Davis Cup Final: A Battle of Surfaces

Alejandro MullerCorrespondent ISeptember 29, 2008

Although the Davis Cup is still almost three months away, Argentina is already facing a dilemma; where do you play the final?  The South Americans will host Spain in December, and could choose clay, grass, or hard courts.

So what surface should they choose? The answer might be surprising.

It is undeniable that Argentina has a very talented team with David Nalbandian, a perennial top ten, and Juan Martin del Potro, whom nobody could stop for large part of the summer.

They will probably complete their squad with Agustin Calleri and Jose Acasuso, who have made a solid doubles team.  Another undeniable fact is that Argentines are known to be at their best on clay, and their time to shine is usually during Roland Garros and the clay court season.  

However, to win this Davis Cup, Argentina will have to go against everything they have always known and dominated, and choose a surface that is not their favorite.

Why? Well, simply because Spain is too good on clay.

Nobody ever wants to play Nadal on this surface, and David Ferrer is arguably the second best player on it.  If Argentina chooses a clay court, it will be like getting to pick a surface to play Federer and picking Arthur Ashe Stadium; they will practically give Nadal his two points.  

Hard court gives the hosts the best advantage.  Del Potro showed his amazing skills by winning everything but the US Open during the summer, and Nalbandian has been to the Australian Open and US Open semis.    

Meanwhile, Nadal has also shown he is hard to beat on hard court, but Nadal is hard to beat anywhere even if he plays on one leg with his eyes closed.  He has, however, proven to be a bit more vulnerable on hard court, with a record of no Grand Slams at the Aussie or Flushing Meadows.

Ferrer, on the other hand, is very solid on the faster hard court, but has never shown the consistency he shows every time he steps onto a clay court.

Some say grass could be a choice, but why play the Wimbledon champ on grass? It would be almost as dangerous as playing him on clay, and Argentina's players don't have a history of doing too well on this surface.  It will be hard for Argentina, even being the host.  

Spain currently has the most talented and the deadliest one-two punch, and will fight until the end on any court.  I just say, instead of giving them the comfort or their favorite surface, make them feel like visitors, even if the host isn't too comfortable either.