travel and/or team support) aren’t going to change. Only thing he can change right now is his response to them, so that he can avoid problems in the future. I do feel like 2013 is becoming much more of a crucial year for him, what with him turning 25 y.o. and facing so many setbacks.

          There was a tennis.com article awhile ago where Novak said his early loss to Jurgen Melzer at RG in 2010 forced him to change his routine. He felt like he was in a bit of a “slump” (not necessarily in terms of results, but more in the sense that he wasn’t entirely happy with how his career was turning out), so that forced him to make a few changes. Remember how Novak bounced around w/coaches and that may have hindered his progress? In that sense, it’s always risky to make a change and Novak made some mistakes along the way (ie changing his serve under Todd Woodbridge). I guess we’ll see what/if DelPo tries to do differently. Let’s remember he did very well in 2012, so it’s not like he has “glaring problems,” so to speak. But it does seem like he could benefit from a few changes…

  3. audiesgirl@aol.com says:

    Here’s another good story on Juan’s physical problems. http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1584554-los-obstaculos-fisicos-una-gran-pesadilla-para-del-potro
    Yes, his height is surely a factor, it takes tremendous muscular-skeletal fitness just to move that body around. Look at the physio of Berdych (6’5″) for comparison; his thigh muscles are massive compared to Juan’s “palitos.” Genes limit the extent one can develop such muscles and Juan is definitely on the lanky side, like Isner. The jury’s still out on Big Man Tennis.
    As for Viale, yes, he writes well but I’m not impressed with this skills as an image manager. He’s yet to get on the offensive in countering the bad press Juan’s faced for 6 months now. Unlike the other top players, Juan is very reticent and uncomfortable outside his tight inner circle which makes him appear defensive when he does stick his head out of his shell.
    Which brings me to the most important comment made on Fue Buena, #8, which speaks to Juan’s obligations as a tennis star in rebuttal to the frequently-quoted “I don’t owe anybody anything” mantra. He DOES owe a lot to the sponsors, promoters, fans, etc., who gave him the fame and money he enjoys. He just doesn’t “get” what that means, IMO and it won’t take much for supporters to start drifting away. So he doesn’t have the social skills of Roger or Nole – he still can do a lot better with the right prodding by a savvy image consultant. The little that dribbles out of Fortress Delpo only makes us wonder if he takes any of this seriously. For example, instead of pictures of golfing, watching futbol and hanging with his buds, why not shots of his spending time with those disabled kids he’s so fond of, like Franco, assuming he’s not infectious?
    It’s increasingly obvious that the goal of #1 is not gonna happen so stop talking about it. Carrying the weight of that expectation is wearing him down. So what if he peaked early? He can have a long and worthwhile career, like Ferrer, just going out there and doing his best to play a good game and entertain the crowds, but that constant hang-dog demeanor has got to stop.

    • mariposaxprs says:

      That’s a pretty depressing graphic of DelPo’s past injuries. He was also wearing tape on his back in Rome. Partly, it’s a clay thing. Clay will bring out the injuries due to grinding. Due to DelPo’s height, he’s more likely to carry back/hip injuries on clay (as seen in ’08 Rome, ’11 Madrid).

      The left wrist problem is much more worrisome. I remember being curious if that arose b/c his grip has changed on the BH.

      I think DelPo has more than fulfilled his obligations to the tour. When he pulled out of DC for 2013, he said he couldn’t make everyone happy (which is different from “not owing anyone anything”). For example, DelPo’s done his fair share of promo activities at Rotterdam and he did the Kid’s Day promo at Roland Garros last year as well. Novak is someone who definitely didn’t start out with great social skills (remember his extremely misguided comments about Roddick at the USO?) It took a good 2 years after his rise to the top for him to learn how to deal with image management (Novak still has trouble with it too).

      In any case, I think image management is the least of DelPo’s problems right now. First thing is for him to get his health back. With any luck, the rest will fall into place.

      • audiesgirl@aol.com says:

        Re the image issue, I have to wonder if there’s anyone more vilified by his home fans than Delpo. If he had better management, that DC withdrawal would have been handled better; instead, when it blew up, poor Franco was thrown to the press wolves and things went from bad to worse. Instead of giving as the paramount reason one’s personal goals over national pride, Delpo should have focused solely on the physical demands required to meet both objectives – period. I may be wrong, perhaps nothing could have been done to placate the Argies.
        The biggest concern is the sponsors’ becoming disillusioned with their star. Other than wearing logos, I’m not aware he does any major promotions and that’s what bring in the $$$ to do stuff like getting a second base of operations. It’s troubling that listening to the RG commentators, Juan’s name isn’t even being mentioned. No “get well soon” or other acknowledgment of his condition, as if he’s fallen off the radar. Nothing about nearly beating Rafa at IW or Roger at last year’s RG. Again, another good reason to come out of his shell and keep his name in the media. Otherwise, the next headline will be when he drops ranking or gets himself into trouble with too much time on his hands in BA. BTW, where would he practice on grass now? It’s winter down there.

