Former world no. 5 and Roland Garros champion Gaston Gaudio had retired in 2010, staying in tennis and becoming the Argentine Davis Cup captain in 2018 together with Guillermo Canas and Guillermo Coria. In February this year, Gaudio became the sole captain and will have the opportunity to lead Argentina at the first edition of the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid between November 18-24, facing Germany and Chile in Group C.
Champions from 2016 will not be able to count on Juan Martin del Potro who is still recovering from a knee injury, throwing everything on top-20 stars Diego Schwartzman and Guido Pella who should lead the squad in singles.
Speaking about his playing days, Gaudio drew a difference between acting on the court and acting from the bench and trying to get the most from your player, no matter to the circumstances. Also, he feels confident about their chances in Madrid against Chile and Germany, hoping to reach the quarters and stay on the title course in the first edition of the event that gathers almost all the previous champions.
"Becoming captain after having been a tennis player is the dream of any tennis player once he retires, you have a feeling that you are playing again. Competing and being part of a Davis Cup team was always the best thing that happened to me while playing and it is a great satisfaction to be the captain.
As a competitor, you always have a chance to change things; you are on the court and you decide on your own and don't have to depend on anyone else. As a captain, you have a feeling of impotence that you can't control and you suffer a lot more.
The experience is significant, I can understand everything my players are going through and I'm here to help them, I think it's something precious and I hope the boys can take advantage of it. In the end, it's nothing more than a tennis match, and I have to try to make them enjoy it as much as possible because playing for a country, representing Argentina, is something unique and I can assure them that they will never feel it again in any of the other tasks they do in their life after quitting tennis.
The first time I played for Argentina in the Davis Cup was in Cordoba, against Belarus, and it was a unique experience. Wearing the Argentina shirt as a competitor is not as common as in football or other sports; it happens only from time to time and it is a priceless feeling.
I remember that Argentina was in the American Zone and we had the chance to be promoted to the World Group and it's something you can't forget. We have a tough group stage in Madrid but all the countries who have qualified to play in Madrid are among the best in the world.
We're lucky enough to be there and yes, playing against Chile is a historic match, it is not going to be easy since they have Garin and Jarry, two high-quality players. Still, our team is very strong as well and we are confident about achieving a good result.
Argentine fans are special, they feel the national team of any sport as something that belongs to them. It would be a dream to win the title, I can't even imagine... but, I can assure you that we would have plenty of celebrations!"