The Argentine Davis Cup team, led by David Nalbandian and with the support of Captain Mancini put on a full court press against the AAT, the Argentine tennis federation, and have apparently won round one of their battle as to where the final will be held.
Davis Cup - Argentina nominates indoor venue
Eurosport - Tue, 30 Sep 14:08:00 2008
The Argentine Tennis Association has nominated the indoor Estadio Orfeo Superdomo in Cordoba as its preferred venue for the Davis Cup finals in November.
Argentina have previous only hosted Davis Cup clashes on claycourts but the AAT has chosen the carpeted venue for the final in a bid to remove Spain's main strength.
"In order of preference, Cordoba has been chosen, with the Estadio Orfeo the first choice to be the venue of the final of the World Group," the AAT said.
"As an alternative to be considered by the ITF [International Tennis Federation], the Estadio Islas Malvinas in Mar del Plata was nominated. The AAT board decided to prioritise the sporting advantage."
The Estadio Islas Malvinas is also an indoor venue.
The ITF must now approve the venue before it can be confirmed. But while they generally require a venue with a seating capacity of at least 12,000, the Cordoba venue can only hold 8,000.
The AAT also announced they are looking at ways of expanding the capacity for the final which is due to be held from November 21-23.
David Nalbandian had already said he would prefer Cordoba to host the final.
"Cordoba has the best conditions compared with the others," Nalbandian said last week. "I was born in this province so I would love to play here, but there are a lot of other factors to be considered and we are working to choose the right option."
Pippa Davis Eurosport
The ITF has stated that it will look for stadiums that can seat a minimum of 12,000. Both sites chosen are below that capacity. If the ITF nixes both locations it remains to be seen whether the event will by default be held at the Parque Roca, site of the semi final tie against Russia. The Argentines want an indoor arena with a pretty fast carpet. To turn Parque Roca into an indoor arena an already intact roof would have to be imported and the clay court covered.
One of the papers in Argentina is reporting that the surface will be "composcushion" a surface made by a Spanish company named Composan. It is said to be an acrylic material set on an asphalt agglomerate base. It is also known as Tennislife cushion. Depending on your source it's a hardcourt(ATP) and not a carpet or a fast indoor surface (ITF).
I'm no expert but that surface in Bangkok was playing very fast. There's also the surface the United States used in Winston Salem against Spain. That was compared to an ice skating rink.
I wonder what location and surface will be chosen for the United States vs Switzerland next March? Both teams are good on fast courts. Neither is great on red clay. There is talk that the site may be Chicago, Illinois in the midwestern United States.
I also wonder what team Patrick McEnroe will field. Does he go with the future and keep
Sam Querrey on the team or will he go back to James Blake who thrives on a hard court?
Oh, and for those who are wondering there's been no new news from Srdjan Djokovic about how the ITF is picking on Serbia and by extension his son.
Idle Chit Chat
From the New York Daily News
Maria Sharapova has a new boyfriend: Charlie Ebersol, son of NBC Sports chairman Dick. But that didn't stop the tennis hottie from putting herself up for auction at the Bryan Brothers' All-Star Tennis Smash charity event last weekend. Despite Sharapova's joke that "My boyfriend will outbid you," one lucky guy won a date with the bombshell - for just $10,000.
Camilla Belle is shooting a movie so it's not clear if Maria's bff was there. I mean with Ana Ivanovic getting all the boy friend press down to looking worn out saying goodbye in a Beijing hotel lobby something had to be done no? Just sayin'. I hope this one lasts longer than her other relationships.