Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's Spain

by Savannah

You have to play the matches. As soon as Argentina knew it was facing Spain the maneuvers began. No clay, no outdoors. Going against it's strength Argentina went for indoor hard, the surface that David Nalbandian excels on. Then there was the brawl over where the tie would be played. David wanted his home territory but the resort area of Mar del Plata won out.

Once it became clear the world number one would not play the Final Argentina could be forgiven for thinking they had the tie in the bag. No
Juan Carlos Ferrero. No
Tommy Robredo. Instead the Spanish team would be led by Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco, two men not known as giants of will on the court. Davis Cup Captain Emilio Sanchez was second guessed every step of the way and when David won the opening rubber against a listless David Ferrer it looked as if things were not going to go Spain's way at all.

But in the end it was the play of the two least likely heroes, Feli and Nando that won the cup. In both doubles and in singles including Sunday's marathon fourth rubber that ran over three hours that the two men dropped the sobriquet "mental midget" being added to their names. It's a discussion for another time but if both men embrace their inner hard court player their lives would be much easier.

As Emilio Sanchez said there will be lots of wine. I'm sure a glass will be raised to the man who wasn't there, the man who got them there and whose specter made it sure that the tie would take place in a setting that would bring out the best of his team mates and stop making it a given that if you play Spain do it on an indoor hard court.

Congratulations to Spain on the win.

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