It is a well-known fact that when it comes to tennis, Argentina is literally obsessed with the Davis Cup. Of course, being the best country to never have won the silver salad bowl does not help.
Neither does being cursed with internal plagues and feuds over time.
This year, the Argentines will have a fifth chance to put their hands on what has become their Holy Grail.
To tell the truth, it is probably the best chance they’ve ever had to win it.
Not because of their facing a weak rival, for Croatia is a very, very good team. It is not, either, because they will play at home since, like they have done all year, they will, again, be playing away.
This year is probably their best chance because they are, at last, playing as a team.
Leaving their ego at the door: a key to win the Davis Cup
At long last, the Argentine players have learnt to leave their egos on the doorstep before entering ties’ changing rooms. Under the captaincy of Daniel Orsanic, they have finally started to work together towards a common goal: win this elusive cup, the one thing that their glorious tennis history is still missing (except, perhaps, Olympic gold).
Furthermore, changes have been made to their federation’s management (including the arrival of Orsanic), which brought Juan Martín del Potro back into the team, more motivated than ever. The different quarrels have been talked down by their protagonists, and everyone has begun to work with everyone in order to make things happen.
And happen things did.
When the team’s “leader”, del Potro, could not play, he was present at the different ties to cheer on his team-mates. And since this year’s quarter-finals, in Italy, he has been an active player in the success of his cournty, first by winning an important doubles rubber, then, last weekend in Scotland, by being the one by whom everything started.
His dramatic five-set win over world number two Andy Murray, in the very first match, set the tone for what became an immense team effort. It gave Guido Pella confidence to defeat Kyle Edmund and give the visitors an improbable 2-0 lead after the first day. Leonardo Mayer did the rest in the decisive rubber, defeating Dan Evans in four sets to send his team back in the final.
The quest for their Holy Grail
On 25-27 November, Daniel Orsanic, like the King Arthur of the legend, will lead his Knights of the Round Table in another quest for the Holy Grail. Once again, in faraway lands (or, in this case, Croatia).
However, contrary of all the other times that Argentina has contested a Davis Cup final, they have never been more united.
“One team, one country, one dream” is their motto.
It is their best chance ever to bring the cup home. And to me, it is unlikely that a team with such spirit and unity should fail.
(Photo: Getty Images)