If they gave him a choice, the Argentine Federico Delbonis did not doubt it: better to face this Rafael Nadal in the first round.
Once the bad drink of the draw has been digested, the 25-year-old tennis player seeks to give the positive side to what will be his debut on Sunday at the Rio Olympics against no less than the Spanish, one of the best players of all time with 14 titles Grand Slams.
«Over there it is lacking in rhythm. And more nervous. If we have to face it, it should be in this instance, “said Delbonis, 43rd in the world, after practice on Friday in one of the courts near the Olympic Tennis Stadium.
Nadal, third favorite in the Olympic competition and fifth in the ATP ranking, was in doubt until the last minute to compete in singles after several months off the court due to tendinitis in his left wrist. Nadal withdrew from the French Open and later absent from Wimbledon.
The Mallorcan, champion in Beijing 2008, has as a personal challenge to hang two gold medals, something unprecedented in the history of tennis in singles.
“I have to take advantage of his inactivity,” said Delbonis, one of the fixed pieces of the Argentine Davis Cup team that will face Great Britain in the semifinals of the tournament.
One day before meeting Nadal, Delbonis will play doubles with his compatriot Guillermo Durán against the Romanians Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau.
“I’m going to give my best as always,” clarified the Argentine, when asked if he planned to save energy for Sunday. “Let’s hope to hit the bump (surprise) against Nadal,” whom he never beat in two matches on the ATP tour. AP