Monday, January 17, 2011

Australian Open R1 - David vs Lleyton Hewitt


(William West/Getty Images)

Update II
It was epic (though civil) and even by David's lofty standards it was an incredible drama... But in the end, after four hours and 48 minutes on court, David converted his first match point to beat Lleyton Hewitt 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(1), 9-7.

And I'm probably not the only one who needs a break now.

David's post-match interview transcript you'll find here. Quotes also in this article.
Photos now on the Photo Page.

First set of the match now available via David on Screen.
(I'll continue uploading.)

More soon...



(Getty Images/AP Photo; montage by VD)

Update
8.09pm local - and here they come...

7.57pm local - the first match of the night session of over. David up next, though it will still take a moment, after this extremely short match.
7.33pm local - after only 20 minutes on court, Clijsters takes the first set against Safina in the first match of the night session.


It's a special match that fate, in the form of Ivan Lendl, has presented David (now ranked #21) with for the first round of this year's Australian Open. A match-up that has granted David a night session slot in the Rod Laver Arena. And one that has its own history, both on court and off of it.

They have met five times so far and it was Hewitt (currently ranked #54), who won their first three encounters. Among them the big one, of course - the Wimbledon final 2002. As well as their only previous meeting at the Australian Open (quarterfinal 2005), a five-set epic that included the "rubbing-shoulders incident" (57 seconds into this clip). David got his revenge at the Davis Cup quarterfinal that year. And the last time they met, at Sydney 2009, David beat Hewitt on his way to the title.

With his defensive and counter-punching abilities, as well as his stamina, Hewitt can cause David a lot of trouble. Apart from that, and with two return specialists going toe to toe, their matches usually involve a lot of breaks (even David's 7-6, 7-5 victory at Sydney had seven of them). Therefore, holding serve, especially in the important moments, will be crucial. With Hewitt having shown himself to be in good form at Kooyong last week, this is bound to be a very tough match. And not only that - it will be a tough fight.

The crowd will be on Hewitt's side and "against" David. But while David usually remains unimpressed by these things, there's something else he might find a lot more difficult to ignore - Hewitt's antics on court. David has taken offense at Hewitt's habit of celebrating his opponent's errors before. Calling him "not a gentleman" because of it and adding that "nobody is friends" with Hewitt. - David's most famous remarks in this context but still some of his nicer ones, let's put it this way. Hewitt on the other hand has called David "not the cleanest guy" and still insists that it was David who bumped into him during the changeover, and not the other way around (see clip above). - A special history both on and off the court.
We'll see what David will have to say about Hewitt after this match...

113 comments:

  1. Man I can't wait for this match...I hope David won't let whatever antics Hewitt does bother him. A lot of pressure is on him considering this is only the first match but I know David can handle it. This will be epic.

    Too bad I'll be at work :( I wish I could take the day off to watch it *sigh*
    The time difference just kills this tournament for me. I'll have to settle for the scoreboard.

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  2. Hi,

    Just being curious, does anybody know what went on between David and Lleyton during that changeover at the Aust Open '05? From the video, there appears to be almost no physical contact at all. It looks to me Lleyton had made a comment that obviously David wasn't pleased with.

    By the way, a big thank you to the people behind this fan blog for providing amazing up-to-date info on David. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. If it weren't for you guys, getting info on David would have been really tough for english-speaking David fans like me!

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  3. I've just bought my tickets for tomorrow night's session. Right near the back, I think it is. :( Damn it, David doesn't have that many years left for me to see him, and I'm not entirely sure he will win this match, so I went ahead and bought it.

    David better give me my money's worth. :) (It cost $70)

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  4. I'm happy that he's playing the second evening match cuz that means I'll get to watch him, but I'm gonna miss the first set and maybe part of the second cuz I'll still be at work!

    @Krystle Please cheer as hard as you can and hopefully you'll be his lucky charm tomorrow ;)
    You are lucky, I'm going to Dubai's men quarters this year, too bad David isn't playing, I knew he wasn't playing but I was hoping against hope :(

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  5. Yes I can watch it too, finally! Will watch it together with another VD fan Noubar, that must bring luck to David lol. Have a good match everyone!

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  6. Good to see you back here, Nancy. :) And epic - yeah, indeed.
    Though for me, like Camilia, the timing is pretty much perfect, I have to say.

