David Nalbandian is one of the most motivated Davis Cup players in the history of tennis. He has played through painful injuries including a hernia to give Argentina hope such is his sense of national pride and so it was no surprise that the famous Argentine was pumped up for his doubles rubber with Eduardo Schwank against the Spaniards most famous pretty boys Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco.
With the Spaniards leading the final 2-0 it was a must win rubber for the Argentines who got the job done 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. Read more
Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer, Spain’s top two, have given Spain a 2-0 lead against Argetina in the Davis Cup finals. First came Spain’s golden child, Nadal, who needed almost two and a half hours to beat good friend Juan Monaco 6-1, 6-1, 6-2.
Next up was Ferrer who did what he does best and played a grinding match for almost five hours against Juan Martin del Potro ultimately winning 6-2, 6-7, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. Read more
With injured David Nalbandian supporting his team on the sidelines, Argentina has moved into the semifinals of Davis Cup after defeating Kazahkstan 3-0. After two singles victories Juan Ignacio Chela and Eduardo Schwank secured the doubles match 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 against Yuri Schukin and Evgeny Korolev. Read more
After a dramatic first day of play, Argentinians Juan Ignacio Chela and Eduardo Schwank defeated Victor Hanescu and Horia Tecau 6-2, 7-6, 6-1 in the doubles rubber giving Argentina an unbeatable 3-0 lead. The new Davis Cup rule mean that the players will now only play one of the two dead rubber singles matches. Read more
>Thiemo De Bakker has proved himself to be a good clay court player in Barcelona after booking his place to reach the semi-finals of the 500 point tournament by defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in 2 hours and 6 minutes. His victory means that he will now face Robin Soderling in the semi’s after Soderling comprehensively defeated Eduardo Schwank.
The victory is the first for De Bakker over a top ten player who had previously played a tight match against Tsonga in Davis Cup in 2009. “It feels great to get my first win over a top-10 player, it’s a big step forward for me. I had a tough match with Jo in Davis Cup last year, so it feels great to come through this time.” The win comes a day after De Bakker surprises Juan Carlos Ferrero.
De Bakker is a former junior world number 1.
Lleyton Hewitt’s progress back after hip surgery has derailed slightly with his second round defeat in Barcelona today against Eduardo Schwank 7-6, 6-4 after battling his way through the first round. Hewitt’s service games were dubious at best, with Lleyton’s serve being inconsistent. “I have done all of the right things in rehab, not trying to cut corners, and did everything the physio told me, and I think for that reason I’ve been able to come back a little bit sooner that I expected. I had to be patient. I worked my back up the rankings after falling out of the top 100 after the first injury, and now I have to do it again. In a way it’s easier to come back on clay than on hard courts when you’re coming back from an injury, but on the other hand the sliding is tough, and you need to build and strengthen certain muscles.”
Unfortunately for Barcelona another Spaniard bit the dust with Tommy Robredo retiring with back pain during his match against Simone Bolelli. He did receive treatment on court but was unable to move comfortably and retired to prevent serious injury. Feliciano Lopez got an easy second round pass after Dolgopolov Jr retired from their first round match. His potential third round opponent is top seed Robin Soderling, however, he will have to get past Istomin first. Robin Soderling squeezed past Juan Ignacio Chela 7-5, 7-5 for a place in the third round.
Elsewhere in Europe photos of Roger Federer practicing his clay court slides have been released. Federer skipped Monte Carlo to spend time resting and rebuilding after a chest infection a few weeks ago but also to enjoy his first wedding anniversary with wife Mirka and their twin daughters.
Robredo, Hewitt and Federer are all expected at Rome next week.
Posted in Barcelona, Eduardo Schwank, Feliciano Lopez, Injury, Juan Ignacio Chela, Lleyton Hewitt, Mirka Vavrinec, Robin Soderling, Roger Federer, Rome, Tommy Robredo
Every year the ATP players get together in Monte Carlo for some silliness and today Mahesh Bhupathi was kind enough to let the public in on some images which included an imitation of the Rafa Nadal and Shakira ‘Gypsy’ video as Fernando Verdasco posing in his underwear. Footage of the night doesn’t often make it’s way on to You Tube but there is some good stuff from 2008. Read more
Things were looking bad for Agentina’s Davis Cup dreams when Juan Martin del Potro announced he had a wrist injury and would be off the tour for 4 weeks. Their rays of hope were Juan Monaco and David Nalbandian, who was returning to play after a length injury period following his surgery last year. Then Nalbandian got a small tear in his adductor (inner thigh) muscles that saw him conceed his quarterfinal match just a few weeks ago in Buenos Aires. He was not expected to make the Davis Cup tie, that starts today, against the Swedes, but at least they still had Monaco. Then Juan Monaco, more recently, sustained an abdominal tear in Acapulco, meaning that he too would not be playing for Argentina.
David was announced as a member of Argentina’s four-man line up but has not actually been named in either singles of doubles as he is yet to prove his fitness. Robin Soderling will open the tie, playing the first rubber of the meet against Eduardo Schwank on Friday.
Tito Vazquez said; “David is flying to Stockholm at the moment and he will arrive this evening. I had a call from him saying he had recovered quicker than expected and we’re willing to accept him in the team. He is a top class player and will be good for the team. We have an inexperienced team – three young guys that have never played Davis Cup and not many five-set matches and it’s a lot of pressure for them. David has a big chance of playing doubles. We’ll just have to see how he is and how he feels.”