After reaching the final of the Valencia Open and the last eight of the Paris Masters, Juan Monaco is in a rich vein of form with just a few weeks to go before the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final gets under way in Seville.
The Argentinean lost to Roger Federer in the quarterfinals in Paris but left the city with a strengthened confidence after being the only player capable of breaking the Swiss maestro’s serve. Monaco will now focus all his efforts on facing Spain in the Davis Cup Final on 2-4 December.
Another important feat of this recent winning streak has been his victory over David Ferrer, one of his potential rivals in the Final. “Mentally, for me it will be very useful,” said the Argentinean. “I now know how his current game is, because one thing is watching him play and another is playing him on a tennis court, my victory over Ferrer will be very useful.”
However, despite his good form, his role in the Final is still uncertain and he acknowledges that having Juan Martin del Potro and David Nalbandian in the team can make it difficult for him to be given a chance in the singles matches.
“We have an excellent team, we have Del Potro, who is in excellent form; David (Nalbandian)... everybody knows how well he performs in Davis Cup, he’s an exceptional player and then me, living this good moment,” said Monaco. “The problem (choosing a player) is not mine; it will be a healthy problem for the captain. We all need to be fit for him to choose the best option.”
One of the few certainties that Monaco has is that this Davis Cup Final will be very special. “This Final will be in Seville, we will be the visiting team, the stadium will be very big and I know that the crowd in Seville is very passionate, that means that the atmosphere will be very intense. But all this makes it special as well, it’s a Final between Spaniards and Argentines and we all are good friends. It will be a win-or-bust tie, but among friends.”
And one of his best friends in the circuit is Rafael Nadal, the world no. 2 and undisputable leader of the Spanish team. Monaco has shared many training sessions with Rafa but does not think that this can give him an edge over the Spanish superstar. “The truth is that very few players have beaten him on clay and on five sets... only Soderling. So it will be very difficult, the one that is picked to play against him will face a very difficult task.”
But the Argentine allows himself to dream. In a country so passionate for Davis Cup as Argentina, his dream could not be other than lifting the first trophy for his country after being so close, so many times. “It is my dream and the dream of all the players, coaches and all the people that follow tennis in Argentina. This is the only big sport in which we haven’t been world champions yet. We are going to give everything on the court in order to achieve it.”