Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stockholm R1 - David vs Xavier Malisse
















Update
After two hours and 41 minutes, after saving two match points in the second-set tiebreak and getting broken when serving for the match in the third David eventually managed to overcome Xavier Malisse 4-6, 7-6(8), 7-6(3).
In the second round on Thursday, he'll now face Ivan Dodig - again.

For some reason there seem to be no agency pics of this match (or Stockholm in general). Therefore I've now put up a few screencaps I took towards the end of the match. You'll find them on the Photo Page.
Recording now available via David on Screen.


(Reuters/Getty Images; montage by VD)
These days, David mostly gets to face players who are younger than him and haven't spent as many years on the Tour as he has by now. Today's match, however, is one of the exceptions. Xavier Malisse, 31 years old, turned pro the year David won his US Open juniors title, all the way back in 1998.

Malisse, ranked #51 as of this week, has had his share of injury troubles and pauses in the past but this year he has been able to play a regular season, with the final he reached at Chennai and a semifinal at s' Hertogenbosch as his best results. At the same time, he also won two titles this year, at Los Angeles and Indian Wells - but in doubles (his current doubles ranking: #30).
Malisse has been playing indoors since the US Open, with appearances in Davis Cup (lost to Haider-Maurer), at Metz (where he retired in his quarterfinal match) and at his home tournament, the Challenger in Mons, Belgium. There, he went out in the second round against Alejandro Falla. Still, Malisse is known for being unpredictable with his form - and for his tantrums on court.

Today's match is going to be the sixth encounter between David and Xavier Malisse. It's also the first time they meet since Miami 2008, where David lost to Malisse after having won their four previous matches. Malisse likes to play aggressively, especially with his forehand, and he is, not surprisingly for a good doubles player, also one for attacking at the net. A type of player David usually does well against. And hopefully, he will do so again today.
One more thing - I won't be able to be here for the match so Krystle will be in charge of VD.

128 comments:

  1. Very nice pics, of course David is looking better ;-).
    I hope he feels good and comfortable in Sweden and play good! Vamos and thank you for the preview!

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  2. I would've done "the matching pics of (racquet) destruction" and there's plenty of pics like that of Malisse - but David hasn't destroyed any racquets of late. So I had to go for something more standard... ;)

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  3. Malisse probably has the best touch of all the active players or at least in the very top,should have done so much more imo.

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  4. Malisse being an unpredictable player is pretty much the only criteria I'm worrying about.
    Let alone if they're both unpredictable today... lol

    see y'all later today ;)

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  5. I thot Dodig will lose....he won in 2 tiebreaks..8-6 in 2nd...if he had lost...then it will easy 2nd round for David.. ;)

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  6. Dodig awaits if David wins today.

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  7. David time in less than 10mn! yay!!!!

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  8. Go nalbyyy.
    Indoors 2011 here we come

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  9. yaaaaay Noubar!
    both players are now on the court!
    come on David!!!!

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  10. black shirt, I like that. hehe

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  11. is he wearing black & white???
    hope hel be the dark horse of the indoor swing.

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  12. seriously i can't remember the last time he was in black, if ever.
    Mira ot looks like the 02 arena lol
    i smell a bagal

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  13. black top, white short.
    yeah, 100% black would've been better!! haha

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  14. lol Noubar!
    David would've been a classy contender for the O2 Arena, don't break our hearts by comparing the courts... :( lol

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  15. nalbandian looks like he is trying to continue is poor form and i think i will see the first set if he loses i am finished with tennis

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  16. i cant believe how bad he looks in that first game
    every player would break him he cant play like this seriously its amateur

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  17. yeah, come on Isis, David just broke back.
    Malisse is already getting mad at himself... so...
    Give David a chance, it's just the beginning!

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  18. Isis, nowerdays there is hardly a match from David without at least one poor service game

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  19. I was wondering why the level is so low,they are both looking very mad about the noise.

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  20. yeah, it's really ugly, David should take the next break

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  21. i just cant believe my eyes
    nalbandian looking this bad on indoor court?
    its amazing
    im starting to lose hope he will ever play well again

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  22. lol, Malisse breaking serve from 40-0 (though he did play rather well for a few points).

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  23. That drop shot after Davids 2nd serve was amazing.

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  24. It was, but he was probably just trying to tank the point away.

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  25. Thats funny how just one point he played for fun,being 40-0 love down can change a match.

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  26. whats amazes me is that nalbandian is relaxed like he has federers career with 16 slams
    he doesnt trying to pump himself up
    or to be angry

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  27. i think i had enough im closing the computer i just cant see him that bad
    he disappoints me time after time

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  28. You gave us a promise Isis you will stop watching tennis if he losses this set...

