Friday, January 14, 2011

Auckland Final - David vs David Ferrer



Update
David's week at Auckland has ended with a defeat against "the other David" Ferrer, who prevailed 6-3, 6-2.

Photos now on the Photo Page and match on David on Screen.



(Getty Images, montage VD)
"Always when we play together it's a good match."
As well as a very tough and arduous one, likely to go the distance.
This will be the twelfth "Battle of the Davids" and although 'our' David won their last three encounters, Ferrer still has the edge in terms of the match record (where he leads 6-5). If you leave out their matches on clay, however, the match record stands at 5-2 in David's favour.

Going into this match, David will of course know exactly what to expect and that keeping up the aggressive play that has worked for him so well this week might be more difficult this time, because of Ferrer's great defense.
Still, whatever the outcome of the final will be, David can be proud of his performance this week.
"After the surgery there was a lot of doubt. But now, at 29, I feel I'm still in shape, still playing well, still making finals." (David's quotes: TVNZ)

85 comments:

  1. Julia, I received your mail days ago! But really i have been busy... i'm at computer just to update my site, and that's it... Anyway, i write here to tell you I wish you a quick recover :) Hope it is isn't a very strong illnes. take care and rest, that always is good :)
    tomorrow i will travel to Mar del Plata (400km far away from buenos aires) for my summer holidays, i hope i will return here for the Claro Cup =) So, if i don't comment here too much, its because i think i will don't have internet always...
    see you all =)

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  2. It never rains but it pours... After missing many tournaments through injury and recuperation, David is now in the thick of it! After this final, which as you say promises to be a long hard struggle, David gets to fly to Melbourne - and immediately face another acid test against Lleyton Hewitt. If he can beat Ferrer and Hewitt, he will definitely be back!

    I am very sorry to hear you are unwell, Julia. Best wishes for a speedy recovery - and many thanks for your sterling work in this blog. Until now I have strictly lurked here, but like many others I am sure I very much appreciate your writing.

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  3. Good luck to David in the final to come and in the next weeks where he faces great competition. Hopefully in 2 weeks time we can all have something good to remember.....and hopefully by then you are feeling better Julia. Good luck to all and thanks for everyone who made this awesome site possible.

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  4. It's not over yet... ;)
    Just going through a rough patch, me and VD. Thanks to all of those who have wished me well. And who have kept the comments section going with news and quotes etc. I hope I'll be in better shape in time for the AO.
    And Tamar, I hope you have nice holidays. Don't worry about the email.

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  5. doubles trophy presentation is over, they will start anytime now.

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  6. They have now changed it so that you have to have a funded account to watch Bet365 streams. :(

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  7. Nalbandian has blown 3 break points early. I hope that doesn't come back to bite him. He should not have missed the backhand down-the-line at 30-40. That point was his.

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  8. I cannot watch anything here - it is buffering too much, and slow to even browse. It's been a waste of my day. I'm going to log off and do something else now.

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  9. it did bite him, excellent

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  10. that backhand down the line that david miss, that single point coast him the set, he was trying to put a show there, like he was leading 5-0 or something.

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  11. Well, that's typical Nalbandian right there. Dominate the match and look superior early. Then miss chances on break points and follow it with sloppy service games, giving the opponent a cheap set that Nalbandian should have won going away.

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  12. nalbandian is playing so bad right now... UE after UE.

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  13. Yes, he really seemed to lose concentration - got very sloppy there. But although he had been the dominant player up to then, he's had to work much harder against Ferrer than aganst his previous opponents. Shots that would have been winners against them kept coming back... and back...

    He doesn't seem to have started the second set in a better frome of mind. :(

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  14. That's frame, not frome. I've lost concentration too.

    Yes, where did all the UEs come from suddenly?
    An ace to finish the game, at least.

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  15. am still optimistic though :)
    cmmon david break now

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  16. OMGGGGGG, that was ugly on 0-15, i dont make such errors

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  17. some of these errors are really amateur, its frustrating to watch

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  18. nalbandian can't last more than 6 shots in a rally, shameful

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  19. Well, if David is going to win, he has to get it together. He lost his serve AGAIN!!

