Thursday, November 20, 2008
The Davis Cup finals are mere hours away, and I really think we're in store for a good tie, even without Rafael Nadal.
First up is David Nalbandian against David Ferrer. Nalbandian's been one of the hottest players on tour indoors, while Ferrer's been in a slump. Ferrer leads in head-to-heads and is a decent fast-court player, but Nalbandian might just be in better form.
However, the match after that one is what I think will be the most important one of the tie: Juan Martin del Potro against Feliciano Lopez. JDP has made amazing leaps and bounds this year, while F-Lo had his moments but as usual, didn't really break out.
For all his success, del Potro is still a kid and this has to be the most pressure he's faced in his life: playing a Davis Cup final at home and being the favorite. Lopez has been around the block a little, plus he's Spain's best fast-court player: a two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist who also has good results on hard courts and carpet.
It's not much of a shock to me that Emilio Sanchez picked him over Fernando Verdasco for singles. Then, those two will team up in doubles, which could be a tough match-up for Argentina.
So, in other words, I'm declaring that the tie goes, as F-Lo goes. Can the big-swinging Spaniard pull off an upset off the bat and then pick up another point in dubs? We'll see starting tomorrow!
(Photo: Getty Images)