It probably won’t make your local news or show up on front page of your city newspaper here in the U.S., but there is a Davis Cup final going on this weekend. Of course it’s Argentina bidding for its first ever Davis Cup title against the Nadal-less Spanish team down in Mar Del Plata.
I picked Argentina to beat Spain in the final at the start of the year not because I foresaw the rise of Juan Martin Del Potro or an injury to Rafael Nadal, but because of the home court advantage which Argentina has enjoyed throughout this Davis Cup season. And I see no reason to pick against them now especially vs. a very depleted Spanish team of David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco, Marcel Granollers and Feliciano Lopez.
As I write David Nalbandian has already hammered Ferrer in straights sets in the opening tie, and now Del Potro is ahead by a set over Lopez.
Spain might salvage a doubles win but that’s likely going to be it. Nalbandian has been known to get tight in the past in pressure situations but if given the chance he’ll close it out Sunday in singles against whomever Spain sends out.
Had Nadal played things would have been different, but I think I’d still pick Argentina to win it. Home crowd, home crowd in a tight match usually favors the home team. But it is disappointing not to have Rafa there.
I should also add the tie is on TV in the U.S. live all weekend (I believe) on the Tennis Channel.
With the off season comes coaching changes and news broke yesterday that Andy Roddick has hired Larry Stefanki. On the surface, a very good move for Andy who I think will greatly benefit from the wisdom of Stefanki, a guy who helped Fernando Gonzalez channel his power into an Australian Open final run and helped Marcelo Rios get to the No. 1 position.
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