Monday, July 12, 2010

Bandy Shining

What is it about Davis Cup that brings out the best in David Nalbandian?

Seriously, the dude has missed, what, the last six Slams? He has been effectively absent on the individual tennis stage for about two years, ever since he went on that tear and won, like, the entire indoor season. But the second Davis Cup rolls around, Nalbandian is beating everyone in sight.

It reminds me a bit of Ljubicic, that year when he led Croatia to a big damn victory by winning just about every rubber he plays. Juan Martin del Potro may be Argentina's best player ranking-wise, but when it comes to Davis Cup, they don't have a bigger asset than Nalbandian. And I think it's probably good that they aren't currently playing alongside each other - I think we all remember the Argentinian disaster that was Mar del Plata a few years back, where they nearly punched each other out in the locker room.

Davis Cup does not bring out the best in all players. Sometimes it can completely cow them or crush them. Sometimes they're effectively uninterested - sure, they enjoy it when they're there, but Davis Cup is definitely not a priority (yes, Mr Federer, I am looking in your direction). But it's got something that brings out the best in David Nalbandian, and considering that his career on the individual stage seems to be effectively over (when was the last time you saw him play a tournament) I'm glad Bandy still has a place to shine. Because he is one of the great talents of our age and I would hate to see him wasted.

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