Sunday, September 4, 2011

US Open R3 - David vs Rafael Nadal


(Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

Update
It was a tough, entertaining match and all in all David gave a good account of himself (and more than just that in the first set). But in the end, it was only enough to keep things close in first and third set, with Rafael Nadal prevailing 7-6(5), 6-1, 7-5 after 2 hours and 39 minutes.
David's next event will now be the Davis Cup semifinal in Belgrade in two weeks.

Edit: Photos from the match are now up. Recording available via David on Screen.
Report coming tomorrow.

A bit of David's post-match press conference you can watch here.



(Getty Images/Reuters; montage by VD)

During his press conference on Friday, Rafael Nadal was asked about his next opponent - David. Here's what came to his mind:
For me he's a very dangerous opponent. I had very tough matches against him. How is the head to head? I lost first two, first three, I don't know. I lost against him in Madrid, Paris [2007]. I don't remember the other one.
And not surprisingly because the other one never happened. Still, that Nadal thinks he has lost three matches to David when in fact it's been only two shows how much of an impression those first two defeats (during which he got a total of seven games) must have left. Since then, Nadal has defeated David twice, at Indian Wells 2009 (after David had five match points) and last year at Miami, where David won the first set but then wasn't able to keep it up. In short, even in those matches he lost, David always took a set off Nadal, he always had a chance. Or in Nadal's words:
He's dangerous. He's a very good player. We know each other really good. We practice a lot together. He's a good friend. Will be a very good test for me. (Source.)
That they also practiced together right before the start of the tournament (just like last year) caused some astonishment among media and fans. According to Fue Buena, they played two practice sets in the last few weeks, with each of them winning one. So they both will have a pretty good idea of what to expect - in general and at this very moment. But can the fact that they train together explain why David has done well against Nadal in the past? Here's David's take on it:
Against Nadal, it's going to be a completely different match compared the one I played today [Friday]. With long rallies, plenty of shots and great rhythm. And that's where I'm going to be on my territory because that's the type of player I am.
One thing is clear though, the long rallies, the great rhythm - all of that will take its toll. And whether David is up to this kind of test now, physically as well as mentally, remains to be seen.
Nadal had a shaky start against Golubev, still he's the overwhelming favourite in this match. But hopefully David can find a way of making things as difficult as possible for him. Or in his words:
With Rafa, the matches are always very tough and you leave everything out there on the court. I hope it's going to be the same again this time. (Source.)

101 comments:

  1. im hoping that nalby could finally make his move today

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  2. i cant believe this, rafa doesnt remember how many times he lost to david lol maybe he still thinks he got beaten in IW lol

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  3. No, he mentioned IW and that he won there ("unbelievable match"). But he invented another defeat after Madrid Paris - that didn't happen.
    David forgets matches and Rafa makes up new ones. :)

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  4. julia i think its nadal showing respect to nalby

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  5. They respect each other, always have. But for Rafa to get the H2H wrong like that is new.

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  6. i am so excited i cant concentrate on studying for my accounting exam

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  7. same here, can't wait!!!

    I agree with Julia's post, Rafa's defeats against David were so remarkable that they left a strong memory in Rafa's mind haha :)

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  8. i am pissed!!
    every tennis website i have visited are nor taking nalbandian seriously
    they arent even counting him as taking one set
    it just frustrates me that nalby got this low in the eyes of others
    i really want him to shut mouths to all of the doubters i want him back at the top of his game and the tennis world asap!

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  9. Its good hes flying under the radar.

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  10. I think it's normal that medias don't have great expectations on David, regarding his latest results on Grand Slams. Which means, however he'll be playing today, he won't be unfairly criticized. Rafa is Rafa, super favorite.
    Like Adrian, it's good for him to fly under the radar. He can surprise everybody then :)

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  11. adrian i want him to fly on the court today

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  12. the thing i am mostly afraid of is him playing well and then losing the stamina and fading away

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  13. i agree nadal is better than nalby in winning matches and stamina but ion pure talent and tennis not even by a country mile

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  14. of course Isis, but if it depended on pure talent only, David would've won tons of Grand Slams by now... :)
    It's not about "deserving" to win, it's about really winning the match, and Rafa is clearly favorite for that. But still, we're all here to cheer on David (with an unrealistic hope that he'd win against all odds!!).

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  15. mira if he can play well for 3 sets he will win

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  16. I'm sitting infront of my TV and already stuffing myself with candy and telling myself he can do it! That's what I do when I'm nervous :p

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  17. haha Camilia so candy is your comfort food :p
    So nervous already! gotta drink some green tea to help me relax lol.

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  18. that was a nice interview between nalbandian and wilander

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  19. What interview guys? I didn't see it! Did anybody record it?

    Yes Mira a very bad comfort food, it always ends with me dieting :p

    My commie just said Nalbandian has no chances. I feel like strangling him honestly!

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  20. That interview was for Eurosport, I saw it by chance on TV last night but couldn't record it.

