All good things come to those who wait and Argentina has waited long enough. Four times before the nation has been in the final of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas but never has South America’s greatest tennis nation been able to cherish the magnificent trophy. Names like Guillermo Vilas, David Nalbandian, Jose Luis Clerc never got to hold the trophy.
Before the final during a round of interviews I asked some of the players if they had a chance to sit privately and talk to the Cup what would they say or ask. Juan Martin Del Potro said he would as “who is going to win?” Federico Delbonis said he would ask “why you haven’t been to my country?”
Delpo well and truly knows the answer to his question and Delbonis doesn’t have to ask that question anymore.
Argentina, led by Daniel Orsanic, beat Croatia 3-2 to win the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas for the first time. In a breathtakingly brilliant weekend, the final went down to the wire and it was Delbonis who scored the point that made Argentina the 15th nation to win the coveted trophy.
Going into the last day Croatia led 2-1 after the doubles and the first reverse singles was without doubt one of the best matches of the last few years and in particular Davis Cup by BNP Paribas.
Marin Cilic was a set away from giving Croatia the Cup for the second time and they would have been the only nation to win it unseeded twice but the fighting qualities of Juan Martin Del Potro had other ideas and he began to make inroads.
Cilic has served incredibly well for two and a half sets; Del Potro had ten break points and only managed to convert one. Cilic was also out hitting Delpo on the forehand side. But Cilic’s level began to drop as he failed to expand small openings.
The Argentine began to strike the ball superbly as games fell his way and with that the third set went to him as did the fourth set. Both times he broke when Cilic was serving to stay in the set. In the decider the first two games were breaks and in the eighth game Cilic felt the pressure immensely as Delpo broke and served it out to win 6-7, 2-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. It is the first time he has won a match from two sets to love down.
“We play for the colours of our country,” Del Potro said through a steady stream of tears and later gave his racquet to often troubled football legend Maradona. “We play for our country and for all these people that believe in us, all these fans.”
Ivo Karlovic and Delbonis played the last rubber and Delbonis played the match of his life to win 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
They may play for the nation and the fans but its experiences like they had is what these players play for. This is what fans come to watch for. The atmosphere was spectacular and showed just what Davis Cup is all about. This final has shown what an amazing product Davis Cup by BNP Paribas truly is.
And like the final of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas played just a couple of weeks before, this final will be remembered for quite some time. Argentine tennis will remember it forever.