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Argentina stake claim to Junior Davis Cup title
Argentina’s boys have been in blistering form so far at the Junior Davis Cup by BNP Paribas finals in San Luis Potosi. The team posted its second round robin victory in a row on Wednesday, beating Egypt by three rubbers to love to follow up on its opening day victory over Japan in Group B. Victory over Hungary should put Argentina through to the semi-finals.
“I didn’t play so good myself but we really wanted to win and tomorrow we will try to get into the semi-finals,” said Argentina’s No.2 Andrea Collarini, who got his team off to a strong start against Egypt with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Ahmed Albitar. Agustin Vellotti then made it an unassailable two-nil lead by beating Seif Elsherbini 6-1, 6-1 before Collarini and Vellotti joined forces to defeat Elsherbini and Mohamad Auf in the doubles. “It’s fun because we are very good friends and I’m sure if we weren’t such good friends it wouldn’t be so much fun. If their matches are tough it is difficult to watch but it’s okay if they are playing well. Luckily today was easy so I wasn’t so nervous.”
Collarini and his team-mates received a timely boost before heading over to Mexico when they met with Argentina’s senior Davis Cup by BNP Paribas squad – including Juan-Martin Del Potro, Guillermo Canas, David Nalbandian and Agustin Calleri – in Buenos Aires while the senior team was preparing for its Davis Cup semi-final against Russia. “It was great,” said Collarini. “I already knew the players from the team because we practice with them sometimes - I practiced with Del Potro a few times because he and I have the same physical trainer - but it was nice because they put that picture in the newspaper in Argentina and everyone was talking about it. It is exciting to know them and the professionals are very good with us, which is great. When you practice with them your level goes up. That’s nice; very nice.”
The senior squad went on to beat Russia and will face Rafael Nadal’s Spain in the Davis Cup final. Their junior counterparts could set the tone for what may well be another memorable year for Argentine tennis by winning in San Luis Potosi. Collarini certainly sounds confident. “I think we have a very good team and if we play good then we can win this competition,” he said. “Maybe the USA or Russia are favourites but we have very good singles and doubles and we are a complete team I think. This is great, this event. Two years ago I couldn’t play because I had an American passport, even though I was in the Argentine team, so I was waiting for this moment for a long time. It’s everything I wanted because we are winning at the moment so that makes it even better. The best thing about this competition is hearing your team-mates cheering you to come on and knowing that they want you to win. We are like brothers.”