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  20. who are we kidding guyz, nalbandian doesnt deserve to win today, thats a world number 200's game level

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  21. Service broken, 2-3 down.
    He hit a couple of crackers to get back into it from 0-30 to 30-all that game, then made some tame errors to get broken. :(

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  22. no chance, he is playing awful and at this point i dont think he cares to adapt

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  23. 2-5.

    I'm afraid David has already left the building.

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  24. David has officially left the stadium. Trophy ceremony coming up...

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  25. where is the fighting spirit of David? just giving up, how on earth is this guy gonna win a slam ?
    gd night everyone

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  26. What a dismal way to finish, when he started so well. You could tell the crowd were very disappointed too.

    Shame that he will go into his match with Hewitt with that as his last memory, rather than his excellent play the rest of the week.

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  27. I told you all that this 2-match stretch for Nalbandian against Ferrer and Hewitt was going to be tough and either outstanding or disastrous. Today was the latter.

    Losing to Hewitt after today's loss to Ferrer would completely nullify the good feeling from this strong week at Auckland. Nalbandian must win that match.

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  28. To Noubar and others about Nalbandian's clear quitting in the second set: the reason for it was that he didn't break Ferrer. Nalbandian is never, ever comfortable in match in which he does not convert some breaks. I was very worried after he lost at 2-2, 15-40; I've seen what follows too many times to count.

    One recent example was the second set in Miami against Nadal. It was also 2-2, 15-40 with Nalbandian seemingly 15 minutes from winning the match, if that, but Nadal held serve and then Nalbandian simply vanished after that.

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  29. A very bad day at the office. Chris, you're right, David's got to beat Rusty, otherwise this week in Auckland is all for naught. Except, of course, for the 150 ranking points.

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  30. My point, John, was that as great as the 4 wins in Auckland were, things can reverse just as quickly with Ferrer and Hewitt coming up. I do believe, however, that if Nalbandian gets by Hewitt and then wins against his second-round opponent, he will put on a clincical/masterful performance against Ferrer in the 3rd round that leaves everyone in awe.

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  31. But he MUST, absolutely MUST beat Hewitt. This is like an MS final in importance in setting the tone for the rest of his season. He simply must win that match, no questions asked. Any which way, he must win that match. I can't say it enough, so let me say it again.

    He must, absolutely must win this match against Hewitt.

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  32. You are being very dramatic with the use of MUST in capitals. The AO is just another tournament. If he loses against Hewitt, it won't make a difference to how he goes in the season. First round or third round in the AO, there's not much difference. Not to mention that David doesn't easily go into bad form after losing a match. And it's not about to change just like that (especially not after recently making a final).

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  33. Wow, you used the word "must" in one paragraph, plus one sentence.

    Let's put it this way.

    If David loses, losing to Lleyton Hewitt is nowhere near as bad as losing to a typical first round opponent.

    If he wins, it's not like Hewitt is a top player anyway. He's well past his prime. David probably expects himself to win. The only thing here is that there is a loud Australian crowd, and that David will really want to beat him.

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  34. Damn, my badly typed sentence before. I meant to say that you used the word must SIX times.

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  35. a lot of MUSTs, i only have one must, that david has to convert his break points next time, if you don't break, you will immediately get broken.
    as for hewitt, yes he has passed his prime, and am sure david will win that one, and hopefully, has his revenge from ferrer.

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  36. The AO schedule has come out for Monday and David's not playing, just as I expected. I heard from MTF many years ago, that whichever half Hewitt is on always plays on Tuesday, so that if he makes it to the third round he can play on Saturday, instead of Friday. So far, that theory has been correct every single year.

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  37. The more time until that match, the better. Not just for David.

    And I agree with Krystle about the Hewitt match.

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  38. Julia, Hewitt won the Kooyong classic, defeating some good players like Monfils,Davydenko and Youzney.
    Now i really don't know what to expect form Lleyton.

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  39. I expect a very tough match that can go either way.

    But until then, I'll take a break now and try to get healthy again.

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  40. Matches against opponents like Ferrer and Hewitt have always been tough for David. When he plays these quick players that dont have a lot of power he crumbles agianst them. They use their fight, quickness, and they get everything back into play. David needs to play players that take a few risks, or players that give him pace. His angled shots dont work as well against these players and eventually his level drops and he looses. Hewitt used to be one of these players, but now he is older and much slower and his timing isnt as good. His fighting spirit is still there and he will play to the crowd next week, but I only hope that David can mentally stay with him.

