Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Wildcard for the Queen's Club


(Getty Images)

It's official, the first wildcard for this year's tournament at the Queen's Club in London (June 6-12) goes to - David. I'll quote from the article on the subject on the tournament website:
“I am looking forward to starting my comeback from injury on grass at the AEGON Championships at The Queen’s Club,” said a grateful Nalbandian.

“It has been a frustrating time, but my recovery is going well and I expect to be in good shape for the tournament. I enjoy playing on grass, and reaching the Wimbledon final in 2002 was a special moment in my career. I hope to have a successful grass court season this year.”

Tournament Director Chris Kermode was delighted to welcome him into the singles main draw.

“The AEGON Championships has a tradition of using its wild cards to give opportunities to established players who have had a difficult time with injuries,” he said. “In awarding our first wild card to David Nalbandian we have maintained that tradition, and added an exciting, explosive and entertaining tennis player to our singles main draw.”
Apart from the Queen's Club, David is planning to play the Boodles Challenge, an exhibition event (June 14-18), and then, of course, Wimbledon (June 20 - July 3).

Update (19/05)
From a new Clarin article, here's a bit more about David's current preparations:
Nalbandian trained with Brian Dabul last week and with Andrea Collarini yesterday. His team's plan [for him] is to start training on hardcourt soon, to readjust to the different speed of the ball. Apart from that, practice sessions on a private grass court are also planned. By the end of next week, Nalbandian will travel to London in order to have enough time to prepare for the Queen's Club and to then focus on Wimbledon.

63 comments:

  1. ahh, finally some positive stuff. We all wish he will have a great Grass season. Thanks Julia 4 the update

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  2. Thanks Julia.
    Things are looking more hopeful now.

    I would think it would be embarrasing to David if he pulled out now since they have given him the wildcard - though I guess it's been done by him before.

    He says he enjoys the grass and Wimbledon, etc. I wonder if this is true or just boilerplate PR stuff he continually sends out.

    If he does indeed enjoy it, he can relax - no expectations, no points to defend. Just go out, have fun and protect the body. Plus, he'll have decent seedings because his ranking is still good.

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  3. since you brought that up Joe, he will be seeded right? i've seen tournaments where WCs are not seeded. About if he enjoys it or not, am sure its not his fav. surface, but he must say nice words to the organizers. Although hard courts are david's specialty, its the Grass GS final he reached lol.

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  4. finally good news.it is going to be hard for him.the draw will be very strong in Queen's.I cant really remember when he played well on grass?I saw him playing against Dancevic in wimledon.That was a nightmare.I hope this year he can win some matches on grass!

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  5. Noubar, Yeah, David is full of ironies.
    Possibly his best accomplishment is reaching finals of Grass GS even though he doesn't like it and has ignored it in the past.

    Good question about WC seeding. Usually Wild Cards are for injured guys who's ranking has dropped or for some reason, can't qualify normally. But David can certainly qualify with his current ranking. I was guessing that he just did not submit his entry form in time and had to get special permission to get in the draw. In that case, since he would normally have qualified and been seeded, then the draw would look strange without his beeing seeded. Plus, it's sort of disrespectful to the seeded players to meet him in the first round, defeating the purpose of seeding in general -- another reason for seeding him.

    But, I am no expert on this stuff, so just educated guesses.

    Well, I hope he enjoys it a little :)

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  6. Anonymous: yes, I did see the list of players in the tournament. Whew! very tough! But, then no pressure on David, so maybe he will pull out some great win or two. As you know, he's Mr. Unpredicatable.

    The main thing though is that he's on the court playing. That's progress no matter what the results.

    Also, I don't think David would play if he didn't feel he could at least compete reasonably.

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  7. My pleasure to report good news. Didn't get much of a chance to do that, lately... ;)

    Okay, about WCs. The organisers decide who gets one and for what reason - their choice, entirely. WCs get seeded (players using a protected ranking don't). And I guess David's ranking should be enough for a (low) seeding at QC.

    And yep, of course he has to say nice things after getting a WC. While his results on grass, except for the 2002 final, have been mixed, to say the least. Anyway, he made semis the one time he has played QC (2008 - before losing to Dancevic at Wimbledon; but those were the hip injury days). So he should have good memories of it. Okay, except for that semifinal itself... lol

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  8. so WCs are always seeded, and yea its not just for injured players, for any reason whatsoever, countries usually award them to their low ranked players in order to support them. @Julia, i know in 2008 David was having problems with his hip, i remember hod comfortably novak beat him there, a bagel as well. We can never predict anything for david, thats the most exciting thing about him, as Lindsay Davenport would say "He's a sleeper" "you don't wanna see him in your part of the draw"

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  9. I'm so happy to read that! Wonderful news finally! I hope he will do great at Queens without physical problems.

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  10. Wonderful news to hear,finally some good news for a change,ATP should really make Queens a 500 tournament.I mean the field is better than most 500s and it would be fair to have have at least one grass 500.Winning this tournament is definitely deserves a lot more than winning any other 250.

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  11. Adrian, that sounds like a good idea.
    I wondered the same thing. Why don't they do it?

