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Captain Jaite excludes del Potro from Davis Cup tie

Friday, 28 December 2012

Argentine Davis Cup captain Martin Jaite decides to exclude top player Juan Martin del Potro from Argentina’s first-round tie against Germany because he claims the world No. 7 did not meet a deadline for declaring his eligibility.

The Argentine press reported that Jaite had given a deadline of December 10 to all players to confirm their availability for the tie, which takes place on February 1-3. Del Potro was said to have asked or 10 more days to decide, but according Jaite, he did not respond, so he decided to exclude him.

“The rules have to be for everyone,” Jaite told DPA. “We were very clear about it.”

Del Potro said at a press conference this week that he only learned of Jaite’s decision through the media, and that he wants to meet with Jaite as soon as possible. He and Jaite have not seen eye to eye on team policies in the past.

Franco Davin, who is del Potro’s private coach, told ESPN: “It was two months, 50 days before the tie, I didn’t think it was something to decide now whether or not you are [going to play].”

Del Potro has said in the past that he does not like to play first-round ties on clay, as it messes up his form during the hard-court season. Davin added that the captain and player might not be able to solve their problems.

“It’s hard, it’s difficult,” Davin said. “I think it’s a tricky little thing these last few days of things that were spoken, messages that ‘I told you before or I told you after’ and that does not help.”

Argentina has played two Davis Cup finals the past five years, but the team experienced internal conflicts during each run, most notably between veteran David Nalbandian and del Potro. Del Potro came under heavy criticism in Argentina during his nation’s semifinal loss at home in September to the Czech Republic, when Jaite learned though others that del Potro had decided not to play a must-win match against Tomas Berdych due to pain in his left wrist.
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