Davis Cup: the Argentine team returns to Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis after 16 years

The Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis It was for more than seven decades the home of the Argentine Davis Cup team. Between 1933 and 2005, that mythical Buenos Aires club received 40 series of that tournament and great legends of this sport and the most talented rackets of our country passed through the brick dust of the central court. This Saturday, after 16 years, the Cathedral of tennis will once again vibrate with the most prestigious competition for countries in the clash between Argentina and Belarus, corresponding to World Group I.

That reunion – which will be sweeter because it will take place with the fans in the stands, after 70 percent of the capacity was enabled – will give a very special seasoning to the matches.

“We are all children of BALTC. We were born playing here. The central court is magical, it has a lot of history. All the best Argentine tennis players have passed here, starting with Guillermo Vilas and historical series were lived. It is a place of reference. for Argentine tennis “, he reflected Mariano zabaleta in conversation with Clarín.

González, Zeballos, Pella, Gaudio (captain), Schwartzman and Coria, the Argentine team with the BALTC in the background. Photo Press AAT

Although it was not only that historical and sentimental weight that the club has that prompted the return of Davis. The current vice president of the Argentine Tennis Association and former member of The Legion He said that behind the choice of this venue there was a very important sporting reason.

“We have a lot of dialogue with the players and the captains, who are the ones who enter the court to play the matches, and we made this decision by consensus. It was a bit of a proposal from them to play in Lawn Tennis again. Sportingly they thought – And we also thought – that it was the best to face Belarus. Because of the weather conditions at this time of year, because it is a court at sea level and because we hoped to have the possibility of people in the stands, as in the end will happen. And we must not lose sight of the objective, which is for the boys to be calm and comfortable to perform in the best way and to be able to seek a victory, “said Zabaleta.

And he added: “The BALTC accepted the proposal immediately, with great joy. The club has always worked with the AAT together for the development of tennis and did not want to miss this opportunity so that Davis could be played again on this court after 16 years They are super happy. For everyone this reunion is enormous happiness. I hope it will be a great party. ”

In his time as a player, the former world number 21 played only one home series at Davis Cup: the 5-0 victory against Russia at River Stadium, in the 2003 quarterfinals. But, like some of the Current members of the Argentine team, he has fond memories of other matches that took place at the BALTC.

“The first time I went to see the Davis Cup as a child was at Lawn Tennis, an Argentina-United States. I played Guillermo Pérez Roldán with John McEnroe and there was Andre Agassi too. It was a party. The mystique that is felt in this field is beautiful, “he commented.

Horacio Zeballos, one of the doubles players in the quintet that will seek victory against Belarus, explained why this club is so special to him.

“Here I played interclubs as a boy, since I was nine years old. I waited every weekend for my old man to bring me from Mar del Plata. I have walked through these corridors for many years and having this possibility of playing Davis excites me a lot,” he recalled the Mar del Plata. “I remember having come to see several series against Lapenti’s Ecuador, with Hernán Gumy as the protagonist of the Argentine team. I have beautiful memories of this place. ”

The mystique of the BALTC in full, with Guillermo Coria encouraging from the rostrum at the close of the clash against the Czechs in 2005. Photo EFE

The mystique of the BALTC in full, with Guillermo Coria encouraging from the rostrum at the close of the clash against the Czechs in 2005. Photo EFE

For Federico Coria, the clash against this weekend will be doubly special, because it will also mark his debut for Davis in a stadium that was a great inspiration in his career.

“It gives me goose bumps. I was here in the 2005 series against the Czech Republic. I don’t remember much tennis, except for the game between Guille and Tomas Berdych. What most caught my attention at that time were the people and what my brother and the entire Legion generated. I always tell myself that I play tennis because of those experiences. Being able to enjoy my first Davis in this stadium will be unforgettable, “said the Rosario.

“We did a lot of strength to play in this stadium, which has so much history,

The first Davis Cup series to be played at BALTC was in 1933, for the American Zone final. Argentina, with Adriano Zappa, Héctor Cattaruzza, Guillermo Robson and Lucilo del Castillo, defeated Chile 4 to 0, in a duel played in four days (from April 7 to 10), since the initial match was suspended due to rain, and it was not even completed. The fifth point was canceled due to lack of light, already when the locals had secured the victory.

The celebration of Nalbandian and Cañas after winning the doubles against the Czech Republic 16 years ago.  Photo EFE

The celebration of Nalbandian and Cañas after winning the doubles against the Czech Republic 16 years ago. Photo EFE

Seventy-two years later, that clash between Argentina and the Czech Republic that Fede Coria spoke of was played. For the first round of the World Group, the national team, with Guillermo Coria, David Nalbandian, Guillermo Cañas and Agustin Calleri, and Alberto Mancini as captain, he won by 5 to 0. It was Davis’ farewell from that emblematic club.

The following year, the AAT decided to move the headquarters to Parque Roca, which hosted the competition until 2013, and then began its remodeling. In the last seven years, the Argentine team played home in different parts of the country. And this weekend, he will finally return to the mythical BALTC.

The scene of great battles of the past, the Cathedral of National Tennis will once again vibrate with the action of Davis.

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Davis Cup: the Argentine team returns to Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis after 16 years

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