Sep 17, 2008

Argentina name David Nalbandian, Juan Martin Del Potro for singles; Marat Safin chooses Bangkok Open instead

Could Juan Martin del Potro and David Nalbandian be the perfect combination to win against the Russian team?

Argentina named David Nalbandian and Juan Martin del Potro to play in the singles in their Davis Cup world group semi-final against Russia at the weekend.
"David and Juan Martin will be the singles players," team captain Alberto Mancini told a news conference.
Argentina's team captain Alberto Mancini gives instructions to players Juan Martin Del Potro and David Nalbandian during a training session.

"We haven't decided on the doubles, it depends on what happens in Friday's opening two rubbers."

"Naming them now is a lift for team morale as they don't have to live with any uncertainty about who's going to play. Everyone knows their role and that is very positive."
David Nalbandian, his coach Martin Jaite and team's captain Alberto Mancini watch a flaw in the court's floor during a training session in Buenos Aires.

More complaints from David Nalbandian about the clay court.

Juan Martin del Potro looks relax and have no problem with the unpopular court surface.

Agustin Calleri and Guillermo Canas complete the Argentina team for the Sept 19-21 tie.

Nalbandian warned that Russia would not struggle as much on the clay surface at the Parque Roca as other visiting teams.
"Playing on clay makes a big difference for Argentina against a lot of countries, but I don't think it will be like that against Russia," he said.
"They have players who are very strong on this surface and it's going to be tough."
As for the Russian team, Nikolay Davydenko has started his practice along with Igor Andreev and Dmitry Tursunov.

Russian Davis Cup team captain Shamil Tarpischev and player Nikolay Davydenko
prepare for a training session.

Dmitry Tursunov looking cute.

Earlier on Marat Safin has decided to take part in the Thailand Open instead of helping his country in the Davis Cup.

The world number 39 has pulled out of the competition because of the distance between Argentina and Thailand.

This time Marat Safin is not wearing that Russian shirt.

Safin said on his website that he needed points to improve his world ranking so he decided to participate in the Thailand Open which is scheduled from September 21-28.
''I decided to pull out from the Russian Davis Cup team because I want to concentrate on the Thailand Open,'' said the former top-ranked player in the world.
He felt the trip from Buenos Aires to Bangkok would be very long and tiring and could make it difficult for him to play well in Bangkok in order to get points.

He asked Russia's captain Shamil Tarpischev to release him from the Davis Cup squad and Tarpischev agreed.

''My aim by the end of this season is to be in the top 20 again,'' he said.
Safin will fly to Bangkok on Sept 21. The tournament will also feature a number of world-class players including number three Novak Djokovic.

(Via Reuters UK, Bangkok Post, Images via Yahoo! Sport)

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