Monday, January 19, 2009

David grumbles through

In a messy match with uneven play from both contestants and much grumbling over questionable line calls, David makes his way through to the second round of the Australian Open. In 2hr 36mn and four sets, the score ended up at 6-1, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 and looking far far easier than it was in reality due to many deuce games and turns of tide. David was rarely fully dominant but he played just a bit better and managed to scrape through.

David was uncharacteristically irritable throughout the match, clearly missing the advantages of the HawkEye challenge system. Gicquel was also upset but managed to win the favour of the crowd. This will have been a demoralizing experience for David and we hope he will have time to recover his composure and settle in better at this bigger tournament.

It was unfortunate also that he was made to play so soon after his win at the Sydney tournament but his Argentine rival, Juan Martin del Potro, was also put through this inconvenience and yet managed a smooth straight sets victory in the first round.

David next plays Lu Yen-Hsun of Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) who has only once before reached the 2nd round in 5 attendances at this slam. Hopefully this will prove to be a less tense match than tonight.

Photos (click to enlarge).

(Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images)


  1. It was a strange match. Though in many ways a typical David match. But I thought it was a little weird how his confidence suddenly seemed gone after he got broken in the second set. With the Sydney title under his belt, I would've thought that it would take more than just one break to disconcert him.
    It was obvious how desperately he wanted to get the break back. At the same time, he didn't seem to trust his shots anymore, didn't go for them at all. So he had this goal in his mind but at the same time played in a way that would all but guarantee him failure. No wonder he got so frustrated, venting his anger on the umpire and the ballkid.
    But the good thing about this match is that he managed to regain his focus after losing that second set. And that he didn't play great but solid enough to win the last two sets.
    Though it has to be said that the trend from Sydney continues. Again he got broken serving for the (third) set. But at least, he managed to serve out the match.

    As for his next opponent Lu, David has played against him before. But only once and that was back in 2004 (David won in three sets). I've seen Lu play only once but that was when he upset Andy Murray at the Beijing Olympics. Murray was rather lacklustre that day. But still, Lu is not just cannon fodder. I just hope David takes him seriously enough.

  2. Lu also played the Hopman Cup. He was defeated by Simon and Safin and he withdrew with injury before his scheduled match with Bolelli. On paper he should be easy to beat but he has shown himself to be capable at times and David can't afford to be complacent.