Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Australian Open R2 - David vs Richard Berankis


(John Donegan/AP Photo)

Update II

He may not be an old man but David must've felt like one today. After just under an hour on court and having won only a single game, David retired early on in the third set, at 6-1, 6-0, 2-0 for Berankis.
During a medical timeout David took between sets two and three, he told the trainer that he was feeling dizzy and not fully recovered from the Hewitt match. After retiring, he also mentioned that he couldn't move properly. We'll see what he'll say about it in the interviews...

The transcript of David's post-match press conference you'll find here.

That's all I have time for, today. A complete report (including interviews etc) tomorrow...



(Getty Images, montage by VD)

Update
David's match has been moved to Court 2.

6.35pm local - the WTA match is over and David's match now up next...
5.46pm local - first set is over. Hopefully just one more to go...
4.48pm local - the third match (WTA) on Court 6 has just started.
After this one - David vs Berankis.

Talking after the Hewitt match yesterday, David felt obliged to mention that he's not an old man. Compared to his opponent in this match, however, David definitely is a veteran on the Tour. Richard Berankis is a twenty-year-old newcomer from Lithuania, playing his 22nd match at ATP level. For David, if I'm counting correctly, it'll be #499.

Berankis managed to break into the Top 100 for the first time last November and is currently ranked #95. This season, he made it through qualies at Brisbane, where he won a round against Arnaud Clement before losing to Florian Mayer. At Sydney, he didn't reach the main draw (lost in qualies to Igor Andreev).

Having never seen Berankis play before, I took a brief look at his first-round match, which he won fairly easily against Australian wildcard Marinko Matosevic. Berankis (who's only 5'9"/1.75m) moves and covers the court very well, he's very quick on his feet. His groundstrokes look solid and he does possess some firepower.
What Berankis also possesses is some experience with playing on Court 6, as that was also where his first-round match took place. Whereas for David, it's from the biggest possible stage (and court) now over to one of the outside courts. Not exactly the setting he likes.

Going into this match, the big question is of course how fit David will be and how well he has been able to recover from those nearly five hours he spent on court against Hewitt. And whether the excitement and the confidence this victory will have given him can outweigh the toll that this match must have taken on him, both physically and mentally. He'll try to play aggressively and he'll try to keep the rallies short. And, as the ATP website likes to call it, he'll draw on his experience. Not as an old man - but as a veteran on the Tour.

71 comments:

  1. I found some Berankis highlights on youtube. I think there is good and bad news. Starting with the bad, Berankis is quick enough to play an irksome counter-punching style similar to Ferrer and Hewitt that could draw errors. Having said that, if Nalbandian is sharp, he will not only hit many winners but his shots will draw many errors from Berankis, whose athleticism doesn't seem to be on par with Ferrer.

    The good news is that with Berankis being so short Nalbandian should be able to break Bernakis's serve any time he's concentrating. If I were in Lobo's position, I would say "start the match the same way you did against Hewitt", i.e. by hitting with massive pace and moving the opponent a little bit. I don't think Berankis will be able to handle it as well as Hewitt did, and Berankis seems to have some ability to move into the court and be offensive. I'd try to avoid that development as much as possible to keep this from getting complicated.

    If Nalbandian hits with a lot of pace and goes after Berankis' serve, I think he should be able to win quite comfortably. But if Nalbandian is lazy and sloppy, Berankis has the game to make this a Lu or De Voest-type match.

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  2. I would not tell him to start the match like in Hewitt's match, lol.

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  3. I think that David should win this but it might take him a good set to get a feel for Berankis and crush any of his hopes to be competitive. If he lets Berankis get a few looks then i think it might give him the hope to stay into the match much like ive seen it happen with devoest, lu, dancevic etc. These lower ranked guys can beat if just by staying persistent in the match and not ever giving up. That being said i think this should be a stright set win 7-6 6-3 6-2ish

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  4. Krystle, I am referring to the good things Nalbandian did in the first set, which were there. I think they'd work better against Berankis because few players are as good at counter-punching, tracking balls down, and finding the court as a fully fit version of Lleyton Hewitt, which Nalbandian just played against.

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  5. As im waiting for this match to start ive been keeping taps on some of the more promising players for the future of the game...Bernakis being one of them. other that ive considered are gulbis (although hes to mental), debakker, haase, haider-mauer, kamke, dolgopolov jr., dimitrov, and tomic. Right now im watching this young player Milos Raonic from canada playing Llodra and im really impressed by him. I think that these young players are going to be some of the faces that will be popping up in the tennis world in the years to come. Theres a lot of talent within this group so the future should be something to look forward to. Sorry that didnt have a lot to do with David, but its a good topic as we wait for him to play.

