Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Welcome back, David!



Over three months after his last ATP match and almost three years after playing his last match on grass, David made a successful comeback on the Tour (and on grass) today, with his 6-3, 6-4 victory over Illya Marchenko. Without dropping serve and without any "hiccups" when trying to close out the first set and then eventually the match.
In the second round tomorrow, David will now face Serbian qualifier Ilija Bozoljac. It will be their first meeting. And once again, there will be no stream.

David began his comeback today in the best possible way - by hitting an ace. And he caught a great start into this match. After easily holding serve in the opening game, David couldn't convert two break points he had on Marchenko's serve. But the Ukranian's following service game (at 2-1), saw him go down 0-40 and this time, David took his chance and afterwards consolidated his break without difficulties. At 4-2, David faced a first break point - and saved it. At 5-3, David served for the set and closed it out to love.
The second set saw David squandering further break points, in the first game of the set and then three in a row at 1-1 (as Marchenko went down 0-40 again). But instead of losing focus because of those wasted chances, David continued to hold serve, saved the second (and last) break point at 4-3 for Marchenko before finally getting the decisive break in the following game. At 5-4, David served for the match - and once again, he closed it out to love.

- That much could be gathered from the scoreboard. But today, Vamos David had a "spy" courtside who watched the match and saw those things you can't see on the scoreboard. Here's from Istabraq's (thank you!!!) notes:
The match was played mostly from the baseline, with neither player advancing to the net much. In the longer rallies, David outplayed Marchenko more often than not though by playing with depth and pulling him wide, Marchenko also managed to force David into committing errors.
But noteworthy certainly is that David served well in the important moments. The first set for example he managed to close out with a series of great serves. Which is even more amazing, given the fact that it was windy at the Queen's Club today - not the conditions David likes and it did seem to bother him a little but it didn't keep him from serving well.
At the end of the match, however, he also had a bit of luck. Marchenko slipped, both to allow David to break for 5-4 in the second set, as well as during the final service game, granting David match points...


(photos by Istabraq)

Apart from his singles comeback, David also played doubles with Andy Roddick, against Delpo and Radek Stepanek. In the first set, it was David who got broken (to love), in the second set it was Roddick and that was enough to come out second best. But this wasn't really a very serious match, it was fun and practice for the players - and for the crowd it was pure entertainment.
The "racquet-throwing" incident has been mentioned in the comments before. Here is Istabraq's description of it:
David threw his racquet and failed to catch it, so Roddick went to pick it up for him. But instead of handing it back, he threw it even further away - so David had to go and get it. Which he did, laughing... In short - a good time was had by all.
More of Istabraq's photos from both the singles and the doubles, plus pics of David, training you'll find on the Photo Page.
A very brief clip of the doubles you can watch here (thanks, Andvari).

4 comments:

  1. Looking at the photos it seems like Andy,David and Juan Martin had a great time,I dont think Stepanek did because hes always serious haha.Also nice to see the huge smile on Davids face at the handshake with Delpo,hopefully a new start is on the horizon for them two.If Andy and David liked this they should have a go at some other tournaments too,just for fun.

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  2. Stepanek and Delpo had fun, as well. ;)
    Well, I'm not a fan of David playing doubles. Now and then, to have a bit of fun is fine of course, but not on a regular basis (and hopefully not in DC, as in playing on all 3 days...).

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  3. ya i liked the handshake with delpo as well. Julia, what is radek doing to delpo ? lol

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  4. I'm not really sure but something that involves holding his hand... :)

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