Argentina: How Will They Fare In The Davis Cup Final?
November 22, 2016
Argentina, meaning ‘land of silver’ is extremely pertinent given the country’s ill-fated record in the Davis Cup which has seen them reach the final four times, only to come away with second prize on each occasion. Will 2016 be the year that the Argies eradicate this unwanted curse or will they fail in their bid to say goodbye and good riddance to bad luck once and for all?
They last reached this stage of the competition back in 2011 when Spain defeated them 3-1, but captain Daniel Orsanic will be hoping a rejuvenated Juan Martin Del Potro can add a fairytale ending to what has been one of sport’s biggest feel-good stories this calendar year.
Here is a guide to their star men, how they have made it into a fifth final and the odds on them to break their final hoodoo once and for all.
Juan Martin Del Potro
Reached a career high of world number 4 prior to his wrist injury nightmare. His memorable rebirth on the ATP tour has seen him win Olympic silver and make the quarter-final stage in New York. His colossal forehand is one of his greatest assets and arguably the most powerful in the game, frequently generating speeds of over 100mph.
The left-hander is most at home on the red dirt – a surface which has led him to four ATP career finals, two of which he has gone on to lift the title. Is currently ranked 33rd in the world and has notched up some crucial victories during his country’s Davis Cup run so far.
Pella is currently positioned just outside the top 50 following a landmark season which has seen him make his first ever ATP Tour final at the Rio Open where he narrowly lost out to Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas in three sets.
Has been as high as 21 in the world back in 2015 and is likely to play an influential role in the final given his versatility which has also seen him crack the top 60 in doubles.
A former top 10 player, Monaco has amassed nine singles titles during his career and his addition to this list is testament to Argentina’s strength in depth when it comes to selecting their singles participants.
Who They’ve Beaten To Get Here
Poland 2 – 3 Argentina
After Pella and Mayer had won their opening singles encounters in straight sets, Poland took the doubles clash to take it into the final day. However, Mayer once again proved his worth by defeating Michał Przysiężny in four to send his team into the last eight.
Italy 1 – 3 Argentina
Once again there was no need for a deciding rubber as Delbonis showed his clay court mastery by defeating Andreas Seppi and Fabio Fognini in between Del Potro’s and Pella’s epic five set doubles triumph.
Great Britain 2 – 3 Argentina
Del Potro silenced the partisan crowd in Glasgow by overcoming current world number one Andy Murray in a titanic singles clash – taking the deciding set 6-4. Pella then defeated Kyle Edmund in four to open up a 2-0 lead for the visitors.
The following day saw the Murray brothers pull a point back in the doubles, before Murray outclassed Pella to take the tie to a deciding fifth rubber. After dropping the opening set, Mayer used all of his experience to defeat Daniel Evans in the fifth and deciding rubber to clinch his country a place in the Davis Cup final and spark scenes of wild jubilation.
Argentina are undoubtedly blessed with an unrivalled wealth of options when it comes to picking their singles line-up. This was evident in the last four when Del Potro was unable to take part in the deciding rubber due to exhaustion and yet they could call upon the services of Mayer – an established and top class operator in his own right. With the final being contested indoors, clay-court specialist Delbonis might be overlooked in favour of the other candidates.
Opponents Croatia definitely appear to have a stronger pairing in the doubles, but it is the opening round of singles which could go either way and will ultimately have a significant bearing on the outcome of this final.
Argentina Odds to win the Davis Cup: 11/8 with Ladbrokes