Del Potro lashes out at Argentine federation, won't play first Cup tie in 2014

by: Matt Cronin | November 15, 2013

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In a letter to the Argentine Tennis Federation, Juan Martin del Potro criticizes the Davis Cup selection process and says he won’t play his country’s 2014 opening-round tie against Italy. Over the past few years, Del Potro has been odds with the federation, team captains, and some teammates, specifically the now-retired David Nalbandian, who is considered a Davis Cup hero in the South American nation.

Del Potro, who just contested the ATP World Tour Finals, says that the federation and captain Martin Jaite are being too impatient waiting for his response as they try and contact him during tournaments.

“I’m tired of being invited by mail or messages and at the same time you are pressuring me through certain [members of] the press, writing whether I will play Davis Cup or not, trying to let me look bad in front of public opinion,” del Potro wrote. “It seems a hypocritical double standard. The same thing happened last year, when any reply or failure to reply [on my part] was quickly known by some journalists. I was never consulted on the choice of captain, surfaces, offices, etc., and the one time you did it was for the series against Czech Republic in 2012, and you did not take my opinion into account.”

Del Potro is 12-6 lifetime in Davis Cup and last played in 2012, when he won three matches, two against Croatia in the quarterfinals and one against the Czech Republic in a semifinal loss. Del Potro was heavily criticized for being unable to play the third day of the semifinal tie, even though he was injured.

“Since I began playing Davis Cup I have only played the first series of the year once, [due to] calendar and surface issues,” he wrote. “In recent days with my team we analyzed the medical, physical and technical [issues] with very little time because of the urgent response you need. I will not play the first series against Italy.”

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