Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Pause, the Plans and the Changing of the Guard

Just when I was starting to complain about the lack of any news from David and his recovery, here's now the first interview since his double surgery. MundoD's Fabián Sacarelli met David at the Inés Gorrochategui Tennis Academy, where David is currently working on getting back to the tennis court - preferably armed with a racquet, though and not just to pose for photos.
I want to play, I really do. The pause makes you want to come back, to make a new start. I miss grabbing a racquet and going on court. It's going well now and next week I'm going to spend a couple of minutes on court.
Apparently, he's making very good progress with his recovery, according to (or even a little ahead of) schedule. So a comeback at Madrid seems increasingly possible. Even if there are easier events for returning to the Tour than a clay-court Masters...
Q: Isn't Madrid a very tough tournament for coming back after an injury?

David: It's very tough, a Masters 1000, but you have to start playing. I won't be going into those weeks with too many expectations but I'll try to be in more or less good shape for Roland Garros and with many matches under my belt in time for Wimbledon. After that, there's the Davis Cup (July 8-10). It's going to be a tough tie, with names that are not so very well known but against young players who play well and that makes it complicated.
In one of my previous posts, I speculated that between his exercises, David might be following the tournament at Indian Wells on TV. As it turns out, he did watch some of it.
David: I watched the last rounds. I thought that Juan Martin (Del Potro) could've beaten Rafa, who wasn't playing that well, I thought. He [Delpo] played very well in the beginning, until 4-1, but then he couldn't keep up the intensity. Then his level dropped a little bit and Rafa doesn't let you get away with that. Djokovic is playing great tennis. He's quick, he defends well, attacks well, he's serving better. He met Federer again, who had to realise that the changing of the guard is getting to him.

Q: The changing of the guard happens to everyone.

David: That's the way it is. It happened to Sampras and Agassi, Lendl, Laver. We all get passed. Now there's (Milos) Raonic, who's 20 years old and serves like a machine. It's a different generation from Rafa, Murray or Djokovic. Federer's level has dropped a tiny little bit and at a certain level, it's difficult to remain at the top.

Q: How do you go about it?

David: You have to try and find your way back. The season is very long and during the year, players have many ups and downs. It's about making the most of it when someone's playing at their best level and not treating it as something bad when someone isn't playing well. With experience, or quirks, I keep on fighting and in terms of my tennis, I still have the chance to be at the top, inside the Top 10.

Q: How do you plan your season?

David: When I play a tournament, I'll try to win, to play well and to give my best. I have a schedule that suits me with my injuries and if I can gain [ranking] points then so much for the better. After Miami, I hadn't planned to play anything on clay [as in skipping Monte Carlo] because of my hip and with this (the double surgery), no way. I make my schedule based on taking care of my body. I prefer to play few events and big ones, not those small tournaments and say that I'm [ranked] 40. If I'm healthy, I know that if I'm playing well I'm going to have good results at the great tournaments.
Finally, we only just talked about it in the comments for the previous post - David's great run at Madrid and Paris 2007. And, as if on cue, Sacarelli asked David about it in the interview:
Q: In 2007, you beat everyone at Madrid and Paris. What did you have back then that you were not able to keep up?

David: I hadn't had any surgeries, almost none, practically zero.
By now, he's had three, the big one in 2009 and now the two smaller ones. But although merely two weeks have passed since David's latest visit to the operating room, it looks like he'll be back on the training court very soon. In a few more weeks, we'll get to see him playing matches again. And maybe, hopefully, delaying the changing of the guard just a little bit longer.

(photos: Sergio Cejas)


  1. amazing post, so glad his recovery is going well.
    "delaying the changing of the guard just a little bit longer" like that

  2. Keep up with good news Julia :) I think when everyone miss David they bring back the best moments of his career like in Madrid and Paris, lol.

  3. Thanks Julia!
    He looks really relaxed in those pictures. And we saw in the past pictures of him taken for the articules where he just smiled and looked like "when does it finish?".
    I missed that David's smile, when he's at easy and confortable.
    And he looks more thin, doesn't he?

  4. he looks way more thin for me Anna, even his face, i think the Doctors must have told him to lose some weights which is very important in post hernia operations, the last thing he wants is extra weights on his abdomen.
    btw here is a tiny video i would like you to have a look at, Joop sent it for me and i uploaded it to youtube. A perfect winner by david during his match againsst Roddick in Kooyong 2004.


  6. I just hope that everything keeps going well with his recovery. And that I get to report more good news in the weeks to come. :)

    As for David looking thinner, well, I've basically given up on trying to judge his weight, based on photos. He tends to look different in each shoot, sometimes in each and every pic...

  7. Yes, I always say the same. But here there are like two pictures of him looking thinner ;)
    And there is another one on his facebook with a Yonex shirt signed by him wishing well for Japan.
    But his face looks thin and there's a clue: he always looked heavier with yonex clothes. And in these three he doesn't So I think he lost some weight. Still, as you say heoften looks different in every picture

  8. I know what you mean - if he even looks thinner in Yonex shirts... lol
    But yeah, I trust videos more than pics when it comes to this.
    Though he definitely looks good in those photos. :)

  9. He definitely lost weight,theres no question in my mind.By what he said in the interview,he sounds hungry for victories and tennis.I expect a good performance in either Madrid or Rome.

  10. It's just that we've had this many times before, those "visual illusions"...
    I think David is right, saying he won't expect too much from the first weeks after his comeback.

  11. Encouraging update, and lovely photos. I agree, it's nice to see David smiling.

  12. On the subject of those photos and how David looks in them...

    The first one looks as though it was taken with a wide-angle lens, so it may have some distorting effect on the subject in the middle.

    And the perspective of the second one makes everything in the foreground look bigger than everything further back - so David's lower half appears bigger than his top half. and we all know that's not true! :)

    So I don't think we can tell a lot about David's shape from these. I just like seeing him smiling.

  13. I can't get enough from that backhand Noubar :D

  14. haha, here comes the expert advice. :) Yeah I thought the photos looked distorted and out of proportion too (because of the angle).

  15. @Ashot

    Yeah it's an awesome backhand. He scored a LOT of down the line backhand winners that match, but this was the best :)

  16. Krystle, yes - giant hands! ;)

  17. David looks great, I think. Maybe I didn't see it but he looks great also in that pic:

  18. You're ruining my plans, here. :)
    I'm going to post that interview (and the photo) later.

  19. My plan was to wait with posting that one, spacing it out a little more. As right now, I don't know when the next news or interview will come. But well, now it's up.

  20. Oh I'm sorry Julia! I didn't want to cross your plans! I saw it and liked David's pic so much :-)

  21. That's really no problem. :)
    And yeah, it's a nice pic. It's good to see David looking happy and relaxed. And wearing blue (I always like that).