    Gary, yeah - nothing much really happened there. (Though Hewitt might have said something.) But the atmosphere was rather heated during the match. And in this kind of scenario, a little goes a long way... And yeah, the guys behind this fan blog have all left a comment here, I see. lol

    Krystle - so the courtside-cheering part is yours. ;) Hope you'll be able to see something and that it'll be a great match, of course. With the right winner... :)

    And that'll be great, Andvari, the two of you watching the match together. :)

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  7. f***, I will be at school (GMT+1)in the morning when the match will start. And will be after the match long there. But when I stay at home David may lose.
    The same happened when I came earlier last year to see Davydenko Federer match. Davydenko was up 6:2 and 4:3, then he lost 14 games in a row. Another example, when I came home during the Paris Masters, Nalbandian was leading 6:2 1:1 against Murray, after he began to lose.

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  8. @ Nancy, long time no c girl.
    @Krystle, you might be the only one there cheering for david, so we might even hear your voice when he makes a winner, scream as loud as you can, if he loses, I've got only you to blame :)
    @Julia, am having an adrenaline rush over here, cant wait anymore.
    @andvari, glad you can enter VD now, since your phone is down, this is a good way to communicate lol.
    @Gary, i guess its ur first time here, welcome to the team.
    @Ashot, make the sacrifice, and dont watch the match, you will jinx it again, lmao.

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  9. Being a night match, there wont be any heat to bother him, and he should be well rested up now, so if he goes out and plays his game i think he can win this in 4.

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  10. john. is ur first name Fred? i found some1 on david's official site, named fred jonathan hardesky, is dat u?

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  11. Well, the buzz has certainly started. Wonder why Lendl is chiming in on the subject. Probably because he just lost to McEnroe in an exho and needs some sympathy. Thought I'd share this article I spotted this morning.

    http://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/hewitt-v-nalbandian-a-match-with-history-federer-is-keen-to-study

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  12. Hey all
    I won't be on here during the match tomorrow as it will be starting about the time I leave for work. :( But I'm hoping it will be on Eurosport which means my tv will record it. So I need stay away from here and all tennis sites until I get home and can watch the match without knowing the result first. I just hope I have the willpower. :)

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  13. John m8, your link was broken, i searched for same article in the site though, it came up.
    http://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/hewitt-v-nalbandian-a-match-with-history-federer-is-keen-to-study-20110117-19u3o.html
    thanks a lot man, loved it, Federer will watch it, and says nalbandian will win, so it be.

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  14. There's trouble with the comments again, with some of them not appearing here.
    I'm sorry about that. Nothing I can do...

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  15. I'm already nervous... :-)
    Luckily I can watch it here, about 10-12am here I think, so not necessary to stay up all night.
    My wish is that David plays great and makes it in three, without troubling our nerves :-)

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  16. I forgot to add that link. David was at the Players' Party and I think he looked quite good and relaxed:
    http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/Da266_KVsEq/Crown+s+Tennis+Players+Party/LQc4HaEQ_U8/David+Nalbandian

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  17. ya my comment didnt appear, john's link is broken, but this is the link,
    http://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/hewitt-v-nalbandian-a-match-with-history-federer-is-keen-to-study-20110117-19u3o.html
    very nice article, thanks john.

    Federer: I want the Nalbandian-Hewitt match to go to a full five-set distance, although I am predicting it will end in four, "I will watch that match" he added, Picking a winner is a challenge Federer declined. ''Tough call,'' the second seed said of his fellow 29-year-olds. ''But Lleyton loves a challenge, like he's got now with Nalbandian, so I'm happy to watch that match.''

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  18. @Julia: Oh I was way to slow, sorry... :-)

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  19. No problem. Just wanted to say. :)

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  20. Yep, that's the one, Noubar. You're right on top of things. Thanks.

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  21. Noubar no that isn't me sorry =)

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  22. The Epic match up has arrived, 14 more hours to go, YES HE CAN, hope he does take this revenge, once and for all.
    Julia, thanks for everything, your posts keeps following david more fun.
    i don't comment here a lot, but i read every single post you write.