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  41. John, those types of players do frustrate Nalbandian, but he is also perfectly capable of beating them with ease. We saw that against both Hewitt and Ferrer (this was the first match in the disastrous 2008 final) in Davis Cup when Nalbandian straight-setted them. We saw it when Nalbandian beat Hewitt pretty easily in Sydney two years ago.

    If Nalbandian is in a flow and hitting clean winners after constructing the points well, defeating those guys is no problem.

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  42. You make it sound like it's really easy to hit flowing, clean winners all the time. It certainly is not when you're playing against players with good counterpunching skills. It'd be quite difficult in a best of five set match. Ferrer was nowhere near his best in that Davis Cup 2008 match.

    Anyway, Hewitt would have been really difficult in his prime. I don't think he moves anywhere near as well anymore. But I don't really know what standard he plays at now. He's quite inconsistent I think, from day to day. He could be a threat, but he'll definitely fight hard I think. It's a best of five set match and this gives a much better chance for Hewitt than normal. The longer the match goes, the worse for David in my opinion.

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  43. Yeah chris he can beat any player in the world if he wants to but in general you must agree that it is those players who are the only ones who beat him.....last year he lost to nadal, melzer, djokovic, murray,verdasco all of these players pose problems because all they really do is put the ball back into play a lot. Nadal djokovic and murray do have a lot of skill but people like rik devoesk at the us open and lu in 2009 ao shouldnt be people that David looses to. Becuase it is so hard to play Davids game consistently he gets annoyed with himself and looses. Obviously he can beat anyone, but that is up to how hard he wants to stay focused.

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  44. The red and white outfit has got to go. He looks like a leftover candy cane from Christmas!

    Can't wait for the Hewitt match. Hope David can do against Hewitt what he couldn't against Ferrer. :)

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  45. Red and white outfit is pretty awesome....the blue and white yellow one on hewitt looks great also though

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  46. John, you expressed one of the major misconceptions about why Nalbandian has his struggles at times. His problems have never had anything to do with being "too risky" or having an unsustainable style. That is completely off-base. When he missed the easy backhand put-away volley in the second set or dumped that little forehand shot into the net, it had nothing to do with playing "too risky" but with simply being sloppy. And part of that is fitness.

    Most players can only dream of constructing points as adeptly and smoothly as Nalbandian does every time he plays a tennis match. That is not a liability; it is an asset that I assure you the likes of Ferrer and Hewitt wish they had far more of.

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  47. Krystle, I don't think it's easy in general to hit flowing, clean winners all the time, because it takes a ton of talent and also an excellent ability to construct points. But we're talking about David Nalbandian here, not a couple dudes you might see at the local tennis club trying to smack a few winners when they can. It IS easy for Nalbandian to do that on a regular basis, and losing to the likes of Ferrer and Hewitt doesn't have nearly as much to do with Nalbandian being aggressive as it does Nalbandian's inconsistency and unreliability on his own serve.

    There is no excuse for Nalbandianwith his talent to basically depend on getting breaks to keep his sanity while playing a match. If he doesn't get breaks, he gets so frustrated and then almost ceases to care about the outcome, making inexplicable awful errors within his own service games. That's what happened in the 2nd set yesterday.

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  48. Chris his game is risky....he can do his game style because he is so great but it is in no way easy to change the direction of the ball with such ease and precision time in and time out. David's game is risky because he plays the angles. He takes risks and dropshots and goes for flashy shots at times and this is because he has so many things he can do with the ball that he cramps trying to pick the shot he wants. Sometimes his shots are sloppy, but a lot of the shot i see him really shank are ones he doesnt need to hit. David is great at constructing points and is a master at strategy. He plays the game to win quickly, and sometimes opponents are able to hand in long enough to break his mentality.

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  49. Chris, where has there been proof that David is able to hit clean winners again and again on a regular basis? His whole career suggests otherwise, the rest of it is in your imagination. For example, you're watching David play one good set, then wondering why can't he play three sets like that? Of course, the chances of him keeping it up weren't going to be that great. When you're playing at your peak, chances are it's probably going to go down. You might have heard commentators mention something like that before. Pointing out a few matches, or a few tournaments doesn't prove anything. In fact, it proves the opposite. That he can't do it regularly, and only does it on the odd occasion. Do you think he lost all the other matches because he didn't apply himself? I'm sure in many of those matches he lost, he tried just as hard as some of those where he won and played badly. In fact, when you're playing badly it requires even more effort to try to turn it around and find other ways to win.

