Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Shanghai R2 - Mayer outfoxes David

(Highlights by Andvari - thanks)

(Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)
Usually when David plays his matches, he likes to have the upper hand. He likes controlling rallies, and clearly knowing in his mind how he needs to construct his points. It’s rare to see David completely lost on court like this, and he struggled to find the rhythm that he usually likes in a 6-3 6-4 loss to Florian Mayer, one of the trickiest players on tour.

It didn’t help serving 2 double faults in the first game, and that allowed Mayer off to get to a good start. David made his intentions clear, he was going to play aggressively, and so was Mayer. Who would get the upper hand? Mayer was the more committed of the two, to play the kind of tennis that would get his opponent off-balance, and he threw everything into trying to make this happen. His shot selections were adventurous. He was all over the court, jumping, lunging, taking the ball early on the return, sneaking into the net and occasionally throwing in a bit of serve and volley. His angles particularly off the forehand were a big weapon and he was continually able to ruin David's attempts at controlling rallies, with good defense, then with the ability to change that back into offense. He was on fire in the first set up until 5-2 in the first set. Most of the time, David didn’t even have the chance to make the error, so he didn’t have the chance to find any rhythm either. In the first set, David only won 23% of points on second serve.

It was a lot of pressure for David’s second serve to withstand, and also a lot of pressure in the baseline rallies. Normally David has a better idea of what to expect, and he can use his anticipation as a better weapon than what he did today. Without the anticipation, and without being able to anticipate the changes of pace, David’s deteriorating movement made it quite difficult for him to be competitive in these rallies, and also put him on the defensive more often than he’d like. Mayer, on the other hand, read David’s play quite well, especially at the net winning 16 out of 17 points, sometimes off poor dropshots or approach shots where he realistically could have been passed.

The entire match, it was a continuing battle for David to try to control the points, and to keep them in control. Often he’d move the ball around from side to side a few times, but Mayer’s lunging backhand and forehand slices always got him back into the points, making it impossible for David to hit winners against him. Sometimes he’d try hard to find his way into the net, but the match was not played on his terms.

In the first set up to 5-2, Mayer was playing a perfectly aggressive match with hardly any errors. Then he played a poor game at 5-2 serving for the set, and David made some good returns off second serves to break back to 5-3.

David’s horrible service game following that to lose the set 6-3, kind of sums up the rest of the match. He wasn’t really playing well enough to make the most of Mayer’s level going down after 5-2 in the first set. Mayer didn’t play badly in the second set. But he was more generous with his unforced errors, more up and down in terms of performance, and not as energetic in general. The second set in general was relatively even until it reached the closing stages. It featured fewer rallies, was more patchy, and more reliant on the outcome of the serve.

David had his opportunities at 4-4 in the second set. Mayer made a few cheap errors, and gave David the opportunity to finish off a short ball that only just made it over the net. It was an amateur shot, but David missed it long. After not converting that crucial game, David lost his serve fairly comfortably and poorly. Apart from that 4-4 game, another area that David could have improved in was in the returning department, where he missed plenty of returns just like in the Gulbis match. He also didn’t hit many backhand winners, but I think that partly had something to do with how he seemed to be moving from side-to-side all the time, rather than being camped on the backhand side.


  1. thank you Julia :)
    I felt sad to see David moving from side to side A LOT. Way too many times than expected. I knew Mayer was a tricky player, but not THAT tricky...

    at least, I've learned a new English verb today : to outfox :) lol

  2. oh okay, thank you Krystle :)
    I'll find a way to use the 'outfox' verb anytime soon. David outfoxes another player, hopefully!

  3. Thank you Krystle!
    I think positive and hopefully he has a good run in Sweden!
    Maybe he didn't want to face Rafa ;-) or he didn't like the empty stadium... just joking. I look forward to the next tournaments and hope he does well there!

    Didn't know outfox, too, and it sounds great!

  4. finally I can be happy about David's loss....coz of his loss, I learned a new word Outfox...lol haha ;)

  5. I think David should play well atleast for Organiser's sake...giving the WC and Special entry..they show faith in him and make him to play in the Center Court (all matches) in both Tokyo and Shanghai...but he's not playing well..if he continues to play like this...they wont give WC or special entry etc....in the future tournaments... :(

  6. I think he should play well for his own sake, his ranking, his confidence and to get ready for DC.
    - If only it was all that simple...

  7. I knw...if he had played for his own sake so far in his career...with the amount of talent he has..he would have became the greatest player ever...but that's not the case.....that's y I said Organisers sake...lol ;):D

  8. - If only it was all that simple...

  9. Even if he was outfoxed a little bit.He had his chanches in both sets but he couldnt take them . he could have came back in the first set at 3-5, but he lost his serve.he had an extreamly easy forehand in the second set at 40-40.in this level a player cant afford this.you have to pay for it.at this level he has to be stronger mentaly much stronger!

  10. Had it just been that one point he could've afforded it. But unfortunately Mayer outplayed him for most of the match.

    I hope he gets a decent draw at Stockholm and the chance to make something like a new start after these last two matches.

  11. True Flo outplayed him most of the match,but if he makes the easy forehand he might win the set and who knows what happens in the 3rd.Even if Mayer then hits 3 aces in a row it wont affect him that much because he couldnt do anything and hes doesnt go into the 5-6 game thinking about that miss.

  12. That point was particularly gruesome. But is it certain or even very likely that the match would've taken a completely different turn if it hadn't happened, given how one-sided the match was before?
    - We'll never know. I'm just not one for speculations like that.

  13. http://www.daviscup.com/en/news/audio/argentine-captain-previews-final.aspx

    Tito Vazquez previews final !!!!! :D

  14. And he does it in English. :)

  15. i have met a junior semi pro player from swiss who is practicing with wawrinka he says his fitness coach is a former fitness coach of david his name is javier something... he agreed with me that david is alongside federer the most talented player on the tour
    also he said that david practices 4 hours a day while ferrer practices 8 hours
    thats the difference guys
    thats the reason he is losing to medicore players like mayer

  16. Yeah and the difference also is that David Ferrer has never had a career-threatening injury, nor surgery.
    David has had both and since then he has had to work within the limitations these things have set for him.

  17. but julia i was surprised to see him so weak from the back of the court
    i mean mayer dictating play?? common

  18. so true, Julia.
    Isis, it's not about being talented nor being dedicated to the sport.
    David's problems are all about physical fitness due to past surgeries.
    I know we always talk about it but it is what it is and we have to accept it. And that doesn't mean we're pessimistic, just realistic.

  19. Isis, I think you're surprised whenever David loses. Though he's never been consistent, not even before surgery...

    And yeah, Mira - it's just about being realistic.

  20. Practicing 8 hours a day? lol, sounds excessive to me.

  21. Some people seem to think that the length of practice is indicative of their commitment to the game. That's not always true. What about the QUALITY of that practice. You can do eight hours of anything related to tennis but still not come close to duplicating those results on court. Just saying...eight hours of practice does not always equal effective results. Consider the source of those comments before deciding if it's worth the time talking about.

  22. Soderling not playing in Stockholm !!!