The Davis Cup final between Spain and Argentina is what every such event should be: a respectful sports contest between two great nations. One that, considering who will be on both sides of the net, should be great to watch, as the tension rises and the nerves of the fans of both countries are already working in full, everyone getting sucked into the hype maelstrom surrounding this last tennis event of the season.
Allow me to insist again: this final is, so far, surrounded by each nation’s respect for the opponent, both country and team. And that’s how Davis Cup should be played: competitively, yet respectful of the opponent.
Moreover, this Davis Cup final, to me, is a fight between two cousin nations, in other words, a brotherly war. As most of its protagonists are not only rivals, they are friends. Friends who will oppose to get their hands on a very valued price.
We can see it every time both teams meet each other since the beginning of the week: friendly greetings, jokes, laughs, smiles, hugs, handshakes. There’s a mutual respect between them, but there’s a lot of friendship, too, as some of the players of the two teams are close friends outside the courts: Rafael Nadal and Juan Mónaco, Rafael Nadal and Juan Martín del Potro (article in Spanish), David Ferrer and David Nalbandian, etc.
Of course, once the fuzzy yellow balls will be in play on the court of the Olympic Stadium of Seville, we can be assured that all friendship will be put to rest to let out the fierce competitiveness of all players involved, as all are working towards the same goal, the Ensaladera de plata, but only one team can take it home. Hence, the players will, as they always do, leave all friendship for the rivals aside in order to win.
Nevertheless, it’s in good spirits that all the parties involved in this final are seeing each other prior to the big moment. And, in my mind, there’s nothing that represents better what the Davis Cup or any sports competition should be: played in the respect of the opponent, but once play has started, each team unites to cheer, fight, sweat blood and water, towards a same goal: be the winner.
They can be friends again after.