Thursday, November 20, 2008

Davis Cup Final Preview – Argentina to Take on Spain

Here are some interesting highlights that I would to share with everyone: -

6 - Years since Las Leonas won the Women's Hockey World Cup
22 - Years since the Great Diego lead the Albiceleste to their second World Cup glory in Mexico
51 - Years since the Maestro, Juan Manuel FANGIO won the last of his five Formula One world title
55 - Years since Roberto DeVICENZO and Antonio CERDA won the World Cup of Golf
58 - Years since Oscar FURLONG & the Tall Albiceleste won the FIBA World Championship

These are the few moments which I can remember (at senior level at least and not including the many boxers that have won world titles) that have crowned Argentina as World Champions. If there is anything that I might have missed, please do feel free to add in.

I remember watching the final two years ago in Moscow and how sad it was indeed. Especially after witnessing David NALBANDIAN heroic performance, carrying the team all the way into Day 3. In my opinion, that was so unlucky.
But right now, we have a great chance of doing something special by ending all these long awaited years of winning the Salad Bowl. The time has come to put those painful memories of 1981 and 2006 behind and write a new history, when Argentina takes on Spain in the final.

Mar del Plata The Place To Be

Just like us, The Spanish team are loaded with clay court specialists (one of them happens to be the World No.1 but we will talk about him a little bit later). No doubt that Argentina has the advantage of playing at home but Spain is no pushover when it comes to playing on clay.
To counterfeit this, rather than playing at our usual fortress, the Parque Roca in Buenos Aires, the final will be played at the hard court indoor surface Estadio Polideportivo in Mar del Plata (the birth place of tennis great, Guillermo VILAS). We can still expect the same carnival type of atmosphere from the football chanting crowd. Among the big names that are expected to attend this event, is non-other than our beloved Diego himself.

No Nadal, No Problem?

2008 has been a great year for Spain in sports (Euro 2008, Tour de France etc.) among which is Rafael NADAL winning Roland Garros, Wimbledon, gold in Beijing and climbing all the way to No.1 in the world ranking. Therefore they will be keen to keep that momentum going into this final.

As we all know by now due to injury, Spain will be without NADAL for the final. Surely this will increase our chances of dramatically. But let’s remember that nothing is completed until the final jigsaw fits into the puzzle.

The Matador still have plenty of talent in the form of David FERRER, Fernando VERDASCO and Feliciano LOPEZ to give a tough fight for our boys. Marcel GRANOLLERS may have been a surprise choice to replace NADAL, but I'm not going to take anything away from this youngster.
The Team

Despite having another rollercoaster year, NALBANDIAN will still be the main character for the Albiceleste in the final. Unlike in 2006, this time he will not have to carry the burden all by himself.

In Juan Martin DEL POTRO, Argentina will have another world class talent to help them deliver the goods. He is arguably tennis best discovery of 2008 and will also provide the much needed ammunition playing on hard court, a rarity in Argentina.
Both NALBANDIAN and DEL POTRO are expected to take up the singles challenge. In the doubles event, team captain Alberto MANCINI can count on the experience partnership of Jose ACASUSO and Agustin CALLERI.

Overall this is a strong line up, when you consider that even the likes of Juan MONACO has no place in this team.

Now for the million dollar question; has the time finally arrived for Argentina to capture the Davis Cup? Only time will tell. I will put up any links that available from the internet if you are unable to view live from your television. We will follow the tournament closely from here. Make sure you will join us, as this could be history in the making.


Juan y Fer said...

it is a pity the Nadal´s injury because it is better to see the best players playing the final. Now, I think that it will not be history, because Spain without Nadal and with the squad selected by the Spanish captain...nothing to do. The spanish squad is a joke...
Well, I wrote my opinion in:

(a blog about sport in English and Español)

akash said...

Yesterday Andres D'Alessandro scored a brace for International in their 4-0 win against Chivas.Inter will now face Argentinos Juniors or Estudiantes La PLata in the Copa Sudamericana final .Guillermo Barros Schelotto has been named the MLS MVP after having a terrific season with the Crew.He scored 7 goals in the league and had 19 assists.

Seba said...

Great preview, John!

We had the draw taking place today and David v. David will be the first point on Friday. NALBANDIAN v. FERRER, followed by DEL POTRO v. Feliciano LOPEZ.

To add to those world titles, I would say Los Murciélagos with their 2 titles (I believe they came in 2002 and 2004) deserve a mention (even though football for blind players is not among the most popular sports).

I'm really looking forward for this Davis Cup final and I agree it would have been SENSATIONAL to see Rafa playing in Mar del Plata (a city very close to my heart and where I spent most of my summers as a child and where my late grandfather used to live. Despite being born in Italy his first name was Argentino!!!!).

Unfortunately, I have the wedding of one of my best friends and I'm surely miss most of both matches and won't be able to comment or write reports here.

One last thing...after Maxi RODRIGUEZ ran away with Mundo Albiceleste's Man-of-the-Match award, I've added a new poll to vote on the result of the Davis Cup final.

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