OpinionMonday, February 17, 2014
ATP BA has hard luck
The just finished ATP Buenos Aires tennis tournament is followed by hard luck. It finds it difficult to get many leading players to enter it and when finally they get the world-ranked number one, Rafael Nadal, he is injured just before and has to withdraw, although he will go to the ATP in Brazil a few days later (where there is more money to be won). Luckily, another Spaniard, David Ferrer, ranked No. 5, decided to come to replace Nadal although he had earlier decided not to, possibly not to have to face Nadal.
Ferrer was the only top 10. Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka came here happily in the last few years, but now that he has won a Grand Slam and risen in the rankings, he did not come. Juan Martín del Potro, the only Argentine in the top 10, has never deigned to grace his country’s tournament because he wants to further his career to reach number one and there are not enough points, or money, to be won here. Playing in Holland last week instead, he lost points by being beaten in the quarterfinals of the tournament which he won last year. In his obsession to be number one — which he may never reach — he has continued playing with what appears to be a chronic wrist injury which is likely to get worse. On top of that, the Argentine group of participants was not very strong either and there were no local players left even in the quarterfinals which this columnist cannot remember happening before.
And next year? The ATP has left the dates open to play the tournaments in Buenos Aires and Sao Pablo between February 9 and 23, and there is a possibility that tournaments in Acapulco (Mexico) and Dubai, both of a higher level, would be played at the same time as Buenos Aires. In that case, it would be even more difficult to get leading players to come here.
DAVIS CUP DRAW. On September 12 to14, Argentina will face a playoff to stay in the World Group against other first round losers and winners of lower regional zones to be decided in April. The draw will be according to ranking and as Argentina is the highest ranked to have to play off, it will avoid stronger rivals such as Spain, Serbia, United States, Canada and Australia which is one good thing. But there will be some strong rivals among the regional zone winners also. It all depends on the draw which will decide the rival and whether the tie is at home or away. Meanwhile, the Argentine Tennis Association still hope to convince Del Potro to play.