        • Candy says:

          As for the image management Audiesgirl brought out…… This is why I asked you before what exactly Jorge is, a communications manager or a PR manager, because they are different. “PR” may also include image management, crisis management, all those sponsorship and advertising things (which are handled by Ugo I think?!), etc. Now, we know Jorge is a communications manager, so his jobs may only be releasing news and responding questions/ requests.

          The question always in my mind is what Ugo is responsible for. What has he been doing all these years? Has he been doing all the PR jobs for Delpo? Seems not. So sometimes I think it might be good if Delpo signed a deal with an international agency. They know how to manage the image of an international athlete who has won a GS. They know how to promote Delpo in global markets. I always think Delpo had been wasted in this aspect because he could be very marketable.

          • mariposaxprs says:

            I think Viale handles his communications and Ugo is responsible for the rest. DelPo used to do a lot more promo work for the ATP, Wilson and Nike. Ever since his injury break in 2010, he hasn’t featured as heavily. Maybe part of this has to do with the fact he had to take such a long break, and also his age? Wilson/Nike focus mostly on the young players (Grigor, Kei) and/or the top players (Roger). It’d be nice though if he could feature in more Nike/Wilson ads…I agree, he seems to have a lot of unused potential on the PR front.

            It seems like Wilson and/or Nike don’t know what to do with the “middle-aged” tennis players (24-28 y.o.) Berdy isn’t as high-profile as DelPo from a PR standpoint, but still, he’s a no. 6 player and former GS finalist — still, I don’t remember any of Berdy’s Nike ads from before. Strange, isn’t it?

        • mariposaxprs says:

          The handling of the DC situation this year was a clear problem. Hence, the reason why he started working w/Jorge Viale. It’s a learning curve. He’ll always have a tough audience in Argentina, so it’s nice to have someone like Viale, who knows how to steer the media conversation and is also a respected figure among sports journalists.

          The news of DelPo’s withdrawal was probably somewhat overshadowed by Muzz’s earlier withdrawal. English-speaking media will always take more of the spotlight. But I’m not sure that’s anything to worry about at this point. Right now, it’s about DelPo getting back to training and staying healthy, so he can get back to his fighting best.

  4. This an excellent write-up by Jorge and he pretty much says all that needs to be said! Jorge is right. There is a difference between being sick and being on bed rest. I mean, I had the stomach flu a couple of weeks ago, and I still went to work all week. I didn’t feel great, but it wasn’t to the point that I couldn’t get out of bed. And, it’s taken two weeks for me to get back to exercising again, just getting over that flu. So, I totally understand where DelPo is coming from. It seems he’s okay from this virus now, but he doesn’t have his full stamina back yet.

    Also, I feel like people’s memories are so short. To complain about DelPo always being injured right now, is to forgot that he had major back problems in ’08, the year of his 4 tournament breakthrough. In ’09, he took off Cincinnati b/c of fatigue, which caused a lot of consternation, but we saw how well that turned out in the next GS! 😉 Plus, he had to take off the whole Asia swing b/c of tooth problems. And, also, for all the people complaining about his football game attending and partying or whatever, etc. …. he always did that too!! I remember there were reports of him going to a casino in NZ, when he was playing Auckland! I remember I saw clubbing pics back in ’09! So anyway, the fact of the matter is, DelPo IS injury prone. He’s so tall, and unfortunately his height adds to that. It sucks, I hate seeing him injured and having to miss tournaments, but its part and parcel of being a DelPo fan at this point. I don’t think we can blame the injuries on his lifestyle choices or the fact that he just doesn’t care enough. I mean, the reality is – he’s injury prone. It is what it is. :/

    Also, interesting that Jorge brought up the long-flights again. So many tennis players do have a base somewhere, besides their country, even European players, like Novak (although that is also for tax reasons as well). But, they also bring their families or gfs with them! So, even if DelPo did set up another base, his family won’t be joining him (didn’t he saw he never wants them to come to his tournaments, LOL) and his friends are all 24/25 now…I’m sure they are done with school and are probably working. I think a part of the flight homes are to be with family and friends, which I totally get. At some point, though, if his 2013 keeps floundering, I’m sure the decision will be made (I’m betting Miami, if he does establish another base!), but I can see that being a hard decision to make….