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  29. I didn't watch the 2 games he lost after 40:0, but saw from 40:30. I would like to see that (fun)point you mean, Adrian :)

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  30. Lol Adrian.
    then she won't witness David winning Valencia Open! haha ;)

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  31. by the way im a he
    my name is adam
    but at least you seem to be happy with davids performance

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  32. oh okay Isis, sounded like a "she" name ;)
    and obviously no, we're not happy with David's performance. He's mad enough at himself right now, I don't feel the need to be mad at him... It's sad and frustrating :(

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  33. pathetic performance really
    unbelievable

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  34. Doesn't seem like he has the timing today (so far anyway). Maybe he is having difficulty adjusting to the court.

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  35. If Davids gonna pull this one off,its not gonna be pretty.Hes going to have to grind it out.

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  36. OMG! What's going on here? Just got back from the dentist. Maybe I'll bring David some luck now.

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  37. David doesn't really seem to be able to feel the ball today, I think.
    Malisse has been playing more aggressively. Both players have had their fair share of errors, but Malisse has been good at some parts of the match, whereas David has mostly been about the same.

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  38. Apart from all those errors, I haven't been impressed with David's accuracy even when the ball goes in.

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  39. Can't believe all the blue. It's enough to make someone seasick.

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  40. what I say is...Nalby don't need to waste money travelling all over the world... from Tokyo to shanghai... Stockholm.....etc..then valencia...st. petersberg....etc..better he can sit in his home and take rest...jajajaja...lol ;)

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  41. Good stuff to get the break.

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  42. haha.....I guess, everyone agrees with me ...lol ;) :xD

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  43. wow....well done Nalby...he broke

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  44. I think pretty much every highlight from David in this match would have ended in a backhand volley, and that was a nice way to break serve. :)

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  45. what I personally feel is......he should lose nw or atleast in the 2nd round...if plays delpo...its really a shame for nalby if he loses 6-2 6-1 to Delpo...lol ;)

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  46. Huge break and then drop your serve. Not good.

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  47. He is focussing on Seville final.....that's why lack of concentration in this match...lol :D who agrees with me !!! :D lol

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  48. Krystle why dont u erase this clowns posts?

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  49. poor shot......he thinkd court is 5oo metres long...

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  50. @ Adrian: coz Krystle agrees with me....lol... why don't u agree :P

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  51. Is that you Adam,hiding behind "Stefan" haha?

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  52. Did Malisse won the match ??...coz live streaming not working for me :'(

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  53. I think here is the same person with different names and wants to simulate us.

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  54. LMAO Adrian, I didn't saw your comment before I post mine XD

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  55. I don't have the ability to delete. Besides Stefan is just writing nonsense as far as I'm concerned. At least the smileys make him seem nicer, lol.

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  56. @ Krystle : thank you :xD

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  57. Don't delete my comments !!! :'( :'( :'(

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  58. first breakout from Malisse hahahhahha

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  59. so anyone knw Nalby's record in tie-break this yera !!!....lol

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  60. again a service winner from Malisse at setpoint for David grrr
    and an ace `'o'´... and again nooooooo, 6:6 now 50:50 chance

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  61. Wow,instead of self destructing he makes 3 aces in a row.

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  62. I'm gonna unlike the page "we love david nalbandian " in facebook now !!!!
    won't love Nalby here after....lol ;)

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  63. Thats how you win a set ladies and gentlemen VAMOSSSSS

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  64. These 2 rallies when Malisse had match points were unbelieveable!!!! Dangerous for my heart rate

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  65. U N B E L I E V A B L E

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  66. ahhhhhhh.....he won the 2nd set...so I have to wake another 30 mins until Nalby loses....lol ;) :xD

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  67. wow that second set was such a battle....David is really trying in this match, amid his slew of unforced errors. Its going to be interesting if David's level will rise with confidence or if the errors keep piling up. Vamos David!!!! great last 4 points to save the match and take the set.

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  68. 2 SAVE THESE 2 MATCHPOINTS WERE EVEN MUCH MORE DIFFICULT THEN THE OTHER 2 IN AO AGAINST HEWITT

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  69. Those points from match point down were awesome. :) David just refused to lose the point!

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  70. David won the 2nd set tiebreak. Good to see he is still hanging in. This is one of those rough days at the office (we've all had) and if he can pull through, he'll get some confidence for later in the week.

    ps - this is no "isis" or stefan :)

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  71. Typical high-wire act by David. Why do things the easy way when the difficult way is more fun.

