“Un equipo, un país, un sueño”. Such is what could be read over the giant flag held by the Argentine team after their narrow escape against Brazil in the first round of the Davis Cup, the one with which the whole team, and not just the players and captain, did a lap of honour around the court of the Tecnópolis.
This notion of team is now ever present in the Argentinian camp, something which hasn’t been seen in many, many years. It is visible, and audible, from each and every one of the team members: the ones who were there over the weekend, and the ones who weren’t but were acknowledged by Carlos Berlocq in the post-tie press conference: “I want to dedicate this win to Pico [Juan Mónaco], Zebolla [Horacio Zeballos], Machi [Máximo González], and to all the guys who couldn’t take part in this tie”, said Berlocq, a through and through team player.
In fact, it was a very unconventional press conference that was given by the locals after their triumph, for not only the players and captain were present, but also the whole technical staff, coaches, etc. The men in the shadows, those who are rarely known to all, but whose input and hard work are indispensable to those on court. Rarely saluted, they received a high and deserved tribute from the rest of the team, who made them all join them on the stage for the press conference.
This was the whole team of Argentina, or at least those who were in Buenos Aires at that time.
And everyone, without exception, contributed to the weekend’s win, one that started with Leonardo Mayer’s two triumphs, including his historical win over João Souza to force this decisive fifth rubber, and finished with Federico Delbonis, whose singles début was crowned with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 tie-clinching win against Thomaz Bellucci this Monday in the fifth rubber.
Despite not winning their respective matches, Carlos Berlocq and Diego Schwartzman also played a big part in their team’s glory, by being always cheering, always encouraging their team-mates. The same can be said for Juan Martín del Potro, who did not play, still recovering from a wrist injury, but who has been there all week and even delayed his flight to Indian Wells (where he decided to withdraw from the singles and only try to play doubles) to be there for that last point, and cried, sang, and danced alongside his team-mates after Delbonis’s win.
It was an immense team effort from start to finish, in a tie that filled its promise to be a difficult one, which made the hard-fought triumph even sweeter for all involved, and for their supporters.
“One team, one country, one dream”, and we can only wish them to take one more step towards that dream in July, against Serbia.
World Group results
- Czech Republic 2 – Australia 3
- Belgium 3 – Switzerland 2
- Germany 2 – France 3
- Serbia 5 – Croatia 0
- Argentina 3 – Brazil 2
- Kazakhstan 3 – Italy 2
- Great Britain 3 – United States 2
- Canada 3 – Japan 2
Quarter-finals matchups (17-19 July)
- Great Britain vs France
- Australia vs Kazakhstan
- Argentina vs Serbia
- Belgium vs Canada