The 1980 and 1981 Argentina-USA Davis Cup encounters
It seems they were fierce and I wanted to get some info if anyone knows something about it.
This is an interesting video about the 1980 encounter in Buenos Aires.
And here's a review of the 1981 encounter in Cinci, Ohio:
Davis Cup Final 1981
Argentina vs. USA
What were the real Argentine possibilities in the final? The odds made by the tennis experts, in the country and abroad, were unafraid to say the USA was the favorite, in many cases in a resounding manner. While the Argentines had the 5th and 6th best players in the world, the Americans could potentially count with the 1st and the 3rd. Ties were naturally unfavourable for the visitors. In addition, the chosen surface, a carpet of rubber under the roof of the River Front Coliseum, with thousands of locals encouraging, did not help either. So, the great former champion Arthur Ashe succeeded Tony Trabert in command of the U.S. team, and called his players ahead of time: John McEnroe (1st), Eliot Teltscher (8th), Roscoe Tanner (eleventh) and in the doubles Peter Fleming along with "supermac" were the best pair in the world. Jimmy Connors preferred a widely criticized "holiday" and refused to play. Ashe knew very well what he was doing with the nomination: McEnroe was looking for a rematch of the losses endured in Buenos Aires in 1980 and Tanner had four wins over Vilas (final that same year, in straight sets and in the cement of Flushing Meadows) and had the fastest serve among professionals. Two conclusive arguments. Junquet, on the other hand, formalized as a whole that would make the expedition to Ohio nearly on time: Clerc, Vilas, Cano and Bengoechea. And the authorities, this time, were neutral: the Danish Kurt Nielsen as general referee, Robert Jenkis, British, and Swiss Youssef Makar as umpires. The party seemed to advance lean to the US side, but Argentines were arranged to sour their mood in spite of their internal problems. The first day points were distributed when McEnroe defeated Vilas 6-3, 6-2 and 6-2 and Clerc beat Tanner 7-5, 6-3 and 8-6. "I was in a very good tennis time - Clerc told to the distance - although the conditions were not good, the court was very fast and the rivals were virtually unbeatable." The match against Tanner was looking good for me. His serve was very strong but had no angles. For this reason, the day before I worked with my coach on twists and blocks. I shouldn't be returning strongly, but simply blocking and constantly getting the ball deep on the court to keep him back. Additionally, I had to concentrate to get three quarters of speed, to not make so many mistakes and put the ball in play. "I had a great faith to win in five sets, but to my surprise and everyone's, I won in straights." The possibility of tipping the balance was hiding in the doubles on Saturday, even taking into account the unbeatable McEnroe/Fleming pair, who until this December 12th, had already won two U.S. Open titles and two Wimbledons among more than 30 titles. One of the major crusades of the tennis of all time was. By game and emotion. Clerc recalls: "in the doubles we played excellent." I came to Cincinnati without any communication with Vilas; we didn't talk at all because of certain problems between us, but at that stage we were constantly supporting each other. Guillermo always required the atmosphere to be quiet in order to fully concentrate; any movement or noise distracted him. So, McEnroe, when the match was close, began to insult Vilas when he was serving. As I was at the net, I listened and asked him what was he doing. He approached me and at that moment I wanted to break my racket in his head... He insulted Vilas and then went on with me. And I, losing my head already, also insulted him. The captains came to the court and calmed us down. In the next change of sides, I waited and when he passed by I pushed him... To play against McEnroe you needed to have much character, because if you didn't stop him he'd walk all over you. There were also doubts at the start of the fifth set when the captain and our coaches discussed who had to serve first, if Vilas or I. Finally the captain said Vilas. "We should have talked about that before entering the stadium, so that was a wrong decision." The enormous effort did not award them. With the minimun, Argentina lost the doubles 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 4-6 and 11-9 (where Vilas served for the match at 7-6), in 4 hours and 52 minutes, leaving a 2-1 advantage for the local side. The third day, with the camp...
Re: The 1980 and 1981 Argentina-USA Davis Cup encounters
I know and talked to the third member (Bengoechea) of Argentina's teams in that final. Its a well known fact that Vilas and Clerc were almost enemies and they didnt talk between them at all.
Bengoechea told me that during lunch/dinner there were two separate tables, one in which Vilas ate and one in which Clerc ate. The other members of the team (including coaches, doctors, etc) chose where to sit.
Bengoechea was going to play doubles with Cano, but some days before Vilas and Clerc both decided that they wanted to play doubles, and they both took the decision in a separate way, not speaking to the rest.
More stories, but I dont have the nerves to write now