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  6. Interesting list, John H. I haven't seen Berankis, Dolgopolov or Dmitrov, but the others I would definitely agree with. I think you could probably add Istomin, Mannarino and Stakhovsky too. FYI, I noticed Atdhe.net has Court 6 listed on its schedule. Don't know if they'll stick with it for David. Hope Youzhny and Makarova buzz through their matches.

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  7. John you're right I was gunna add Istomin to my list but forgot. I also forgot to add Neishikori, dustin brown, and ryan harrison. At least of few of these players should be able to make it to the big times in the next 5 years because they are a talented group. something to look out for in the future defiantly

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  8. Watching the scoreboard as I can't get a stream. What is David doing at 1-4 down?

    I have to leave for work in a minute - would people mind mentioning the score here occasionally, then I can check on my phone.

    Good luck folks - and good luck David.

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  9. 1-5 down now and Berankis serving for the set.
    And now 1-6 for Berankis...

    I don't see it but it doesn't look too good... does anybody watch it and can tell if there is any chance that David finds his game?

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  10. Atdhe.fm (linked in the sidebar) has a working stream for the match.
    And no, it's not looking good at all...

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  11. Fromsport.com has a stream. Nalbandian started slow and then gave away the last couple games to not waste energy. He is still very confident in his demeanor and knows that Berankis will have a very tough time staying with him once he gets going.

    If Nalbandian goes down, it won't be without a major fight.

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  12. This Berankis guy is nothing but muscle. Nalbandian just needs to string together a few good games and this guy will crumble.

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  13. A couple of good points would be a start.

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  14. Thank you ver much"
    The streams freezed twice and I decided to go with the scoreboard.
    But again he gave away his service game and Berankis made his and is up 0-2 now...
    Vamos David come back!

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  15. It should have been: Thank you very much for the info!

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  16. what the hell is david doing out there, 0-3 second set, i dont see a comeback in this match

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  17. I won't panic until he's two sets and a break down. If he wakes up, he is so far superior to this guy that he will win going away. If he doesn't wake up, then we just have Ferrero 2008 all over again.

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  18. Thanks guys, but I tried all the streams and they don't work for me. I have to leave for work now so can't watch the scoreboard either.

    I can get this site but not the scoreboard on my phone, so would you mind posting the scores... even if they continue as bad as they are now... :(

    Is David just very tired?

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  19. This guy plays really well! he's not missing!! Guess David wasn't expecting that

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  20. He's just playing like he hasn't woken up yet. The best hope for a comeback comes from the fact that he has expended virtually no energy in the first two sets; that's how lazy he has been. They've basically served as a warm-up for him.

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  21. expecting or no, he must adjust to his game, this is craziness, he needs a comeback from 2 sets down with no momentum, missing every ball, ow no

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  22. Ok down two set and I think David you can start playing now, please!

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  23. Just told the trainer he couldn't see the ball well. Probably dizziness

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  24. Just told the trainer that he was expecting to feel better from the fatigue as the first set progressed but he didn't.

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  25. Even if it was tighter he is down a break in the third. 0-1 and Berankis serving

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  26. retired, OMG, whats the reason ?? anyone

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  27. Well, folks, this is the result of two fateful decisions on Nalbandian's part. One was skipping the Asian swing last fall, which he could have used to easily get inside the Top 20, which would have allowed him to avoid the Hewitt match. And, far more significant in my opinion, playing the week before the Australian Open starts is insanity if you have any intention of going to the second week and doing well.

    Auckland + Hewitt killed his chances. Bad planning as usual.

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  28. And to everyone on this blog who jumped all over me about questioning the decision to play Auckland. Well, this is why I said what I did. He just had to retire due to fatigue, and it wasn't just the Hewitt match. It was also the 5 matches played in Auckland. That made for a total of 15 sets played in 10 days before the second round of the Australian Open even began.

    Again, Auckland was shear madness.

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  29. He felt dizzy. Couldn't move properly. Didn't manage to recover from the Hewitt match.

    But how would being inside the Top 20 have meant he couldn't get Hewitt?

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  30. Poor David, he usually doesn't retire so he really has to feel very bad.

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  31. ow for Christ sake , enough with that already Chris, Auckland is over man, he didnt feel fatigue vs Hewitt he went to play 5 hours, and thats what killed him, playing 5 hours in your first round is not ideal, stop nagging about Auckland, It's GOD damn over.

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  32. Mina, that's right. I'm glad he did retire this time.

    Lucy/Noubar (not sure... lol) - exactly.

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  33. it's Lucy, noubar went offline on his messenger, probably not happy.Hard luck David, like Mina said, he never retires, it means it was impossible to go on.Well he didn't do well in this Slam, but not empty handed, he took the Hewitt revenge, unfortunately it ended there.

