Monday, July 25, 2011

A Look ahead at the US Hardcourt Swing

Or rather - at the three tournaments in the US and Canada that, if all goes well, David (now ranked #28) will play ahead of the US Open. Last year, it was at these tournaments that David played his best tennis since hip surgery, won the Washington title and eleven matches in a row, the longest winning streak in his career. And all of that virtually out of nowhere, after having played only two matches in the previous four months.
But whereas last season, David went to Washington with nothing to lose it's going to be a different situation this time. And not just because he's coming back from another injury.
For the first time since hip surgery, David now faces a series of tournaments where he has a huge amount of ranking points to defend. 770 at these three events. 860 if you include the US Open, which is more than half of the points he currently has.
Here's a look at the three tournaments where David did so well last season - and will have to do well again if he wants to keep a decent ranking and be seeded at the US Open...

Legg Mason Tennis Classic 500, Washington (August 1-7)


(Getty Images)

In the past, David usually took a break between Wimbledon and the Canadian Masters. Last year however, after not having played on the Tour since Monte Carlo, he went for a change of plans...
David was ranked well outside the Top 100 last season when the organisers offered him a wildcard and a place in the main draw. And what was initially planned as an opportunity to gain some match practice turned into David marching through the early rounds and eventually defeating Marcos Baghdatis to win the title.
Now he returns to Washington as the defending champion. And while the tournament, the heat and the humidity (and the lack of coverage during the early rounds) will be same as last year, it's going to be a very different scenario for David, with different expectations and a lot more pressure
- not least because of those 500 ranking points he's defending.
What's also different: David will be seeded this time and therefore he'll get a bye in the first round.

Top on the entry list: Mardy Fish, Andy Roddick and Jürgen Melzer. Wildcards for Gael Monfils, Fernando Verdasco and Lleyton Hewitt.
The draw will take place on Friday, July 29 at 1.30pm EST.


Rogers Cup, Masters 1000, Montréal (August 8-14)


(Montréal Tourism Guide)

The Rogers Cup, as the Canadian Masters is also known, is not only among the oldest ongoing tennis tournaments in the world (first held in 1881). It's also the only ATP event that regularly takes place in two different cities, with Toronto and Montréal taking turns.
Last season, David reached the quarterfinal at Toronto (for the second time after 2002) where his loss to Andy Murray put an end to his eleven-match winning streak. This year, the tournament will be held in Montréal again but that's where David had his best result at this event, with the final he made back in 2003 (and which he lost to Andy Roddick).
Defending 180 points at this tournament, David won't be seeded and can therefore meet any of the seeds 9-16 in the first round and any of the top 8 (who get a bye) in the second. And as this is a Masters event and therefore mandatory for the Top 30 - everyone will be there.


Western & Southern Open, Masters 1000, Cincinnati (August 15-21)


(Getty Images)

The Western & Southern Open as it's now officially called, also known as the Cincinnati Masters, or just Cincy, actually takes place in Mason, Ohio (northeast of Cincinnati). And out of all those Masters events where David has a record, it's actually this one where he has the worst.
When David reached the third round last year (where he lost to Novak Djokovic) it was the second best result he ever achieved at Cincy. He only did better back in 2003 when he made the quarterfinal. But apart from that it's always been either first or second round exits for David in the only six times he has played this tournament so far.
At Cincy, it's only 90 ranking points that David has to defend. Apart from that the same rules apply as with the Rogers Cup. The seeding for the US Open will based on the rankings after Cincy.

P.S. Greetings, by the way, from the first ever Vamos David "board meeting", as Krystle is currently visiting me here in Berlin.

Update (26/07)
A look back at David's Davis Cup career in 55 pictures you can find here on the Davis Cup website.

10 comments:

  1. Have fun with the Vamos David Meeting and wish you a great time!
    I keep everything crossed that David will play good tennis and go deep in those tournaments, may the US Swing bring luck to David again!
    I will be on holiday during those tournaments until US Open and I hope to find internet access for keeping myself up-to-date with David.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had to drop in and have a look at the blog. :) Hi everyone from Berlin! By the way, I am having real trouble with this keyboard. I keep typing the wrong keys! Why are y and z the other way around?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, I hope you have a great time! Enjoy it!

    Americans (and all countries that have the american keyboard layout) use y more and in Europe we use more z, so they switched it for better typing. But it is hard to get used to it, I know it from my US visit, I was a typing-error-machine.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Krystle, have a nice time in Europe!

    Btw, the French keyboard is even stranger in my opinion :)

    I use QWERTY

    ReplyDelete
  5. Board meeting - lol!

    I hope you're both taking it very seriously. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the report on the upcoming tournies. Looking at those photos of the stadiums, I wish I was going to them. After so much tennis-watching (and David-watching) in June, I'm missing it.

    I'm sure he'll be wondering where I am too. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Check it out: http://www.daviscup.com/En/photos/galleries/gallery.aspx?id=53790

    ReplyDelete
  8. I enjoyed looking at these photos - especially the older ones. Thanks for the link. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Is it still called QWERTY, even though it is really QWERTZ?
    I have still not managed to figure out how to get to the "at" symbol. I copied and pasted it to my clipboard instead.

    I think I will remember Berlin by the annoying wasps.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Not just the wasps, I hope. ;)

    ReplyDelete