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  50. Krystle lee I agree with you. No offense Chris you but you I think you put your obsession with David's skill over actually analyzing his game and seeing how he looses matches. I love Nalbandian and will stick with him till the end, but I put that aside when I look at his flaws. You make him sound like a perfect player which hes not. Hes proven that by not winning grand slams. Yes he does have the raw talent to win many GS but his flaws which you tend to over look prevent him from doing so. Sorry but I gotta tell it how it is.

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  51. I haven't seen any match this week live. I have only seen the recorded video from the match against Petzschner and now I finished to watch the matches from the semi and the final. In these 2 matches in semi and against Petzschner I think David didn't play really good, but it was enough to win. Against Ferrer he played his best tennis of the week until the 3:3 in first set, but he didn't converted his BPs. After the first set or at least after he got broken in the second I think he didn't want to go into a third set to save energy for the Australian Open.
    I hope he serves good in next match against the kangaroo because it is nard to win points against good defensive players like Ferrer and Hewitt.
    Not a good news that Hewitt has won all his matches this week against top players. I haven't seen any of these matches.

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  52. I agree with both Krystle and John H. there. That's the reality. Tennis players are people, not machines. You could pick any one of them and compile a list of near-perfect play you've seen from them, but no one can do that all the time.

    If you can't accept David's flaws, it's probably going to give you more anguish than it's worth to follow him.

    Of course we all want him to beat Hewitt and then see how far he can go in the AO, but if he doesn't the world won't end.

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  53. Ya, saying that David is a complete player would be a huge mistake, he has many weak points in his game, and most importantly his physical stamina, sometimes he plays a set which u say, it's impossible for this guy to lose,you watch the second set, a completely different player, why ? many reasons.
    His 2nd serve is the weakest in the entire ATP tour imo, not like the first serve is something good, his backhand remains always perfect in most of the matches, forehand can be a dream-like sometimes, and an UE machine on other times, return, best in the game, though sometimes hedoes make some ugly returns that pisses me off. But thats when he is not playing at his best, when he is, its hard to find those weak points, Nalbandian 2007 Paris is the complete player, the perfect player, i cannot c, a player that can beat that version of nalby, not even Fedal, Richard Gasquet said that when he was playing David in Paris SF, he was thinking that there couldn't be a player that can play this tennis, he said that was the best player in the world game he was playing.

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  54. John, I simply have a different diagnosis of Nalbandian's problems than you do. You say his style is basically "too risky". I say there are simply some correctable deficiencies in his game that prevent him from maximizing his potential and winning with ease pretty much every time he goes on the court.

    In my view, Nalbandian's problems are:

    1) Poor first-serve percentage
    2) Propensity for too many and untimely double faults.
    3) Failing to serve out sets and matches
    4) Failing to maintain a high level on his own serve when he becomes frustrated that he can't break his opponents (which rarely happens but is inevitable in some matches), and finally
    5) Overall physical stamina. He's not in bad shape, but he's not in crisp condition like Nadal or Murray.

    Those are his problems, and every one of them has always been correctable. Anyone can improve on those things.

    Nalbandian loses because of the small stuff, the trivial details that add up.

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  55. Noubar, Nalbandian's serve isn't as bad as many people say it is. He is very clever in placing it and angling it, especially when he's trying to set up the serve and volley. He drew quite a bit of cheap errors from Ferrer in the first set off of good serving.

    The problem with his serving is exactly what you alluded to: physical fitness. Nadal until recently - but even now this is mostly the case - did not have a big serve, but he was in shape enough to get it in close to 70% of the time. He also seemed to concentrate a lot more on that. Nalbandian seems content to hit his serves 2 feet below the tape and 3 feet wide for half the match. That is disgraceful, and there's no excuse for it except having never cared enough to correct it.

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  56. I can't stress enough, John, that I think you are really mis-diagnosing Nalbandian's problems. They are far more of a practical nature (the things I listed) than a fundamental one. Constructing points the way Nalbandian does is brilliance, the complete opposite of a poor strategy. That is not his problem.