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  34. I also don't think that it was Auckland that made him retire today. Auckland were no long matches, he won a lot, good for confidence and I think that the Hewitt match was the reason. He couldn't recover, sad but true it seems, the commentators say it is hot today and not easy to play. I hope that there is nothing else serious with him.
    He already made that with Auckland before and if it were that bad I don't think he would have repeated it. Doha would have been hard with a tough players field and Chennai would have been a very long way to travel for him with much risk, because last year several players had trouble with their stomaches, typical for India.
    I think sometimes he knows what he is doing, it is not his first year as a tennis player.
    Back to today. I hope he can recover fast now and still feel the positive things from winning the Hewitt match, which was fantastic. He has to use that for the next tournaments, I think.

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  35. I agree with everything you've written there.

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  36. I'm back now.

    Tomorrow I will be back in Brisbane and David's match was the last one I watched. Not a nice way to end my trip. I really wanted to watch Murray's match but it was full with huge queues outside and no one leaving. I'm glad he retired too. He was awful enough, that it was just annoying.

    So it was dizziness? Seeing David's performance today made me think of the "I'm not an old man quote." Well, I expected him to not recover well, but not in this shocking way.

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  37. Berankis is the best. You will see.

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  38. They just showed his interview on TV. He said he felt empty inside, that nothing was working, couldn't serve. They asked him whether it was an injury and he said he didn't know. It was just everything.

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  39. Oh, he also said he asked the trainer, and the trainer said it's dangerous playing like that.

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  40. Thanks for the firsthand info Krystle.

    I couldn't see any of the match so I don't know how David looked. Just got the updates from everyone on here.

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  41. He was horrible right from the beginning. Nothing worked.

    I took some photos of him while he was on court though. The photos are better than his tennis was.
    Click here to view the gallery.

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  42. the crowds were awfully cheering against David, they must hate him even more now.

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  43. Thank you for the info krystle! Poor, poor David.

    I hope so much that there is no injury...

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  44. I was surprised by the amount of Lithuanian supporters there were. They were not so sportive screaming and cheering when David made unforced errors or double faults. It's not like they needed to do that because he was not even leading in the match.

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  45. Mean crowd. :( Poor David.

    That was quick with the photos, Krystle. Nice set, and I'll have a closer look later. David still seems to be upright in them, at least. I've added you as a Flickr contact. One of these days, David might actually make an appearance among my tennis photos. :/

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  46. I didn't really notice that amongst the crowd myself. I was not sitting near them though. There was just a lot of shouting overall. But yeah, there was one group of Lithuanian fans.

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  47. Needs to forget this match ever happend,something went terribly wrong.Hope theres no injury...

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  48. i wonder if this interview in spanish reveals a bit more, if there are any spanish posters here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpsBt0eRvh0

    my understanding of the headline is that he couldn't sleep.

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  49. http://www.livetennis.it/post/66070/australian-open-risultati-di-giornata-poche-sorprese-nalbandian-si-ritira

    Tradution : nalbandian has played with fever

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  50. Well, that's interesting. No wonder he was wiped out. A fever combined with the exhaustion of the match the other day - he didn't stand a chance.

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  51. Ouch. After battling streams and getting most of the match on the scoreboard, I went to bed at 6-1, 4-0. I just couldn't see a comeback, but woke up this morning hoping there was one. Not to be. I don't think it was Auckland, either. It was Rusty. Hope it's just fatigue and nothing more.

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  52. Hi
    I heard David talking and he didn't say much,because, as usual, he didn't say all, according to someone fromhis team. They were almost scare and they think he could have a little descompensation. It wasn't only the "he was tired" Someone close to his team pretty much confirmed what I felt when I saw him: I WAS REALLY WORRIED
    Why? It wasn´t the "David is playing like crap" that we know or the "David is playing like tennis 101" . It was "that´s not even THAT David" that started some alarm. And from what I heard from his team, I was not the only one.
    He didn't feel ok since the begginning but he thought he was going to get better during the match or that is was going to pass. Wrong, it went worst.

    The doctor told him that IT WAS A HUGE RISK KEEP PLAYING LIKE THAT.
    IT WASN'T EVEN PAIN, HE DIDN'T FEEL AT ALL HIS LEGS.
    He said he FELT LIKE HE DIDN'T HAVE ANY CONTROL OF HIS BODY AT ALL.
    That EVERY TIME HE MOVED HIS HEAD, HE FELT DIZZY: when he was going to serve, smashing or similar he COULDN'T FOCUS WELL.And I'm sorry, but that is not from "not sleeping". I hope it's some minor virus and he get well soon.
    From what I heard, It hope it'll pass with rest but I'm not sure they weren't going to do some medical test.
    He didn't feel that bad with that virus he had during the Telmex/Acapulco/Davis from 2009.

