Contrasts driven by logic. The present of the Davis Cup teams from Chile and Argentina is opposite as little or never has been seen: the Chileans qualified for the group stage of the finals in September; the Argentines will have to play not to descend. Expectable scenarios after the mixed luck in the draw.
Chile returns to the World Group after four years thanks to the 3-1 defeat of Kazakhstan in La Serena. It was what had to happen, after luck gave a wide favoritism to Nicolás Massú’s team: clay, outdoors, at sea level and with the public in favor of him. The favorite conditions of the Chilean team, and the most uncomfortable for those from Central Asia.
Cristian Garin sealed the series with an important victory when the score was favorable thanks to the victory of Nicolás Jarry in singles, and Alejandro Tabilo and Tomás Barrios in doubles.
Separate comment for the two versions of Garin, who escaped tragedy with the victory against Aleksander Bublik after losing to Timofey Skatov.
A beating that emotionally must have hit him. A disappointing defeat that could well have meant that Nicolás Massú chose another player who came with more confidence to carry the responsibilities in defining moments. But Massú, true to his style, exudes Davis’ spirit and dies with his boots on. He has always trusted Garin since he took over the Chilean team in 2013, when Chile played in third-order divisions, and this time they responded well.
The 26-year-old Chilean was a great triumph, yes. Because of what it means to win a series that returns you to the World Group, and because personally, he turned around a complicated scenario by defeating his own ghosts that have plunged him into a post-pandemic irregularity. The mood boost comes in handy at a time when he is forced to score points on the South American tour on gravel if he doesn’t want to think about returning to the Challenger circuit.
But you have to put things in context. The home team gave Chile the obligation to win. Defeat would have looked more like failure than victory has the taste of feat.
Kazakh number one Aleksander Bublik has shot several times how much he hates clay. “I move like an elephant on this surface, I can’t stop, I can’t run fast,” he had said on the Tennis Channel during the Monte Carlo Masters 1000 last April. Then, the birth of his son changed hate for love, as he confessed to CLAY at the US Open: “Now I like to play anywhere. I really enjoy it. If it’s clay, it’s clay.”
Despite Bublik’s new feeling for the favorite surface of Latin Americans, it is still a terrain where the level of his speed tennis decreases. If it had been in Astana, indoors and with the fastest possible surface, the comment would be completely opposite. Good for a Chile that had no excuses.
Excuses that the Argentine team did have, which began by losing the series against Finland when chance told them that they had to travel 14 thousand kilometers to the cold of Espoo to have to play hard indoor, just before the series of South American events start in Córdoba. It ended with a 3-1 against.
With these discomforts, captain Guillermo Coria could not convince his number one Diego Schwartzman and Horacio Zeballos, nor Sebastián Báez. Francisco Cerúndolo was injured and failed to play his second game in Scandinavia. The young Emil Ruusuvuori imposed the locality and Argentina will now have to play for permanence.
What would Argentina have given to have the luck of its Andean neighbors on this cup date?
A good one for Argentine tennis? Nadia Podoroska won her first WTA event.
The 2020 Roland Garros semifinalist returned last year from injury, and this Sunday, about to turn 26, she won the most important title of her life. It was in Cali and against his compatriot Paula Ormaechea. It’s a pity that the sponsor of the tournament has occurred to stain the trophy so hideously.
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