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  23. while i want this to end as an epic 5 set classic, im torn because i also want David to rout Hewitt and go on to play this tournament in style getting at least a quarterfinal spot. We shall see though.... im definitely going to be tired becuase of the timing of this match unfortunately though.

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  24. @ Noubar
    I have long thought about it. But the main reason that cause me problem is that the match starts at the worst time for me in the middle of my schoolday. So if I want to watch the match I have to be at home and I have finally decided not to go to school tomorrow O:

    sorry for the next long storys: you don't need them if it is boring for you :)
    Another thing: When I am watching an important match with my father or the whole family, then the player we want to win is going to lose mostly.
    And when my favourite player plays good, is on the winning way and my father gives him credit or wonders how is he destroying the opponent, then he begins to lose.
    For example, in FO semi when David was leading 6:3 3:0 against Federer, my father sayed himself "I don't understand, Federer has become ridiculous". You know what then happened.
    On the other hand since the begin of the second set I had a big fear in me because I couldn't believe David to win against Federer in a GS semifinal. Also during the World Tour semifinal 2009 Davydenko vs Federer, I was watching the first set alone where Davydenko played great and won 6:2, then when we got to watch it together Davydenko losed the second set unnecessary with 4:6 after 4:4. The final set I watched alone and Davydenko won it.
    One more good example: in the Doha final last year when Davidenko was leading the second set with 5:3, my parents came and sat near me to watch the match, and then Davydenko began to lose again. Then I went to my room to watch the final, and Davydenko won the match. Mostly when I am nervous during the match, my favourite player loses.

    When David won Masters Paris, after he had won Masters Madrid a week before, I didn't watch the matches because at that time I didn't know about free live streams and there were no live men tennis on TV. Before every match from the 3. round against Federer in Paris I prayed for a win for David and to win that tournament, so that he does the same nice thing like Safin did before. I never wanted so much that David wins a tournament as before because I saw that David has good chanced there.

    So lots of wins and defeats of David has to do with me (or/and my father), lol.

    I am very excided and looking forwart to the next clash against Hewitt but I don't want to think about a defeat from David this time.

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  25. so could anyone tell me an estimate of how many hours left until the match? thanks

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  26. about 3, assuming the women's match before goes for 1.5 hours

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  27. Anyone around? I'm at work and can only watch the scoreboard (lucky me) so if anyone is watching please tell how is the crowd behaving? How is David playing?

    Kick some butt, David! Vamos!

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  28. I'm half watching (too nervous for sitting down at the moment....) crowd is ok at the moment. Hewitt seems to have found fast his game and David made some errors and is making still several with his forehand.
    At one point David fell on his hand but it seems to be nothing serious.

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  29. Break Hewitt. Hewitt is moving well and David is making too many errors, still not really in the game...

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  30. Many thanks for the updates, Mina.

    It's just one break David, c'mon!

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  31. Again break and set is away, Hewitt took it...
    I hope that David gets better into second set and steps up his game...

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  32. Oh oh oh oh David please vamos!

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  33. One chance and he took it! Break David, please hold it now!

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  34. Hewitt serving now and David leading 5:3.

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  35. I have my AO radio on, which could get me into trouble but I sort of don't care! I wanna get a feeling of this match.

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  36. @Nancy right now the feeling isn't so good! I thought he had this set in his bag!

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  37. Yeah Camilia, not sure he can do it in 5....let's keep the hope though, it's not over till it's over.

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  38. So true Nancy, but he's about to get broken in the fourth set! He needs to calm down if he wants to come back!

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  39. Poor David... I still hope but not looking good at the moment...

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  40. Argh it's painful to watch right now.

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  41. Nalbandian is really not keeping up with hewitt mentally and hes missing a lot of his shots to UE.....hard for me to watch if hes not going to compete

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  42. 11 UE and a double fault from him aleady and its only the 3rd game in the 4th....really hope he ups his game here quick VAMOS!

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  43. Those UE are way too much. Oh David... why so many UE...

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  44. Although hes was playing badly hes cleaned his game up and hes fighting out there up 4-3 now i can see this one going the distance lets go david wipe that smirk out the aussies face!

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  45. VAMOS! 5th set! Wow great david, although there are a lot of errors still but great that he took his chance and came back.

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  46. And we go to 5! VAMOS BABY!

    I think if I was watching, this would've pretty much killed me.