    And what it was a bad sign: David doesn't quit a match. He even stayed and lost to "Crazy Danny" in Acapulco when he was very sick.
    He didn't left the match against Grannolers when a week after that match he went to surgery.
    He preffers stay at court even if he loses 6-0 6-0 6-0...
    I think his team is going to wait, but they're worry.

    Saddly this wasn't the "he was tired" or similar. This is something else. Like I said, I hope he just got some minor virus or similar and not something more serious.

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  53. Ah. Just saw your comment, Istabraq. That explains it better.

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  54. From what I've seen so far, he didn't mention a fever or anything like that. He said he felt dizzy, that the court around him seemed to be spinning and that it got worse with each game. But he put it down to fatigue and said he thinks he'll be better again, soon.

    I don't have time today and maybe it's not a bad idea to wait until the dust has settled a bit and everything is more clear.
    So - complete post and state of affairs tomorrow.

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  55. I just got back home! When I tried to check out the results somewhere between leaving work and going to uni, I was really shocked! Couldn't focus with the professor cuz I wanted to know what happened! Poor David, hope he gets enough rest and feel better.

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  56. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5mQwNFjm1w

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  57. No need to type in capitals there, Anna. Yes he wasn't in a good state today at all, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will harm him later.

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  58. Chris,

    I totally disagree with your comments because it is not wrong or bad of David to prepare properly for a tournament. Showing up to Melbourne with a runner-up finish is not so bad, and he did have sufficient rest time between the final at Auckland and his opening match against Hewitt. What I will say is this: David may be fighting a virus, along with fatigue from a long five-setter a couple of days prior. If that is the case, then it is certainly understandable why things happened the way they did. Of course, time (and tests) will tell what is really going on. Look forward to an update from Julia soon. Anyway, back to what I was saying: calling David's decision to play Auckland before the AO sheer madness is short-sighted, don't you think, considering that he did pick up some points he did not have last year. Additionally, he did give a good account of himself against Hewitt, whom I thought he had lost to prior to seeing highlights. We have to respect that David will make his own decisions. He's made some good and bad ones, and this one, we can't just simply dismiss as a bad decision. We simply have to give it all time to sort itself out to determine caused the anomaly we "witnessed" with yesterday's (today's?) match.

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  59. Good points, Tiffany. In earlier comments, Mina noted the drawbacks of playing Chennai or Doha. Very valid. I don't think Auckland exhausted David. I think it made him extremely match tough. It's the reason he was able to beat Hewitt. Whether he played Auckland or not, he still had to beat Hewitt to get to the 2nd round. And Hewitt wasn't going to go down easy no matter what. If we find out David had a bug, then all this other speculation about scheduling is pointless. It's a shame what happened last night. But what happened Tuesday night is absolutely unforgettable. It was epic. Can you imagine being part of that scene like Krystle was?

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  60. Noubar sent me this to paste it:
    The Swiss tennis player Roger Federer today defended his fellow Argentine David Nalbandian for leaving the Australian Open by retiring to the Lithuanian Richard Berankis, saying "He had no time to rest" after grueling match where he had overtaken Lleyton Hewitt.
    Federer, tennis world number two, told DPA " I understood what was happening to David Nalbandian when I saw the score 6-1, 6-0, 2-0."

    "He had played extremely well last week, so I think this might also play a role. He never really had time to rest and adapt, " Federer said

    Nalbandian felt exhaustion, dizziness, nausea and blur while facing Brankis, after the battle of 4 hours and 48 minutes which meant to beat Hewitt.

    "He had a very hard draw, to touch Lleyton here, " said Federer, adding that "obviously, the intensity you get from Lleyton, the spectators, the pressure and all that combined can lead to a result like this. "

    Federer believes that his fellow Argentine "had to make a tremendous effort" to recover from the disadvantage of two sets to one down and win the fourth and fifth in Australia.

    "And then faced a tough opponent in the next round, and is on a very smaller court, and things are not the same, you dont know, it's not simple. And perhaps he had a spread of something else that was affecting" Federer ended.

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  61. Please tell Noubar - thanks, but to use it on VD I need to know where he got that article from, the source.

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  62. Here's another piece to add to the mix. If it was 5 a.m. Monday that David arrived in Melbourne, which I assume it was, he certainly didn't have much time to recover. Red-eye flights can be killers.

    http://momento24.com/en/2011/01/16/tired-from-a-delayed-flight-nalbandian-reaches-melbourne/

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  63. Actually, it was Sunday that he arrived, since the final was on Saturday.

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  64. David is since 2007 always unlucky when it comes to Grand Slams.

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