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  72. Well done,break to love.

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  73. Finallyyyyy
    Vamos David !!!!!!

    @ Anonymous : Isis is good !!! me only bad...roflmao

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  74. Adam,you do understand you have lost all credibility on this site.No one can take you seriously anymore.

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  75. @Adrian : I'm not Adam..sry for the comments !!! I Don't knw who's Adam....dont take him wrongly !!!

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  76. John H; One thing I've noticed in the last few months is that David is *really, really, trying hard!!* He may not be playing that well, but he seems more determined than I've seen in a long time.
    I'm thinking that DC has something to do with that.

    I'm partly saying this because some of the posters (ie. asis who should be on prozac) say that he is just giving up -- ridiculous!!. The guy is spilling his guts out there.

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  77. http://twitter.com/#!/DavisCup/
    status/125873811143929856

    haha..funnyy !!!! btw, Im Stefan...not Adam or Isis

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  78. Yeah from the matches i've seen him play since when i saw him live in cincy, (and i've seen pretty much all of them or highlights of them) he looks like he's been going in with the intent of making a dent in these tournaments. He played it close against murray at the rakuten and mayer beat nadal so we know he was playing well. David has looked more focused, and i think its been more of trying to get back into prime form bc i don't think he has been losing based on physical aspects/injuries. He's pumped for this davis cup and he knows this may be his last chance to win it, so he's giving it his all in the final swing so he's best prepared for it. and on that note, hopefully nadal will be burned out (he certainly isn't at his best right now imo) and won't play but i feel he still will

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  79. that to take that lob as a drop shot volley, that was magic from Nalbandian

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  80. David is serving for the match..so,
    ok, let's all stay calm now.
    We know that his serving is not his strong suit, but he is *trying hard*!!.

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  81. Wow,no business losing that service game.

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  82. I was glad that he made the first point to go up with 15:0 but he didn't won a point in that tame any more gifting Malisse the break.

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  83. and he had further break points before

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  84. yeah, disappointing, but are we really surprised?

    Let's just hope for a high-wire act as John said.

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  85. Can't get any closer than this.
    It's just about anybody's match at this point.....maybe the guy who has more courage.

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  86. Proud to be a Nalbandian fan.

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  87. I hardly could see a full point, f*** streams in last games of the match

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  88. Great Win! A win is a win!

    Malisse is a good player... a very
    dangerous player, so it's great that David
    got through this one.

    I predict he will play better in the next round or two.

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  89. same here. Proud to be a fan despite all these terrible moments... heart attack and all! haha

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  90. also, we all know how much can Malisse be unpredictable, he proved it again today. Glad David could hold on.

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  91. Good win. David played with a refuse-to-lose mentality. Like John H said, he's really focused. Physically, I think he's fine now.

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  92. Yes, Mira. Malisse is not the type to win consistently and win an entire tournament, but he can beat a top player (top 20) every 3-6 matches or so.

    So, he is always dangerous.

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  93. I hope he will be fine in next round too physically
    I hope someone has recorded the match, at least I would like to see the highlights of the match which were enough lol

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  94. Yes, true ashot, but I notice he is lasting longer in his matches. This one is 2 tiebreaks in a 3 setter.

    It's been a while since we've seen David do that with confidence. I don't get the feeling that he's gonna be hurting too much because of it, but rather he will have more confidence.

    This is different from 6 months ago. If he did not win quick, he was probably gonna lose or lose next round and/or pull out of next tournament or call a press conference for surgery.....

    Anyway, I think he is getting physicalyl stronger, though he still needs a lot of work.

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  95. The good thing is that he gets a day off now.
    Got home in time to watch some of the third set. So I've missed most of the drama. Also in here, as I see...
    But he did look pretty flat to me in the third. Though still determined. Anyway, he gets some rest now.

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  96. congratulation Anonymous, you have the 100th comment in this post lol

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  97. What a drama,Im still amazed how he saved those 2 match points.

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  98. a day off is very good, so we can imagine he wins in straight sets in a Grand Slam and has a day off, that's very quick :DDD

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  99. 2 greatest longest rallies in the match were the 2 match points

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  100. that Julia is away the chances are not high that someone has recorded the match. Has any other person done it?

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  101. Krystle has recorded the match and the links will be up on DoS shortly.

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  102. >congratulation Anonymous, you have the >100th comment in this post lol

    yeah, I had to rush to get that in. I thought you would beat me to it :)

    ps...Great news that he has a day off.
    I'm watching with great interest how his body recovers. I think his last surgery maybe has finally fixed him and he is getting more confidence with his movement and physical well being....it just takes lots of time.