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  47. Fifth set it is! Vamos David! I think I can breath a little now!
    And Krystle better be cheering her heart out!

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  48. That was a nail-biting 4th set...my heart almost stopped. Get job David! Don't let your efforts go to waste by winning the match!!!

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  49. @Nancy I'm this close to having a heart attack!

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  50. Well. it's a one set match now. Keep the pressure on, David.

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  51. @Nancy: I agree with Camilla, I'm also near having a heart attack. My poor nerves...

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  52. I can't stop laughing.I just told my sis I'd get her chocolate cake tomorrow if David won today, now she's cheering so hard even though she doesn't even like tennis!

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  53. break up in the 5th bear down and win this David, I need more sleep!

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  54. What time is it in your part of the world John?

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  55. Vamos David!!! He is fitter now, don't let it go!

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  56. David to serve for the match, time to hold my breath

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  57. So David, you have to hold now and take it home!

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  58. Why does he give us hope and then take it away!

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  59. Why why why...??? He had double break point...

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  60. Just checking that nobody had a heart attack so far? Is everybody still alive

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  61. How can i love someone so much when they do this to me?

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  62. Thanks Camilla :-) Still alive here... but my heart and I lost many kilos of weight....

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  63. Sorry for writing your name wrong Camilia... can't type anymore...

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  64. It's ok Mina, it's just a nickname ;) My name is Fatima

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  65. Kill me kill me now. I forgot how painful those 5 setters are.

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  66. pray guys he serves it out this time

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  67. VAMOS! Now please Dave take it!

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  68. Olé!!!!!!! VAMOS DAVID!!!!

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  69. I'm sooo proud that he made it! He could have had it easier but he fought back! Wow!!!

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  70. Greta match from Nalbandian,Berankis is next...

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  71. @Mina, easy isn't David's style :p

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  72. David Nalbandian tennis matches-guaranteed heart attack or your money back!

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  73. What a match. Is everybody still alive? I'm speechless.

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  74. THIS IS WHY I LOVE WATCHING NALBANDIAN PLAY! EPIC.

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  75. wow!! what a roller-coaster!! I was going to turn off the TV in the fourth when he was 1-3 down and facing BPs...I don't know what happened to him from that point on but he started playing like he's not going to lose it no matter what!!
    I'm a proud Nalbandian fan, really showed what he's made of :)) Hope he wins the next match in straights though...plz David keep the drama for the Ferrer match ;)

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  76. I missed this I can't believe I missed this. STUPID FREAKIN WORK! ARGH!

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  77. berankis will be really tough, young upcoming player fresh from last match against nalbandian 5 hours on court.

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  78. Paging Krystle. Paging Krystle. Did you get your money's worth? It's been light now for about a half hour. I've got to go out and get some breakfast. And decompress.

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  79. Decompressing sounds like a good idea... Goodness me. lol

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  80. Berankis worries me...Actually it's not the guy himself, anyone would worry me right now...David has toughed out an epic 5 setter, when was the last time he played a match with such intensity?
    Not sure how his body is holding up but I guess I should worry about the next match when it's time for it.
    For now I'm just happy he was able to win such a physicallty/mentally demanding match.
    Ahh two oldies, hip surgeries and they still produced such a fantastic match (err....from what I hear) I am so proud, hats off to both of them.
    Btw, can't believe I'm saying "oldies" about 29 year old men!! What a sport.

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  81. @camilia: you are right :-)

    I'm just so unbelievable happy that he won and fought to get this home. I have headache but that was a true Nalby match.
    Now I think I have to take a nap and rest a bit because my heart was running so fast in the end...
    I'm excited what he will say in his press conference.

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  82. Nancy, well, in tennis terms they are oldies. Veterans... :)
    What worries me is that towards the end, he kept grabbing his leg. Looked like muscular problems again. Hopefully just fatigue and not another 'desgarro'...

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  83. OW Julia ow Julia, i don't know what to say, me and joop watched it HD in my house, we were jumping screaming, almost crying at the end, during match points we couldn't watch, my dad arrives in 4th set 0-40 down, the entire match changed, he brought the luck, i recorded the match, but like he said, he needs 30 videos to make a highlights, EPIC this was, congrats all. that was Mel Gibson in Brave Heart

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  84. thank god we r still alive, best match atmosphere ever, and Krystle, you think it was worth the 70 $?
    me and andvari were waiting 4 u to jump on david while speaking to courrier.