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  57. I never said it was poor strategy to play the way nalbandian does....Nalbandian is probably one of the most strategic players in the game. If you don't think it takes risks to hit any of his angled shot then you must not have ever played tennis before. Nalbandian does have the skills to do it and that why he does. I agree with you that he does have those problems you mentioned but the reason he usually looses matches is because he uses his strategy and people like ferrer still return a lot of his balls. He then gradually begins to loose patience and trys to quicken the points with more risk. yes nalbandian does have some sloppy shots where he is just a little lazy or slow to react but he almost always looses because he gets mad at himself for not breaking his opponents down quick enough.

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  58. David is not a perfect player. He is not a machine. He has his way of playing and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. But all of that is part of the player he is. Not just the brilliant moments.
    He is 29 years old and has had hip surgery. He will never be as fit as Rafa or Murray. But he can still play and sometimes play really well. Why not enjoy what he still can do instead of always wanting more... I just don't get it.

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  59. exactly julia why not just enjoy it while hes still playing?

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  60. I agree, Julia and John H. This past week we got to see David playing very well - sometimes brilliantly - for 4 matches. Really good stuff, I thought. Then, Ferrer. Ferrer is a wall. He gets everything back and forces an impatient player like David to go for too much. Thus the errors and frustration. You can see it in David's body language. It just escalates and then, boom, David is done. All this proves is that David is human. The bottom line is that his game is much better than it was last year. I feel much more confident watching him now, despite Saturday's setback.

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  61. Chris, I think it is laughable that you think that David has correctable deficiencies, that if corrected, would enable to win every single match with ease.

    The other problem with those beautiful angles that David sometimes creates, is that creating angles can often give opponents more to work with on their shot if they can run them down, and there are particular players that seem to really enjoy that.

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  62. To Julia and John H.: I enjoy watching Nalbandian as much as anybody. But as a fan of his I want him to maximize his ability and win when he has the opportunity to do so. If you go back and read what was posted during the final against Ferrer, there were far more complaints from other people than myself. So Julia, are you going to condemn those people for "always wanting more"? Tell noubar that he should not have been upset about Nalbandian losing because, well, he had an opportunity to see him play and that's all that matters.

    John, first of all, it is silly to attack someone for "having never played tennis" because they disagree with you. I never said it wasn't hard to hit the shots Nalbandian does. But Nalbandian is Nalbandian for a reason. He can make those shots on a regular basis. As I stated as clearly as possible to Krystle, it is hard IN GENERAL (meaning for 999 out of every 1,000 people) to hit those shots, but we're talking about someone who has defeated Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal multiple times as well as been #3 in the world. Holding him up against the standards you would apply to your buddies at a local tennis club is preposterous.

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  63. I don't doubt that guys like Ferrer make it difficult with their great counter-punching. But to pin the entire loss on that fact is simply inaccurate. There are so many points in tennis which are just petty - e.g. missed returns/cheap points on serve, shanked balls, etc.

    The game Nalbandian played when serving at 4-3 in the first set had everything to do with frustration/losing his concentration and nothing to do with taking too much risk. He simply lost his cool.

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  64. And to Krystle: the kind of shots you are talking about were very very few and far between in the Ferrer match, where Nalbandian's angles were begetting angles that Ferrer used to hit even more deadly shots. Again, that is not a problem for Nalbandian. The list I posted earlier are his problems, and if he corrected them, most of his matches would be very smooth sailing.

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  65. The bad points, games, sets, matches that David plays are as much the result of the player he is as his brilliant moments. These two things cannot be separated.

    And it's silly to brush this fact (as well as his age and his surgery) aside and to pretend that he could beat anybody, anytime if only he put his mind to it and made a few corrections. David is 29 years old. There won't be any big changes to his game, his serve or his mentality anymore.
    And to complain about a match is not the same as having unrealistic expectations and therefore never being satisfied or happy but always thinking about the next match that has to be won.

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  66. And by the way, I think you're addressing the wrong people here. You want David to make those adjustments - I suggest you tell him. You can send him a message via Tamar's page, she'll make sure David gets it.

