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Argentina matched its worst streak in Davis Cup and questions are raised to avoid relegation

2023-02-06T09:37:35.872Z


The defeat against Finland was the fourth in a row for the light blue and white team. What will happen in the future?


Argentina

suffered a severe blow during their visit to Espoo for the

2023

Davis Cup

Qualifiers

.

With a couple of important casualties and in a more complicated series than what the rankings and the presents of its protagonists reflected, the team led by

Guillermo Coria

fell 3-1 against the

Finland

of

Emil Ruusuvuori

, who at 23 years old was the piece fundamental of his country's first qualification to the Finals.

The Albiceleste team, which

will have to play in September for permanence

, had no response against a tough opponent, who made the most of the locality, and

equaled the worst streak in its history

in the oldest competition in world tennis.

The defeat against the Scandinavians was the fourth in a row for the light blue and white team, which had lost the three series they played in the group stage of the Finals against

Sweden

,

Italy

and

Croatia

, last September in Bologna.

Only once in its almost 100-year history in Davis, Argentina had held that negative record.

It was between May 1967 and March 1970, when, with a format different from the current one, they lost to Ecuador, Venezuela and Chile (twice), in duels in the South American Zone.

The failure against the Finns made it clear that the reconstruction process that began after the historic conquest of 2016 is still underway.

Although young faces have appeared in recent years (and others already known, but with no experience in this tournament),

the new rackets still need to be filmed

.

This was reflected in the results.

After that unforgettable title, Argentina dropped to Group I in 2017, returned to the highest level the following year, played the first edition of the Invitational Finals in 2019;

he was close to relegation again in 2021 and never made the top eight again.  

This reality makes the future of the team present

more doubts than certainties

.

In coincidence with those of the tournament itself, which still does not know how it will continue after the Finals this year.

Although the defeat at the weekend left something positive: the feeling that, beyond the hard moment,

there is unity within the group and also the desire to continue working

.

"

It becomes difficult when one has to lose and we are sad.

But I highlight the attitude and commitment of the boys. They came here, they put their faces up, they lived up to it and they accepted all the things that were presented. But we found ourselves with players at a very high level, who were able to make the most of opportunities when they had them.

Finland played better and is a fair winner

," Coria analyzed after the defeat.

Bagnis made his Davis debut at the age of 32 and one defeat.

AFP photo

The series against Ruusuvuori and company was uphill from the start.

On the surface: a fast court - although, finally, not as much as expected - indoors, of which there are many in the Nordic country and few in Argentina.

For the date: in the middle of the icy Finnish winter, right between the Australian summer tour and the South American brick dust tour, an almost obligatory stop for Argentines.

And due to several weight losses:

Diego Schwartzman

and

Horacio Zeballos

decided not to play it (understandable, if the previous point is taken into account), as did

Sebastián Báez

, who preferred to continue working to regain his confidence and his best tennis, after a weak closing of 2022.

Coria put together a team that had

Francisco Cerúndolo

as the first single player (he arrived in Finland with a 0-2 record in Davis Cup),

Pedro Cachín

and

Facundo Bagnis

-both debutants, but in good personal moments- as alternatives for the second individual point, and

Andrés Molteni

and

Máximo González

, with a lot of experience together, as a pair for doubles.

Before the start of the

match

, the five together had less experience in Davis than Ruusuvuori: 15 games played among the Argentines, against 17 for the local star.

Only Cerúndolo (31st) won a match in Espoo: on Saturday, against

Otto Virtanen

, 181st, with a lot of work, for the partial 1-1.

Cachín (68th) had lost the first point to Ruusuvuori (43rd), responsible for his country's three victories.

The man from Helsinki, in a pair with

 Harri Heliovaara

, tenth in the world in doubles, beat González and Molteni this Sunday, and then sealed the series and the pass to the Finals against Bagnis (88th).

Ruusuvuori put the team on his shoulder and gave Finland the first place in the Finals.