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  103. Today was drama for all of us, but i had the biggest share. not only because of the way the match turned out to be, but during he 1st set, my friend called and said they r broadcasting the nalby match from super tennis tv on Hotbird which only yesterday my neighbor accidently cut the cable of that very satellite. so i went to the roof to fix the issue with the live score running on my iphone just to see dave losin his serve.
    I thought that was the toughest part until i saw set 2 and 3, but at least i recorded from the half of set 1 to the end. glad david won this way, these are the situations where players go and end up winning the tourny at the end. Vamosss

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  104. the past has showed that if David wins a close match like this in first round it's the begin of getting into top form during the tournament, but it must not end with a tournament win always, for example, (Indian Wells quarterfinal 2008 when he lost against Fish) AO semi against Baghdatis, FO Semi against Federer etc.

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  105. ya of course he doesnt have to win, am speaking in general, wins like these are better than easy passes.
    anyways i uploaded the 2 match points david saved.
    youtu.be/w5cFmLyueHE

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  106. Noubar, you're the man. Climbing up on the roof to play satellite technician so you could record the match. Perhaps we should call you "Noubar the Cable Guy." Yeah, sometimes adversity at the beginning leads to success at the end. We can hope.

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  107. lol John. your not the 1st 1 to call me that m8. I crack all encrypted tennis channels at home using certain LAN devices. but the problem is i cant upload in HQ because of low internet speed.

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  108. Nice work Noubar!The Dodig match is gonna be on a Croatian sports channel.

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  109. i am not stefan no by a long shot
    and i went to work in the second set and on the scoreboard on my iphone i have noticed david is winning when i dont watch his matches
    i am skeptic about his chances to go deep with what i saw but if he really putting the effort as i saw then i believe he could play well again

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  110. Still never watching tennis again?

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  111. >... i think i will see the first set if > he loses i am finished with tennis

    common now, a promise is a promise :)

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  112. adrian you are being hard on me

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  113. asis -
    not as hard as you are on David,
    and his opponents.

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  114. My name is 'dereky' and I am the person who always posted messages on David's forum in the menstennisforums.com.

    I just recently found this blog, and I really appreciate everyone's support to him.

    I think we all get used to his consistently inconsistent career - sometimes losing matches quickly, while sometimes suddenly winning big matches.

    I still remember his horrible 2007 - always losing in the first or second round, but only managed to reach his first QF in October, and then suddenly won 2 Master series at the end and ended the year #9.

    After that I thought he would contend for a GS title, but unfortunately injuries happened since 2008. He only ended up as a 'part-time' tennis player, failing to play a full schedule. 4 years wasted, and he did horribly in GS (failing to get past Round 3 for years...)

    His injury reminds me of Conchita Martinez in the twilight of her career. She suffered a serious injury in 2000, and then only became a top 30 player in 2001-2005, occasionally winning big matches to teach the youngsters some lessons.

    But at least she won a Grand Slam, and David has not!! I just think David's mentality is similar to Martinez / Sabatini / Novotna in the 1990s - always a contender, but seldom a winner, and sometimes giving up too easily (but they still managed to win a grand slam!)

    I really hope he will first win Davis Cup this year. Next year I hope he will win a minor medal in Olympic games.

    Regarding Grand Slam, I am a bit worried if he has the stamina to win 7 best-of-five-set matches. I predict he will only has a 1 deep and surprising run in a grand slam. Hopefully it will happen in 2012-2013 (probably Federer / Nadal will be past their peak, and Djokovic runs out of gas mentally and physically).

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  115. Welcome Dereky ;)

    LOL Noubar aka the Cable Guy! thanks for uploading the 2MP saved which caused us heart attacks, glad I'm still alive! haha

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  116. luckily David is not playing today....if he played today...no chance of winning...haha ;)

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  117. Just out of curiosity - have you borrowed that name from Stephan from over on MTF?

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  118. I'm just saying the truth....if David played today his 2nd round match..it will be difficult for him to win....coz he played his longest 3 set match in almost a year ( Grandslam's not included since one day break between each match ).....I dont think he can play 2 and half hrs late night & come back & win next day....Just remember Aus open...even with 1 day break...he coulnd't play in 2nd round....

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  119. That was a very different match and almost twice as long as this one.
    Still, I've asked you about the name.

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  120. Okay, maybe the chances for getting an honest reply were rather slim to begin with...
    Let me just say this, VD is not MTF. People come here to talk about David (and also other things) and not to wind each other up. You think you can manage that?

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  121. Well Tiffany, according to you, I am (or was) a troll as well...

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