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  21. Too bad Julia! Hopefully the interview will find its way to youtube somehow :)

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  22. very impressive start from nalby so far... hope he keeps this up.

    some of these shots remind me of masters 2007.

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  23. ACE!!!

    As long as David holds his serve, that's all I'm asking for at the moment. Come on!

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  24. Wow, inopportune for a DF from Rafa at BP - that's usually David's territory! Long way to go but great shot making from both so far.

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  25. the way David hits the ball looks like he's been waiting for this match since the beginning of the week. I hope he holds now!

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  26. holding the serve is the main problem for David always, one break is nothing for him against top players, because he is not a good server. I am struggling with my nerves because I knonw that David will soon or later lose his line, especially his fitness level.

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  27. it has already began, 2 missing shots form David

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  28. and the one at 30:30 was superclose, so David is very close to lose his line :(

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  29. Nalbandian had his chances to break again, but make to many UEs in the end, does he struggle already physically??? hope not. I will be surprised if David wins his next 2 service games, really surprised

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  30. And here is the rebreak, I knew it after missing chances

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  31. And David reciprocates with a double fault on BP :-(

    He's played better than Rafa for most of the set, but Rafa does what champions do and played the big points much better so far.

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  32. It was David dominating and he began to make UEs in big points otherwise he could win this set with 2 breaks, at 5:4 I know already that he can't hold and now it will be a big challenge to holde his serve to stay in the set.

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  33. please david win the set please

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  34. Nalbi is already struggling physically, the commentator said that he doesn't mix his game any more, I think he is too tired and looks for short rallies. And here is the mini break for Nadal, he needs only to let the ball in the game and Nalbi makes the error.

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  35. Nalbandian shows his talent, Nadal his running.

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  36. Rafa unsurprisingly takes the tiebreak but David's kept up with him and it's been very close. A really entertaining match so far too.

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  37. Despite losing the set, it's the best I've seen David play in ages. He is serving well and his ground strokes are deep and penetrating. Unfortunately, he's playing Nadal.

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  38. its just sad to see him collapse

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  39. now its pathetic
    i am so angry

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  40. thats it david only good for one set?
    what is going on with him

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  41. I think losing that tiebreak has broken David's spirit :-(

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  42. its so unfair david is better than him

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  43. I haven't watched ordinary after the first set because I knew that he will lose the next sets easily. Great, super, unbelievable rallies in first set and all thanks to Nalbandian.

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  44. In Miami he won the first set but collapsed then too, he was already in the middle of the first set struggling physically.

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  45. Wow, they just showed David on 36 unforced errors, to Rafa's 6!!

    And he's committed a few more since then...that's the second set gone.

    There's no shame in losing to Rafa, and in a best of 5 it was always a tall order. But he had to win the first set to have any chance I feel.

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  46. if he wont resolve the problems he has physically than how can he compete on the tour??
    every ball grinder can beat him?
    its frustrating
    what a waste of talent
    in the first set he schooled nadal
    if only he could have a stamina of lets say even monaco he would have torn him apart

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  47. Rafa isn't just any ball grinder.

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  48. I agree, Joyce. It's so difficult to win points against Nadal. You can't make mistakes and you have to hit the ball almost perfectly. David can do it for awhile, but eventually Rafa wears him down - physically and mentally.

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  49. It takes time to get back into the rhythm and get back full stamina. After so many breaks due to physical problems, you can't expect him to play a five setter against a player like Rafito without having time. You have to give him more time and practice.

    It was a great first set and it showed that 'it' is still in him. My fear was that he wouldn't be able to show that, I think it is good to see that and I hope he build up himself on that part of the match. Hopefully he can play a good third now.

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  50. Hi guys...it's been a while since I've written here. The blog still as good as it was, great job all people working on it :))

    I had to comment on this match against Nadal. The first set was the best I've seen David play in a loooong time indeed but it pretty much summarizes David's career; great talent, very entertaining but unfortunately unable to deliver at the end. But given the matches I've seen in Montreal and Cincinnati, I'm happy with his game...hope he shakes off the 1st and 2nd sets losses and get at least a set! Vamos!

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  51. Much better from David! Hope he can keep it up...

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  52. sorry I wanted to write that you can't beat Rafito without having full stamina and an excellent rhythm (not 'having time'). I think.

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  53. Good. At least David doesn't need the trainer.

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  54. Yeah, brief shock moment there...

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  55. maybe you right julia
    its better to enjoy whats left of him play his last matches rather than get frustrated for him to win titles

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  56. what i do think is that his level of play is top 10 right now so we can be happy he is back

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  57. Damn. That was a good chance for David to get back in the match. At least he's running Rafa all over the place to test those blisters. You never know.

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  58. as long as the breaks are, Rafas medical timeout for example, so better plays David.

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  59. why he is returning so poorly?
    he is not moving his feet
    lazy

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  60. David needs 5 minutes break after each game to get a bit tanked

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  61. sure, it's all about stamina here...

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  62. I have just noticed that the ball is to heavy and not fast like in previews matches for David, otherwise Nadal couldn't bring everything back with fast balls.

