Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Look ahead at the Tournaments on Grass

As the term 'grass season' may seem a bit exaggerated for what's in effect merely a brief spell of four weeks. Therefore, here's a look at the two tournaments (and one exhibition) that David is planning to play in the coming weeks. On grass. It's been a while...
The last time David played on grass was in 2008. And back then, his schedule looked exactly the way it does now - Queen's Club, Boodles and then Wimbledon. When he played these events in 2008, David was having major problems with his hip. Now, three years later, the time has finally come to make a new start, "on England's green and pleasant land".

Queen's Club, London (June 6-12)


(Getty Images)

After years of preparing for Wimbledon at Boodles and twice also at Halle (where he never made it past the first round), in 2008 David went and tried something new - the Queen's Club. A change that paid off. David won his first two rounds in straights (against Troicki and Mahut, the latter the previous year's runner-up) before having a more difficult time than usual, defeating Gasquet. But disaster really struck in the semifinal, where David only managed to win exactly one game against Djokovic. Back then, it seemed like one of the worst, if not the worst match David ever played. Only about a year later it became clear that he was playing with an injury at the time and how grave that injury really was.
Still, despite the unfortunate end to his visit to the Queen's Club, it was obvious that this event was much better suited for David than Halle. And therefore it's really no surprise that it's part of his schedule again, this year.
Due to the brevity of the "grass season", the Queen's Club, as one of the two major preparatory events for Wimbledon, has a field that other 250 events (or 500 events) can only dream of, including Nadal, Djokovic and Murray. But thanks to his still good enough ranking, David will be seeded and therefore able to avoid any higher ranked/seeded players until the third round.


Exhibition: The Boodles Challenge, Stoke Park (June 14-18)


(Wikipedia)

Playing the exhibition event at Stoke Park, west of London, is a tradition with David. And according to the Boodles website, he's going to set a record this year, with what will be his altogether eighth appearance. (On par with the Copa Argentina.) In other words, David likes this event very much. And apparently, he feels rather comfortable at Stoke Park, the manor house and resort that has served as a picturesque backdrop in a variety of films, including two James Bond movies, Bridget Jones's Diary and the movie Wimbledon.
This year, David will be joined by: David Ferrer, Gael Monfils, Viktor Troicki, Sam Querrey, Marcos Baghdatis and as the most recent addition to the field, Juan Martin Del Potro. (Though changes in the line-up can and do occur.)
In the past, Boodles often enough proved to be not only exclusive but also - elusive. Trying to find out the results used to be nothing short of an adventure. Last year however, and for the very first time, there was not only a working results page, there was even a stream. So there might be a chance to watch David play. - Preparing for the big one...


The Championships, Wimbledon (June 20 - July 3)


(Getty Images)

Back when David played his last Championships, the Centre Court at Wimbledon did not yet have a roof. But apart from that, and the newly built Court 3, nothing much has changed at the oldest and most prestigious of all tennis tournaments. Middle Sunday, "Wimbledon Whites", the absence of ad banners, strawberries and Pimms, and the eternal uncertainty factor that is called the English weather - it's all still the same and it will be again, this year.
As mentioned in the previous post, David's history at Wimbledon began back in junior days, when he missed his semifinal match (against Jürgen Melzer, by the way) and got defaulted. Three years later, however, David returned to Wimbledon, this time as a pro, and famously reached the final. A feat that makes it easy to overlook that apart from that 2002 final, David's results at Wimbledon haven't really been that spectacular. And it's been six years since he last made it to the second week of the tournament, with the quarterfinal he reached back in 2005 his second best result at Wimbledon. Ever since then, it's been early exits for David, whether in the third round (2006 and 2007) or even in the first round, though in 2008 (as became known only much later) he was hampered by his hip injury.

It's been three years but now they'll finally meet again - David and the grass courts of England. And although David will always be most at home on hardcourt, he has said often enough that he also likes to play on grass. So let's hope he's going to have a good time, playing on it this year.

P.S. Here's a silly little something I've made on the occasion...

9 comments:

  1. that "silly something" was my favorite part of the past, David on Green lol
    nice abstracts julia

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  2. Since are boy Chela took out Falla,David is now the 3rd Argentinian in the rankings,so let me make a hypothetical question,if the tie with the Kazakhs was in a week.Who would the captain choose Chela and Del Potro(lets say hes up for playing) or David and Del Potro.Another sub question,if Vasquez were to choose Chela and Del Potro,saying that hes looking at rankings and form,how would you guys think that David would react?

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  3. Its almost impossible for Vasquez to do something like that. Choose Chela and Delpo over David ? no way
    1st, neither Delpo nor Chela are committed to DC as much as David, Chela hasnt had good results in DC in the past.
    2nd, he doesn't want to upset David.
    3rd, we all know that David in DC is almost impossible to beat, he plays his absolute best.

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  4. According to the Queen's Club website, Delpo is going to play doubles - with Stepanek.

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  5. I think if Chela would to beat Murray and the tie was in a week or so,tere would definitely be some thought put into it.But thats all just hypothetical,I just mentioned it to see what you guys think but it looks like no one but Noubar was interested in chatting about it :(.In other news Dani Koellerer got banned from tennis,for life,because of match fixing.I dont know if its ever happened before.I remeber once Puerta for a long time de facto ending his carer,but this is as harsh as you cane go.

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  6. Adrian,

    I thought Dani would get banned for behavioral issues, but for match fixing? Really? When did this happen? And how was he caught?

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  7. Puerta was banned for doping not fixing.

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  8. There's a thread on the whole Köllerer issue on MTF.

    No news from David at the moment.
    But apart from Chela, there's also Edu Schwank, who has reached SF in doubles (with Colombian player Cabal).

    Apart from that, and as a postscript to the previous post about transcripts, here you can read some fear-mongering by a professional journalist - an example of how journalists sometimes underestimate their readers (see comments for the article).

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  9. Haha, I can't believe it. Yeah, who cares about Federer these days, lol.

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