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  67. Glad to see you're back in the mix, Julia. It must mean you're getting better. Auckland's done and now it's on to Australia. I get live coverage on ESPN2 in 15 minutes. And it's still light outside.

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  68. Yeah, I'm better. :)
    But I'll go to bed now and miss out on Day 1 of the AO. Because I want to be fit (or as fit as possible) for Day 2.

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  69. Understand. Today is just for killing time. Well, not really. I think Federer v Lacko is on. But, tomorrow is the real match.

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  70. the Aussie media are calling the match as "The Gladiatorial battle".
    I've been studying until 3 am for 4 days so i can watch the match on Tuesday, knowing that Wednesday is my exam day. Hope it's an evening match(channel 7 confirmed it), so i get to watch it with Andvari, that would be a cracker.

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  71. Noubar,I saw that article about the "gladiatorial battle" on the Aussie website. This is going to be huge down under. Huge for us, too.

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  72. krystle that is a great point i didnt even consider. When those quick players do get to the angled shots they have a chance to do a lot with the ball. Julia your right, David is David and hes not going to change probably much at all from now until his retirement. I realize he can hit those shots on the norm and that is obviously why he does it. the problem with that is that the "pusher" player can use this style to their advantage. This is always a counter strategy to even the most skilled players and with David it is the quick machine like players. If your going to say that David should beat everyone in the world almost 100% of the time that is crazy. Guillmero Cañas beat federer twice, but does that mean he should be able to win every time against anyone? David is probably the most gifted tennis player talent wise, but what he has so much of in skill he does lack mentally and although its hard to admit it is true. If David was david and he had nadals mindset he would probably be the best player in the world right now.

    oh by the way earlier someone said that David had the worst 2nd serve on the atp world tour.... this is wrong- look at Jarkko Niemenen of Finland he. he usually rolls that ball in at only around 80 mph

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  73. To John (not John H.) about your joke: yes, I think my inflammatory remarks have helped Julia in her recovery.

    As for my "unrealistic expectations". I don't see how it's unrealistic, for example, to think Nalbandian was perfectly capable of and should have beaten a player he had a 5-2 record against on hard-courts. Sorry for my dreaming, LOL

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  74. To be fair, Julia, I do think that Nalbandian should win pretty much every match he plays and my comments do indicate that on a regular basis. You are right in picking up on it, but in my estimation wrong in objecting to it.

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  75. To John H.: Krystle is right on principle that angles beget angles. To that I say "duh", but to say that's a major contributing factor in the recent Ferrer loss or in most of Nalbandian's losses is nonsense. How many winners or even good offensive shots of this kind did Ferrer hit in the Auckland final? 1 total, maybe 2? That's about it.

    I can't understand why everyone here - from Julia on down to the other regular contributors - can't just point out the obvious reasons for Nalbandian's losses: low-first serve %, double faults, failing to serve out sets, not being steady on his own serve if he misses break points, fitness, etc. etc. These my friends are the reasons for his losses. Noubar was the closest to acknolwedging the truth by saying that fitness is one of his problems.

    Why not point at those obvious things instead of what is actually an asset - not a liability - namely, his aggressive and adept point construction that has victimized every top player on tour at some point?

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  76. Now you're telling the rest of us what we should be saying on here?

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  77. No, how did you get that idea? I'm just asking why you all blame Nalbandian's losses on being aggressive instead of the obvious things like serving, fitness, or not serving out sets.

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  78. That was actually a rhetorical question.

    Though I might have known you'd answer it anyway.

    I see you have now gone down the route of referring to the posters on here as though we are a single entity, not a bunch of individuals. Well, you do seem to have great difficulty understanding anybody's viewpoint but your own - maybe you just lump all our opinions together and file them away under "Wrong".

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  79. For me after the surgery and the fear he could never play again, I try to enjoy his game first of all. And I think David is David because he is the way he is.

    On another note: David plays Hewitt on Rod Laver, the last match, so no noon heat for him!

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  80. I've just seen it, Mina. Good for David. And I agree with what you've written. Same here.

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  81. And Chris, it's not your opinions you're alienating people here with. It's the way you ignore or discard everybody else's, despite claiming that you want to discuss things.
    What you seem to want is people agreeing with you. I don't agree with you, you apparently ignore what I write - that's why it's pointless to go on, from my perspective.

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