    • mariposaxprs says:

      I hope you’re feeling much better these days after being ill! And I definitely know what it feels like to be OK enough to function as a human being (going to work, being social), yet falling short of being able to do the things I’d normally want to do, like exercising. It’s def not an easy balance to maintain, esp when you have to factor in the unexpected injuries/illnesses that may arise along the way. It can sure get tough for a pro athlete! DelPo looked very thin in Rome, so the weight loss was no joke. I hope he can spend the next two weeks building up his stamina and gaining some muscle weight. It’s just like riding a bike, right? I feel he just needed an extra week or so for his body to calm down.

      Unfortunately, DelPo’s always had a knack for injuries. Like you said, even in 2008 and 2009, the major progress he made was somewhat stifled by his injuries. And again, like you say, he’s always been socially active 🙂 I don’t think it’s a big deal at all, as we often see photos of Rafa partying back home when he’s in Mallorca. I think DelPo has a strong team around him and they wouldn’t let him go down the rabbit hole of partying too much — I remember Franco Davin specifically forbade DelPo from going out for a celebration after he won his 1st career title in Stuttgart. He forced DelPo to go to bed early, so they could travel to Kitzbuhel the next day, where DelPo won his 2nd title! Davin used to coach Gaudio (who partied a lot), so I suppose he’s trying to take the lessons he learned from Gaudio and apply them to DelPo this time around?

      Setting up a base in Europe sounds like the way to go. After all, there’s probably a reason why DelPo rarely plays the Asian swing of the tour: the flight-time from Buenos Aires to Shanghai is 25 hours. If he lived in Europe, he could cut down the flight-time to Shanghai to 14 hours or so. That makes a big difference and it would allow him to earn points that are up for the taking on a surface that he enjoys. He might prefer the comfort of seeing his friends, but friends grow up and they move to other cities. They’ll move on with their lives, so I guess the hope is that DelPo takes this *big* step (which is admittedly a huge sacrifice). After all, it’s not like he would have to live abroad the entire time, simply from February to July or so? I hope DelPo hears our “suggestions” and takes note of them! 🙂

  5. sambria says:

    i was gonna tweet you back but realized my comments were way too long for twitter so here i go. 🙂
    1. sarcastic jorge ftw. i was actually lol-ing reading the “master” comment. I want to hang with jorge after he’s had a difficult day and listen to him complain about the media he has to deal with. i have a feeling it’d be interesting (and fun). speaking of, was jorge a journalist before this? i know he created, or co-created, fue buena but was he just a fan that started it or was he a working journalist when he started it?
    2. the question of whether delpo need a base in europe (or the us) needs to be addressed by him and his team, no matter if jorge was genuine in that comment or rhetorical. having a base in europe or even like miami would be so beneficial, simply so he doesn’t have to fly 10 hours back to BsAs. and speaking of, if he doesn’t want to have a base in europe/us fine but he needs to stop flying back home every chance he gets. for example, after mc, there was no good reason to fly back to argentina. why not stay in mc and get some more clay practice in, why not head to portugal early? if he wanted to skip portugal then head to madrid. i mean, let’s think about this-10 hr flight from mc to BsAs, spend a week at most there, and then another 10 hr flight back to portugal? how does that make sense in his (and his team’s) mind?? (i fully blame this little jaunt back home as the reason he got sick. logic lol what is that? 🙂 ) unless there was some huge reason for it (like family matter or personal matter) then it shouldn’t have been done. it’s not a coincidence that his most successful part of this season so far-early european indoors and spring us hardcourt-he didn’t go home the week in between tournaments.
    3. the fact that jorge made this comment at all just makes me realize how much pressure and under the spotlight delpo (and all the top players) are. poor thing. i hope he doesn’t read/listen to this stuff. and his friends/team/family shields him from it as much as they can. he doesn’t need this at this time. and people were really getting on him cause he played golf, went to a soccer match, and met a famous dude from his town? really?? if he was out there like skydiving ok. they have a point. but all those activities weren’t strenuous in the least. i mean…i’ll stop. i don’t get people. i’ll leave it there.
    4. the comment here and some of the stuff that was released earlier this week makes me think that delpo is pretty much recovered from the virus, but he’s not in playing shape so to speak. or at least he’s on the last legs of this virus. which kinda makes me hopeful for wimbledon?
    oy this was long. sorry for venting. and again, thank you for translating. i’m just learning spanish and while i was able to pick up some things, i definitely didn’t get all. it is very much appreciated. 🙂
    @sambria

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Hey @sambria, nice to see you here!! 🙂

      I was cracking up at the “Fair enough, master…” part as well. I guess it’s normal for media managers/PR people to get frustrated, esp when they have to answer accusations that other people make. I thought Viale did a great job, and I love the sarcastic touch he added as well! Viale founded the “Fue Buena” site, but he’s also contributed frequently to ESPN Deportes and he’s written pieces for the ATP site as well (Viale did the write-up about DelPo after he won the USO in ’09). He has a separate Twitter account where he tweets about other topics — it seems he’s got quite a few other interests related to the state of journalism and politics in Argentina.

