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)