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  63. it's not Nadal winning, it's Nalbandian losing

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  64. ashot i couldnt agree more
    david just donating them wins
    to him to murray it just makes me wanna break my house down

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  65. So much for enjoying his matches...

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  66. in one sentence
    when it really matters
    nadal : ace
    nalbandian : double fault
    nothing more to be said

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  67. Argh my stream died just as David got the break when Rafa was serving for the match, and I need to get ready to go out now, I'm going to see PJ Harvey tonight. Much better stuff from David in this set and despite a loss being on the cards, there's a lot to be encouraged by from his efforts today.

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  68. that double fault on match point reflected the lack of energy of David.
    He should've won the 1st set...

    Overall, some very beautiful points, rallies, Rafa and David's games are made to produce big points.

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  69. let me put it this way, David lost this match in 3, but couldve won it as easy. 2 double faults sealed the deal, one in the 1st set coasted him the set, and one in the 3rd coasted him the match.this match couldve easily been a 5 setter, and now am rather sure if david won the 1st set, he might have made the biggest upset today, 4 commentators kept saying that, he must have said, i played a terrific and yet i lost.

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  70. When David was just to serve at 4:5 my stream died then when I opened another stream it was already 5:5, shame that he didn't broke then, again making UEs or that drop shot was not necessary against Nadal, he could even almost reach the perfect drop shots David did. Then it was clear that he loses his serve, but it was great how he saved the first 2 with second serve and then instead to make a service winner he makes a double fualt, he began with DF and ended it with DF lol.
    It's pity that David plays so good only against the top players.

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  71. This was a good match for David. I hope he looks at it positively. A few key points in the first and third sets and he realistically could have had a two sets to one lead. David looks stronger than he has in awhile. He's gained some weight, which can be good, as long as it isn't too much. I think he's physically sound now. He just needs a little more fine tuning. Other than the top four, I believe he's capable of beating anybody else on the tour right now. He just needs to find that next gear. And even if he doesn't, he can still dazzle on the court.

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  72. I guess this is the interview for Eurosport you're talking about, Julia :) with Mats Wilander.

    http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/video/03092011/58/nalbandian-comeback-trail.html

    Yes Noubar, if only David had won the 1st set...

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  73. Thank you very much for the link Mira!
    Very nice interview!

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  74. you're welcome Mina ;) David's beautiful smile <3

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  75. Yeah, good find. :)
    It's not often that you get to see David as relaxed and as outgoing as this in an interview, and least of all when he has to speak English. ;)

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  76. Yes, his smile is drop-dead-gorgeous :-).

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  77. highlights coming soon

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  78. Thank you Mira for the link. Indeed it was a nice thing to see him smiling and so relaxed!I could hug you for finding it :)

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  79. Did anybody see the video of Nadal's post-match press conference? He started to cramp up and writhe in pain, slipping to the floor before the cameras pulled off. Looked like he was having a heart attack. Guess David really wore the ole boy out. He's OK now.

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  80. Yeah, I've seen it. And I'm going to use it in my post. I was wondering why there's no clip of Rafa's presser the USO website - then I learned why...

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  81. Yeah, they just showed it during the Young-Chela match. David seemed to be fine after the match.

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  82. I just hope David stays healthy,he has good tennis left in him.Cant wait for DC.

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  83. I'm reading now (on Fue Buena) that David's adductor bothered him a little during the match.
    I can only hope that it was nothing more than that.

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  84. I have seen that interview from Nadal. It's also on eurosport website. I thought hopefully Nalbandian is ok, I remember only what happened after the match against Fed, but just saw the bad news here form Julia.
    At the begin it was always "a little bit". I hope it won't be so bad as against Fed.

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  85. We'll see how bad it is. Impossible to say now. But it's still two weeks until Belgrade... We'll see.

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  86. 1st set highlights
    youtu.be/j3g_0HyCxwI

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  87. You're doing them set by set? Hmm, that makes things a bit difficult.

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  88. the problem is i use a proxy breaker to upload, so sometimes it gets disconnected and i re-upload it. I did a full match HLs, couldnt get it uploaded, plus i have a much much better quality but the size of the outcome is 120 mb and i cannot get it done with a proxy software. a real pain in the ass.
    but check this one, quality is perfect, this one was converted from an HD, a super small sized file (480p).I might do other vids the same way.

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  89. i forgot to post the link lol
    youtu.be/szzUtqJfaCk

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  90. Thank you Noubar! The quality is fantastic, so great to watch!

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  91. thnx Mina, am gna do a special one 4 u now HoT SHot 2 lol

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  92. and here is the link

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  93. y do i keep forgetting posting the link lol
    youtu.be/GniqHmLjR_M

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  94. It's just that I can't embed lots and lots of clips in my post. ;)
    But I'll use the first-set highlights.

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  95. i know julia lol
    but as u can see i cant make a full HL of the match, not in a good quality anyway. but u know, seriously the 2nd set had absolutely no point to use in a HL show, the 3rd was good though.

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