    Maybe they would have to increase the prize money and they would not be able to afford it; they can't make a profit.
    But the players still will play with smaller purse since they need the grass court practice.

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  12. Yeah true,its all about the money.I guess to get the 500 license you have to spend a lot more money,but if its just the ATP who wont give to them, than its a shame.

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  13. I think it has something to do with the ATP's requirements for 500 events and how difficult it would be to implement them at the Queen's Club because of its location etc.
    And the organisers don't need the upgrade, they can get whoever they want - except Federer.

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  14. Yes, Queens is great news. I sure hope he plays, though. I agree Joe, it would be embarrassing if he pulls out. Kind of a slap in the face. Never did get the Federer-Halle connection, Julia, other than perhaps he just wants a confidence boost going into Wimbledon. But then, Borg never played any lead ups to the Big W. He just practiced like a madman on grass for two weeks after the French. David can't afford any more hiccups this year, if for no other reason than he would drive VD followers nuts.

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  15. Just posted the Clarin update. If he's going to fly to London by the end of next week then it means he's taking this seriously. He doesn't usually travel to events that early.
    As for the hiccups, well, we'll have to see how it goes from here... ;)

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  16. Yeah, he could have spent the time hanging out in Argentina. That's what I would have expected. Well, that's committed of him. At least more so than usual.

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  17. The great thing is, it looked all too much like following last year's pattern, and now that's broken with the WC acceptance.

    I have tickets for Queens and Boodles. Am I really going to see David at last?

    I have just got home to England from a trip to the US - still at airport. Switched phone on to find a text from a friend welcoming me home and giving the news about David. My friends know what is important. :)

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  18. Welcome back. :)
    You're right about the pattern.
    And yeah, it looks like you'll finally get to see him.
    (And that's also good for VD, hehe...)

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  19. Istabraq - Couldn't wait until you actually got home to check up on us, could you? lol

    Yeah I'm looking forward to the awesome photos.

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  20. Indeed Julia, the fact that he is gonna travel to UK at the end of next week is awesome, more commitment, he almost never does something like that.
    @krystle lol, yea its the same for me, sometimes i open VD from my cellphone before 15 min of my final exam, just to suck the pressure, loll

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  21. I have hardly seen David playing on grass good.

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  22. It's been a long time since he last played on grass, almost three years...

    Anyway, I'm glad he seems to be taking this seriously. - And that I'll finally get to see him play again. :)

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  23. "Istabraq - Couldn't wait until you actually got home to check up on us, could you? lol"

    Ha ha - yes, as soon as I was out of the airport. Well, I did have to wait a while for a bus.

    I am really hoping to get some good photos. The photo of Queen's Centre Court Julia has posted now looks like roughly where my seat was last year, lol! I think I'm a bit closer up this time. They'd better not put David on Court 1 instead of Centre, but I really don't think they would.

    What I am really hoping for is to see him on the practice courts first, because then I will see him really close up.

    I'm not uncrossing my fingers about David atually being there yet though.

    And it had better not r**n!

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  24. Yep, keeping fingers crossed until he shows up on court...

    But right now, it's looking good.
    Danny Miche just tweeted that yes, David will fly to London next week.

    And you know what we're now all expecting here from you. ;)

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  25. Ooh, the pressure! ;)

    I'll probably be so overwhelemed at actually seeing him in the flesh after all this time, that I'll forget how to use my camera. ;)

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  26. Come on, try to find out which hotel he is staying, and where he is practicing!

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  27. Hey, Istabraq is a superb tennis photographer - not a stalker. lol

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  28. Thanks, Julia. :)
    I'd be a rubbish stalker anyway - I'll be in Paris when David arrives in London. Just like I was in South America last year when David was in France. Hopeless! ;-)

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  29. Hopeless as a stalker - maybe.
    But as a photographer - far from it.
    After all, I know your work. And I can't wait to finally get some David photos, taken by you. :)

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  30. Glad for the Clarin update, Julia. Yes, making the trek from Argentina to London should portend a firm commitment to playing Queen's and Wimbledon. Of course I could be a real cynic and claim to believe it's all really a ruse for David to check out polo ponies in the English countryside. But I won't. Better not be. Glad you're feeling the pressure, Istabraq, since we expect more of you than merely being the photographer. How about VD's on-site intrepid reporter? What a lucky lady. Hope David doesn't disappoint.

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  31. @ Istabraq, its not optional lol
    We are all hungry to see David again, and any thing you share will be very much appreciated.
    btw queens will broadcast for the very first day of the tournament, thats nice

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  32. Looking at the Boodles website it seems that one would have to dig deep down into his pocket to get tickets.

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  33. No, no - Boodles is cheap just for a ticket to the tennis. Very good value.

    It's the hospitality stuff that most people (not tennis fans) go for that costs big bucks.

    Last year after I booked my tickets I kept getting asked if I wanted a hamper from Harrods. Lol!

    It's about the only tennis event I go to where I drive, so I can't even have the Pimms, unfortunately.

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  34. It was lovely (despite its Davidlessness) last year, but I felt I was one of the few real tennis fans there.