Photo Emmi Korhonen/Lehtikuva via REUTERS

"I knew that I had to play well above my level to have a chance. In the first set I was close. It's a pity that I couldn't keep up in the second and that he has never shown any weakness, especially physically," he lamented. the 32-year-old from Santa Fe, who replaced Cerúndolo at the last moment, with an overload in his right hamstring since his match on Saturday.

"

It was known that it was a complicated series. The taste now is bitter.

But we said it in the locker room: we don't have much to blame ourselves. Not only for what the team worked for, but for the union and the climate that existed. When you looked for outside, to the bench, they were all doing as much strength as you to carry out the games", added Bagnis.

Cerúndolo's victory was only the third in that streak of four series ordered in a row.

The others were achieved by Zeballos and González in the doubles against Sweden and Italy, duels that were played to the best of three points (unlike that of Finland, which went to five) and that had the complete team.

Molteni and González failed in the doubles against Ruusuvuori and Heliovaara.

AP Photo

Argentina accumulated a record of

three celebrations and ten falls

in those four matches , a mark that reflects

the irregularity of an inexperienced team

, which suffers a lot when, due to injury or for other reasons, it loses one of its great figures, as happened on this occasion. with

Peque

and

Onion

.

Coria and his players -those who were in Espoo and those who weren't, because as the captain often repeats, the team is much more than those who take to the field in a series- will have several months to do self-criticism and try to rearm face to face to the duel that they will play in September for World Group I, in a venue and against a rival to be confirmed.

And beyond the blow that the defeat against Finland meant, the team has talented players and at a high level to look forward to the future.

And, above all, the will and desire to face that challenge.

"

We're leaving with our heads held high.

Since we got here, we've faced all the situations that came our way with a good face, training well and making the most of every minute," analyzed the captain, who won just one series out of the five he's played since he He

took over the team, against

the Czech Republic

for the 2022

Qualifiers

, at the BALTC.

And he closed: "The boys are calm because, each one in their role, did their best to make things go well. But this is tennis. We lost to a very solid team that made the most of playing at home.

Now we will fight to win in September

."


possible rivals

Cerúndolo, with just two games played before the weekend, was the team leader.

AFP photo

Argentina will look for a victory in seven months

 to stay at the highest level of Davis

.

It will be a World Group I duel that will be played in September.

In that instance, he could cross paths with one of the eleven teams that, like the one led by Coria, lost their Qualifiers

duels this weekend

and the winners of the Group I playoffs.

In the first group are

Austria

(lost 3-1 to Croatia),

Hungary

(3-2 to France),

Uzbekistan

(4-0 to the United States),

Germany

(3-2 to Switzerland),

Colombia

(3-1 to Gran Britain),

Norway

(4-0 with Serbia),

Kazakhstan

(3-1 with Chile),

Belgium

(3-2 with South Korea),

Bosnia and Herzegovina

(3-1 with Sweden),

Slovakia

(4-0 with Countries Netherlands) and

Portugal

 (3-1 with the Czech Republic).

In the second,

Japan

(beat Poland 4-0),

Greece

(3-1 against Ecuador),

Brazil

(4-0 against China),

Denmark

(3-2 against India),

Romania

(3-2 against Thailand),

Israel

(3-2 to Latvia),

Peru

(4-0 to Ireland),

Taipei

(3-0 to Mexico),

Ukraine

(3-1 to Lebanon),

Turkey

(4-0 to Slovenia),

Lithuania

(4-0 to to Pakistan) and

Bulgaria

(3 to 1 to New Zealand).


The crossings and localities will be defined by draw this Thursday.

The seeds will be chosen based on the world ranking, in which the Argentine team is 15th.

A victory in that instance will lead the albicelestes to play the

Qualifiers

again next year.

A defeat would send them to the Group I playoffs. All depending on what happens with Davis from 2024, which is still unknown. 

HS

look too

Davis Cup: Argentina stumbled against Finland and must play for permanence

The Davis Cup, the story of a tournament that was glorious until Piqué arrived and turned it into a Twingo

Source: clarin

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