Nalbandian says Nations Cup experiment worth a try

Miami: David Nalbandian crawled off the canvas from an abdominal injury this month and flew to Stockholm to help Argentina defeat Sweden 3-2 in the first round of the Davis Cup.

But the one-time Wimbledon finalist said on Tuesday at the start of the ATP Miami Masters that the proposal for a Nations Cup event that could replace a multi-week Davis Cup commitment would be worth seriously considering.

“You have to try something,” Nalbandian said. “I like a lot what you feel on the court during Davis Cup -- it’s much difference than the ATP or Grand Slams.

“But Davis Cup is tough on our schedule, Those should be weeks off for us, time to prepare for the clay season or the hardcourt season or just to rest.

“Sometimes in Davis Cup you have to go to Asia, Europe or Australia. That part is tough. The Nations Cup idea could be good. But you have to try, like the (ill-fated ATP) round-robin experiment. It’s tough to say without trying.”

The two-time Davis Cup finalist said that his comeback from hip surgery last May in Barcelona will hopefully begin in Miami, with hundreds of his countrymen in attendance.

“This is maybe the start of another career for me,” Nalbandian said. “When you are away from the game, you miss the competition. You need to feel the nerves you feel before matches.

“But the tough part is always the same -- the travel and all the time away from home. Those bad things are still here.

As for his Miami hopes, they are understandably limited for the 28-year-old wildcard.

“I’m looking at getting matches,” Nalbandian said.”I need time on court. I could say I want to win the tournament, but I don’t have a lot of court time.

“I don’t need recovery time now. What I need to do is to play. I believe I’ll feel good in a month after more matches and more confidence.”

Nalbandian, now ranked 161st, was drawn into the quarter of the draw headed by Rafael Nadal with a first-round match against 43rd-ranked Pole Lukasz Kubot.

Bureau Report