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  85. Will he get 1 or 2 days rest after this? Anyone know?

    My guess is 1, unfortunately.

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  86. i think 1, hopefully an evening match

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  87. May I add my hearty congratulations to David - he really showed guts, heart and of course great shotmaking. Fantastic match played in good spirit.

    Hi Julia!

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  88. @Noubar praying it will be an evening match, for his sake and my sake :p

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  89. pfff what a match... I knew from the beginning this would be a match like the quarter finals of the 2005 AO. I enjoyed it and i hope david will be able to recover.. Does anyone recorded the interview with courrier?

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  90. Not possible from a Eurosport stream, sorry.

    And hi, Jenny. :)

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  91. i recorded everything, from the warm up to the interview :)
    camilia, am already praying, and u guyz pray 4 me either, have a tough exam tomorrow

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  92. OMG NOUBAR! You recorded the match? OH YES! Thank you thank you thank you.
    If you can share that would be great. :)

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  93. pray 4 me too* wow am tired lol

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  94. It'll be soon up on the DoS page. :)

    And good luck, Noubar. :)

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  95. Thanks Julia :)

    Best of Luck Noubar, I'm sure you'll ace it.

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  96. Camilia it was about 7 in the morning when i said that and i woke up at 5 to start watching at the end of that 3rd set. I went to bed at 1 so i only got 4 hours of sleep but man was it worth it in the end

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  97. thanks so much Nancy and julia, well i really hope i will Ace it tomorrow, so it would be a Win-Win day

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  98. Oh my dear, I have never watched a nerve and heart killing match like this before.
    I needed a long break after the match therefore I write here so late now. I watched the whole match on Eurosport TV. What a great fight fron Nalbandian after putting himself on trouble so many times. A great match and fight from both players with 29. In the 4th set when David was 1:3 and 0:40 down on own serve, I watched a bit relaxed because I thought that he will lose his service again, but unbelievable, how he won, being also after 0:2 with 15:40 down on own serve in the same set. And he had to fight for every point because he had hardly service winners and free points with Hewitt defending good. From the begin of the match it was the David in normal good form, not the best David we know. I didn't want facing him a good player like Hewitt in the first round because he plays from the second match much better when he is not injured.

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  99. Julia, because you were ill, I hope you don't feel worse now watching this match. The victory from David must make us all feeling better gradually.

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  100. Well, I felt pretty drained and tired afterwards - but happy. :)

    Okay, I'm now starting to upload the match. And the version I'm uploading includes the interview with Courier. (Will take a while though to get everything up.)

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  101. I am here now. :)

    Yes, I did get my money's worth and more! What a crazy match with so many momentum swings, long intense rallies and great drama.

    I won't ever forget this match. :)

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  102. Anyone living in the U.S., I just noticed ESPN2 has been re-playing the match in its entirety. It is currently at the beginning of the 4th set; the period where I was about ready to shut off the broadcast and give up on the match. They showed the whole match earlier this morning too; so they are temporarily out of my dog house.

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  103. Thanks Sarah! I am rewatching it and still feel the adrenaline!

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  104. OK, all...I just had to chime in. I caught the match LIVE on ESPN2 before I went to work. They were still playing when I left, and I was totally certain that David lost it and did not really want to see any highlights. I actually got up the nerve to see highlights at my break (more to see if David lost and how quickly) and was totally surprised that David pulled it together and got the win!! I am both pleased and proud of his effort today!! Both of them actually...they both played an outstanding match.

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  105. More on a side comment. Here is the story of the beginning of the problems of Hewitt with the argentine players since they where Juniors.
    http://www.diariodecuyo.com.ar/home/new_noticia.php?noticia_id=180566

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  106. I only started watching the live stream at the beginning of the 4th set but wow the last 2 sets provided enough intensity and drama. Unfortunately, at the last set with David down 6-7, the stream stopped working! Missed the rest of the match and the emotional final moments...AAAHHHHH!!! I watched the highlights though and I must say it's a joy to watch David screaming in delight after he won the final point aptly with a superb topspin lob.

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