Re: David News & Articles
"When I defend the Argentine colors I feel like I'm unbeatable"
Gente Magazine Interview
It's been a little bit more than a week since the Argentine's team triumph in Australia, but David Nalbandian is still euphoric. Not even the Unquillo's peace (his town of a bit more of 15 thousand people) could calmed him down this time. His face reflects the hapiness of the moment he's living, and he is not trying to hide it not even a bit. Of course, no one let's him do it either. Every step he makes, there's people approaching him to ask him for an autograph, to hug him for a photo or just to congratulate him.
Not to alter the sacre naps of his people, Nalbandian decided to traslate a few miles to Río Ceballos and welcome the Gente people in the Howard Johnson hotel. There, in his world, among the mountains and the cordobeses forests, David is a happy guy: "This is my escape from the world. Coming home, seeing my friends, my brothers, my friends and my girlfriend..., all that produces me a lot of hapiness", tells the man who in Sydney showed once again his level and got three of the four points that gave Argentina a place in the semifinals of the Davis Cup. More relaxed than when he arrived in Buenos Aires, now he doesn't show his anger against the bad behavied Lleyton Hewitt.
The sun is strong in the mountains. After half an hour of photos, Nalbandian's face turns to red. However, he proposes other ideas and gets out of the stones to the hammock without any doubt: "Do you think this will be alright?", asks to the photographer, while he trys to balance his body on a wood stick which is being held by two thin threads. Then he jumps, throws himself on the grass and smiles again. We'll have to wait a few minutes for the interview; before that, his friend Marcos Ligato-the best of our pilots in the recent rally of Argentina-invites him to play with him in a foosball competition, and David doesn't give it a second thought. He shows his ability with the River color dolls, and scream one of the goals like he was in a Super Classic in the Nuñez court. However that's not enough, the couple they're facing is unbeatable. To make things worse, Marcos, with the defence and the porter is...a very good pilot. "Get it out of the back", says David once and again. Everybody laughs, but not even like that...Finally, the Boca dolls will win the match by many goals, and after eating some candies, David starts: "Yes, I'm very happy. I'm still happy about the Australia triumph and I'm enjoying it a lot. Everything went perfect, not even the most optimistic guy from us would have imagined this".
-Internally, did you think this could happen?
We had a lot of faith in ourselves, but we didn't think it was gonna be this easy. We would talk about a very tight 3-2, defending the series till the last point, and with our b*lls up at our thoats.
-And why do you think this happened? What was the key?
The key was the doubles. They never thought we were gonna win it that easily. There was the difference, because with the series 2-1, on sunday Lleyton had to play with a lot of pressure on him, something he couldn't get over. We also played in a great level and gave our best.
-And you were at your best level, that level we only saw in London in 2002. Was that a personal revenge being there in those 3 important points for Argentina? And even in two of them there was Hewitt, who had beat you in the Wimbledon final?
-I swear I didn't think nor live it that way. Playing the DC can't be compared to anything. And even if I knew I had the same rival in front of me, the goal was different. When you play in the circuit, everything is more personal. In the Davis, however, you feel there's a whole country waiting for you to win. That's why sometimes you're not playing well, but then the DC comes and you play like a lion. When I'm defending the Argentine colors I feel unbeatable. And now that we're so near, even more so. That's why, after Australia, everyone of us compromised to build our schedules thinking only in the DC.
-It's good to hear that from you, especially knowing that in a moment you were judged for not playing the DC.
That was unfair, because when I didn't play the DC was because I was really injured. We die to play the Davis, just like a football player wants to be in the Argentine team. Why do you think that each time we win a tie we celebrate it in the way we do? Because we really feel it that way: we die to win the DC! We'd change any tournament championship or any ranking spot to win it. We would be in the history and we would be making a lot of people happy that it's been dreaming with this for this moment to come for years.
-And what's your dream?
The same one as those people. Now, in the first week of August, I'll be playing in Montral, then in Cincinnati and then finally the US Open. But without a doubt, the expectations will be in September 19th, when we'll go to Slovakia to be able to be in the final, for the second time in our history.
One of the things that Nalbandian highlights during the interview is that the group is more united than ever to achieve that goal. And he talks about the confidence that Alberto Mancini gives them as a captain: "Luli is the one that calls us and gives us the steps we have to take to get there at our best. Besides, he has the same dreams that we do, that's why he built such a united team"
-That lack of togetherness was one of the things that was always critisized in our DC teams. Do you think this togetherness can make a difference?
Without a doubt, it's very important for us to be on the same side; there you make a difference. If you play with a team, the union of the group is the most important thing. And even more in tennis. That confidence and that union that we have is an advantage that we play with, beyond the great moment of our players.
There's a little time till the sun hides in the mountains and for David to go enjoy an "asado" which is waiting him with his family and friends. Then, the night will be quiet, a walk with Victoria, his girlfriend for 7 years, and on sunday he'll be waking up early to enjoy some noodles his mom, Alda, made herself. According to the tennis player, outside the court, he's a quiet guy, lover of the "meeting with friends, the town quietness, visiting my grandmother, and the fishing trips. And as a good cordobes, I'm a rally lover. Too bad I couldn't be in Cordoba to to see the World Championship! But I still followed it through the internet. I have no doubts that once I retire I'll drive those cars a bit. Till now, the few classes I took were with Marcos, and I didn't do that badly. It's a dream I have since I was a kid, I someday I'll make it true. When? The day I don't feel like playing tennis anymore", tells.
-I imagine this was a special meeting with Ligato. Both of you lived an intense week.end.
Yes, I talked to him about tennis and Marcos about rally. We've known each other for a very long time and we're close friends. Those are the things you miss when you're in the circuit, so when I'm here I try to enjoy it at best.
-Talking about friends, David. After the triumph, were you able to talk to Guillermo Cañas, who could be sentenced for doping?
Yes, we talked; he even sent us an e-mail to congratulate us. We know he's living a very hard moment, that he had the trial this week and we hope everything went well. If we get the dream of having the Salad Bowl, and Guillermo can't be with us, we'll have him present. Him, and all those who are and were by our side. The list and the celebrations will be endless. I hope we can get this goal that the Argentines have been deserving for so long.
-If you had to say from 1 to 10, what chances do we have to win the DC this time?
If it's by how much I want it, I'd say 10, obviously (laughs). Australia was the toughest rival we could get as visitors, and having beating them gave us a lot of confidence. It was a debt with had with ourselves, because everytime we went to play abroad, we didn't do well. That's why, even though we know it's gonna be difficult, the team has a lot of confidence.
-But David, you didn't say a number...
I'll say an 8...Although, among us, I'd put a 10.
Last edited by jazz_girl; 07-27-2005 at 10:57 PM.