13/09/2023 | Mérida, Yucatán.- Confident of winning this weekend, but respecting their opponents, said Leo Lavalle and Bing Qi, captains, respectively, of the Mexican and Chinese teams, which will clash in the Davis Cup World Group II series, to be held at the Club Campestre de Yucatan.
At the press conference with the captains of the national teams, Lavalle admitted that on paper China looks superior, but even so he is confident that the Mexican team will come out on top.
Mexican former tennis professional player and now head of the Mexican Tennis Federation, Leo Lavalle, is confident in beating China; ”we have the team to make it happen”.
“There is no greater satisfaction than being able to represent Mexico, and it is very motivating for me to be back here,” he said.
Qi, in turn, indicated that he knows that Mexico has a very high level and that among its players is a young 18-year-old (Rodrigo Pacheco from Yucatan) who is the world number two in the junior category. He added that he feels that their main disadvantage is the doubles point, so they will focus on winning the singles to take the series. Another point against them, he admitted, is the heat, which has made them feel bad. However, he is confident that the Chinese team will adapt better in the remaining days of the series.
Lavalle pointed out that “it is very clear what I want, but we must consider that injuries or complicated situations may arise… that is why it is important for the whole team to be prepared”.
The host team is made up of Ernesto Escobedo (the Tricolor’s number one ATP ranking, 399), Pacheco Mendez (2, 677), Alan Rubio (924), Santiago Gonzalez (12, in doubles) and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela (67). “We want to win. We have the team to achieve it, with a very experienced couple formed by Santiago and Miguel Reyes-Varela, and two who are going to debut, one, in a rare case, who will do it in his hometown (Rodrigo) and Ernesto Escobedo, who although born in the United States has always been Mexican, with very strong roots in our country.”
Leo recalled that just as he lived great moments in his tennis career, both in Davis Cup (in which he debuted at the age of 18), as well as in professional tournaments, he also had to face adverse situations. He now puts all that range of experiences at the service of the national team, especially for the youngsters.
About the Yucatecan Pacheco, he said that “he is doing excellent. He has a great team supporting him since he was very young. When I made my debut in the Davis Cup I lived a great pressure, there were difficult moments, and maybe this weekend he and Ernesto will go through something similar, but that is where I trust I will be able to help them based on what I lived”.
Regarding a statement made the day before yesterday by Santiago Gonzalez about China bringing their B team, Leo pointed out that no matter who they bring, China generally always puts together a very strong team.
In their last series in February this year, China lost 0-4 to Brazil in the World Group I playoffs.
Bing Qi, who took over the captaincy of China in 2022 from Wei Jiang, brings a team of four players, including 18-year-old Yi Zhou (893 in the world rankings), who has been called up for the first time. Completing the squad are Xiaofei Wang (20 years old and 736th in the singles rankings), Rigele Te (26, 492) and Fajing Sun (27, 401).