      I agree with you that DelPo’s team either need to set up a base in Europe/Miami or they need to actively work to cut down his travel hours. I’m sure it gets pretty expensive with the hotel stays, but I can’t imagine the constant flights back and forth would be much cheaper. Pico and Nalbandian both have management and medical support in Spain — perhaps this is a path that DelPo should follow as well, to make his stays in Europe more comfortable? Tennis players are more vulnerable to viruses, due to all the intercontinental travel they’re required to do. DelPo, along with other South Americans and Australians, has it the worst b/c every tournament is so far away. Unfortunately, the travel requirements won’t change, so maybe he’ll make a change so that the travel gets easier for him in the future.

      Poor DelPo, he probably knows what to expect now when it comes to criticism. He got the brunt of it earlier this year, when he announced he wouldn’t play DC for Argentina. Thankfully for him, he has people who can shelter him from that negativity and I think Jorge Viale is also doing a good job reasoning with the critics. I hope there’s finally some good news from DelPo’s camp in the next 1-2 weeks. I’d love to see him back in time for the grass season. It’s crazy to think RG is starting without him =/

  6. audiesgirl@aol.com says:

    Ugo lives in Milan, doesn’t he? Surely he could find a place for Juan in Italy. The Argies have strong ties to Italy and I read Juan’s has Italians in his lineage and even speaks the language so it won’t be an alien environment. The question is, would it work for Franco and Marti? Many have raised the question of whether a change in equipo is in order and relocation would be the perfect way to make that happen. In the short run, it’s traumatic for Juan to sever their relationship but again, what’s more important – personal or professional interest? If Juan can’t separate the two, his future is problematic and time is running out.

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Ugo is Italian, so does have roots in Milan. That might not be a bad place for DelPo to stay, if he must stay in Europe. Like you say though, it would also have to work for the rest of DelPo’s team — given how Franco and Martiniano have roots in Argentina, would they be willing to spend that much time outside Argentina? It’d be nice if they could be based in Europe for the full duration of the indoor HC, European clay and grass season — from February until July. That alone would save so much time/energy that is spent on an airplane.

      It’s certainly not an easy decision to make, nor would it be cheap. I guess one downside of working with a smaller team is that it’s not as easy to have flexible working arrangements. I think DelPo’s team is right for him, but it’d be nice if they could agree on an arrangement that would help DelPo in his career, even if it means spending more time in Europe.

  7. audiesgirl@aol.com says:

    The relocation question goes to the heart of the challenge facing Delpo and other S.A. players. They seem extremely attached to their close-knit circle of family and friends and are loathe to be away from home for extended periods. Still, Delpo seems to have this to the excess, running home at every break in the tour. This has to be a burden on his equipo, too. Pico is smart hanging out with Rafa, perhaps Roger would put Juan up in his palatial estate in Switzerland where he could feel a sense of home. The choice is simple: chico del barrio or international star? This hiatus will hopefully lead to a resolution.

    • mariposaxprs says:

      It’d be so nice if he could nab a sponsor who would pay up for a small apartment in Monte Carlo that could house him, Franco and Martiniano! That’s pretty much what Muzz does in Miami, so it’d be nice if DelPo could procure a similar living situation in Europe. Unfortunately, I’m not sure there are many sponsors in Argentina who are willing to pony up that kind of cash for a sports star at DelPo’s level.

      He has been flying back and forth a tremendous amount. We shouldn’t judge him for flying back home after Rome though, as it seems his participation in RG was unlikely to begin with.

      Pico has the same management as Rafa (he works w/former IMG agent Carlos Costa), so it’s a lot easier for Pico to stay/train in Spain. The agents take care of the logistics that might otherwise prevent another player from staying abroad for extended periods of time (finding suitable hitting partners, physios, etc).

      I don’t want to read too much into Viale’s brief mention of relocation, but I’m wishfully hoping that it means that DelPo is considering a move. On the bright side, it’d only be for 4-5 years or so? It’d be a big decision indeed…he knows the constant travel isn’t good for him. I hope he has people who can arrange it for him if he decides that’s what he wants.

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