    Most people seemed to have no idea who people like Hanescu were, and they didn't seem to believe Davydenko was a tennis player at all, since he doesn't have a very typical build. Lol!

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  35. I'll have a glass of Pimm's when David plays his first match at QC. And one for Boodles. And Wimbledon. lol

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  36. Oh ok,I just suspected it was expensive because I watched the promo video on their site and couldnt help but notice when they said "mingle with the top tennis players of the world" so I thought it was for elite guests only,my bad.Are you going this year?

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  37. Yes, I have tickets for the first three days of Boodles. I may only go on two days (it depends on when David shows up! - and the weather) as I want to go to Wimbledon qualies one day that week too.

    I suppose the people with lots of money - but probably little interest in and no clue about tennis - get to "mingle with" the players (sigh). Typical, isn't it?

    But from last year I did get the feeling that the players are a lot more relaxed than at a normal tournament, plus there aren't that many spectators. So I think it will be a good place to see David if I can.

    Julia, I will definitely be on the Pimms at Queen's and Wimbledon. :)

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  38. I think the Boodles site does push the "elite" stuff, but when I was there it didn't make me feel like a ragamuffin in the cheap seats.

    It's the same week as Royal Ascot as it happens. I think in a similar sort of way it's designed to appeal to people who want a social occasion and a garden party atmosphere, and the sport is secondary.

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  39. Damn pico is awesome on clay, physical monster. Hope they win WTC, he already broke Mayer in fashion

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  40. Yeah, then it turned around after that. Well it looks like Mayer is going to take this now. I hope Germany end up winning this. Even though it's an exo, it'd still be nice for Flo to win a final (at home)!

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  41. An exho with ranking points. ;)
    Well, I hope Chela beats Kohlschreiber... I'm more or less neutral in this but Kohlschreiber - nah...

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  42. Oh wow, it has ranking points? Has it always had ranking points? That's why I was confused on MTF when they said Mayer is now in the top 20. Cool!

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  43. For a couple of years now, yeah. But not before.

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  44. I dont really like the Dusseldorf tournament,it feels like a quasi DC kind of thing,I highly doubt if David was fit he would want to play that tournament.I think it goes under the 250 series.

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  45. I think it's nice because it's not all that serious. More like a fun event, and a week spent hanging out with their fellow countrymen for the players. It's its own category, by the way, not a 250.
    And yeah, David only played it twice. I remember 2006, when he lost both his matches (against Berdych and Volandri, I think). He didn't really seem to care too much. It's not DC, after all... :)

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  46. Ya,I guess the players like it for sure.In other news Tommy Haas is coming back at RG after more than a year off the tour.I guess he doesnt have a problem with coming back at a best of 5 tournament.Even tho if I was in his position I would maybe skip RG and play some challengers but then again,hes coming into those years when you dont know which GS might be your last.

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  47. Didn't Haas play doubles at Munich? Anyway, yeah, I guess he's taking whetever chance he gets now and it could be last chance of playing RG. I've never been his fan but his on-court rants in German are entertaining... lol

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  48. Anyone think Pico might beat Verdasco at RG? :)

    Here's a thought about Queen's... in the interests of friendly relations, maybe David and Delpo could play doubles together!

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  49. Well, not that it really helped much, the last time around... ;)

    Pico hurt his finger a bit during the match today, hope it won't bother him at RG. And with Verdasco, anything is possible...

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  50. If David mostly get's tired in single matches how should he play double? I hope he won't play double.

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  51. "Well, not that it really helped much, the last time around... ;)"

    Ha ha, no it didn't.

    Ashot, I really don't think David playing doubles will happen. But if I happen to see David and Delpo anywhere near each other at Queen's, I will be looking out to see if there's any sort of connection between them. And I'll include it in my report.

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  52. It's not a bad idea David and Delpo playing doubles together in Queens, but we both know it's not gnna happen lol
    And I do think Monaco can take down Verdasco, it's Fernando's worst season concerning anything. But like Julia said with him anything is possible, sometimes he plays magnificent tennis, and sometimes not. Guys, if David reaches queens SF, i win 10$, its a bet with my friend, lmao.

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  53. No, it's not going to happen. :)
    Come to think of it, David hasn't played doubles on the Tour since the "peace mission" at IW 2009. Well, his favourite partner (as in, really) isn't around anymore.
    And Noubar, you have seen the entry list, right? ;)

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  54. hahah yea, looks scary, almost a masters series

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  55. Yeah, the grass season phenomenon...
    Still, I was really glad when David decided to say goodbye to Halle and play QC instead. Halle really wasn't his event... lol

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  56. haha yea, but its really been some time since the last time david played on grass, i would like to see how that goes. We will watch 1 more tournament without David. I can live with that.

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  57. Well, remember last year none of Nadal, Djokovic, Murray or Roddick even made the semis. Shame David wasn't there then.

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  58. http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/81528246/Getty-Images-Sport
    what does he mean ? 4?

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  59. good question :)

    4 days without a shave? :)

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  60. He is holding that little elastic thing for his hair in his hand.

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  61. that was sharp.
    problem solved

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