Sunday, August 14, 2011

An Opponent for David and a new Interview

After two days of waiting and following the qualifying matches it's now finally clear who will be David's opponent in the first round at Cincy: Kei Nishikori, currently ranked #48.
It's going to be the first encounter between these two. But in this case, David will have at least some sort of idea of what's awaiting him as he trained with Nishikori at the Queen's Club, not too long ago. The match will take place on Monday (see sidebar).

Meanwhile, somewhere between his training sessions, David did a phone interview with Sebastian Torok from La Nacion, his first one in a while. And a chance to hear from David himself about his recent first-round losses and his take on the current situation:
David: I'm a bit short of matches and rhythm. I'm improving every day. But I had tough first-round matches and I get to feel the consequences of the pause. There's no other choice but to continue training, working to get back to the level you want to be at.

Q: The circuit doesn't allow you to take a break. If you're out for a while you get to suffer in various ways.

David: Yes, yes, it's very tough, demanding. Apart from that, for a few years now I've been playing little and stopping, playing a little and stopping, and that makes it difficult. The consistency of those players who are healthy, and it also happened to me when I was among those, is much better compared to those who're coming back from injuries. The player who gets to play regurlarly has a very high level if you put him on a court with someone who's coming from having done recovery.

Q: You look a lot thinner now than usual. Is that still the result of the virus that you had after the operation and which made you also lose muscle mass?

David: (laughs) When I'm fat it's because I'm fat, when I'm thin it's because I'm thin? I'm fine, I don't have any troubles, I don't have any pain. I don't feel weaker because I'm thinner, not at all. I'm training very well. It's part of the training too.

Q: Was it difficult to deal with the latest injuries? How did they affect your state of mind?

David: You always want to play, obviously. When athletes goes through phases with injuries or surgeries then those are the saddest moments. But these are things that happen to you in a high performance sport that's as demanding [as tennis]. You go through tough times, but now that I am able to compete, I'm trying to get going, to improve and start winning matches.

Q: The ranking doesn't help getting more match practice. Losing points and not getting seeded, the first rounds, like at Montréal, are going to be against more difficult opponents.

David: Yes, at Montréal I wasn't seeded and I had to play against a great player like Wawrinka. It's normal. These tournaments are the best and it's very difficult to get an easy oppenent in the first round. But in my case, I can't expect much more if I don't play tournaments, right? If you don't play and don't do well then you can't improve your ranking, and this year I only played four or five tournaments, not more [seven, actually]. It's very difficult.

Q: You could also get to the Davis Cup semifinal against Serbia without having played much.

David: No, I think I'll be in good shape for it. That's one of my main goals and I still have two tournaments left. I'm training well and I am confident that I'll improve my form. I hope to be finding my rhythm quickly and to be at a good level. I think I have time.

Q: Which are the moments during a match where you get to feel the lack of match practice the most?

David: All the time, with everything in general. You lose confidence, it gets difficult to take risks. If you take risks is the ball going to go out? It's a bit of everything. It's one thing to train well and but another to play competitive matches. That's totally different. But I'll get there.

Q: Eliminating Serbia in the semifinal, would that be a feat?

David: They're the favourites, that's clear. But I think that if Juan Martin (Del Potro), the rest of the guys and me are all in good shape, then we can be dangerous for them. Djokovic has only lost one match this year and will be difficult to play against. But it's not impossible.

Q: It seems that at this stage of your career, there are few things that a coach could correct. You just parted ways with Luis Lobo. Are you thinking about getting another coach? Do you have any names in mind?

David: No, for now I'm fine with the way things are. So I'm going to continue like this for a while.

Q: You'll turn 30 in January. Federer had his 30th birthday a few days ago and he said, "the body tells you how old you are, not your age." How do you feel about that?

David: Well, I think my injuries speak for themselves. Roger is exceptionally gifted and he had no major physical problems during his career, despite having played a lot more matches than the average player. Each player has different injuries, related to their style of playing. Obviously at this point in my career I've suffered a lot of wear and tear, much more than the new generation. But I still really want to play.
The final question of the interview concerned the exhibition match against Rafael Nadal at the Parque Roca, planned to take place on December 8 (and for which Nadal is said to receive one million dollars). Apparently, it will be officially announced in the coming weeks. Though David sees some possible problems, concerning the scheduling.
We have to wait and see because a lot depends on the Davis Cup semifinal. Hopefully, Argentina will play in the final (December 2-4) and that would make it difficult for us to play the match on that date.
But first of all it's now - Cincy.

18 comments:

  1. Okay, interesting draw. I'm not sure if this will make it onto a televised court. Probably not? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

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  2. Probably not, I guess. That it's a mixed event doesn't help his (and our) chances.

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  3. It does have 3 courts covered tho,maybe he gets a spot.

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  4. I think it was on MTF,they made a new show court,and I think some new outer courts,probably because its joint men and women now.

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  5. They've apparently rebuilt/enlarged Court 3. But whether there's going to be coverage for it, I don't know.

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  6. Davids on court 3,third match of the day,I hope it has coverage.

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  7. David will indeed play Kei tomorrow. As for what happened today, David did not practice vs. nadal. He played a practice set with Grigor Dimitriov on court 16 and after that session was done Nadal came on and played with Marc Lopez and Gilles Simon. He and David exchanges a few words before he left. His play was better than it was on saturday, and he was making a lot more first serves in. it looks like his serve could still improve but his return was winning him points as usual. Tomorrow ill be back hopefully to see his match but there are a lot of good matches and practices taking place on the grounds tomorrow.

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  8. It looks like it does have coverage! :) I see the first match of the day on Court 3 listed on TennisTV.com.

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  9. Great news Krystle!

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  10. Yeah, there is a stream, first time that they're showing 3 courts at Cincy - and then the organisers schedule David's match exactly so that I can't watch it... :(

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  11. I checked LSH and all the men's matches being shown are on Centre Court and the Grandstand. Lisicki-Peer on Court 3 is scheduled for streaming though, so I don't know what gives.

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  12. No idea why LSH only list the first match at the moment. But I don't think they'll just stream one match from Court 3 and then call it a day.
    Bet365 have David's match listed and LSH etc normally use their coverage.

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  13. sounds promising. But is the master of highlights andvari gonna record the match remains the big question lol. I am tasting my own medicine now, not so long ago i was telling you that am gna watch david's match on a 50" HDTv, now i only can wish to be able to watch it on a 6" live stream.

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  14. That makes sense, Julia. Last night, LSH didn't have any matches at Cincinnati scheduled, just Challenger stuff. So I guess they're catching up. Too bad you can't watch David's match today, or tonight in Germany. Thanks for the info.

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  15. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that there will be streams on the usual sites. I mean, the coverage is there so why wouldn't they show it.
    And yep, David's match is the exact slot I can't make. But I'll probably still be here when the first match on Court 3 is over - and then we'll see what happens.

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  16. LSH were still in the process of catching up - it's on the list now. :)

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