Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Auckland R2: David Raises his Game against Petzschner


(Phil Walter/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Yesterday, David struggled in almost every aspect of his game, not only making errors, but some really ugly ones. After yesterday's match, there were low expectations as to what kind of spectacle David's match would turn out to be, so it was easy to appreciate that David played a much cleaner, aesthetically pleasing match today.

In fact, I felt like I was in a very generous mood at the start of the match. Even when David was making errors, at least they were good looking errors, imagining how great that rally would have looked had the final shot gone in. That kind of thinking is usually a result of good point construction. I don’t think I really put myself in the proper frame of my mind to give an accurate explanation of how David played today.

David started perfectly in the match, breaking Petzschner’s serve to love in the first game. Already I could tell that David’s accuracy and shot selection were much improved today, and I like it much better when it looks like he is controlling the points. Not to mention that he is a more dangerous player, with this kind of shot selection. Petzschner plays more of an all-court game, so the rallies were shorter, and David seemed to play the points with a different mindset as well. Playing with the angles more and opening up the court really well, looking to finish it off at the net.

Petzschner’s weakness, his inability to attack on the backhand side gave David plenty of opportunity to attack, to construct points off that side before making Petzschner run to the forehand side. Maybe it was that David’s shots were deadly accurate, but I don’t think Petzschner defended particularly well. Usually David could just hit it side-to-side in two directions, once crosscourt, then down-the-line and that would be good enough to win the point. Maybe it was just that Petzschner’s backhand was a bit too weak.

At first this was a nice fast-paced match with some entertaining all-court rallies, but also relatively one-sided in David’s favour. David really enjoyed having a target, and often won the battle between the net (Petzschner) and baseline (David), setting up the point with a low ball to Petzschner, then threading the needle with a passing shot. It was like that for about half a set, until it started to turn into a more erratic affair with shorter rallies. Both players missed a fair amount of returns, then many of the all-court rallies started to disappear, along with the long rallies. I think it was basically lacking intensity from both sides, and the quality suffered as a result.

The second set was a different story from 1-1 onwards. David started to play a much cleaner game, controlling points from the baseline, and also returning well, if he managed to get the serve back. It was very one-sided, with not much resistance from Petzschner, making far too many errors on the defense. The points were mostly played from the baseline now, with David getting Petzschner out of position finding excellent angles and down-the-line shots.

Petzschner’s forehand was not at all a weapon today, and he mostly relied on his serve. He can be a flashy player, but I didn’t see much of it today. I liked that David played an all-court game in this match. I think when he does, it improves his accuracy and shot selection from the baseline as well. Though I’m sure it’s much less daunting when you can approach to a shot like Petzschner’s backhand. The end result was 6-3 6-2 to David, and now he faces the winner of Robin Haase or John Isner.

7 comments:

  1. Isner took over two hours to beat Haase. Did anyone here see it?

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  2. Nope, I've just had a crisis with the electricity going off, and I'm incredibly pleased it's back on.

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  3. i happen to saw 10 minutes of it, the last 10 min actually, Hasse was so close to take this match, well, i didnt want david to face Isner, i keep remembering their last meeting when david couldnt win a point on the return, and got broken, but its a new day and a new match, lets hope david overcomes the defending champion, that will surely rise the expectations of david wining the title.

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  4. @krystle, about your comment in the previous post, i was surprised as well seeing Daid again the 3rd match up on center court, is this a kind of deal or something ? lol

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  5. Isner Bout the NAlbandian Match up:
    "I was hitting everything short [against Haase], he was dictating the play and I wasn't hitting my shots big at all.

    "It's something I'm going to have to be conscience of [against Nalbandian].

    "I can't play like that tomorrow and expect to win.

    "I didn't see him [Nalbandian] play but he won pretty easily and he's obviously seeing the ball pretty well.

    "He's a world class player and it's a tough draw."

    David on Isner Match up:
    He's a big guy and you have to try to move him," Nalbandian said.

    "But it's not that simple sometimes. I know what I have to try to do but I will see if I can."

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  6. I read a post on another forum from someone who saw the match - saying that Isner wasn't playing well, Haase had a lot of break points and broke Isner twice in a set (and should have won the match, in their opinion).

    They also mentioned how his serve was pretty much neutralised by Andy Murray in Perth last week - adding that of course, Murray is a very good returner.

    Well, that's also true of someone else we know. :)

    This regular 3rd-on-court thing is a bit weird. Though at least it helps us get into a regular sleep-wake-sleep pattern. ;)

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  7. David should win his one here probably something like 7-6 6-3... It will take him a good set to figure out that serve, but once the first set is under his belt he will relax and open up on the returns and really wrong foot the lumbering Isner....

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