Delpo wins, Pico loses in Davis Cup semifinal | Argentina 1 - Czech Republic 1
Juan Martin del Potro beat Radek Stepanek 6-4 6-4 6-2 while Tomas Berdych edge Monaco 6-1, 4-6, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 to tie the Davis Cup semifinal between Argentina and the Czech Republic.
Del Potro, told by doctors not to play because of an inflamed left wrist, broke down crying as he addressed fans chanting ''Ole! Ole! Ole!'' at the Parque Roca.
"In truth, it wasn't easy to play," Del Potro said. "You can see how I suffered playing. I did it for all of you. Playing here means so much for you, for the country, for Argentine tennis - for everyone and me too. I want to thank you for the love and support you have always shown me."
"There is always some pain," Del Potro told the crowd. "We all have some pain - some more than others. The important thing is to try to play and do your best."
Del Porto said Thursday he would not have played were this an ordinary tournament.
"I think everyone saw how I played," Del Potro said. "It was very difficult playing like this. My serve helped, the forehand helped, but when you can't do damage with every shot, it's difficult. .... And the effort I put out is much greater than usual."
Stepanek, who complained about the crowd noise at Parque Roca, suggested Del Potro was exaggerating the injury.
He said Del Potro looked "absolutely healthy" and added the Argentine's tears at the end seemed "blown out of proportion."
Told about Stepanek's comments, Del Potro replied: "I wish I were perfect. I'm surprised to hear what he said, because it's not what he said to me."
Stepanek converted only one of eight break-point chances. Del Porto made good on five of seven.
After a match that lasted 4 hours, Berdych commented: “This was probably the best possible score today, but I think the doubles is a big score for us. We are going to do well with Radek and give them the pressure and who knows, 2-1 leading after Saturday, I want to see what’s going to happen on Sunday.”
“I had pretty much nothing to do but to believe in myself and that I’m a player in the certain level, and I’m able to turn the matches like this even with a crowd like that,” Berdych said. “Everything that was going for him, I was able to get energy from that and that was the result.
“I wasn’t feeling that well in the middle part of the match. I think it was the transfer to here and playing on a different surface and actually it was quite tough. But, it was not tough enough for me and I was able to get (myself) out of that and made it.”
A very disappointed Monaco said he had to pick himself off the floor and get ready for the reverse singles.
“Tomorrow is a new day,” he said. “I’m going to recover a little bit, practice, try to get some feeling on court again, then I think I have to eat well, recover and just be ready to play on Sunday and have new revenge I guess on Sunday. That’s the good part of Davis Cup."
The Argentine pair of Carlos Berlocq and Eduardo Schwank are scheduled to face Ivo Minar and Lukas Rosol in doubles Saturday.