Sep 18, 2008

Argentines feel Davis Cup within grasp; Football legend, Diego Maradona at the practice

Argentina believes winning its first Davis Cup is within its grasp on the eve of hosting its first semifinal at its Parque Roca Stadium fortress.

If the team beats Russia this weekend, the Argentines will also host its first final against either Spain or the trophy-holding United States.

The chance to make history has the Argentine team highly motivated, and even drew football great Diego Maradona to practice on Wednesday.

"The boys are really dedicated to this tournament," Argentina captain Alberto Mancini told TyC Sports television on Wednesday.

"They're pumped up by the opportunity to play another final — and at home. They have a lot of motivation, you can see it on the court."
Argentina hasn't lost at home in 10 years, winning 12 straight ties. That record made Argentina favored to win this week, said the country's greatest player, Guillermo Vilas.
"Argentina has a very good record at home," Vilas told the Davis Cup Web site. "The people are very warm and passionate when the matches start, and the Argentines always seem to play at their best."
To ease the pressure on his team, Mancini on Tuesday named David Nalbandian and Juan Martin del Potro for Friday's opening singles at the sold-out, 14,000-seat, clay-court stadium.

Diego Maradona wishing David Nalbandian success.

Guillermo Canas gets some love from the football legend.

Same goes to Juan Martin del Potro. Alberto Mancini is waiting for his turn.

(Via GMANews.TV, Images via Yahoo! Sport)

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