Thursday, November 20, 2008

Going with the F-Lo?

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)


heyheyhey said...

I'm watching right now! I think I agree with you, Van. The match that it hinges on it Del Potro/Lopez.

van said...

Hey heyheyhey! It looks they just got to a set apiece. We'll see how it goes!

heyheyhey said...

God, I hope this goes to a fifth. Nothing like 5 set DC matches!

heyheyhey said...

What a shame. I hate when an injury decides a match. I prefer a fair game, and let the best man win. I do love when a home team wins, though, so I was clapping for Del Potro more than Lopez.

van said...

Hey heyheyhey, I didn't get to see the match: I was just following the score online. What happened? I read del Potro had been having some problems with his feet. Was that the case?

heyheyhey said...

No, he injured his groin. It looked pretty severe to me, but I have done absolutely no follow up work to see what the reports are. I will speculate, though, that he won't be able to play the rest of the weekend. What a bummer. I'm not really rooting for one team or the other, but I really do enjoy watching a home crowd get what they want. (If they were showing a crowd of Spaniards in the streets of Madrid cheering, then I would be rallying for Spain!)

freakyfrites said...

Yikes! Although maybe we should have seen this coming - I remember from an interesting article in Tennis Magazine that del Potro leads the tour in injury retirements. I guess it's been a miracle that he's held out as long as he can.

Oh well, I like it when the doubles really matters. Doubles is my favorite part about DC!

John said...

A tremendous start for Nalbandian but a disappointing ending for Del Potro. That is how you can summarized the overall performance from Day 1.

David Nalbandian was just perfect on every aspect of his game and he could do no wrong. Ferrer did had his moments where I felt that he could pull something, but Nalbandian gave him no room for revival. This was the one of the best performance from Nalbandian that I've seen in a while.

I have to admit that I was expecting Del Potro to give us a 2-0 lead. But I can put the blame entirely on him as he was carrying a minor injury during the game. I'm sure he will look back with plenty determination to win on Sunday.

Now here comes the moment which I fear the most. Just like what happened, it will be the double event that might be crucial for Argentina on their Davis Cup quest. I hope Nalbandian/Calleri can pull something out of this but Spain will have plenty of confidence following Feliciano's win. We'll see how things goes.

In the meantime, please check out my re-cap on the matches from Day 1. Of course, your feedback is highly appreciated.

heyheyhey said...

I kind of thought replacing Canas with calleri was a mistake. I don't really care for Canas, but he's very good. He may be old and tired, but you can be old and tired and still play doubles. His shot-making skills far outweigh Calleri's, imo.
Now I'm happy for Spain, sad for Argentina. Let's hope the 5th match decides it all.