Hi! I just posted this translation in Gastón's forum, but I thought you might enjoy reading it.
Btw, thanks Jazz for posting all thoise pics!
I didn't get to see the match, but I read all the reports and they seem to have had a great time. David said both he and Gastón haven't touched a racquet these past two weeks, but that they will start training after this exhibition, presumably on Wednesday.
Of all the accounts of the matches yesterday, I translated this one:
Sunday 4 December 2005
LIKE IN THE GOOD OLD (AND NEW) DAYS
Guillermo Vilas, José Luis Clerc, Gastón Gaudio and David Nalbandian took part in a feast of Argentine tennis.
Four giants: Gaudio, Vilas, Nalbandian and Clerc
BUENOS AIRES (ESPNdeportes.com) – Buenos Aires’s Luna Park enjoyed our best tennis once more. Not officially, of course, but the fact that it was an exhibition was no obstacle for an enjoyable Sunday evening.
The cup, named after Guillermo Vilas, was meant as a homage to the country’s best-ever player and his eternal local rival and friend, José Luis Clerc. This event was also intended to distinguish Gastón Gaudio and David Nalbandian, recent champions of the two most important championships for Argentina (Roland Garros 2004 and the Masters Cup 2005, respectively).
In the Luna Park, full to 80% of its capacity, Vilas and Clerc recalled old times playing a mini-match to the best of three tie breaks.
The two appeared dressed in black shirts, a good colour to hide those few extra kilos that come with the years. However, right from the start they both demonstrated that they’re in good shape.
In spite of the “friendly”character of the match, they took it pretty seriously, especially Vilas who seemed to be more concentrated than “Batata”, undoubtedly the entertainer of the show.
WHAT PAIRS !
Gaudio-Vilas facing Nalbandian-Clerc were the high-class pairs who opened the mini-doubles. It was all humour, camaraderie, applause. The points were an excuse to have fun and for the public to have fun also.
People clamoured for a “Great Willy”and Gaudio was the first to attempt it, although unsuccessfully. With quick reflexes, Clerc sent the ball over to Vilas who brought off the shot named after him, and the stadium roared.
The first tie break was 7-4 for Vilas-Gaudio, and the second 7-5 for Vilas-Nalbandian.
After that came a duel between generations: Vilas-Clerc defied Gaudio-Nalbandian, but with the condition that they should play with the racquets in use in the 70s.
Joke or no joke, the truth is that the young Argentine players just couldn’t do a thing with the old racquets, to such an extent that when they were 5-0 down they got their own racquets back and thus managed to even the score. Finally, and in spite of the resistance shown by the legends, the time machine favoured Gaudio and Nalbandian.
After this enjoyable exhibition the 2004 Roland Garros champion and the owner of the 2005 Masters Cup went out to compete for the Champions Challenge Cup.
Even though the relaxed atmosphere continued, an entertaining match could be enjoyed. David Nalbandian won the trophy 6-4 7-5.
They both displayed showy tennis, with a fast and intense baseline game. The man from Córdoba dominated with his serve and reached 5-2 in the first set. Even though the Gato improved, he was broken again at 4-5 and Nalbandian took the set.
The second set continued much the same. With lots of smiles and no pressure, they kept up an even match. Gaudio was 5-4 with his serve, and it seemed as if the match would even out (which would have been fair in view of what was happening on the court). However, Nalbandian recuperated the break, reached 5-5 and didn’t need a tie break.
It all ended festively and in great good form. On Monday the exhibition will commence officially with the participation of the Chilean Fernando González and the American James Blake (now Taylor Dent) besides Gaudio and Nalbandian.
Argentine tennis lived a feast day, surrounded by memories and the sweet flavour of past and present talent. Undoubtedly it’s all to the good for Argentina to have Vilas and Clerc together, and both of them united for the good of national tennis. Welcome.